A few weeks ago at a party, I was chatting with a woman who owns a design store. "I almost didn't make it tonight," she sighed. "I was rearranging my shelves at home." She sounded a little ashamed, so I admitted something I usually wouldn't share: I haul my level around the house at least once a week to confirm everything is hanging straight. And that's just the start!
I waste countless hours repositioning chairs and tweaking flowers and moving groupings of pottery an inch this way, an inch that. I've been doing it since I was a kid, when I'd arrange and rearrange the objects on the bedroom wall unit that my dad built for me. I'd stare at the books and trinkets with squinty eyes and shift things around until they were just so.
Occasionally this attention to detail is a gift. When I briefly worked in graphic design, I could tell if something was a few pixels off from across the room. It's also a curse, as evidenced by the woman who nearly missed the party.
That same woman, by the way, casually mentioned that she has OCD. Now, I certainly don't want to downplay the seriousness of a psychological disorder, but I don't think that's my problem. I believe I have OCDD: Obsessive Concerning Design Details. And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one.
So go on, 'fess up. Do you sweat the small stuff when it comes to design?
Image: AnnaMaria Stephens (artwork by Barbara Rourke)