The last pea on the plate!


I know a lot of people with a real variety of mild eating disorders.




To mention just two, someone I know has a phobia of food stuffs mixing together and it is absolutely imperative that they must not touch each other on the plate or they can not be eaten and quite a few people I know have to eat their foods in a certain order, for example, all the vegetables first, then potatoes and then the meat, never taking a little bit of each onto their fork, perhaps these are not actually eating disorders, but traits of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

I have often wondered if I, myself, am mildly OCD. I have already mentioned in a previous post that I am a neat freak. I have a lot of peculiar little foibles and routines, none that seriously impact on my lifestyle or anything detrimental like that but I do tend to do repetitive tasks and chores during the day when as an intelligent adult I know, that in all reality, these practices could be performed just once at the end of each day. For instance, I will clean and dry any sink that is used so that watermarks don’t appear. If an item is placed into any of the wastebaskets, I will empty these, even if it is one single, tiny piece of paper, into the main kitchen bin. Drinks mats will come out of their holder and be returned for each occasion that a drink is served, rather than remaining out on the coffee table for the duration of the day. I will adjust and plump up the sofa cushions the moment someone vacates a seat, even if I know that some minutes later they will be returning to it. Once I was so quick to react, habitually leaning across to give the cushions a quick plump and smoothing over, when in actual fact the person was merely standing up to retrieve something from their pocket before returning to their seat, that when the person unexpectedly sat back down again they effectively sat on my hand, it was a tad embarrassing as it came across as though I were intentionally trying to grope them.

These ‘habits’ of mine are performed practically on auto-pilot and I will often have absolutely no recollection that I have even carried them out. I will sweep through rooms doing what very little of tidying and cleaning there is to be done, without even realising it. Sometimes my husband will put something down with the intention of using it but will then have to leave the room for a moment, in the meantime I might walk into that room, see something out of place and return it to its rightful home or assume it is dirty and proceed to wash it up, dry it and put it away in the cupboard. On more than one occasion my husband has felt the need to question as to whether he is going slightly mad when he returns to the room and finds the object is missing but more often, given the fact that he is equally peculiar and as particular as I am, our little routines merely complement each other rather than driving each other insane.

We run a tight ship and for the most part these ‘habits’ are very effective at keeping our house clean, orderly and ‘visitor ready’ at a moment’s notice but sometimes they can get on other people’s nerves, particularly if I am round at a friend’s house and start absent-mindedly tidying up their coffee table or alphabetizing their DVD collection. Yes, this has indeed happened, though thankfully my good friends and my family know of my fondness for neatness and generally don’t take it personally.

Anyway, I have somewhat digressed.

I remember once pointing out to my stepson, many years back, that what if peas had thoughts and feelings and if indeed that were the case, imagine being the last pea on the plate and not joining your brothers, sisters, family and friends in the lovely warm belly of someone, but instead being subjected to a truly terrifying ordeal of ending up lonely and afraid, bobbing up and down in the washing up water, after which being sucked down the plughole, down into the dark, dank, stinking drains, being thrust into the water treatment systems and if indeed you could survive all of that, potentially, ending up far, far out to sea. Images of Mark Wahlberg’s tiny lone figure, thrashing around in the final scenes of a ‘Perfect Storm’ entered my thoughts as I described this particular pea peril.

Thankfully my stepson at that time was already a young adult and therefore I can not be accused of child torment, also he was obviously quite aware that I was just making a joke in my slightly weird and obsessive need to ensure that everything must be in its place, but he could kind of see my point and I knew that I had touched his more sensitive side with my pea plea.

I had made him think, momentarily, not just about peas, but about a great many other objects that we take for granted in our lives. I was very pleased to take note that whenever we had peas after that particular mealtime, he made sure that he ate every last one. Never again did he leave a lone pea stranded in a pool of gravy, stuck to a mound of leftover mashed potato or lurking alone under the cutlery.

Like a grizzled, experienced veteran, on yet, another combat deployment mission might say “We ain’t leaving no man behind. Not on my watch”.

I believe that my stepson, to this day, still practices pea empathy, such was the effect of my ‘pause for thought’ and it is something that he will no doubt pass on to his own future children in the fullness of time, though hopefully not until they are old enough to discern the subtleties of this great moral for themselves.

I’m keeping it short and sweet this week.

Pea’s ✌️and love ❤️, until the next time.

The Virtual Recluse

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