Remember that song my Naughty by Nature called “You down with OCD”. Wait, what? That’s not what it’s called? That’s not what they were down with? Well, in my version it’s definitely OCD.
I don’t suffer from OCD, I relish in it. I embrace it. Being married to someone who lives - how shall I say this? - on the other end of the spectrum in terms of my comfort zone for order and tidiness can be a challenge. I guess that’s part of being in a relationship; being able to meet halfway.
But if it were strictly up to me, my house would probably look like a museum. I love perfectly arranged items. I love sorting and organizing. I get off on ninety degree angles. I like start-to-finish planning. If I could, I’d get a tattoo of a timeline on my arm. When it comes to law and order, the law is you must keep things in order.
Okay ….. I’m done with the euphemisms.
Now, imagine what my gut instinct was when Lee suggested, as we were planning a road trip to visit family in Miami, that we leave a day early and stop in Ft. Myers on the way. “It’ll give us the chance to do something different,” she said. “We’ve never really been, we can break up the drive down, and it’ll be fun.”
It was a really good idea and I agreed to it without much hesitation. I headed over to my laptop and pulled up a travel website. “What are you doing?” she asked me. I explained I was going to look up a hotel at which to stay in Ft. Myers and make a reservation. “We don’t need a reservation,” she quipped. “Let’s just get in the car and go. We’ll find a place to stay once we get there.”
I don’t know exactly how long it was, but I must have stared at her for about a minute and a half. It was just a blank stare, my brain unable to comprehend the words that came out of her mouth. I heard the faint voice of Gary Coleman in my head ask, “Whatchu talk’n ‘bout, Willis?”
“Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked. I explained to her that it sounded as if she said we didn’t need a reservation, and that we’d simply find a hotel when we got there. “That’s exactly what I said,” she retorted. It was then that the twitch that began in my eye escalated to full-on convulsions over my body.
How could this woman possibly suggest we just get in a car, drive to a different city, and stay the night without a reservation? Why would anyone do that? That’s the beauty of a reservation. You don’t have to worry about not having a place to stay. You don’t have to play out in your head the worst case scenario of sleeping in the car. What if there’s a convention and the only place available is $300 per night? My wife obviously hadn’t thought this through very well.
Stopping short of bitch slapping me back to her reality, Lee convinced me to “just have faith” and go with it. “You can’t plan everything,” she lectured me. I quietly disagreed.
We got in the car, drove off, and made it to Ft. Myers without incident. More importantly, we found a place to stay without incident. Well, there was that one little detail about our bathroom not being exactly clean which lead to the room being comp’d. That was cool.
In the end, we had a great time. Lee’s spontaneous idea and her coaxing me into giving randomness a try turned out to be quite the fun adventure. It also turned out to be a good learning experience for me as well. I learned to expand my comfort zone. I learned to place trust in the un-planned. I learned to let go of some of the obsessive and give into more of the compulsive in my life.
Life is rarely neat and tidy. Life almost never goes according to plan. I guess it is life’s tendency to exist in disorder that I need to embrace.