I spent today ringing in the New Year with one of my favorite TV shows. My boyfriend and I camped on the couch and binge-watched Criminal Minds, a series not for the faint of heart but definitely addicting. If you aren’t familiar, Criminal Minds is a crime series that looks at the suspect from a behavioral and psychological point of view. It sounds kind of dull when I say it that way. But every episode is fascinating. The Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI, consisting of some of the best-written characters (in my opinion) on TV, creates a profile of the killer based on evidence and patterns found at the respective crime scene(s). They predict the race, age, personality traits, and emotional responses of unsubs in order to get a better idea of who they are chasing and how to handle it when they do encounter the criminal.
Watching it today got me thinking. In almost every episode, you see the crime from the criminal’s perspective. You watch them as they do dishes in their home and see the place they live, the show written to highlight certain things that indicate mental health issues and otherwise. As I watched criminals being profiled based on things found in their homes, I started to wonder — what would I be profiled as?
Now that I live alone, a lot more of my idiosyncrasies and personality traits come out in the things I like to surround myself with. I look around and I see so much of myself everywhere, but I also see things that are kind of disturbing. For example, I think I would be profiled as someone who has a little bit of obsessive compulsive disorder. I hate messes and I hate disorganization. It stresses me out beyond belief to come home to a place where the blankets aren’t folded and the bed isn’t made. I like the jewelry on my dresser to lay a certain way, and my perfumes to line up at a certain angle. What is it that made me this way?
I guess I knew about it before I moved, but now that I see myself in the mirror every day wanting things to look the same as they did the day before, I realize that I am obsessive about little details. “Chaos” at my desk or on the dining room table makes me feel like there is chaos in my head, which could be as simple as leaving unopened mail on the placemat or having too many books stacked at the desk. Does it come from being a perfectionist, or is there some weird wire in my brain that doesn’t connect to another one the way it does for other people? Or does everybody have some sort of obsessive compulsion to keep their life in as much order as possible? Am I weird or…weirder? All questions that run through my mind as I watch Hotch analyze the bedroom of a serial killer or J.J. interview someone through body language.
So…what would somebody say about me if they watched me get ready in the morning every day? The BAU makes me kind of not want to know the secrets I probably reveal by the order in which I get dressed or the way I fold a dishtowel. Our homes and habits say a lot about who we are, because aren’t homes and habits the things that make up a life?