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The Bright Side Of Neurosis

In case there was any room left for doubt, I think it’s officially been proven that I am a little more neurotic than the average bear, at least when it comes to subjects such as housekeeping and hypochondria.

Today, of course, was the day I had my wisdom teeth removed, and I was pretty certain going into surgery that I had about a 50/50 chance of living through the procedure. So what did that mean for me last night, not being entirely certain I’d be alive in another 24 hours? Here’s a little window into my brain:

Clearly, the first most important thing to do is the dishes. In fact, better scrub out the sink, and clean out the fridge for that matter, and don’t forget to sweep and mop and oh heck, better deep clean the entire house and change the linens and do the laundry, too.

When the house is clean, it’s time to give myself the head-to-toe spa treatment. Everything that can possibly be scrubbed, shaved, moisturized, manicured, trimmed, painted and curled definitely should be. And while my toenail polish is drying, I can water all the plants, and I’d better make sure to trim away all the dead leaves, and the bathroom probably needs a second round of scrubbing sometime around 1:00 am.

Yes, folks, this is just one of the ways a slightly crazy person deals with stress.

This may sound like a lot of work, but I figured it was a win-win situation: since it was entirely possible that I was not going to survive the anesthesia, I figured I’d might as well go out looking my best. And while imagining my poor mother having to come clean out her dead daughter’s apartment, I at least felt a small sense of relief knowing I wouldn’t have to be embarrassed about my housekeeping skills from the other side of the grave.

On the other hand, there was a part of me that was pretty sure I was going to live through the procedure. (In all honesty, I must have been more than “pretty sure” I would survive, I mean, was I going to spend my last night on Earth painting my toenails? Really?) …

The upside of my neurotic behavior is that now, here I am, not only alive but recovering in style. There’s undoubtedly something healing and soothing about being in my home when it is so clean and bright, so I am feeling grateful that I decided to indulge that particular compulsion. And although I might feel a bit like a train crashed into the side of my face, at least my hair looks great. I can put my feet up, admire my pink sparkly nails, and eat pudding cups like a rock star in recovery. At least, that is, once I can open my mouth. But for now I think I just need a nap.


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