This is one of those terms that college freshman started to throw around after their Psych I class in order to demonstrate how educated they were.
“Dude, you are so “anal fucking retentive.”
I hate the term, but sometimes it is the only way to describe a person. Well I guess you could say “Dude, you are so controlling and orderly” but you would only be corrected with, “You mean anal retentive?” So you might as well go right to the AR description.
I might be the farthest personality from anal retentive as is possible. Clearly I had no traumatic experiences during my toilet training days. The term really should not be taken negatively. If there were no anal retentive personalities, the world would be even more chaotic and confused.
My friend Scott (who goes by the moniker Anonymous on blog comments) is an admitted anal retentive personality. He has been quite successful with this burden. Scott has a special way to do almost everything and there is always an explanation for his technique.
Scott’s workshop has rows of labeled coffee cans with nuts, bolts and washers placed in the order of the most often used. His tools are similarly placed. He never puts anything back willy-nilly.
“Everything has a place; there is a place for everything!”
Scott puts an expiration date on things he is not sure he needs. If something is not used after this date he throws it away.
Scott’s dishwasher has a separate area for flatware. Every knife fork and spoon can be clicked in so they do not rattle around. Scott takes much ridicule over his AR method of distributing the flatware in this machine. Every knife, fork and spoon is carefully assigned in its own special spot. Scott’s explanation? “I have to do the unloading. The extra time to put them in the washer is more than made up with the speed in which I can put the flatware away.”
Mrs. Cranky and I recently bought a new dishwasher. It is not as elaborate as Scott’s, but the flatware section does have different size slots so the flatware can be easily placed in its own section. I have discovered that it takes little time to put the flatware in the washer into their own designated slots. The time to put the cleaned flatware back in the drawer is dramatically reduced if they are carefully loaded into the dishwasher.
I am not there yet Scott, but I might be slowly moving over to the dark side.