Saturday, August 13, 2011

How I Spent my Friday, Friday, Gotta Get Down on Friday

Let's say there's this girl. And she needs some fancier clothes for some upcoming events.

Let's also say this girl has rampant germ OCD.

And just for fun, let's throw in a new fact: This girl also has a severe phobia of lice and bedbugs.

What's the solution?



...Er, well, on second thought, that might not have been the best choice for someone like me.

Let me tell you, I am not too proud for Value Village.

I am just too OCD.

But anyway, because I have a sick twisted love and adoration for La Village and because I didn't want to spend $400 I went anyway. Honestly, I really do love to get clothes there. It's just's just....well, I'm both a cheapskate, and someone with OCD. So yesterday, the cheapskate in me won out. :) To La Village it was!

OK. So when I've taken my older daughter there, then entire time is spent with my telling her, yes, as usual, "DON'T TOUCH! HANDS OUT!" I walk rigidly through the narrow aisles of clothes, and my anxiety meter explodes as Maya hides in the racks of dresses. I expect her to climb back out with lice and fleas and bedbugs visibly sproinging about her person.

And she drags her hand along through the clothes as she walks, and I'm thinking, "Maya! You don't know whose bum-bums those jeans have been on! Do you have any idea how filthy the seat of one's pants are??"* And then of course she'll touch her face or mouth or nose and it's more, "MAYA! HANDS OUT!!"

*This is why I also gag violently am uncomfortable when someone hops up and sits on their kitchen countertops. I'm like, "Are you even serious right now with that shit?"

Then when it comes time to try on the clothes I've selected...oh boy. Here is how it goes.

1. I try at all times to not step on the floor. If I have to take my shoes off to get some pants on, I step out, pull the leg up, and then step back ON THE TOP of my shoe, just so I don't have to get my socks dirty. Yesterday, I was wearing flip-flops, so it was much easier to just either keep them on (as I tried on skirts) or step out, pull up a leg, and slide my foot back into my sandal. And my feet aren't the only things I worry about getting nasty as I try on pants. Trying on pants is gross. Just pure gross. Their crotch on your crotch. I said a quick prayer to the Patron Saint of Pubic Lice, took a deep breath, tried on the jeans, and then whipped them off as fast as I could.

Holy shit. Even as I was typing this, and I swear to you people this is the truth, a commercial came on the TV in the background for, talking about bedbugs. How did they know? How did they know?!?


2. I try at all times to get my child to NOT TOUCH! She wants to touch the hangers and climb up on the little seat and put her hands on the mirror and such, and even that is too much for me. Why does she move so much? Why couldn't I have given birth to a metal soldier?

3. I freak out about my hair. I have very long hair right now, and didn't bring along a pony-holder. So as I'm easing these shirts over my head, all I could think of was "lice lice lice lice lice lice lice lice lice lice I'M COLONIZED!"

4. After making my purchase, and getting in my car and using preposterous amounts of hand sanitizer, I drive home. And the very second I am home, entering through the garage into the laundry room (well, but pausing to wash my hands first), I strip bare-ass nekked (because I've put MY clothes on after THEIR clothes have totally germed up/liced up/bedbugged up my body, so my clothes are contaminated too). I throw the Value Village clothes in the washer on hot (and later do my own clothes separately on hot), and dry them on hot too. While they are washing, I dash to the shower, still naked as a jaybird, and scrub. If my daughter has come with me, into the shower she goes too, and we scrub right along together.

5. I wash my hair twice with a deep-cleansing shampoo, and then I put about a gallon of super slick, slippery conditioner on my hair and leave it on for as long as I can. I heard one time that one way to kill lice is to put mayonnaise--yes mayonnaise--on your head for a long time, because it literally suffocates the lice. So in my mind, I was doing a mini-version of that. I slathered my hair with conditioner, then scrubbed my face and body with Dial, then took a long leisurely time shaving my legs. Then I brushed through my slick hair, imagining that I was brushing out all manner of bedbuggery, and finally rinsed. Eighteen hours later, my shower was done. heh.

So while I love me some Value Village for their wild & crazy deals, it's a truly anxiety-riddled ordeal to go there. I can't tell you how grimy I feel when I leave.

And that, friends, is a tale of what it's like for a girl who has OCD and a phobia of creepy-crawlies to visit her local Value Village!

Really, Rebecca? More like:

I feel like I need to go shower after just writing this.


  1. My mom used to take me to value village in seattle all the time when I was younger :) What I hated was that in the 90's it seemed like the changing rooms always smelled like pee, yuck! New follower from the weekend hop, have a great week!

  2. I step on my own pants and/or shoes too when I go into a dressing room and have to be barefoot. That's ANY dressing room - not just VV.

    Side note - I once worked with a guy who didn't wear shoes. Like, ever. He took the bus from Bellevue to Seattle to work and didn' GROSS.

  3. Oooh, Frugal, those recipes look awesome. :) Following you back! Oh, and I know that smell. I'll never forget the smell of our local K-Mart growing up. It smelled like nachos (with the runny cheese) and popcorn. Usually Value Village has a similar smell, for some ungodly reason. ;) Although pee is worse.

    Chelsea: Totally. I NEVER want to step on changing room floors, no matter whether it's Saks Fifth Avenue (LOLLLL) or VV. If I have to, I come home and change my socks. And also? Your barefooted co-worker? SWEET GOD. I see people out and about sometimes barefoot (not like, in the park on the grass barefoot, but on the sidewalk or in the BATHROOM, barefoot), and I all but die on the spot.

    The bus! OH MY GOD.

  4. This may upset your OCD equilibrium, but the best way to avoid lice is to have dirty greasy hair - for 2 reasons: one, like the mayo suffocating them, so does the natural oils in dirty hair, but they probably won't be there that long because two, they can't hold onto an oily hair shaft!

    Also, thanks to your blog, "bum-bum germs" is now a visceral part of my daily vocabulary!

    And I have a field trip suggestion: I'd love to hear about a trip to Cracker Barrel! All those gift shop lovelies, the little peg game on the table, the public checkers games, the rocking chairs on the front porch and of course all that kitsch on the walls that never gets dusted or cleaned! Not that I want to see your mind implode or anything, but that would definitely be interesting. That's one of the few places I freak out with all the potential germs, I can't imagine how you'd do it!

  5. eeeesh, I know, I've heard that lice don't like oily hair. But how I'mona send my kid to school looking like a greasebomb? :)

    I've never been to Cracker Barrel! And thanks to your description, I don't think I ever will! hahahaha. Yeah, there are places where you absolutely KNOW they never, ever clean, or even can't clean. And it's horrifying.

  6. Ok, so I've finally sat down and read your blog (the whole thing) and I'm feeling like we have way, way more in common than I realized.
    I really don't think I have OCD but, oh lordy, am I spazzy about hand-washing, and sickness, and lice, and I fully understand the tension you speak of when in a public bathroom, and I have friends who I avoid just because I know if their children do not have the snots now they will tomorrow, and, and, and....

    Also, I add tea-tree oil to our shampoo. Lice don't like it and I think it smells nice.

  7. Wow, I never knew we were alike in those ways either! You know, it's only extreeemely recently that I've been able to say, "OK, this is gotta be OCD." I used to just say I was "aware" and clean and careful, etc. But I really do take it over the top.

    So funny to know you do the same things I do. See, I just think you're being reasonable/responsible/right!

    Oh, and I've totally heard the tea-tree oil thing--I've GOT to do it when Maya starts preschool next month. How much do you add to a bottle?

  8. Ok, so this isn't LJ, and I don't get comment notifications apparently. Oops, just now realized you had replied to me!

    When I used to add tea tree oil to my shampoo when I worked in schools I only added a couple of drops because I had heard that was all you needed. Now that I have children I have upped the amount to a good 12 drops or so. I just have to be really careful when washing Nolan's hair because that stuff stings when it gets in eyes!

  9. New favorite way to say I've touched something nasty: "I'M COLONIZED!!!"

  10. Hahahha. See what kind of stares that gets you. ;)