(Renovations in the time of Corona..)

Yup its me again. I tried to be kind and stay away from ratting on Senor OCD since his birthday but you know there’s only so much one can take.

So, I have to tell you the new Senor OCD story. Now a combination of being OCD and a Cancerian is lethal…yes like “lethal weapon” 420. Apparently, Cancerians are instant problem solvers like instant soup. So, if you say or even suggest something/anything, they feel compelled to add luke warm water offer a solution. In my 40+ plus years with Senor OCD/Cancerian, I learned not to say anything unless I needed instant resolving of the issue/non-issue.

However, getting senile in my old age and being a sucker for sweet smiles, I slipped. A few months ago, I just mentioned casually in passing that the mattress on my side of the bed was getting a bit lumpy. Truly it was just a passing remark…but hey there was instant reaction. OCD said “let’s get a new mattress”. Okay that seemed fair since the bed was oldish. But here’s the catch that I did not catch. Few days later I spied OCD stashing Leon’s, Brick and IKEA fliers and he got his daughter-in-law into the game as well where she was sending him links. He then decided that we will change the entire bed…I can deal with that as well. Then I saw fliers for carpet shops and red lights started flashing in my head that something is going OCD. Sure enough, before I could say No way, never ever…he had decided that we are changing the carpet in the bedroom and the hall. The justification for this was that since the room will be empty, this is a good time to make the change. I gently and politely (maybe not so politely and gently) suggested (maybe not suggested) that we could get the carpet shampooed but OCD had already gone and spoken to an old friend in a carpet shop and chosen a carpet. In the spirit of trying to show that he is egalitarian and gender friendly (especially to the shop owner), he then took me to the carpet shop to show me what he had chosen. There was no place on the form to tick NO!

I had just resigned myself to the idea that the bedroom will be uprooted when BOOM – the side tables and table lamps were also gone. During this time, I was informed that my side of the bedside table is too untidy (I only have 6 books, a tissue box, a framed photo of my parents, my eyeglasses, a glass of water and basket full of knick knacks) so I really don’t know what the fuss was about. Just because he keeps his side minimal does not take away from the fact that he is a hoarder…its just that my hoarding is visible.

Many arguments and dragging visits to furniture stores later (By the way my idea of shopping is to go to one store and get what I want. His idea of shopping is to go to at least a dozen places, haggle embarrassingly and then go back to place one! Exhausting to say the least.) And I can’t let him go alone because he would then buy five extra things so I have to be the policeman (oops did I say the wrong gender thing? Never mind. It seems you can’t say “woman” anymore either so I don’t really care). At Sleep Country I was the guinea pig and had to lie on the mattresses to check firmness (because I was the one who had complained). At one point the salesman decided to lie down next to me to show how two people can comfortably sleep on one mattress…you should have seen OCD’s face!

After much tooing and froing, backing and frothing, kicking and screaming, the bedroom shopping was done and I breathed a sigh of relief that life would go on. But NO! Senor OCD started eyeballing the perfectly decent sofa in the living room. The security guy in our building had said he was looking for furniture so one day I was sent off on an innocent errand and when I returned, sofa was gone. Along with my thinking chair in the solarium.

In his defense I will say that he found someone needy to take the stuff but here we were sleeping on the kid’s mattress waiting for the new bed because of course due to COVID everything is delayed.

Then all hell broke loose because he saw the dust on the mantel piece (so far hidden by decorations) and did detective type rounds of the rooms checking all details of dust, rust and anything that looked like it might need cleaning. Now you have to picture rooms with lots of artifacts which he could never throw away. So just to get even I started a discussion about hoarding and how about throwing out some of his precious collections and half broken things? No that never flies. He is as attached to his broken/torn memorabilia as a mouse to cheese.

Now OCD turned his attention to the kitchen at which point I threatened to leave. He just smiled and said for the twelfth time “wait till you see it all done” and started singing “Abhi naa jao chor kar..” (don’t leave me just yet). But I literally twisted his arm and said “Save something for later when I’m not here”. He agreed (too quickly) and has a couple of blue marks on his arms to prove the point.

The kids meanwhile (knowing their dad) conveniently decided to keep social distance to the maximum using the excuse that their kids are going back to school so for ‘our’ safety (as in you are oldies) better to stay away. Humph! So nowhere for me to run and hide.

I’m here, still here surrounded by stuff from the bedroom in the living room plus cleaning equipment all over. So, I did what any good housewife (that’s him) would do. I called the famous ‘cleaning lady’ and begged for help and offered a huge bribe. I can now breathe as she’s coming over but my ordeal is not over. As soon as I sit down to take a rest and maybe watch one episode on TV, OCD arrives with paper and pen to make endless lists of what we have to do next.

Motto of the story: never, ever, ever, ever start to complain unless you can solve the problem yourself. There’s an OCD at every corner but I love mine regardless!