Is there a syndrome of worrying that things are not in pristine state?

Okay, since none of you helped me out with my golf club question here, it got me thinking.

I think I have an odd tendency to obsess over whether something is slightly off or slightly damaged. This is obviously when I cannot tell for sure from physical appearance or other characteristics whether it is. The golf club thing is a perfect example; I cannot objectively see anything wrong with the club, and am not a good enough golfer to tell if there is something wrong with ball flight hit by the club. Yet I am paranoid that there is something slightly wrong, that is slightly or subtly affecting the performance of the item in question.

The golf club is merely an example for these purposes - there is a myriad of things for which I have had this issue. E.g. the car seems to be running fine, but doesn’t the engine sound a little loud on acceleration? I wonder if it is consuming extra gas. Those damn kids were hanging on that basketball hoop all afternoon, I wonder if it has bent the rim slightly, enough to throw off shots. Things like that.

Bear in mind that I’m overplaying the game a bit. I can tell myself to get over it, and generally put it out of my head. This also is not a daily occurrence. I am not routinely checking the fabric of my towels to make sure they are as absorbent as they were when I bought them.

I know I’m probably nuts, but is there a term for this, and is it at all common?

Obssessive-compulsive. Of course, there is a spectrum of behavior and it doesn’t mean you’re nuts. When it starts to interfere with your ability to conduct your day-to-day life then you might worry about it.


This really fascinates me because often times I can’t even force myself to care about things like that when I rationally realize I need to. Like I’ll be running out of gas, or the car will be working funky, or the picture will be crooked and I’ll just ignore it. In fact, there’s a picture I hung up about 2 years ago that could just be fixed with one hand motion that I still never bothered to fix. Not that I didn’t have time I just didn’t want to. The only thing I’ll be a perfectionist about is music. If the stereo balance is a little off, the equalizer is set oddly or there’s static, I can’t listen to it, I’d rather have silence. What condition do I have?

It’s fascinating what things some people care about…

Err, didn’t realize this was GQ. Sorry.

Don’t apologize to me, I don’t mind. It’s an interesting counter-issue.

I think my problems stem from the fact that once I cross that social line of “What are you doing? You’re going to run out of gas!” type situation, I try to push it to the limit. I’ve never ran out of gas completely, and I’ve gotten my car 30-40 miles after the light goes on. Most of the people I know don’t even know there IS a light since they refill at 1/4 tank “not to worry about it”. To me, that IS worrying about it. To me not to worry about it I have to completely eliminate the issue until it becomes relevant.

Heh. Interesting you say that; when I get down below a half-tank, it starts to make me think it’s time to fill up. I simply like having a full tank to know that if I need to run somewhere without time to fill up (or without being able to find a gas station), I won’t run out of gas.