I Have the Plague

Yes, tonight I discovered I have the plague of “perfect”.

My definition of perfect:

the obsessive need to have things done MY WAY

You see, perfect is rather subjective. What is perfect to me may not be perfect to you and my compulsion for perfect usually only matters to me.

Here are some examples of how the disease attacked me today:

  1. I was trying on clothes to figure out what to wear tomorrow and couldn’t find the perfect size heal to go with my jeans that would make them hang at the perfect length. When I did find the perfect size heal it didn’t match my shirt perfectly and so we went round and round trying to perfectly match the heal, the jeans, and the shirt.
  2. While I was cleaning up the kitchen today I discovered that I have a precise way that all the dishes go in the cabinets perfectly. Even mismatched dishes have a perfect order. And of course there is a perfect way to load the dishwasher so as to perfectly fit everything in there!
  3. The laundry is also subject to perfect. I have strong opinions on the perfect size load and what colors and fabrics should be washed together. But perfect really comes into play for the folding. Towels are folded perfectly in half and then in half again and then two folds from the outside in so that the folded towel is the perfect size for the cabinet when it’s put away. The same holds true for every stitch of clothing INCLUDING underwear, yes underwear are perfectly folded… each and every pair!

Yes, I do believe I am borderline OCD but my disease of perfect rears its ugly head inconsistently.  There are some things that I’m sure I’m not so obsessive about… but I can’t think of them right now. 🙂

What crazy compulsions do you have?

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  • Marla Saunders July 24, 2008  

    Big smiles here!

    I’ve always wanted a little of the perfect disease. I have next to none. There are very few areas where I could claim that. I am, however, happy to hear that you fold your towels correctly. You’ll be glad to know that you could pluck a towel off our shelves and they would be folded according to your plan. And oddly, it irritates me if the girls put a towel in folded wrong. I should be praising God in Heaven that someone stuffed something clean in there!

    As for compulsions, yes there are a few. One of the most severe is my “gotta read it” syndrome. Sometimes I don’t even want to hear about new books!

  • Carrie G. July 24, 2008  

    I’ve been reading your blog regularly now and can almost always identify with you but you hit the nail on the head today, Jenni! Perfect is definitely something I strive for and when I feel as those around me don’t have the same standard as mine of perfect I get perfectly bent out of shape. I can tell you this though, it does get better with age (coming from someone over 40 and still love perfect, just a little differently now).

  • totaltransformation July 24, 2008  

    Boy, I am sure glad that as a guy I have so many FEWER choices in clothing. For example, I own one pair of sneakers and one pair of dress shoes. It is pretty easy telling which shoes go with which outfit. 😉

  • Rachel July 24, 2008  

    OH MY! I have a lot of the same OCD-tendencies… especially about the towels and how laundry is folded… AND… the jean/heel thing, too…

    Glad I’m not the only one 🙂

    P.S. Can’t wait til you see the house, either!

  • Jan Owen July 24, 2008  

    my compulsions have more to do with myself……inner things. I cannot stand for there to be conflict – i fight the tendency to apologize for things that are not my fault so that things will be “right” again. I struggle with confronting people – i have but I hate it. I also struggle with never thinking anything i have done is good enough………so i over work..

    i could care less how the dishes are put up and how the laundry is done – just so it is.

    i do get a bit nutty over piles of stuff – i like things to be neat. it makes my mind feel messy if it’s not.

  • Jewel July 24, 2008  

    So I strive to be just as “perfect”…my disease goes as far as color coordinating the clothes in my closet and lining them up according to sleeve length/hem length, etc. Concerned? Oh yes, the canned goods are organized by fruits, vegetables, toppings, soups and cream of soups…in addition to stacked according to color. Jason comes over and puts the baked bean can in line in front of the peaches, pears or spaghetti o’s and it DRIVES ME CRAZY 🙂 he obviously does it to get a reaction — I have a feeling I’m going to have to let go of a little bit of this when kids come around.

    As far as the jeans things is concerned (because I loathe jean shopping more than bathing suit shopping…they are so hard to find the perfect fit) i read an article one time that said when you find a pair of jeans you like and they fit, buy 2 pair…one long and one short, that way you have a pair for heels and one for flats or teenies!!! Hope that helps 🙂

  • JudiFree.com July 24, 2008  

    a quote that changed my perfectionist behavior:

    Don’t make perfect the enemy of good!

    I kind of like being a perfectionist though…

    I’m pretty compulsive about putting my keys away correctly.

  • ally July 24, 2008  

    Ah, perfectionism can be so enslaving. I find myself being the weirdest about things of comfort…I’m more comfortable when I have White Tea & Ginger body cream on my hands, Aquaphor on my lips, etc.

  • Kelli July 24, 2008  

    Im not a perfectionist about much of anything. Id probably drive you crazy : )

  • Jenni Catron July 24, 2008  

    @Marla – I have “gotta read it” too!

    @Carrie – there is hope that I might lighten up! My husband will be so happy!

    @Jewel – you make me feel better about myself 😉

    @Kelli – oh to enjoy your freedom – I envy it!

  • Pete Wilson July 24, 2008  

    I’m so going to sneak into your office tomorrow and messing everything up!

  • tam July 24, 2008  

    i dont like people in my kitchen. i am the only one who works in there right. specifically cleaning. im the only one who sweeps too. no one else goes under counters and tables. i dont care who you are, that is just not right. oh and mirrors! eeeks. i will spend far too much time making sure there are no streaks. does anyone have any tips for a streak free mirror?

  • loridknerr July 24, 2008  

    Jenni – I see WAY too much of me in YOU. Funny but true regarding dishes, laundry and many other things in my home. I’ll pray for you if you’ll pray for me!! HA!!

    Tam – for a streak free mirror, use newspaper instead of paper towels. It’s the best thing EVER for cleaning glass, mirrors, etc.

  • Jessica July 24, 2008  

    What I want to know is where did we get this from??? ( Goona say Dad) I am starting to drive myself crazy because I am getting worse!

  • tam July 25, 2008  

    lori – thank you! i remember my mom using newspaper but had forgotten about that til now. thanks!

  • anne July 25, 2008  

    @jessica – Just this morning I told a client that I drive myself crazy as I sat there in the middle of her floor trying to get all the samples perfectly lined up in order to present for her approval.

    Jenni – I am right there with you! My dishes, my towels, my everything is perfectly in order like yours! I really do drive myself – and my friends – crazy. I’ve even had some of them call me Monica from “Friends”. Oh dear… I guess it’s one area I do have control over and know everything will be in it’s place. I am so predictable, i feel like sometimes I am living that movie “Groundhog Day”. They say kids cure this, so it looks like I’m doomed to have an orderly world – or as my brother puts it, live in my own “fragile little ecosystem” forever! Oh well!

  • Jenni Catron July 25, 2008  

    You are all making me laugh!

  • pcase July 28, 2008  

    Jenni – somewhere along the way, “perfect” went out the window. Now, let’s go back a few years.

    I used to be EXACTLY what you described. Perfect everything top to bottom. It started with my lift at home before I ever walked out the door.

    I would not DARE be seen appearing “mismatched”. My closet at home featured a closet with color-coordinated clothing. (Example: Jeans, all in a row, from ankle cut to calf length to jean skirts.) INSANE!

    My house itself – perfectly clean. One USED to be able to eat a meal off the bathroom floor. PERFECTLY clean. NO MORE.

    Then, somewhere, sometime when I wasn’t looking – PERFECT came to an end. I can blame it on having children. I can blame it on career and ministry work. I can blame it on a lot of things.

    But today, it is gone. Long gone. Okay, not exactly.

    I still have a thing about keeping my car clean. I organize neatly the pocket on the driver’s side door. NOTHING is allowed to clutter the passenger side door. And my trunk is organized.

    My “day job” office is spotless. I do not leave for the day without organized stacks. Trash thrown away and a calendar page turned to the “next day” so it will be ready for me on my return.

    So, I have a little snippet of control in my car and at the office. At home, IT IS ALL OVER! Thanks for sharing this part about yourself – what a hoot!

  • Heidi July 29, 2008  


    My heart is beating with all these perfectionism’s

    I’m not a perectionist in anything but I have tendacies

    1. my checkbook – to the penny I must say.
    2 Ministry- just went to a new level for me and I know ministry is not perfect, but I want it to be in God’s glory. I recheck myself alot on this subject. What aura am I showing? Can people follow me or serve beside me? …many things.
    3. I have this thing about spots on my faucets though.. 🙂 I hate them!!!

    But then you’ll find a dirty spoon in my sink, a wet towel on the bathroom floor, but that’s because I have teens and haven’t threaten to kill them yet 🙂 LOL