It all started when I was a small child. It never occurred to me to just throw on some random shirt with an equally random pair of shorts for my daily afternoon play fests. Nope. Not me. Everything had to match. Outfits were better. And if there were matching Jellies involved, forget about it.
Side Bar: You remember Jellies, right? The super-fantastic plastic shoes from the 80s that came in every color of the rainbow? With glitter? Walk into any 9 year old girl’s room in 1987, and you would have found 15 pairs of jellies, a pink Popple, a giant New Kids on the Block poster, and an even giant-er can of unscented Aquanet.
|I mean, I’m just sayin…|
Back to the OCD thing: Yes, it’s true. I was always dressed to the nines. A lot of that had to do with the fact that I had a mother, an aunt, and a grandmother that took great pleasure in dressing me up in All Things Adorable. When you could open a drawer and find any number of darling outfits right at your fingertips, like I could, matching wasn’t really an option, it was just a reality. And don’t think for a minute I didn’t enjoy the matchy-matchy thing, either.
|Me with my parents, circa 1985|
I rocked the Mary Janes with the best of them. Trust me.
As I got older, my need for matching clothes turned into something else. It went beyond the “No Black Shoes with a Brown Belt” rule. And it picked up fellow eccentricities along the way.
For instance, I alphabetize my DVDs.
Might sound crazy to you, but when I’m looking for “Stardust,” I like knowing I’m going to find it between “Sound of Music,” and “Superman Returns.” I don’t want to wonder if it’s fraternizing with “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Punisher.”
I also take forever when I’m picking out gifts. It MUST be something I know, without a shadow of a doubt, will be 1) useful, 2) appreciated, 3) perfect for the occasion and most importantly 4) the only one of its kind received. Duplicate gifts are a big no-no. And if it reduces the recipient to tears because of its perfectness, then that’s just bonus points.
This drives my husband crazy, because inevitably, he’s always tagging along when I’m looking for “the perfect gift.” The following conversation took place today, while shopping for a swim suit with matching hat that will be given as a birthday gift for my college roommate’s 1 year old son:
Husband: What about these swim trunks?
Wife: They’re cute, but there’s no matching hat.
Husband: There has to be a hat, too?
Husband: Ok. So…what about this hat with these trunks?
Wife: Those plaids don’t match.
Husband: They’re both blue.
Wife: Yes, but THIS one has blue with green, and THIS one has blue with orange. Totally different.
Husband: Alright. What about THESE trunks?
Wife: Yes, I love those. But I want to put them with this khaki-colored hat. And they don’t have that in Baby’s size.
Husband: (looks at another rack nearby) What about these plaid ones? They’re blue.
Wife: OH those ARE cute! (Looks at trunks.) Oh, but they’re not swim trunks. They have to be swim trunks.
Husband: They’re hanging with the other swim trunks.
Wife: Yes, dear, but they don’t have the meshy thing inside that make them OFFICIAL swim trunks. I don’t want there to be any confusion.
Husband: Right. No confusion. Gotcha. Ok, here. These plaids match, and they have the right size hat AND the right size trunks. (Holds out products for approval.)
Wife: (looks at husband as if he has three heads) Green? Really?
(It took me 45 minutes, but I did eventually choose the original blue plaid with a different hat. And B took it like a trooper.)
I also color code everything, write lists for any occasion, pictures hanging on the wall MUST be straight or it drives me bananas (yes, I will walk over and straighten a frame at your house, even if we’ve just met, so be prepared.) I’ve also been known to tell a complete stranger that the tag is hanging out of their shirt. It’s just polite. Besides, if I have to stand behind you in line for thirty minutes at Walmart, I REALLY don’t want to stand there and obsess over the tag. Seriously. Just tuck it in.
Maybe these attributes make me crazy, I don’t know. I choose to think they are charming anomalies that make me 100% Abby.