Never look a gift horse in the mouth, it’s said. Especially when it offers you an opportunity for a little tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation, as in this recent Daily Prompt from WordPress:
‘Quirk of habit: Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others”
As a general rule, I don’t seek to speak for others – and there’s absolutely no future (not one worth living, at any rate) in enumerating the quirky habits of anyone who might actually read this. However…..
The problem with this principled stance (for which read ‘enlightened self-interest’) is that quirkiness exists largely in the eye of the beholder. Thus, that lady librarian of a certain age with whom I briefly had to share a Break Room in the Liverpool Central Library may have considered it perfectly normal, even acceptable, to spend her entire tea-break steadily consuming the contents of her nostrils, even while said nose was buried in a book – perhaps even this one:
And then there was the junior bank clerk I had the misfortune to be on a training course with in 1973, who probably saw nothing wrong with his apparent compulsion to state – frequently, loudly and always à propos of nothing – that “Tonight’s the night for masturbation!”.
There again, he was from Cardiff. And, quite patently, a tosser.
Apart from demonstrating that life’s rich tapestry is a bit threadbare in parts, these examples are what I’d describe as egregiously annoying. In other words, they would offend pretty much any right-thinking person who had the misfortune to be confronted with them. However, I’m reasonably confident that I don’t have any tics or quirks that are quite so reprehensible – on the basis that, if I did, long before now I would undoubtedly have been advised as such, and served with a cease-and-desist order.
Certainly I’m aware that I do have quirks or routines that, while harmless, are almost certainly superfluous. These I sometimes get annoyed with myself about – a bit. For example, my dressing routine must always follow the same sequence: left leg inserted into trouser before right leg; left sock; right sock; left shoe, right shoe.
It surely doesn’t have to be that way…..but then again what if, unbeknownst to us all, a vastly superior, OCD-based, alien culture has this planet under close observation and is seeking only the slightest provocation to destroy it in the blink of an eye? The temptation to live a little and go right-then-left just for a change is there, but I might be saving the world.
Other little routines that I perform as a public service include only ever sending grammatically correct text messages and, by shouting ‘Fewer!’ at the screen, helping out people on TV who are apparently incapable of distinguishing an adjective from an adverb.
Other little ‘quirks’ aren’t actually quirks at all, in my judgement, but simple common sense. We all know about the dishwasher, but another instance would be my always having the same sequence of open windows in my browser. Otherwise how will I ever find anything? So left to right it goes:
- WordPress Reader,
- photography blog Dashboard,
- this one,
- the local weather forecast – just in case I need instant access to the probability of precipitation in this commune between 2pm and 5pm a week on Wednesday. Well I might.
- Fitbit dashboard – because one should always have to hand a measure of one’s own idleness
- inbox of the email account linked to my blogs – in case anyone ever likes anything
- My ‘real world’ email inbox – for all those valuable special offers and the reassurance that hot singles in my area are gagging to meet me
If, unaccountably, you find all this a little weird, then just stop and consider that it could be a lot worse but for my inbuilt regulator: