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Quirks, Idiosyncrasies and weird habits

File this under Stealing a Meme from Sheila:

Write down five of your own personal idiosyncrasies.

Oy. I mean, I'm made up of idiosyncrasies. I'm one of those people that has weird personal rules and regulations that must be followed in order to maintain some form of happiness and contentment with life. As my husband often says: "I need a rule book to keep up with your weird quirks." So, from my rule book:

  • I have all kinds of rules about eating. I do not drink any fluids at all with my meals. I wait until after. It's just some kind of strange habit I've had since childhood. I can't eat and drink at the same time. And I won't drink anything carbonated, either. It's water or iced tea, to be consumed after my dinner is completely finished (the only exception I make is when I eat at Chili's because I can't resist their blackberry iced tea, it becomes part of the meal). The other thing about food is I never finish anything. I will leave one tiny crumb or piece of everything on my plate. I will leave at least one chip in a bag, one sip of coffee in a cup, one little bite of a donut. Don't ask why. I don't know.
  • I have seating quirks. When we go to a restaurant, I have to walk around the table first to see which chair best suits me. If we are given a booth, I have to stand there for about 30 seconds while I decide where to sit. Sometimes I choose the wrong seat and I will get a bad vibe as soon as I sit down. I then make everyone get up and switch seats so I can find one where I am mentally comfortable. In a movie theater, I have to sit on the end seat, preferably in the last row, middle section (the theater I frequent has three seating sections). Sometimes (as when we saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) we get there late and I have to sit somewhere else and I spend the whole movie fighting off a vague sense of uncomfortableness. Sort of related - in a public bathroom I will only use the second stall. If there's a long line and I'm forced to use a different one, I'll live, as long as it's not an end stall. I'll let someone go ahead of me before using an end stall.
  • I get up between 5-5:30 am every day. Weekday or weekend, doesn't matter. I don't even need that much time to get ready for work; I could get up at 6:30 and be out of the house in plenty of time. I'm just one of those weird morning people. If I sleep past 5:30 my entire day will feel off, it will just ruin me.
  • I have this problem with looking people (mostly strangers or people I don't know well) in the eye when talking to them. To wit, a conversation from October, 2001L

scene: Person visiting in my office. We are making small talk while he waits for a file.

Person: You have a very disconcerting habit.
Me: What's that?
Person: You don't look people in the eye when you are having a conversation with them.
Me: Eh, it's that whole "Gaze of Death" thing.
Person: hmmm?
Me: Yea. If I look at someone too long they burst into flames. Just a small, weird power I was born with.
Person: You're a....mutant?
Me: Mmhmm.
Person: So....how's Professor X?
Me: Doing good.
Person: Ok, send him my regards.
Me: Will do.

That's how I evade discussion on the subject.

  • For the fifth quirk, I'm just going to list a whole bunch of quirky, idiosyncrac things about me: I can't eat anything that is made partly of warm lettuce. This includes BLTs, which I eat as just BTs I hate the circus. I have to sleep with a blanket on at all times, even on the hottest nights, even if the A/C isn't working, I can't NOT be covered. I am obsessed with not only reading license plates, but turning the letters on the plates into words. I have a weird habit of reading signs, billboards, street signs, etc. backwards. When walking up or down stairs, I have to count the stairs. I am a compulsive list maker. I will even make lists of the lists I've been making. Whether or not I follow the lists is another matter. I am terrified of bridges. I have gotten to the point where I will drive over one, but only in the middle lane. Of all the bridges I cross, going over the Throgs Neck, toward the city, is the most frightening experience. I have this weird problem with fabrics touching each other. Towel on towel. Sweater on a rug. Broom on a rug. Felt on anything. It all gives me chills and makes my skin crawl. Just thinking about makes me clench my teeth. Oh, and teeth. If you ever put a towel in your mouth in front of me, if any kind of fabric at all touches your teeth or tongue in my presence, I will run from the room screaming. I can't burp. I have never had a real, good burp (except maybe when I was an infant). Some people can burp on demand, I can't even get a small, baby-like burp to come forth. My clothing is mostly dark. I used to dress only in black, but I've been able to branch out into browns and grays lately. Last night I wore a green shirt and gave everyone a heart attack. I will never, ever, ever be seen in pink. I have a deep aversion to that color. If I could go barefoot for the rest of my life, I would. I hate shoes. Socks are cool, but I hate shoes. I am a weather freak. The weather channel is my "home" channel on the tv.

Ok, I'm going to stop now.

Bloggers, this is a viral meme. I expect you to take up the cause at our own places, if you haven't already. Everyone else can reveal their quirks in the comments, because, don't make me stand out here emotionally naked all alone.

Update: I should add: I hate, hate, when people try to "one up" your bad health, bad experiences or yes, even quirks. There is nothing more annoying than a person who says "You had a 104 fever? Pfft, I had a 105! My dire emergency was far worse than yours. I WIN!" Which is like saying "yea, list all your idiosyncrasies, but they PALE in comparison to mine!" Does everything have to be a god damn competition? I swear, it makes me want to stab someone. Except I don't really like the feel of a metal blade sliding into flesh. Gives me the chills. Every time.

Update: Dave chimes in with his quirks.

As does that nutbag, Solonor.


You are quite normal. I'd need a column as long as yours to list mine. I can't list one at the moment because I wouldn't know where to start.

Ok, here is a really, really basic one:
- I believe that me watching/not watching a football (soccer, to the heathens) game has a profound effect on the result. Whether it will be positive or negative, I get the vibe at the time. Sometimes I have to stop watching so I can get the opposite effect to what I am feeling. It doesn't necessarily work but I can't shake that belief anyway. I believe that I am fully in tune with the footballing universe. Very few people know as much about football as I do.

I believe that there's a standard DSMV classification for this:

Fucking looney tunes, dude, with coo-coo for cocoa puffs tendencies. Like, totally.

PS - I often skip tiles in the grocery store and I hate the circus too.

Ew, warm lettuce.

God, what a nutjob!

(I have a quirk that I never say nice things in comments. Freak.)

Unfortunately, we share six of those quirks (it would be seven, but I'm forcing myself to get over the whole "Stare of Death" thing). I won't tell you which six, because of my quirk that I won't tell people my quirks in public, because it will make me look like some psycho.

Err....too late, buddy.

Yeah, I know. They'll be up in a few minutes, whacko.

***this comment was checkmated by Michele's update****

Yes, I was pre-empting you, Mr. Woe-is-Me.

ok, ok. not better not worse, just...is.

erratic OCD. either something is perfectly in order, or a total mess. like. my kitchen counter is currently the home of an ongoing science experiment - and at random intervals, it will be absolutely spotless, white glove inspection clean. Can't throw away just one thing, but can go into rubber gloves, boiling water, and caustic chemical mode.

arranging the potato chips. lately, when I have lunch, if I've got a bag of chips, and I'm eating alone, I'll dump them all out and start arranging them. into rows. into patterns. if I pick one up and eat it, I'll re-arrange the others, until they are 'sorted'.

Don't care if the sanwich goops lettuce, condiments, or bread crumbs all over the place...as long as the chips are in a straight line...

oh, and cleaning up at a restaurant. After I've finished eating, I'll pile all the junk from the meal onto the largest plate, and slide it over to the side of the table. Then I'll use the napkin and wipe up any crumbs or spills, then arrange the salt, pepper, and little sugar container, then make a picture perfect arrangement of my after dinner coffee, the ashtray, my smokes and lighter...ok, I'll stop now.

Thanks for the meme idea Michele. Definitely going to toss out my quirks over at my place.

I used to think I was quirky, but now I know what quirky really is. :)

Although I do share Windriders all-or-nothing cleaning philosophy. Tidying up is hard because of this tendency to go perfectionist bonzai. My brother gave me a rule to help me. He told me to replace my compulsion with a 75% rule...to tell myself I have to stop at 75% or something bad will happen.

I avoid cleaning less now that I have a way to avert the danger...It works pretty well.

Oh - and I can not make a to-do list, or even a shopping list) without feeling absolutely ashamed and humiliated. I have to make a mental list and remember it.

Except I don't really like the feel of a metal blade sliding into flesh. Gives me the chills. Every time.

Y'know, there are some mighty fine ceramic blade makers out there. You needn't stop your random stabbing at all!

Catalano vs Topper

Hah. That needs to be seen here.

my quirks. well, a few of them, anyway.

what shitty timing. that is a damned funny comic.

I don't make my lunch (for work) the night before because I can't eat a sandwich made more than a couple hours before I eat it. I can't eat any leftover sandwiches either if they've been in the fridge for a while.

I can't sit in a room with my back to the door.

ok...you're weird.
/slowly backs away from the blog

When I am in public I can't stand when things don't line up correctly. Or when things are out of place. I have to straighten them up.

Of course this behavior does not exist in my place, which is in a total state of disorder.

I'm totally with you on the one-upping thing--it drives me INSANE.

When I eat Skittles, I pour them all out of the bag, and eat them by color. I eat three of one color at a time, unless the number of that color isn't a multiple of three, in which case I finish them in twos. I eat the yellows and greens first, then the oranges, and finally finish with the purples and reds (I save them for last because they're my favorite).

I'm not sure if it was because I was in a boys home growing up, or my mom would start beating me in my sleep as a child, but when I'm sleeping, a person can be loud, tromp around, etc. and I'll sleep right through it most of the time...but if someone sneaks around me, or otherwise tries to be politely quiet, I wake up in a semi-violent panic.

I'm not sure if this counts as a quirk, it may be that I'm just weird, but when I eat any kind of hamburger helper...I eat the noodles first then the hamburger...did it as a kid and I do it now...

wow, we have a lot of the same quirks. I can't look in the eyes either and I try and it makes me nervous and if someone talks too close to me, I keep backing up.
I pluck my eybrows, obsessively
I keep my finger on the scan button on the car radio until my wrist hurts, looking for that perfect song.
I sleep with the phone.
I save my favorite food til last during meals and then I get too full for it.

I have this problem with looking people (mostly strangers or people I don't know well) in the eye when talking to them.

- me too.

Your trackbacks make Baby Jesus cry.


They are, indeed, teh suck.

Although they pale in comparison to my list of quirks.

I can't sleep with my feet under sheets or blankets. I have to wear socks in cold weather because otherwise I wake in the middle of the night wondering why my feet were replaced with two chunks of glacier. When I'm traveling, the first thing I do in a hotel room after putting down my luggage is untuck the sheets at the end of the bed (my husband HATES this).

I have to sit in the outside seat of any row of seats, or on the outside edge of a booth seat. Can't stand not having an "escape route". I've never actually had to make a run for it while eating at Bennigans...I just need to know that, should the need arise, I can make a clean getaway.

I can't stand the sight of wiggly teeth. With four children, this has been an ongoing problem. I can handle poop, boogers, urine, vomit, blood, or any other bodily fluid/function...just not wiggly teeth.

I have to eat sandwiches in a typewriter-esque fashion. I take a bite starting on the top left and work my way to the right, taking bites of the same size and moving back to the left as the row is finished.

People who eat sammiches all willy nilly, going left then all the way right then back to the middle, well it drives me batshit. I'm like, "You're eating all asymetricaly! Stop, for the love of baby Jesus, stop!"

I will always, and totally unconsciously, leave approximately 1 inch of milk left in my milk glass. When Im done with whatever Im eating, and I want no more milk, I look down, and there it is: one inch of milk. This does not apply to any other beverage.