Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It's a Jungle Out There
Obsessive compulsive disorder. That’s what the character “Monk” and one of my sons have in common.
When my little guy was first diagnosed I would never ever ever have shown him an episode of Monk, which – if you’re not familiar – chronicles the comical life of a San Francisco detective who has a severe case of OCD.
Yet somehow, one day, when I wasn’t thinking clearly, when I was tired, when I was hungry, when I was just trying to get home, when I was trying not to rent another action or fantasy dvd ala Lord of the Rings or Iron Man or Alien vs. Predator, I grabbed a box of Monk.
Granted, my son had his OCD relatively under control at that point. But still: Here’s a guy who had been paralyzed with having to put his jacket on a certain way, having to sit in his desk a certain way, having to look under the bed a certain number of times before going to sleep at night. Here’s that same guy laughing his head off at a fellow who touches parking meters as he walks down the street, who wishes for square-shaped tomatoes for his BLT sandiwches, who needs an assistant to stand by and supply him with hand wipes so he can get through a normal day.
After regular visits with Adrian Monk – and a bunch of cognitive behavioral therapy – my son can laugh at Monk and himself. And he notices when I group my M & Ms into symmetrical piles of three. No three with the same color. All of them arranged like three-leaf clovers in my palm. Eaten only in threes. Eaten only after inspection and proper disbursement.
Hmmm. Wonder where he got that OCD?