I had an uncle who could be described as obsessive compulsive. He lived in California and one year we drove there to visit him and my grandmother. We decided to order Pizza. My dad drove my aunt’s car and my uncle came with us. We picked up the pizza and brought it back, or at least that was the idea.
My aunt had a Ford Pinto. That’s tight quarters. My uncle was over six-feet tall and had a large stomach. He didn’t move fast in any situation, let alone an urgent one.
My dad handed the pizzas to me and off we went down the interstate. This part is hard to remember…I said something to my uncle, but I don’t remember what.
After that, I became hysterical. I screamed in terrible pain. My dad got off the interstate as fast as he could. He and my uncle had no clue what the problem was, but I was in agony. Pintos you will recall had only two car doors. After we stopped, I remember thinking could my uncle get out of the car any slower? He swung his long legs to the side. He stopped to look at me. Come on, come on…get out! Because of his girth, he had difficulty getting out of the car, then difficulty standing, all things, to slow me down and keep me in pain. Eventually, he did. I immediately tossed the pizzas to the spare seat and jumped out.
The pizza sauce and cheese had dripped down my leg and landed on my foot. Lucky me, I wore thong sandals that day. My foot had several burns on it. My dad took the pizzas and placed them in the trunk.
We don’t know why we didn’t think of this before, but we’re from Nebraska. Our pizzas don’t have loose drippy cheese. It gloms on there in one big fattening piece of lard-laden hunk of imitation Italian. How were we supposed to know the cheese would leap from the pizza aka Spiderman style and land on my foot?
Afterwards, we all piled back in the car. My uncle started in with his obsessive behavior. He kept talking about cheese all over the carpet, his wife’s purse and on and on. I can tell you, there wasn’t any. My foot took all the heat, so to speak.
I noticed my dad looking at my uncle with an exasperated look on his face. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. He told my uncle he didn’t care about the purse, carpet or car. All he cared about was his daughter. My dad pointed out that my uncle hadn’t bothered to ask about me, the injured party.
My uncle turned in a halting fashion and said, “Rhonda, are you okay?” His affection was truly underwhelming.
I assured him, I was fine. For the rest of the day, he fussed and moped and cried little fake tears about the tragedy of the carpet. He took a garden hose and washed the little floor mats. Acceptable behavior, except no cheese or sauce landed on it. Finally, he had to “lie down” because of the stress of the day.
Back then, obsessive compulsives really weren’t diagnosed, while we knew my uncle had a problem, it didn’t help us in dealing with him. Bottom line, always order thick fattening pizza.