Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pragmatic Contradiction

According to Wikipedia, a pragmatic contradiction occurs when the very statement of the argument contradicts the claims it purports. An inconsistency arises, in this case, because the act of utterance, rather than the content of what is said, undermines its conclusion. Allow me to explain…

Years ago, through self examination, I was convinced I had OCD – obsessive compulsive disorder. Certain things – many things – drove me absolutely bonkers. I mean melt-down crazy! Fortunately Doughboy has the patience of a saint. When I would rant and rave about something trivial, something that was of utmost importance to me at the time, Doughboy would wait patiently for my anger to subside and (this is important) remain absolutely mute until my breathing returned to normal. It’s not that he lacked the ability of articulate speech. He is perfectly capable of speaking his mind and has been known to make waitresses cry if he deemed their service inadequate. However, he doesn’t sweat the small stuff and is seldom ruffled. In fact, I can recall only a handful of times in almost 20 years when he lost his temper. Whether it's factual or wishful thinking, I think I'm getting better at controlling mine.

So…how could someone have a meltdown about wet towels on the bathroom floor and be oblivious to the developing ring of fur in the toilet bowl? This, of course, is a pragmatic contradiction. And the “someone” is me. There is no rhyme or reason. Years later, I realize I don’t have OCD – never did – and Doughboy is still a saint. His self control, a trait that once infuriated me, is a characteristic worthy of admiration. In spite of my many faults, he loves me. How did I get so lucky?

I was contemplating this conundrum when I logged onto one of my favorite blogs – The Mom Bomb. I had an “ah ha!” moment as I read her current post entitled How Do You OCD? Oh my gosh – I’m not alone! Isn’t blogging great? It’s FREE therapy! Here are a few of my pragmatic contradictions:

OCD – organized dresser drawers (i.e. underwear folded exactly the same way; socks matched, folded in half and tucked inside each other)

Contradiction – a load of clean, unfolded laundry from last week sits in a wadded pile on top of the dryer

OCD – dry-cleaning is immediately removed from the plastic covering; clothes are hung in the closet via category and color, all facing the same direction

Contradiction – dirty clothes are tossed on the closet floor inches away from the laundry hamper

OCD – toilet paper roll must face forward (i.e. paper rolls over the top to the front)

Contradiction – toilet bowl is cleaned only when fuzz begins to appear (BTW, we have seven full bathrooms in our home, so please grant me leniency for the occasional toilet fuzz. If I don't use 'em, I don't see it)

OCD – bills are paid by check, carefully organized, categorized and printed using Quicken

Contradiction – our checkbook hasn’t been reconciled in nine years

OCD – shoes must be removed at the door to avoid tracking in dirt

Contradiction – dust bunnies gallop freely, and for long periods of time, on the open range of our wood floors

Now that I’ve come clean about myself, feel free to tell me about your pragmatic contradictions, OCD, foible, or quirk. C’mon – we all have them. So, spill the beans... bare your soul... purge your conscience!


Doughboy said...

It's taken over 19 years but, in the venacular of Professor Higgins, "I think she's got it!".
While we may disagree from time to time on exactly what is 'small stuff', we do agree now more readily that we can disagree and still be BFF. Even on increasingly frequent occasions we look at each other in the ocassionally intense mental turf battles and break out laughing. It's nice to know that we are both getting to be 'adults' (whatever that is) who don't sweat the 'small stuff'. Now if we only had a toilet fuzz fairy who could swish out the toilets when I'm not around to do it.

Doughboy said...

BTW, I think the master of the pragmatic contradiction just left the room. George Carlin played it well...."why do cars drive on the parkway but park on the driveway?"
or "Everyone line up alphabetically by height". George knew the way to turn a phrase. And the only fuzz he got excited about (and not that much) wore badges. I'm thinking the hippy dippy weatherman didn't have an OCD bone in his body.
Way cool. Rock on, George.

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

That's my Doughboy! Ultra conservative, unflappable, well educated... with the heart and soul of a hippy. He can rub elbows with the best of them, and practically swoon in nostalgic contemplation while his idol Jimmy Buffet croons "Son of a Sailor". My sweetie is a contradiction in itself.

Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

I like the word "quirks" as it tends not to imply a diagnosed medical condition!
Quirk - fanatically cleaned toilets
Contradiction - enough cat hair on the floors, carpet and furniture that can be collected, spun and made into several hundred sweaters
Quirk - the love to entertain family and friends
Contradiction - obsessive cleaning and cooking until exhaustion (which is usually the reason Fred gets so angry when I organize a party because he knows I will become "that woman")
Quirk - my use of Clorex wipes on counter surfaces
Contradiction - my kitchen sink often is a collection pool for bit of food from meals past
Quirk - neatly folded laundry, patiently awaiting to be returned to their drawer
Contradiction - my drawers often look like the clothes have had one hell of a party as undergarments are comingled ... I like to think it's a Monet in progress!
I could go on and on, but I think I will save the rest for my own blog..

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

It's a strong woman who can admit to her "quirks". Thanks for sharing, Deb!

Pamela G. (aka-Mimi, Pixie Dust Diva, Little Skinny Butt said...

I'm laughing so much! No, you don't have OCD, but I DO!!! I can't stand it when anything is out of place, kittycornered, or dishelved! Everyone pray for me! It's a tough world I live in. Fortunately, you and your mate are perfectly matched! How lucky can you get??? You know Scrap Club loves Doughboy Mr. Fixit!!!

Pamela G. (aka-Mimi, Pixie Dust Diva, Little Skinny Butt said...

PS - you could probably get a toilet cleaner if you granted her pool priviledges!!!

scrappysue said...

great post! if you read all mom bomb's comments, you will see we're rowing the same boat!!!

dsr524 said...

OCD - it absolutely drives me crazy for someone to "mess" with my things or to not put something back where it belongs. Everything has a place and I know that place!

Contradiction - Those of you who work with me...well you know. Those of you who don't, just ask me for what you need, I will immediately go to the appropiate filing pile and pull it out of the stack for you. JUST DON'T MESS WITH MY ORGANIZED SYSTEM OF STACKS AND PILES!

Pamela G. (aka-Mimi, Pixie Dust Diva, Little Skinny Butt said...

Wow, I'm not sure I'd want to work with dsr524! I'd probably flip out in that environment!

Only kidding - but it did take me several months to adjust!

Judyann said...

Debra, your house is always beautiful and spotless when I come over. Not sure how you keep up with 7 bathrooms, 5 are more than enough for me. I'm not really sure what my OCD behaviors are, but I have them. Things being out of place drive me crazy. My messy house puts me over the edge. But it kind of builds up. I'm blind to the mess for a long period of time and then all of a sudden my eyes "see" the pig stye I live in and I lose it. It's nice to know that I'm not alone.

Chere said...

Oh My! All of the above is so true of me. I am so pass OCD. Now I am just brain dead to the piles of mess. My house cleaning routine used to be: vaccumn everyday, clean bathrooms top to bottom, make beds, put everything away before I go to bed and never go to bed with a dirty kitchen. Thank God, I am so over that. My wonderful Love Bird is a total mess. He leaves everything where he touches it. I spent 25 years trying to change him. Yes, I yelled, threw things, threw things away. You name it and I did it. One day I just quit. The only place I am still like the above person is our house in Fla. We do not have a lot of junk there and I refuse to let the junk pile up. After a certain amount of time out it goes. I love it. I really like going there by myself. There is still a touch of the person above in me somewhere. Debra, just think, one day when we retire to Camp Rector. We will let Jamie and Jason deal with all of our Quirks! We will be just crazy old ladies laughing at them having a blast. Do we do that now?

Country Girl said...

OMG, you guys are funny.

I am still sitting here with my mouth hanging open at this blog. I am absolutely stunned.

Debra, when people come visit me on my blog, I try to visit theirs and saw no link to yours, so assumed you hadn't one.

Your photography is at a level that astounds me! I am lusting after your lens and hope to someday be almost as good as this.

Oh, about the OCD thing, I have a whole lot of issues/quirks and a lot of them mirror Deb's comment above! Especially the part where you invite people over and spend the day before in an absolute crazy-woman panic to get your house clean!

Excuse me, but I have more pictures to lust after . . .