Are you a germaphobe? I think most people who know me pretty well can say that I am a total germaphobe. I always have Purell hand sanitizer in my purse. I don’t wash my hands hundreds of times a day, or anyting.. but after playing with the kids at the park, handling money, touching the ATM machine, debit card swiper at Target, after a carousel ride or any ride at Disneyland we use sanitizing gel, and especially after using a public restroom, I’ll be sure to wash my hands and the kids hands. I don’t know where I got it from. I just have this thing about germs. You should see me in a public restroom when I have to help Jessie use the potty. Other women in there must think I’m a freak when I yell, “Don’t touch ANYTHING!” as we enter the stall. Jessie is 3. She loves to touch everything, she wants to be a good helper with tasks around the house, which is fine. But in a public bathroom I’m such a psycho mom. Jessie isn’t allowed to flush the toilet. If she even touches the toilet I freak out. I make sure she isn’t holding anything (sippy cup, a toy, etc) in case it drops to the bathroom floor. If it does, it’s going in the trash for sure.
Some might joke and say I’m OCD. I think I’m more of a germaphobe than OCD. I don’t have rituals like washing my hands exactly a certain number of times, I don’t flip light switches on and off or check the lock 27 times, or any certain compulsions. It’s more about the germs. I looked up germaphobe and found the term Mysophobia, which is related to the fear of germs.
What made me think about me being a germaphobe? I had a funny moment at Disneyland yesterday. I was with Marissa (9) and Jessie (3) and we just finished lunch. We used Wet Ones handy wipes to clean off our hands, I wiped down any excess mess from the table to be courteous for the next people to sit there. And as I was wiping down the table, I looked over at Jessie. She had her mouth on the back of her chair! It was a wooden chair with a pointy ball at the end of it, and she had the entire part of the chair in her mouth. UGH. The HORROR. I yelled pretty loud, “Jessie! Don’t do that!” I’m sure I scared her and the rest of the people around me trying to enjoy their lunch. I got kind of embarrassed and we left. I couldn’t stop thinking about her mouth on the chair and what germs could have infested her mouth. Bird turd, hundreds of people that touched the chair, dirty rags from the employees who even think to wipe down the chair. I had germy thoughts in my head for at least half an hour. I finally had to just let it go.
Extreme? Maybe. But the first step is admitting to it, right? How about you? Are you a germaphobe?