Thursday, October 27, 2016

OCD (Out of Character Disorder)

"Mom, you're like totally obsessed now."

I'm really not, or at least I don't feel like I am.

I don't know if my psychology degree is to blame, or the hours I spend thinking and analyzing everything from my kids' behavior to my own, but over the years I have become pretty self-aware.  I know all of my idiosyncrasies and the ways I can be overly sensitive, or predict the precise moment a specific event will tip my emotional scales from fairly balanced to someone-get-her-a-stiff-drink.

It's this awareness that helped me realize that I have a one-track mind when it comes to the things that I enjoy.  Obsessive-compulsive interests, if you will.

I've done this my whole life.  When I was in high school, Alanis Morrisette became very popular, and despite the fact that I couldn't identify with her angry lyrics, I was hooked.  I knew every word of every song.  I knew about the artist herself-- where she grew up, how she liked to style her hair (which I may have attempted myself a time or two) and spent the better part of a year wishing I'd been so lucky as to have a hit album rather than frizzy hair and thick glasses.

This happened in college with just about any Tom Hanks movie.  It happened a few years ago with the Hunger Games book series, despite the fact that I am, in fact, a grown-ass woman.  It happened when I rediscovered "Whose Line Is It Anyway" and was able to find every old episode that ever existed and spent a good two years memorizing most of them.  I even got to see a couple of the guys on their comedy tour and sat in the front row.

Apparently I'm a media superfan.  I'm super into the things that interest me.  I am not, to be clear, of the fan variety that mails locks of my hair to celebrities or pins their photos to my bathroom mirror.

Earlier this summer, after I exhausted myself re-watching the entire "White Collar" series for the fifth time, I saw a commercial advertising the next season of "The Voice", and it reminded me that I had never set my new DVR to record the upcoming episodes.  I have always liked singing competitions, and last winter I leisurely enjoyed watching Jordan Smith absolutely dominate all of the other artists, and was happy when he won handily.  I forgot all about the show and the season that aired last spring, so I thought it would be fun to start watching again.

And it has been.  The kids have gotten involved too, choosing their favorite contestants and campaigning for them to be chosen or stolen, and have begun asking about the coaches themselves.

"Who is Adam?  I mean, why is he famous?"

"He's the lead singer of a band called 'Maroon 5'.  You'd know a lot of their songs, I have them playing in the car."

"Who are Alicia and Miley?"

"They are singers, too.  All of the coaches are.  You might know a couple of Alicia's songs, and you've heard Miley's 'Wrecking Ball'."

I'm not particularly proud of that iTunes purchase.  We'll gloss over it, mmkay?

"Play something you have of Blake Shelton's, Mom."

No, nope.  I don't own any of his songs because I DON'T DO COUNTRY MUSIC.  Never have.  My disdain for country music has been as much a part of me as my name or the color of my eyes.  But with my two boys looking up at me without judgment for having watched the same seven episodes of "The Voice" on repeat for two weeks, I couldn't shut down their request.

"I don't really like country, but I'll find something on YouTube so you can hear what it is like."

And that's when my interest "disorder" took on a new and very weird twist... I started to like Blake's music.  I bought the song the boys liked the most and played in the car for them.  YouTube led me to others that I enjoyed and then later loved, and before I knew it, I'd purchased 19 of his not-so-twangy songs that have been on (you guessed it) nonstop loop.

I feel like a fish out of water.  If I like country music, then should I question all of the other things I believed about myself?  Tomorrow will I give up coffee and start homeschooling my kids?  Will I begin eating pickles and book a hot-air balloon ride?

"Mom, you're like totally obsessed now."

Maybe I am.  Maybe I'll be watching old seasons of "The Voice" for the next six months while wearing a cowboy hat and a plaid shirt.  And maybe there's just one more thing for me to do.

Just kidding.  Maybe if my hair looked like Alanis Morrisette's...

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