personal, writing-life

I’m Not OCD aka I was a Yeoman in the Navy

Upon observing my organized home, a visitor jibed – wow, you’re not OCD at all.

It wasn’t meant to hurt me, but I took the time to explain why everything stored behind a door in my house, is organized out the wazoo.

When in the Navy, I was a Yeoman.

Not my house, not my deer head.

I was an administrative robot, with rank. Every request required a form, and every form was kept in at least three places: empty forms were here, filled-out forms go there, and processed forms got filed everywhere. If you must fill out, cash it, or apply for it, you’ve dealt with a Yeoman. Like many deployed Yeomans, I oversaw an inventory. Inventory means many things in the military: pencils, pens, paper, holsters, razors, toothbrushes, soaps, towels, life jackets, boots, goggles, body armor, firearms, and ammunition. The list is endless. If you’re wearing it, firing it, or eating it, if it’s in your supply box, in a barracks closet, on your ship, or in your tent when you get there, thank a Yeoman. My inventory was a dozen plus Seabee-made gems called, roller-dudes. They’re made for mine-breaching, and where they went, I went. Let’s just say, Iraqi’s love to lay mines.

Military life on the job, is 40% inspection, and 60% preparing for inspection.

Your workspace, inventory, and tools must be in the order you left it in when your shift is done. Same goes for your weight BTW; Yeoman’s had the same physical fitness requirements as fireman, seaman, and everyone–it was harder for us because we were the most sedentary. Let’s just say that cardio was your life, and leave it at that. I’m pushing 50 now, but the habit of the organization remains. I do not leave dishes in the sink overnight. My towels and clothes are folded to retain an unvarying aesthetic. My dishes, pans, and foods are organized–don’t judge me, it’s not alphabetic, or anything that Monkish.

Can you tell it’s laundry day?

My baking and spice cabinets are indicative of this mindset, and it is this space that prompted the humorous observation, from my visitor.

Here’s the thing – I bake, a lot. I suffer from a form of fructose malabsorption wherein I don’t have a complete absence of aldolase B. Now folks with zero aldolase B enzyme, do not metabolize fructose at all. I can process it, so long as there’s no high-fructose corn syrup in it, or any artificial additive containing glucose. Two years ago, I was forced to eliminate all forms of HFCS from my diet. My small intestine couldn’t take it anymore, and my liver gave it all the protest mojo it needed to put me in the hospital. I don’t have irritable bowel, this was worse and gross, and I’ll spare you the details. Rambling story short, I cannot have anything that comes in a prepacked wrapper, no form of soda from a can, no pre-made cake or cookie, and NO FORM OF SPLENDA, or any artificial sweetener, period.

Real sugar only.

Glass jars are your friends…

I’m a slave to an occasional sweet. I like my piece of cake, love my cookies, a brownie for breakfast? HellzYeah! To enjoy these things, I must make from them from scratch. My fruit juices, and sodas? They must real-sugar only; never assume that because your soda or juice is in a glass bottle, that it’s not loaded with HFCS. I’m adept at reading labels. Baking the occasional sweet means I must have baking ingredients, on hand. Baking ingredients are notoriously packaged in perishable containers that look like shit, once you open them. That’s why my baking and spice cabinets look the way they do; anchor-hocking jars full of raw ingredients.

No, I’m not OCD…I was a Yeoman in the Navy.


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