Usually, I find McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies witty and sharp. Usually.

Today, McSweeney’s posted this: A Germaphobe’s Exercise Plan: http://bit.ly/b3eOXI. Now, this is a subject I am sensitive about (having lived with OCD for the past 15 years) but I still have a sense of humor. Though most days I don’t find much funny about it, there are comical aspects of being a germaphobe. I often laugh myself silly over it. I promise. But regarding this post, I do have one major issue to bring up: aside from the Hover Squats (mentioned first), the rest of the list is… not funny. It’s just not.

I’m guessing that these exercises are meant to make one BETTER at being a germaphobe? I think I can safely say that having germ issues keeps me very active, and without the special ‘exercises.’

I’ll begin with steps: counting as I climb or descend them. Climbing steps over and over again because I lost count or ended on a ‘bad’ number. Climbing steps a certain number of times (repeat repeat repeat).

Scrubbing floors or tub multiple times per day: does that count? What about the multiple room dash: dashing or running room to room, checking doors, closets, nooks and crannies for possible intruders? What about the midnight door-check: getting up over & over again, I’ve gone to bed, to check and make sure the door is locked? Or what about vacuuming the floor over and over again, trying to get every speck of dust and every single cat hair from the carpet?

No, really, McSweeney’s: I get it. Really I do. All these exercises are done in order to perform said germaphobe compulsive tasks. I appreciate the effort. I really do.

It’s just that, well, all of these compulsions are not born out of eccentricity; they are born out of fear and anxiety. So, doing exercises in order to perform tasks that came about due to fear and a desperate need to avoid certain things just seems (in light of what the disorder really does to a life) unimaginative. There are many aspects of being a germaphobe that I find funny; just last night, for instance, my friends laughed because I refused to touch a serrated shark tooth (ewww).

Other examples: being obsessed with serial killers. Or the number of times you pee in a day. Or asking your friends over & over if the stove is turned off. Or how about obsessing that the floor of the movie theater is going to cave in as you sit watching some lovely Indie short film? Or what about being paranoid that an unwatched beverage has been contaminated in some way?

What about feeling paranoid about kissing someone because you wonder what they have had to eat that day? Now that’s funny.

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