Friday, August 26, 2005

I've Already Been Told I Have Issues

Today I was talking to my sister on the phone while she was at work. She whispered into the phone that someone in her office was slathered from head to toe in baby powder and it was nauseating her. She could not escape and I believe it was even making her sweat. She asked if I had any triggers like that. Boy do I have triggers. Some of my triggers even cause obsessive compulsive behaviors. I work with adults who are mentally retarded, some quite severe. This morning I was around one who had been chewing on his hand. If you’re not familiar with that smell, here’s an idea: the next time you sneeze, instead of immediately wiping your hand on your jeans, let it air dry, then smell it, then multiply that smell by ten. I am in no way making fun of my clients, as I adore them and can’t imagine working with any other population. I have changed more diapers, cleaned up every manner of shit and vomit, and performed the Heimlich maneuver more than any woman without children ever should. One thing I have never gotten used to is the smell of saliva. This man today grabbed onto my purse straps with his wet hand and started pulling it toward him. I am phobic of germs, cooties, and communicable diseases so I started hyperventilating and saying letgoletgoletgoletgoLETGO. He finally did and I immediately walked over to the wall dispenser of hand sanitizer and rubbed it all over my purse straps, my hands, and my arms up to my elbows. I’m quite sure they will have to refill it today.

I always love to hear about other people’s weird things. Another of mine is the sound of Styrofoam rubbing together. It gives me the skeeves to put it mildly. I have a hard time buying eggs because I can’t touch the carton, if I buy something that is packaged in Styrofoam I have to leave the room or plug my ears so someone else can get it out of the box, and no Styrofoam cooler is permitted within 100’ of my home. I used to feel weird admitting this because I knew it was bizarre, but I have actually heard some that make me look pretty normal, even when I’m running from room to room covering my ears while yelling “Don’t touch it yet, get it out of the house!” One person I met could not handle white ice. Clear ice was okay, but the idea of digging into a bin of white ice was too much for him. A friend could not handle wood coming in contact with body fluids i.e. chewing on a toothpick or a wooden coffee stirrer. My mom can’t stand for her hands to be sticky or greasy, and can’t eat anything blue. I was listening to a morning show this week where people were calling in and confessing their weird things. Razors, clowns, spiders, etc. One guy could not touch smooth wood, so every Thanksgiving someone sets the table with silver, but his place is set with a big wooden knife from the Outback. My absolute favorite was the woman who said that blue cake icing scared the bejesus out of her. Was that you Mom?


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