Math and OCD

While I have never been officially diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, I know the signs, and I know that I am a little OCD, but generally not to the degree that it interferes with my life.  Then there are days that it makes itself known and I have to roll my eyes at myself.

One of the signs of OCD that I share with many others is a slight obsession with numbers, specifically even numbers.  I always set the television volume at an even number, and if 14 is too soft and 16 is really too loud, I can set it to 15, but… it bothers me.

I generally try to make sure everything I do involves an even number, so you can imagine my concern when I came home from the store and started putting the groceries away, only to find that when I had them stacked in fridge, there were only 9 of Simone’s greek yogurts.  Of course I had purchased 10, so I started looking around the other grocery bags for the missing yogurt, but I couldn’t find it.  I started searching the floor or the kitchen and then, when it did not appear, retraced my steps back through the living room into the mudroom.

At this point I decided that it must have fallen out in the trunk of the car, so I headed outside in search of the errant yogurt.  It was not in the trunk, so I started to freak out a bit.  Where was the tenth yogurt?  I finally decided to check the receipt, and, sure enough, there were only nine yogurts listed.  Did they miss one at the store?  Was it sitting in my cart in the parking lot?  What the heck happened to the tenth yogurt?  You see, I knew that there must be ten, because I would never buy nine yogurts.  I would buy eight, or I would buy ten, but nine?  Nine is not an even number!  For the love of Pete, it’s not even a prime!

So I have some math-related issues.  I finally accepted the fact that I must have miscounted the yogurts at the store and did indeed purchase nine yogurts, and then I just started laughing at myself and the fifteen minutes of my day I had wasted freaking out about the odd number of yogurts in my fridge.  This is really as bad as it gets in terms of my OCD messing with my life, so I actually am pretty lucky in that regard, but it is a reminder to me that yes, I am a little crazy.

Posted in Math, Numbers, OCD.

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