Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sort much?

I sort food. I don't really mean all food. But, I sort some food. I do.

I thought for the longest time it was just part of my OCD behavior that I spent some time sorting. I spoke with a friend of mine about my sorting tactics and he admits that he sorts food, too. Maybe it isn't just me? Or, is he OCD, too? Hmm. Can you tell who is nuts in this world if you only ask people that are also nuts? I wonder...

I sort jellybeans. I takes me all sorts of time to eat jellybeans since I cannot stand the mixed up taste they have if you just dump a fistful into your mouth. I watch many people do it, but I cannot seem to. I watch others devour the jellybeans in a "NOM, NOM, NOM" fashion, but it just isn't me. It's icky. It is especially icky with gourmet jellybeans that have more flavor than the usual generic cheapies. So, I sort them all out by color. I pick out any deformed ones. I pick, group, and organize them all. I group them into twos or threes. Then, I finally eat them. It is a long process.

I suppose sorting jellybeans isn't really that strange. But for me, it doesn't stop there. I sort M&M's by color. I know they are supposed to all taste the same, but I still sort them. I cannot help it. I give myself reasons for doing it as justification. I tell myself that the artificial colors taste different. I tell myself that you are supposed to sort them by color. I tell myself they just look better when you are eating them when they match. Right.

I sort Mentos. I don't know why. I have mostly given up on them since I can't effectively sort them without removing them from their sleeve and after I remove them from their sleeve and sort them, there is no easy way to carry them around.

I sort my Altoids many times by their shape. Then, I close the lid and put them in my pocket and they get all mixed up again. [sighs] I sort.

I don't like mixing foods. It just seems wrong in most cases. Individual foods deserve some solitude. They deserve their own time to shine. They aren't spices or seasoning existing only to compliment other foods even though they may have spices or seasoning in them. They have a larger existence than that. They are their own planet in the universe of the plate. They deserve better then to be ramrodded into your mouth streamlined with some of their flavor competitors. They need their chance in the limelight. Focused. Uninhibited. Pure.

But then again, maybe it depends on the food.

If I am eating ham with mashed potatoes and peas, the peas immediately get mixed in with the potatoes. It is a rule. I am sorry to inform the potatoes, but they just aren't that exciting alone. They need something to give them a little pep. They need a little color. They need excitement! That's where the peas come in. They are good enough to eat alone, but frustrating and time consuming because they are slippery little suckers. Also, peas come in such a tiny little package that unless you have 5-7 in a bite, it seems like some sort of queer food rationing situation. So, they would be way easier to eat if they were stuffed in some sort of starchy, glue-like substance. This is where the potatoes come in. Using the potatoes as glue, you can group peas together to get maximum pea flavor without embarrassing pea spills or food droppings. See?!? They were made for each other. Sort of.

Mashed potatoes aren't always on the receiving end of things for me. They aren't always the glue that holds my plate together. Come to think of it, the ham/peas/potatoes scenario is the only situation that I will routinely ever mix anything into my potatoes. I don't put corn into my potatoes. I don't put green beans into my potatoes. Heck, I don't usually even put gravy on my potatoes unless the rest the meal promises to be dry turkey or chicken. I hate to pollute my potatoes with much of anything other than butter or sour cream. Or peas. Hmm.

Now, that really doesn't make any sense at all.


  1. I can taste the difference between the red M&Ms and the other colors. I'm pretty sure red M&Ms cause cancer.

    On occasion, I will mix my flavors of jelly beans, but only if I know exactly what I'm getting. If I have a lemon jelly bean and a lime jelly bean, I will live on the edge and go with it. That's living life to the extreme, right there, yo.

    Oh, and I also like my food nicely segregated on my plate. The worst Thanksgiving ever was when my dressing/stuffing/whatever-the-hell-you-call-the-shit-that-grandma-stuffed-up-the-turkey's-ass AND my mashed potatoes got stained by my cranberry sauce. That was total bullshit, I tell ya. I've skipped the cranberries every year since, which is sad, because I fucking love them. I suppose I could ask for a separate plate or bowl or something. But, that would be inconvenient and selfish. Maybe I could sneak in my own dishes in my fat rolls or something...

    On the other end of the spectrum, I get annoyed at salad bars where people hold up the line trying to make their salad look like some sort of vegetable Mona Lisa. I usually slap mine together with more of a Salvador Dali flair, since I'm gonna eat it within 3 minutes, anyway.

    So, I guess the moral of the story is that I like my food sorted, but not in a way where it will inconvenience anybody else.

  2. M&M's, jelly beans, fruit loops, lucky charms, even those bags with pretzels/chips/bugels/peanuts etc in the same bag...anything that has a pattern of color of some sort must be sorted and eaten separately. Food cannot touch (salads and hotdish don't count) and ice cream definately can not be eaten at the same time at the pie or cake...mush! My favorite neurosis is DQ ice cream cake, each layer must be eaten separately so my piece must be flipped on it's side.

    Not an OCD it's a abstract mathmatical thing... - Jody

  3. Yay Jody! That's it! It's M-A-T-H-E-M-A-T-I-C-A-L! Yes, indeed! Good call! Now THAT'S justification!


  4. You sound EXACTLY like me! I sort M&Ms, Skittles, cereal (marshmallows or crunch berries), jellybeans, etc. I don't mind the flavor, but I take the time to sort to enjoy them longer I guess. I then eat them in order of the least to the most by color and alphabetically. For example, I was eating Skittles and there were 13 red and purple, so I ate purple first alphabetically. I have never been diagnosed with OCD but my clothes have to match , too. I have jewelry and socks to match most outfits and if I don't I find some or buy more. I notic my son does this too by lining his toys up, rocks out on the front sidewalk, and his blocks when he was a it hereditary?