Saturday, August 14, 2010

Idiosyncracies...

Silence
Odilon Redon
1912
Museum of Modern Art, New York

My mother always used to say, "No one is perfect except for me and thee, and I'm not so sure about thee." Well, I know I'm certainly not perfect -- I'm far from it, in fact.  But haven't you always noticed that the most interesting people are the ones who are slightly quirky?  I have met folks who seem to be perfect and flawless in every way, and they're intimidating.  However, once they reveal a quirk or an eccentricity, suddenly they become much more likeable and endearing.  A piece of the armor falls away, et voila, they are human after all.  By the same token, once I am able to see other folks' indiosyncracies, I don't feel quite so bad about mine.  We all have them, and more often than not our idiosyncracies are similar rather than strange.  We can identify with each other's quirks and foibles, and often they are a common thread that binds us together.

"You do that too?  Oh, gosh, so do I...!"

So here, just to make you feel good about yourself, are a few of my idiosyncracies.

1.  I love the sound of silence.  Unless a piece of music is really worth listening to, I can't bear having a radio or a television on for "background" noise.  I grew up in a noisy home, I work in a noisy office, and I cherish the sound of silence.  Silence is like a spa for my ears, it refreshes them.  Silence can make all the other senses feel heightened, especially the visual sense.

2.  When I come home from work at the end of the day, I always have a hot soapy shower to wash off the flotsam and jetsam of the day -- especially if I have had to use a "public facility".  I'm not exactly a germaphobe, but there is nothing more refreshing than feeling clean.

3.  This is beginning more and more to sound like a case description of someone with OCD ... but I love tidy cupboards.  When I was 12 years old, I got up one morning and looked at my messy bedroom.  There were clothes and books everywhere.  My mother had gone to a lot of trouble to create a pretty bedroom for me, and it was a mess.  At that moment I decided to tidy it up.  I hung up my clothes, straightened my books, made my bed, and realized it felt wonderful to have "a place for everything, and everything in its place..."

Nuttier than a fruitcake, you say?  Are you feeling better yet?

4.  I'm not superstitious about most things.  I find most superstitions are just silly.  What on earth can happen if you open an umbrella indoors?  Nothing.  Or if you step on a crack on the sidewalk?  It doesn't really break your mother's back.  But there is one superstition that I take very, very seriously.  When I am getting dressed in the morning, if I inadvertently put my underwear on inside out, it stays on -- inside out -- all day.  Don't ask me why.  What would happen if I changed it?  Oh, I don't know -- the earth would tilt on its axis, the sun would turn into a supernova -- I'm not willing to find out.

I have, oh , about a million other idiosyncracies, but this post would start to get too long if I listed them all here.  Besides, you folks are all exactly the same, right?  Nothing new here ... right?

16 comments:

The Bug said...

Ooh - I enjoyed reading your idiosyncracies (although they didn't seem that odd to me). I love the sound of silence too. I often forget to turn on the tv or listen to music even when I had planned to (I do try to remember to turn on the baseball game though).

I have an underwear thing too - if I'm wearing a pair & decide that they're destined for the trash I still have to wash them first. TMI?

What I want to know is, did your mother faint when she saw your room?

Jo said...

Dana, if I remember correctly, my mother just kept the door closed. But she probably fainted when she saw I had cleaned it up. It's seems to be a never-ending story, doesn't it? :-)

Owen said...

I think the notions expounded on long ago in I'm OK, You're OK are pertinent here... What would life be like if we were all perfect ???

Sam Liu said...

Very wise and very true, Jo. We are all unique in our own right, we all have our own idiosyncrasies and it is is our quirks and our imperfections that make us human. I share quite a few of your eccentricities: I too love the sound of silence, I'm quite obsessive about order and cleanliness and I'm in now way superstitious. So I guess you're right, a lot of the time we share our difference with others. It reminds of that heart-warming C.S. Lewis quote, "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one."

Jo said...

Owen, I have never read the book. I'm going to have to check it out. Thanks...!

Sam, oh, yes, the common thread ... "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." It's so true, isn't it? The moment of friendship. :-)

Cloudia said...

You sound just my sort!





Warm Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral

Country Girl said...

I love having a place for everything and everything in its place. When it's a mess in my home, I feel as though it's a mess in my life.

And it's such a refreshing feeling being clean. Love that.

Single and Sane said...

That underwear thing always presents a conundrum for me. Not that I do it all the time, of course, but when it DOES happen, I waste time considering my options and then usually decide I don't have time to deal with it so I'll just have to accept the situation.

And I think that's all I care to share.

Margaret ;-)

Marguerite said...

Well, you are so right, Jo! I'm with you on #1 and #3 but like to have my shower in the morning and a bubble bath, in the evening, after my dip in the pool. And I have tons more! I say "to each his/her own, idiosyncracies"! Cheers!

lgsquirrel said...

"I talk to the trees......that's why they put me away". Spike Milligan singing his version of the song from the musical "Paint Your Wagons".

For the same reason, I 'd rather not confess to my idiosyncrasies.

A human kind of human said...

Right and right.... except for the underwear thing, but then again, I have never considered it. There is no music more beautiful than the sound of silence. Silence and the absence of sounds are two completely different things...

KathyB. said...

Brave woman you are Jo, listing some idiosyncrasies. I am with you 100% on #1 and #3.I cannot bear to have T.V. or music on during the day when I am home and when I spend vast amounts of time away from home ( but not in my own hotel room)I find myself seeking places that offer a bit of solitude without clamor and sometimes find myself so desperate as to find it in a public bathroom stall.Sad, very sad.

Quirky is another word for 'interesting' I think. So I think this just makes you interesting, and all the more lovable.

the walking man said...

Just be glad you're not a guy who put his underwear on backwards. Confusion.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I have to make the bed before I get in. I usually make it as soon as I get up but if I get up and he who can sleep late is still in the bed ........ You see the problem. So I have been known to make the bed on my side and as far over as I can, or just make it up right before I crawl in. I like really tight, smooth sheets. Is this a quirk or a fetish?

TC said...

I'm just wondering, I'd never heard the underwear thing and don't switch mine unless I'm going to be trying on clothes or something which means the underwear might be on display? So why would you change it, I mean it's not like SOCKS that have to be with the seam in? LOL
I'm OCD, I know it, it's gotten better, I was a slob as a child and then got away from home and it was like egads how can you people LIVE like this? Plus I'd actually had to take care of the whole house @ home but my room was sometimes messy.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I must say I've never heard of the underwear inside-out one before. I consider my houseplants my friends, and I am wildly attractive to dogs, who strain on their leashes to get to me with huge grins on their faces. As a child I pulled out my eyelashes and once cut them short with nail scissors, but graduated to pulling out eyebrow hairs with my fingernails instead. It's a nasty habit and I would really like to quit. Now, doesn't that make you feel better about yours?