It makes me crazy when people wear their shoes in my house. What habit/act drives you crazy? How do you prevent it from happening?

Aside from people biting their fingernails, or bouncing their legs up and down so that the dining table jiggles, there are few things that people do that make me crazy.

There is one recurring thing that does make me kind of weird, though, and it’s a big strange. I guess it’s a kind of obsessive-compulsive thing, though I’m certainly not that way about everything, by any means.

I hate crooked pictures on a wall. When I go to someone’s house or office, it bothers me that they don’t see and fix the misalignment of their artwork or family photos. Every now and then, if I’m alone briefly, I’ll straighten the offender which is probably really rude, and I do risk the chance of being caught.

When I was a teacher, it bothered me greatly when items on teachers’ bulletin boards were not straight. Sometimes I’d change them, and sometimes I knew when it was best to leave them alone! I often got asked to do bulletin boards because people knew they’d be well-balanced and aligned, and I liked doing it.

Recently I was at my psychiatrist’s office (I have generalized anxiety disorder), and though obviously I don’t try to hide things from her (that would be self-defeating), I couldn’t stop myself from asking her if she realized that all the pictures on her wall were crooked. I thought she might just brush it off, but she immediately got up and started straightening them, saying that they were always getting out of alignment. No doubt that’s true. When a door closes often, that can make pictures move, but if I were in her office, I’d probably have to spend more time straightening those picture and documents!

I’m also like that when I edit photos, too. If the picture is crooked, I do my best to rotate it until I get it aligned. My daughter’s a photographer as well as a graphic designer, and she can predict what I’ll say about some of her photos. She’ll take some photos completely on the diagonal, and she knows that will “upset” me. In my former life (before I had children) I worked in public relations and did a good deal of editing. Now in those days when you laid out a publication, you did a lot of it by hand, aligning articles on a page, pasting in headlines and photos, and I was good at it because I was so picky. I’ve always had a good eye for line; now I don’t know if it’s a gift or a curse.