27 July 2015

Something old

Many people find change difficult, however, for those with OCD it can be a particular challenge - and not just when dealing with significant life events, but a whole host of more trivial matters.

One 'change' that dismays me is when things wear out or break and require replacement. A number of elements contribute to that dismay.

The first is that I can't stand shopping; faced with a world of choice, I'm almost incapable of making a decision. Rather than face that ordeal, I avoid replacing items until they become completely unserviceable.

The second factor is having to accept that the item concerned has become so far removed from perfect. While I can gradually adjust to an unmoveable stain in a shirt or a scratch on a table, it's somewhat harder to accept that final transition to unusable.

The third, and main, reason is that I feel more comfortable using, and being surrounded by, familiar objects. 

I was upset, therefore, when I recently noticed a two-inch tear across the back of the top half of my favourite pyjamas. They had earned the tag of favourite by dint of being the perfect mid-season nightwear: a combination of lightweight material and full-length sleeves and legs. 

Initially unable to accept their terminal state, I wore them again the following night - and woke up to find the tear had doubled in length. I felt almost bereft as I finally bundled them into a rubbish bag. They were so old that I couldn't remember when I'd bought them, yet still I felt disappointed that they had let me down. 

And how would I ever replace them? Could another pair of similarly perfect pyjamas possibly exist? And if they did, how long would it be before I could bring myself to wear them? On the odd occasion that I do buy new clothes, I invariably leave them in the wardrobe for months, to maintain their perfection.

To avoid the need for change, I'm currently creaking along with several other household items. 

There's the television with the hit and miss sound quality, necessitating constant tweaking of the two volume controls to eradicate either a buzzing noise or a thundering bass tone.

Image courtesy of taesmileland/
Then there's the laptop with the malfunctioning external power connection that works only if I tweak the cable in the socket a certain way. 

And finally, there's the portable radio with the loose connection to the on-off dial, which means I never know whether it's going to come on or not.

I'm too used to these things to be able to give them up of my own accord; no doubt, as so many times before, it will be circumstance that finally forces my hand*.

Oh, and as for the pyjamas, I came across a pair in my chest of drawers that I bought last year for a hospital stay, but didn't wear. In a light fabric, with three-quarter length sleeves and long legs, they're an ideal replacement and instant new favourites...hopefully for the next 10 years, at least!

* * *

*A couple of hours after writing the first draft of this post, the aerial snapped off the radio - I now have a new one.

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