Thank you for anal-retentive?



All right, what the hell?

Where did this disgusting phrase, anal-retentive, come from?


Sigmund Freud, who we know was a little obsessed with his body parts and his mom, seemed to revel in creating terms for our personalities correlating to his own preoccupation with his corporeal functions.

Well, his corpo  ain’t  real any more so can we just let this one go?

It’s a little too visual and a wee bit repugnant (not to mention, uncomfortable in its practice).


Freud’s term is frequently used to describe someone who is obsessed with minor details and exceptionally compulsive about controlling their environment due to an unsatisfactory potty training experience.


I have, in the past, been accused of being “anal-retentive” in a jocular manner by friends who had less need for an immaculate home and no need for compulsively picking lint from someone’s lapel. 

The term “clean freak” has also been applied to my person.


Okay, yes. 

I like a little control over the bacterial growth in my environment.

I prefer my cabinets and drawers to have a sense of order.

I really, really like all my spoons lined up like little soldiers.

And I have been known to pick a random piece of lint off my persian rug (my very clean persian rug) or a stranger’s lapel.


But I must say in my defense against the loathsome term, anal- retentive, that while I am in no danger of sphincter prolapse, I have loosened up a bit.


If you scroll through most of my blogs and note the typos and poor attention to grammatical detail, you will discover that my potty training went quite well, thank you.


Also, I cannot fathom why “freak” is attached to “clean” just because one uses a  Q-tip to get dust out of a heater grid.


Gotta go.

I just spied a spec of dust on my key board.

Must …wash.. hands.





~ by leakelley on April 16, 2008.

One Response to “Thank you for anal-retentive?”

  1. About that spec of dust…think you can spare some time in our home? We’re in serious need of an eye for the delicate balance between germs and comfort.

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