Monday, June 06, 2016

Q Is For Quirks

Now that I have reached the Advanced Age Of Fifty-Seven, chances are slim that I will change very many of my habits now. Oh, sure, if my esteemed neurologist told me that, say, sleeping on my memory foam pillow was triggering my migraines, I'd switch to whatever he said. But some of my Quirks are so ingrained as to be Second Nature, and I can't Just Stop Them.

I know some of you have them too, these Quirks that are part habit, part genetic code, part survival instinct, part plain old preference. I'll share some of mine, and then I want you to share some of yours, too.

FOOD: Ketchup on eggs; ketchup on roast lamb (I know--sacrilege!) and the only ketchup is Heinz; all beef is rare rare rare; Miracle Whip, not mayo, unless I'm making tuna anything. And in this house, white sandwich bread is a Sin. And so is any pepper that is not fresh ground. Oh, and I keep all cake in the fridge. I like cold cake. But no cake and ice cream. I hate that combination. Actually, I dislike pie and ice cream as well.  I am secretly in love with french fries.

DRINK: No "sweet tea." No milk. No instant coffee. Dry wine only. No ice in martinis. No hot tea.

COMFORT: I cannot sleep without a cover of some kind, and the room must be completely dark. I rarely sit without my feet up under me unless at a restaurant or if I am "company." I do not eat a meal outdoors unless forced. After I eat ice cream, I usually need a blanket. I hate wind, but also dislike having to run the air conditioner.  I do not like an overhead fan blowing directly on me, but a heater directly on me is heaven.  If the water would stay hot, I could take a bath for several hours.

MISCELLANEOUS: I do my hair and makeup every day, even if I'm not going anywhere. I put my seatbelt on just to move cars in the driveway (I also use my turn signals). At home I verbally correct everyone's grammar and usage on television, online, and in the newspaper. (To the cats, if Rick is not around. To no one, if it is on my car radio.) And each time it is on, I gamely watch about half of "Dateline", then promptly fall asleep before any resolution. (That show is The Best Sleep Aid, and it's free!) I run a fever when I get overtired, when I have a migraine, and sometimes when my arthritis is Just Plain Horrid. I still hate feet unless they're baby feet or animal feet, and we all know how I feel about republicans (I still won't capitalize that word).

Okay! Your turn. What Quirks make you You?



  1. Laughing. We share a lot of weirdness. I always knew you were my secret sister, even though you are a lot (!) younger. It is JG who has to have Miracle Whip and I hate the stuff. I have to have butter.
    And I guess my quirkiest thing is my bedtime routine. Yes, dark quiet room. Yes blanket, even in heat waves. Also I must MUST! read before I go to sleep. Even in a tent. Power outages require me to keep a kerosene lamp that sheds enough light that I can see my book.
    I wear makeup only under extreme duress.
    And I am going to be snickering about all this half the evening. Hugs!

    1. Mary G--I adore butter, but never on a sandwich. Thank heaven for butter! I have finally banished margarine forever.

      I have continued my battle of trying to get back to reading by picking up my Old Summer Standby, Gone with the Wind. So far, my only struggle is trying to hold it as I read it in bed. Keep your fingers crossed that it breaks the spell. XO

    2. Mary--I was just over at your blog and wanted to leave a comment, but was unable to unless I joined Google Plus, which I would rather not. I wanted to let you know.

    3. That is very weird. I will see what I can do about it. Can you leave a comment from Facebook link?

    4. Mary--Dearest, please don't worry. I can always chat with you here. Your blog is gorgeous in its new format.

      Still Not Doing Facebook. The horror.

  2. Cold cake and unsweetened ice tea FTW! I can't agree with you about the ketchup on eggs thing, though.

    I hate people breathing on me while I am trying to sleep (e.g. co-sleeping with my kids, and even my husband!). Shoes must be taken off before anyone enters the house, guests and parties are the exclusion. Fries must be extra crispy. I only put polish on my toenails, not fingernails. No talk radio in the car, music only, and the bluetooth in the car helps a lot with that. Outdoor seating preferred! No full length pantyhose EVER, only knee high when appropriate. I love fans and have one going in my bedroom 96% of the time. I loathe and hate houseflies and will spend hours trying to kill/get one out of the house if one ever gets in. I need a noise machine to help me fall asleep.

    I take it back, maybe you should not come to California, because everyone always wears the most bare type of shoe that the weather will allow. Feet everywhere! The stuff of nightmares!

    1. Gina--Rick and I are trying out a king-sized bed at the lakehouse now. It allows both Togetherness and Solitude. Highly recommended, although it does nothing to alleviate The Snoring. Sigh.

      Here in Ohio (AKA Home Of Pasty White And Cold Legs for 9 Months Of The Year) we not only love our pantyhose, we fully embrace our opaque tights. And boots. Now that I am NOT dressing up for teaching, I embrace leggings and boots as soon as the temps drop to 55.

      I am SO with you on houseflies--apply it to moths and mosquitoes too. I will make it a mission to kill any who enter, and often enlist the cats to assist.

      When I came to California in the dead of winter, I wore boots. When I am home in the summer, I am barefoot almost all day, leaving flipflops by the door for quick trips to the yard, porch, or patio. BUT NEVER FLIPFLOPS OUT IN SOCIETY.

      On another note: I have high hopes that California will come through today at the polls. I've had just about enough of all the bullshit and ego and male posturing that I can stand at this point. What a disappointment this primary season has been for my country.

    2. Northern California is very different from Southern, as I am sure Julie would admit. Much colder up there, and the penchant for bare footwear is not nearly as pronounced. Beach culture is huge down here, and rightly so, and it permeates a lot of clothing choices.

      As for the elections today, I truly hope that California delivers a resounding message that the choice for Democrats is Hilary. Bernie Sanders is starting to make me angry, and the splintering he has done to the party is selfish, in my opinion. Be a man, Bernie, and depart gracefully!

    3. The only place I will wear flip flops is to the pool, because I don't want to ruin my sandals, though I have no problem with feet and I love a good pedicure. It's been a couple of years since I've had one, though...I might have to rectify that sometime soon.

  3. Why, I wore flip flops out to dinner just yesterday! But then, we actually ARE at the beach (Dewey, in Delaware). But I prefer sandals in the summer. Flip flops are bad for my hip!

    I like an ice cold bedroom & lots of covers (pre-menopause I was known to turn on my electric blanket in the summer). I also used to take really long hot baths - adding hot water several times. The menopause put the kibosh on that too. Sigh.

    I take my bra off as soon as I get home. I do try to remember to put it back on when I go out to mow. I used to never leave the house without makeup, but now I rarely wear it for running around town. In fact my current profile picture on Facebook is makeup free (I'll post it on my blog soon). I do wear makeup to church & work.

    I have a pretty set evening bathroom routine. If I do something out of order it can really mess me up (one night recently, I'm pretty sure I totally forgot to wash my face - the horror!!).

    1. P.S. Here is another quirk: I tend to just watch events unfold rather than helping. For example, oh hey, person trying to get through the door with a giant package, how interesting it is for me to watch you problem solve! Also, I had noticed that one of faucets on the sink here at the hotel was leaking. I looked at the items on the counter & decided a little water wouldn't hurt them. Mike, on the other hand, wiped everything down & put a washcloth around the faucet to contain the water. Fascinating!

    2. Bug--Oh, the Removal Of The Bra! I used to discreetly remove mine IN THE CAR IN THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT sometimes when I just could not take it anymore. And I lived less than five minutes away! (It was a teachers' lot, no kids.)

      I'm trying to think how I could have my Evening Bathroom Routine "messed up." I wash my face and brush my teeth, period. Usually attended by Marlowe, the huge fluffy grey cat, who tries to drink the water as it comes out of the faucet. And sticks her tail in the sink. And is a devoted Soap Licker. Aside from her Assistance, not much can get derailed.

      As far as flipflops out to dinner, just because you are at the beach does not mean that they are acceptable footwear IN A RESTAURANT. Was the restaurant ON THE BEACH? I think my point is made.

      P.S. I wonder why you don't feel any compunction to help. That IS fascinating.

    3. That's one of my quirks that I'm trying to work on (obviously with varying degrees of success). Another one I noticed this past year is that I don't like getting "stuff" on my hands. Makes it hard to work in the garden, or clean anything, really. There are lots of cleaning tasks that work better if you don't mind getting your hands dirty. And, did you know? You can WASH your hands afterward. Sigh. This is still a work in progress as well. Basically, I'm a lazy prissy person, apparently.

      You will laugh out loud at this: yesterday, while walking on "the strip" in Rehoboth Beach, my flip-flop didn't move at the same time as the rest of me. Down I went - like a tree - landed on my knees. OUCH. I'm moving kind of slowly today & I do believe I'll wear my sneakers.

      Finally, here is my nighttime routine: brush & floss my teeth, wash my face, put my rosacea cream on my face, put eye cream around my eyes, put moisturizer everywhere. This particular night I brushed my teeth early in the evening & figured I'd wash my face later. But I was reading a book & one thing led to another & the next thing I knew it was morning.

  4. Food: Mayo, either homemade or Duke's. No peanut butter in the house because I'm totally addicted to it. No casseroles and no heavy sauces. Butter, never margarine.

    Drink: Coffee. Just plain coffee. No sweetener and definitely NO FLAVORED COFFEE! No iced tea. I always felt cheated as a child because the others would enjoy iced tea and I had to have water. I love hot herbal tea with honey. Ginger ale when I'm sick.

    Comfort: Don't like total darkness when I sleep. I like the room chilly so I can sleep under a comforter or blanket. I have music playing pretty much non-stop. Softly in the background or ramped up with head phones. I've got an iPod playlist for almost everything I do. I love the wind and usually drive with the sunroof open. I need nightly soaks in my Jacuzzi bathtub with bath salts added. I have special "nighttime" books that don't require much concentration. When everyone has gone to bed, I sit in the den reading my book and drinking wine all by myself.

    Miscellaneous: I never "cut corners" in parking lots even when there are no cars there. I email reporters about their grammar and copy editors who title an article inappropriately. I must always be the last person in the house to go to bed. I'm never late and have little tolerance for those who are. I research all the judicial nominees before elections and I never fail to vote.

    1. NCmountainwoman--Yay, another Butter Aficionado. I tend to go in streaks with peanut butter: I can leave off it for months at a time, and then suddenly have a massive craving for it for days on end. I also dislike flavoured coffees, especially in the morning and especially hazelnut. Unlike you, I rarely listen to music. Comes from years of the steady noise of an urban highschool environment. Also, I cannot just listen to it; I have to sing or follow along with my brain, and it is not relaxing for me then. Like you, however, I am an unfailing voter who researches candidates and hates lateness. But my sunroof days are over. And thank you for helping police grammar down there in NC!

  5. Oh my! I love the theme of this post, but am coming up blank as for my quirks. I think that I'm probably 98% quirk with 2% normal which means I'll have to get all meta to figure out the answer to this question. May I get back to you on this?

    1. Ally Bean--But of course! Hope to see you soon with your Quirk Flag Flying.

  6. I am NOT a fan of ketchup on eggs, and on lamb? Shudder. Ted likes ketchup on his eggs, and steak sauce on his steak. I love him in spite of these things. Do you like salsa on your eggs? Ted does sometimes, and I wonder if he'd like the sriracha flavored Heinz ketchup. Heinz really is the best, and I like the version with sugar instead of HFCS. I'm with you on freshly ground black pepper, and French fries are one of my very favorite foods. I love them. I have finally found a decent oven fry recipe, which has been a search indeed. Not as good as deep fried, but good. Cold cake is just weird, and ice cream on pie is a must.

    I recently converted to hot tea, which I never thought I would. The keys are: good tea, milk, and sugar. I know, the horrors! But most tea that we get in America is crap, and drinking it plain is just crazy. We buy PG Tips (England's #1 tea!), and that has made the difference. I only tried it because I was trying to give up my Diet Coke for breakfast habit. I know, disgusting.

    I hate the feeling of an air conditioner blowing on me. I want a house like George W Bush's, which I hear has ambient cooling from water flowing through pipes in the wall, which keeps it a perfectly cool temp without any forced air. That sounds like absolute heaven to me.

    I have always been a 'do your hair and makeup' person, and generally wear jewelry at home as well. I've found myself going without makeup sometimes recently, because I am trying to be a Good Role Model to my daughter, in that we should be comfortable in our own skin and not feel that we have to look a certain way all of the time. As soon as she moves out, I'll likely be back to makeup every day. And truth be told, I still GENERALLY do the makeup and hair. I just try to give it a day off from time to time.

    I love sleeping with a fan blowing on me. I love a king sized bed, though it won't fit in our bedroom because that is also my office. So we sleep with a queen sized bed. Another thing when the kid moves out someday, I guess, though I like her a lot and am not in a hurry for her to go.

    My preference is to go to the grocery store daily, rather than doing a weekly shopping. This started when I worked in an office and walked every day at lunch. On my way back from my walk, I passed a grocery store. I liked not having to plan for the week ahead of time, and feeling like my food was fresh, not frozen. This preference increased when I started working from home, because I do like to get out of the house and see people, even if it's just the grocery store.

    I hate taking baths. It feels like sitting in grime. I could likely be convinced to change my mind on this if I had a deep tub, esp with jacuzzi jets, and if I didn't live in a drought state, so I could shower, then jacuzzi, then shower off at the end. THEN I think I could get into it. But our bathtub is small and shallow, as have all of the bathtubs I've ever had been. Blech.

    We still get a newspaper delivered to our house every day. The prices have gone so high that it is a luxury indeed, but one that I enjoy.

    I like my wine dry as well. I can do a Sauvignon blank when the weather is right.

    Regarding your and Gina's comments on the election's looking good for Clinton in California thus far. It's still early, but at this point she's way ahead. I debated with myself mightily when deciding between her and Sanders. I am closer to him on policy issues, but they're not that far apart. I wish she weren't quite so hawkish. I like her work for women and children. She's extremely qualified. It was hard, but I finally ended up voting for her, as did Maya. Ted voted Bernie, but he likes Clinton just fine and will be happy to vote for her in November.

    I found the Bug's comment about observing life rather than participating to be hilarious.

    1. j@jj--We picked up a lot of sauv blanc when on our last wine trip. I think it has become my new favourite white. Totally in agreement with you about the cost of and necessity of the newspaper as well, although my 'delivery' is now electronic. With us being away most weekends, and my beloved Plain Dealer no longer delivering every day anyway (despite being published daily), it was a sad concession.

      I understand your feeling regarding tub baths. It is the Number One Yuck Factor for everyone who eschews them. My philosophy, however, is that if I am That Dirty, I take a shower. A luxurious bath is not for Cleanliness so much as for Relaxation. In an average day, I do not do such Herculean Tasks as to render me so filthy as to be unfit for Bathing.

      Finally, I cannot apologize enough for ketchup on roast lamb. Trust me. And I am the only one in the entire family (even my Original Family) who does it. It is Inexcusable. No to the salsa on eggs.

  7. I am a big mayonnaise fan, Miracle Whip isn't even a food is it? Pure butter for me, I have to have a light balnket on even in the summer until I get my nightly hot flash. I can't stand the car windows down because of the wind, but love my ceiling fan. All my dishes have to be put away before I go to sleep and the counters and sink cleaned off as well. I am a tried and true Democrat and will debate even my closet friends who are republican and seem to vote per party and not about the person running.

    1. Mereknits--Welcome to the Dept.! Thanks for commenting. Aside from the Miracle Whip Thing, we are very much alike. I could sit out on our deck, porch, boat, or patio in a nice breeze, but cannot ride more than down the driveway if the car windows are open. And I am very appreciative of our ceiling fans, but hate it blowing down on me at night unless I have the covers on.

      Your point about Party Over Person is especially cogent in this presidential election. I have never seen such a ridiculous situation as this one in the republican party. Why they are willing to condemn this country so willingly to a PT Barnum figure who they all admit is a racist ignoramus, I cannot fathom. What a passel of weaklings. "I condemn him, but I will support him." WHAT?!

  8. Nance, I think I have the comment thing fixed. I hope, anyway. Oh, and I have another quirk. My husband and I wake up mostly very, very (sob) early. Followed by coffee in bed, radio news, stock report on the TV, etc. This morning we made breakfast at 9:30 am after a 5:00 am wakeup. Talk about wasting time, or were we?

    1. No problem. I do not know how the switch got changed in the first place, but it is now the way it should be.
      Deer also leave fertilizer. Sort of.

  9. FOOD: Hellman’s or homemade mayonnaise. White bread only if it is artisan (“French”... which for me is “Spanish”, haha.) No raw tomatoes (except in gazpacho). I hate the gooey seedy part of them. Cold cake: yes! Pasta al dente--- can’t stand over-cooked pasta.

    DRINK: I am with you on all points. (Who the hell would put ice in a martini? Ice to chill it before you drink it, yeah--- but *in* the glass while you drink it?!) Also: For some reason, I hate the term "unsweet". No particular reason except that it just sounds silly.

    I wear a sweater indoors in the summer if the A/C is too cold in a restaurant, supermarket, etc. I once asked the manager in a restaurant to turn off the A/C, but that’s because they had it on full blast and it was 34 degrees outside. (read: only in Texas.) I only take baths in hotels because I hate scrubbing out the tub. I have to sleep with *something* covering me, even if it is just a top sheet. To keep the monsters from attacking, you know.

    Ha, ha, I put my seatbelt on to move the car, too! I also put on my emergency lights when I have to back the car out of a parking space. (= Been hit more than once in a parking lot.) If I am in a stressful traffic situation, I have to turn the radio off. I comment on all the bad Spanish on the local latino news (UnivisiĆ³n), especially misspelled words that appear on the TV screen. I have to fight the urge to email them about this. If someone approaches me from behind and suddenly begins to speak within inches of my head when I don’t know they are there, I will shriek like a banshee. (Carry-over trauma from being mugged.) I don’t always do an elaborate make-up job every day, but lipstick and filling in the eyebrow gaps are a necessity. I watch Long Island Medium when Mr. O. is not at home. There are a lot of dead people I would like to ask her about. Secretly, of course.

    P.S. ---Email is in the works.

    1. Ortizzle--I look forward to hearing more from you at your leisure.

      As to white bread, yes if it is bakery baguette or ciabatta, etc. Love raw tomatoes if they are farmstand or wee cherry or grape tomatoes (those little yellow Zimas are lovely from the grocery right now). Soft pasta is a Tragedy. Boring pasta is a Tragedy, a la Olive Garden. Ugh.

      My uncle The Former Bartender drinks his gin martinis (The Only Martini, according to him) on the rocks. I am horrified by it. I am still enamoured by Bloody Marys.

      Sometimes, I can sweet-talk Rickins into scrubbing out the tubby for my bath. But I agree, that part is Prohibitive to Bathtaking. That, and the fact that Marlowe and Piper eat my bubbles, and if I shut the door, they slam themselves against it or meow helplessly and pitifully. Sigh.

      Long Island Medium--I used to watch that show, back in my Cable TV Days, and pick it apart, looking for the scams/tells. I did a lot of research on her and John Edward and mediums in general, and it's fascinating. I don't ever want to talk to any dead people I actually KNOW, just dead people from American History who fascinate me.

      And when I am driving the DC Beltway, I have Radio Silence. Period. And there had better be a bottle of wine waiting for me on the other side of it.


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