Long ago – before I got married – I read a story called “Don’t Delve Too Deeply” by Alberto Moravia.
The story is about a man whose wife has suddenly left him after two years of married life.
The man does not understand why his wife has left him and gone away without any warning.
He analyses their life together – and comes to the conclusion that he was a “perfect husband” – he was a most caring husband who looked after his wife well – so – he just can’t fathom the reason why his wife has left him.
The man keeps introspecting and analysing – trying to discover the reason why his wife has left him – and – as we read the story – it starts becoming evident that the reason his wife has left him is because of his fastidiousness.
The wife probably couldn’t tolerate her husband’s perfectionist nit-picking nature.
So – she left her husband.
They say that there is a thin line between truth and fiction.
After I got married – I realised that in our marriage – it was a similar story.
I am meticulous – my wife is careless (and forgetful).
Yes – Dear Reader – I am extremely fastidious – I believe in orderliness – everything must be kept in its proper place – so that it can be found easily.
Maybe I developed this habit of orderliness in boarding school where we were taught to keep things neat and tidy and in their proper place and punished if we didn’t do so.
Later – the Navy too – we were trained to “secure” things properly and keep everything “shipshape” – organised and spick-and-span.
In Navy lexicon – it is called “Batten Down” and “Secure” – close all hatches and stow all gear securely and properly.
Doors and Hatches were closed tightly – all items were put in the proper and correct manner in their assigned place – secured properly – and stowed in accordance with the stowage instructions.
My wife leaves her things all over place in a most careless fashion – and she can never find them.
If that is not bad enough – she does not “batten down” – but she keeps cupboard doors open, drawers and racks hanging out – windows open – sometimes – in a most dangerous manner (I have banged my head a number of times – and hurt other parts of the body too).
On the other hand – I am very particular about “securing” everything properly and safely.
I have a designated place for each and every thing and make sure I keep things in their proper places.
When I come from outside – I meticulously perform the ritual of Keeping my Wallet, Identity Card and Keys in their designated places in the earmarked drawer – then – take of my shoes and stow them properly – then hang my clothes neatly in the cupboard – or put them for wash in the clothes bin.
On the other hand – you will my wife’s shoes, chappals, clothes, purse etc thrown all over the place – scattered everywhere in a most unkempt manner.
She can never find her Hair Pins/Clip (which I call “Crabs”), combs, nail-cutters, scissors, nail polish, creams, cosmetics etc – which are strewn all over in the most unlikely places.
She always misplaces things – she can never find her things – especially when there is urgency.
I wake up in the morning – get the milk packet hanging outside our door – wash it – and open the kitchen drawer below the gas stove – to get the scissors to cut the milk packet – and – I find that the Scissors are missing from their specified place.
Since we are talking about kitchen drawers – once – she misplaced her spectacles – we searched all over the house but couldn’t find them.
Next morning – when she opened a kitchen drawer – to take out a vessel – she found her spectacles kept there.
I never tell her to keep things properly – because – whenever she keeps things “properly” – she forgets where she kept the item – and we have to launch an all-out search.
In a nutshell – my wife is careless, disorganised and disorderly.
And – I am the opposite – I am just like the fastidious husband in “Don’t Delve Too Deeply”.
But there is a difference between the story “Don’t Delve Too Deeply” and our story.
My wife has not yet left me and gone away.
In the story – the wife leaves her husband after 2 years of marriage – but – my darling wife continues to tolerate my fastidiousness and “Symmetry OCD” for 39 Years 3 Months and 21 Days.
Yes – Dear Reader – that’s what they call the “disease” I suffer from – “Symmetry OCD” – you are very particular about everything being “shipshape” – and you get angry and irritated if things are not put in their proper place – or if things are not arranged or “secured” in the appropriate way and correct manner.
By the way – I knew a couple who were the exact opposite of us – the husband was careless, disorganised and disorderly – and the wife was a fastidious perfectionist.
What about you – Dear Reader – and your Spouse – do you also have a “fastidiousness mismatch”…?
If so – who is the careless, disorganised, disorderly one of you two – and – who is the finicky “Symmetry OCD” type…?
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