Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Are You Felix or Oscar?

Does a messy house drive you bananas?  Or are you perfectly happy to forego chores in order to do more enjoyable tasks, work- or play-related?  Do you like your apprearance, living, and working space to be neat and tidy, or do you tend to be laid back, relaxed, and think being messy is no big deal?  Do you freak out over germs or think nothing of handling your pets while fixing or eating meals?  Do you find yourself worrying about everything or taking everything in stride? Are you uptight Felix or easy-going Oscar from the 1970's hit television series The Odd Couple?  

I think Jim and I are a mix of the two.  

He is definitely a Felix in that he prefers having a place for everything and everything in its place.  He likes neatness.  He gets that from his mom.  But, like Oscar,he's also pretty laid back and relaxed, not worrying about every little thing.  "It's okay, we have time," he says, as shivers run down my spine.  He likes to be on time, I like to be early--very early.  He doesn't like schedules, preferring to just go with the flow.  It took years for me to get him to finally start making hotel reservations whenever we went away.  I like to know where I'm staying ahead of time while he'd rather just pick someplace to stay once we get to where we're going.  After a few times hunting for accommodations in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, I put a stop to that. 

Today, we mostly come prepared with reservations, although when Jim rode his bicycle across his home state of Nebraska a few years ago while I drove the sag wagon, we only had a reservation for the first night since we didn't know exacly how far we'd go each day.  I managed not to freak out too much over that.  I was too excited (and shocked, I admit) that I was actually driving a car across the state by myself.  Miracles do happen, folks.  A few years before that, I would have sworn I'd never, ever, ever, EVER do such a thing.  I've always had an aversion to driving, and I'm Felix in that I'm a worrier.  Jim does the worrying about bills, payments and such, while I worry about, well, everything else.    

Oh man, am I ever a worrier! If there's something to worry about, or even if there's not, I worry, which drives Jim a little crazy.  He says I am always coming up with something to worry about.  In that respect, I'm Felix, big time.  But, like Oscar, I'm messy, I admit it.  I don't get bent out of shape when the bed's not made or there are mountains of books and papers all over the office.  It's the artist in me.  I'm the creative type--I write, draw, paint, and leave half-finished projects sprawled around.  It bugs me to have to pick up everything when I'm in the middle of something.  Yet, I'm meticulous when it comes to cleanliness if I'm doing anything associated with medical care and maintenance.  For example, nearly 10 years ago I had to have a temporary nephrostomy due to some kidney blockage.  I was still under the influence and in the recovery room when the nurse started to explain how to take care of the nephrostomy, irrigate it, and so on.  I took notes as best I could.  Jim tried to follow the nurse's instructions, but he looked pretty lost.  When I got home and looked at my notes, they were gibberish.  I never should have been discharged that soon without knowing first how to handle this new gadget that was attached to my body.  

Anyway, I finally got some useful instructions from the local ostomy nurses who were fabulous during that difficult time.  They made me laugh, let me vent my frustration, and provided excellent care.  Thanks to them, Jim, my mom, and our neighbor were all able to learn how to properly assist me in the care of my nephrostomy.  But I still became very nervous, frustrated and crabby whenever we had to change the bandage or irrigate the wound.  I was petrified that we'd do something wrong and I'd end up with an infection or in need of further surgery.  We made countless trips to the ostomy clinic for help. I got on everyone's nerves, I'm sure. 

So, why do I think I'm the way I am?  Well, I think I'm messy because I've always had medical stuff to deal with, medication to take, wounds to dress, doctor's appointments to go to--important stuff.  When compared to made beds and everything being in it's rightful place, medical matter win out as more important to me.  And the worrying comes from my dad.  I'm a lot like my dad in many ways, but probably mostly in the worrying department.  Preferring to be early stems from having a hard time walking over the years, and I have short legs.  It takes me longer to get where I'm going than, say, Jim who is tall.  His long legs get him where he needs to go fast.  

We're all different.  We probably all have a little bit of both Oscar and Felix in us.  The important thing is to grow, change, compromise, and strive to be our best selves.

Now, it's your turn.  Who are you most like, Felix or Oscar?  And how has it impacted your life?


  1. I'm the neater of the two, Amy. My husband wins in the messy and worrying department. However, there are days when I get pretty worried and messy too! ;)

  2. Hi Corinne. It's great to hear from you! Looks like we're the mirror image as couples. But, yes, we all have a bit of both in us, with one tendency usually standing out.