What to Buy the Anal-Retentive Paranoid SAHM on Your List, This Holiday Season

My husband has a history of buying me some pretty damn perfect presents.


He is by no means perfect, or the perfect husband.  But he does seem to have a nearly supernatural ability to hone in on a less than obvious nook of my personality, and buy the gift that fills that cranny, so to speak.


For example, he knows I can be a little…specific about food.


In that it can’t touch.  Ever.


He can go to a Chinese buffet, and just start stacking.  The thought of rice touching my ginger beef makes me gag.  Even within a food, I can get picky.  The mustard needs to be on the meat side of a sandwich, never the cheese side.  (I know.  I know.)


And so, a couple of Christmases ago, he gave me this:






He also knows that I spend an entirely inordinate amount of time obsessed with the disasters that could potentially befall our household.


One Christmas, I found a carbon monoxide detector in my stocking.



(image from here)


And I slept like a mother-truckin’ baby after that.


A fire extinguisher and new smoke alarms followed.  They were muchly appreciated.





As of tonight, I’ve come up with a gift that combines both of these bits of freakishness.


Because as I was slicing into my pork chop, examining the piece closely, to make sure that the proportion of fat to meat fell within the acceptable range, I got a little too close.  And in a one in a million shot,  a piece of hot, salty, oily pork chop flew DIRECTLY into my eyeball.


A three-year old and a six-year-old might make lovely dinner companions.  They might even make worthy conversational participants.  But they make really shitty optometrists.


Neither one of them could see the offending piece of pork, nor could they help me dig it out.  And having never nested meat inside their own eyeballs, they were completely unable to empathize, and thus lost interest nearly immediately.


And while I sat there, feeling a ginormous eye booger begin somewhere in my lower eyelid, I mentally added a new item to the very top of my Christmas list:



(image from here)



(And to answer your question, no, I do not give a tiny rat’s ass what an eye-wash station will do to the resale value of my house, thank you very much.  Because clearly, rational is waaaay back there in the rear-view mirror.)


49 responses to “What to Buy the Anal-Retentive Paranoid SAHM on Your List, This Holiday Season

  1. I’ve recently developed a “floater” in my left eye. Two weeks ago I had pork chops for dinner……

    Until now, I hadn’t put two and two together but this could explain the aroma of bacon that keeps waking me up in the night

  2. I have a more fundamental question for you.. why is it a no no to paint the CO detector? Going by the image, the consequences of painting it seems like a bigger hazard than say, forgetting to replace dead batteries

    • Very observant, Monty. And would you have ever thought to paint it, if that warning wasn’t there, silently taunting you?

      • That warning would make me want to paint it over and over again. Pathetic I know, but I do have a distinct aversion to authority after all.

  3. OMG. You and I are soul sisters. Well, food sisters, anyway. I’ve often told my husband that I would die happy if everyone served food on those cafeteria/army/whatever style plates with all the compartments. Food touching is the devil. Oh, and OF COURSE the mustard has to go on the meat side! If it goes on the slippery cheese side, it doesn’t properly adhere to the rest of the ingredients.

  4. I don’t eat pork any more cause I am totally terrified it won’t be cooked right and KILL ME.

    And I want that plate.

    • OMG! That`s EXACTLY what I was thinking as I handled each chop: this is how it`s going to end.

      And if I ever see that exact same plate again, I will buy it. And I will get it into your hands, somehow.

  5. you are a practical woman, and “safety first” is a good barometer for measuring the value of a gift… my ex-husband took the practical gifts to an entirely new level one year, giving me an “Epi-Lady” home electrolysis kit, and a new set of stainless steel flatware for christmas. and i kinda loved him for it…

  6. Oh… My… God…

    Hey… ever thought of having a nuclear shelter too???
    2012 is nearly here… you never know…


  7. I was the same way about food touching when I was a kid…and to a weird extreme. So much was my desire for one food to not touch another food, I couldn’t eat any kind of sauce. Salad dressing, gravy, spaghetti sauce, none of it. Because in order to eat it, it had to touch my salad/mashed potatoes/pasta, and I just couldn’t handle that. I got over it pretty abruptly when I was 12 (for no apparent reason). Now, when I see my food touching on my plate, I think “that’s not right,” but it no longer causes physical discomfort.

    I only have one strong food-touching taboo left. On a sandwich, it doesn’t matter what the mustard touches…unless it’s the tomato. It just tastes disgusting. My head tells me that I’m tasting the mustard and tomato together no matter how it’s stacked, but my tongue and gag reflext gang up if the tomato is touching the mustard.

  8. it’s such a relief to hear about other people having food issues! me, i can’t do anything that involves salad dressing, mayonnaise, cream cheese, cottage cheese, guacomole, or sour cream. i find them all gag-worthy!

    and an eyewash station is perfect for oh so many reasons, not just the stray porkchop in your eye. think about all the stuff your kids are going to get into over the years – you’ll be glad you have one!

    • I can do sauces. But they have to stay put on the food for which they were intended. Otherwise, I spend the entire meal constructing dams. And who wants to spend the dinner hour working on infrastructure.

  9. It may be slightly more space efficient to get a decent first aid kit with eyewash bottle. Portable too. I have one in each vehicle and one in my closet. Everyone thinks I’m silly but when we’re on a road trip and sand flies in somebody’s eye, somebody is gonna love me a lot.

    Although even saline will freeze at low enough temperatures. I haven’t figured out how to prevent that issue, yet.

  10. Resale, hell, take them all with you.

  11. I have only a few odd food rules. For instance the husband smooshes his bagel halves together and eats it as one but I must eat the halves separately and the cream cheese must be evenly distributed. But the older I get, the more germ freakish I am getting. I’ve always washed my hands after using a public bathroom, but now, I flush the toilet(if it’s not automatic) with my foot, wash my hands and handle the door with a protective barrier of paper towel thus protecting me from the non washers who handled the door. Then hubs and I were at lunch and both used napkin barriers to handle the condiment squeeze bottles, uh yeah, paranoid much. My kids boogers and stuff don’t bother me because I think not mixing germs with them is kind of a losing battle but the flus and such have got me paranoid.

    • Smooshes the bagel? How do you stay married???? And yeah, the older I get, the more paranoid bathrooms make me. Because people are icky. And they’re not getting any better (see: peopleofwalmart.com)

  12. That’s why I’m vegetarian. When animals finally fight back, I hope they spare me.

  13. That eyewash station will drive the value of the house up if you play your cards right, anyone with kids and a few phobias will be thrilled at how safe the place is, i think you just added a few grand to the place, i have that very same eyewash station here at work and i’m now wondering what it will take for me to inconspicously get it out the door. You’re a damn genius.

  14. nursemyra said floater….

  15. Ouch on the pork chop in the eye. A portable eye wash bottle would definitely be a good idea. And if you filled it with nitrogen instead of water, it would stay liquid all the way down to -209 C, which should get you through all but the coldest Saskatchewan days.

  16. I don’t suppose you’d mind putting up a few of the other really cool gifts your husband has gotten you? I could use some ideas!

    I thought I had gotten my wife the perfect present one year – it was a bug vacuum, but unfortunately while the concept was good, the implementation was not, such that it didn’t have enough suction to pull a spider off the wall. Now if Dyson made a version of it…

    • They wouldn’t be cool to anyone but me. Like tap shoes. Or a bargain bin copy of L.L. Cool J’s autobiography. Or a dream journal that was intended for 10 year old girls. Each one, spectacularly perfect.

      (As to Dyson, I’m starting to doubt them. Because their hand dryers, which were touted as revolutionary? Aren’t, in my experience.)

  17. Brave admissions, but thereby admirable, as they could sound to be offputting behaviors if imagined rendered with a fussy or whiny attitude. The charm of the quirky is all in the delivery. I, on the other hand, will eat anything and in any combination of ingredient touching and national origin of crop. Sadly there is just no way to make that appealing to watch but at least I recognize it and in consideration often eat out in the yard. I have a floater too and I think we are all glad to hear that mine is also in my eye. Everyone deserves a partner who expertly fills their crannies, so count yourself among the lucky, dear hostess.

    Anita Limit

  18. I can’t imagine it would do anything to the value of your house except bring it way up. I mean, who wouldn’t want an eye wash station next to the microwave.

    By the way, I can totally hook you up.

    • Maybe that’s what I ought to do: stage houses for OCD paranoid freaks. I’m sure it’s an underserved demographic. And hey, if a certain university’s eye wash station should go missing, feel free to slide it my way. 😉

  19. When I was reading your story I thought that you were going to show a picture of safety glasses, good call on the eye wash station, you just never know what might fly into an unprotected eye. 🙂

  20. Holy Heck! I thought I was the only person in the whole world who cant’ have food touching other foods!!! This is incredible! We must be related!! Give this a read…


    take note of point 3!

  21. That is so WEIRD. I just saw a commercial eye wash station on my local (Minneapolis) Craigslist in the “Free” section like, a week ago! At the time I thought, “Odd, who would want that?”

  22. Dude, I love the eyewash station! In our chem lab in uni, we had not just an eyewash station, but a full anti-chemical shower, with a training video that said ‘this is no time for modesty!’ I loved that too.

    Is it weird that I’ve requested to install a defribilator in our house if we end up living in the sticks and too far from a hospital for my comfort? Maybe just a little…

  23. Wow, I just got a total flashback to 4-H camp from the picture of your food specific plate. We didn’t have plates, we had hundreds of lovingly beat up metal trays which I’m sure were the same ones my mom ate off of when she went to the same camp years and years before… They were awesome because you could pile quite a lot of food on there and nothing touched… As opposed to the next summer camp I worked at, where not only did we have plain old round plates, they put everything into one giant tray per table so it was already half mixed by the time you even got it… yuck.

    • 4-H CAMP!!!! Me too!! Except we didn’t have trays but whatever, 4-H Camp was awesome!!!

      And putting all the food in one tray? No, that’s a trough. For livestock. Bar-freakin-baric.

  24. Are you sure we’re not related somehow? Every single one of these I would consider AMAZING gifts! That separator dish… Gold!

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