Not about everything. I don’t alphabetize soups cans, for example, and I don’t care if my shirt matches my socks. Nor do I care if the dinner dishes are washed and dried immediately after eating. Sometimes it’s nice to lie on the floor and groan for a while before doing chores. Or to skip chores altogether, and sleep under the dining room table until my blood alcohol level returns to normal.
Nobody will ever mistake me for a neat freak. Or a teetotaler.
But certain things must be done correctly.
Books should be arranged on shelves from largest to smallest, left to right, preferably with the leather-bound volumes at eye level. Shirts are properly hung grouped by color, pattern and style, with the buttons facing left. It is wrong to rent a movie and then hit pause to discuss income taxes or legal issues, especially if it’s a movie about Vikings or the knights of the round table.
But I guess my biggest compulsion revolves around prime numbers — the numbers that can only be evenly divided by themselves and 1. (Excluding the number 2, because while even numbers are important, they don’t feel right.) Objects and ideas are ideally arranged in threes, fives, or sevens. Eleven and 13 are also good, and if you’re in a real pinch, any odd number that’s a multiple of three — 9, 27, 33 — is an acceptable substitute.
Which is why I’m going to abruptly end this post now, at seven paragraphs.