My OCD Has Something to Say About String Cheese

I spend a lot of time writing about the way my OCD is unique from others with OCD (and with that I try to express the fact that everyone’s OCD is different than everyone else’s.) However, I obviously speak from my own experience, because I don’t often feel comfortable about speaking about OCD as a whole. Or what I would consider more typical OCD. (Yet another caveat: “typical” does not imply “easier” or anything of that ilk.)

The fact that I have Pure-O OCD means I don’t express what I believe others think of as “typical OCD.” But I do sometimes, and something I’ve been dealing with — which may seem small, but of course is A Big Deal in my head — feels more typical of general OCD.

I’d like to walk through my highly irrational thought process. This is a thought process part of my brain knows is wholly irrational, even. But the part of my brain that pretty much runs things (oh, and where my OCD lives) doesn’t often listen to that which I know is rational.

I love string cheese. I’m somewhat picky about the string cheese I like, not to any sort of crazy level. I just don’t like it mushy, for lack of a better term. I happen to know what brands are not mushy and provide a more satisfying experience. (The key is the surface area, by the way. More thin strings, more surface area.)

I recently purchased a brand of string cheese I was not familiar with. This happens because my smaller grocery store only carries so many things (and they tend not to be the larger brands.) I bought two packs of twelve each.

Over the days, I ate pretty much all of the first pack, and my assessment was that the string cheese was ok. Not great, but just ok.

Then about a week later, I found myself at a much larger grocery store which had much less expensive and much larger packs of a brand I knew I liked a lot. I figured, someone, is going to eat all of this cheese, and bought the rather enormous package.

So now I have the string cheese that was “ok,” and the string cheese that I prefer. When going to snack, I now go for what I prefer. Because of… who knows the reason. Life is too short to not do what you want? I wouldn’t say I am now at a level of “obsessiveness” with the preferred string cheese, but I am eating it every day.

All of this is somewhat normal life stuff. At least I assume so.

However, here’s where my OCD kicks in. As I go to the fridge now to get some string cheese, I am convinced the older string cheese has gone bad. It is nowhere near its expiration date (which is far into the future,) and it is packaged well. However, my brain will not accept it. My brain has worked out that something has made this older cheese bad.

I will not eat it. I don’t even want to smell it. Because if I do smell it, I will not trust my senses that it smells ok. I am fully aware with my whole being (oh, except the rational part — but we ignore that) that this cheese is not just less preferred — it is bad. It is spoiled. It needs to be thrown out.

So I am in a conundrum. I hate throwing out food in general. But I know I am going to. I am quite literally going to throw away about four dollars worth of string cheese because my OCD tells me it is bad when it is most certainly not.

I suppose I could give it to a friend, but string cheese makes for an… odd… gift. Also, I think it is bad.

For now, however, it sits there. I’ve even cleared out more space for all the cheese. For no good reason. Because come Sunday, I’m most certainly going to go on a tear with my fridge. And throw out the good, bad string cheese. And hopefully, never think of it again.

Until I do the same thing in the future with a different type of food.