My germaphobia timeline.

When I was younger, my room was a mess. If I could make a small walk-way from my door to my closet then to my bed, I was happy. I didn’t care or think about germs. Antibacterial was not a word in my vocabulary. Playing in the dirt, picking up worms, and living by the five-second rule was my way of life. Sometimes, I even pet my dog and didn’t wash my hands immediately afterwards. All of this seems normal right?

Well over time, I have slowly but surely become a little neurotic. And when I say neurotic, I mean everything in its place, must be dusted, wiped down, and/or fluffed. I guess I didn’t realize that it happened until my boyfriend told me he was seriously worried about living with me in the future. What if he left a sock on the floor? What if he moved my jewelry box and didn’t put it back? What if he left a dirty plate sitting on his dresser? Just thinking about it makes me twitch. When did this happen to me?

I guess it happened when I was around 18 or 19 years old. I was babysitting, and one of the kids open-mouth coughed on me. With his mouth wide open. All over my face. That’s probably when it hit me (I mean it literally hit me in the face). After that, I started to wash my hands more and avoided little kids as much as possible, or at least stayed far enough back that they couldn’t cough on me. Then, it became a game of “what can’t I clean?”

Even worse (and now at the age of 24), I’ve started avoiding touching shopping carts and door handles, unless I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt. And If I absolutely have to, I will risk disease by either bumping the door open with my elbow or butt, or push the cart around with my forearms. Being neurotic is not pretty.

Pumping gas is the hardest, but I have been forcing myself to use my bare hands, then later I scrub them down for five minutes. Say my nose starts itching right after I pump gas. Sorry, nose. You’ll have to wait. I’m trying to remain normal, but sooner or later, I’m going to be walking around like Michael Jackson’s kids with mouth covers on. Maybe I’ll even wear the pretty peacock mask, too.

cover those mouths when you cough, ga-ross.

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