Random quirky things about this writer and teacher educator

We all have quirks, those peculiarities that make us even more decidedly unique as human beings.  I’m curious about those things that others identify as their quirks.  Here are some of mine.

  1. I inconsistently reverse numbers and letters:  Es become 3s; 6 becomes a 9; 5 becomes a 6; angels become angles and vice versa.  After a bit of a careful analysis of old journals, this seems to have started in my late teens/early twenties.  It often makes calling people on the phone a challenge. 
  2. I don’t like calling people on the phone.  I generally have enough bandwidth for phone conversations with my parents, younger brother, my one sister (I’m one of 10 siblings – play, full and half.  Family is complicated for me and also not.), my niece, and my one long time friend who I talk to once a year or so for an hour.  I prefer to text, email, Facebook message, and direct message on Twitter … anything other than over the phone.  
  3. I also shorten words with -ing endings when writing:  bringing, for example, often becomes bring within my journals. 
  4. When I am writing in cursive, I often also omit “m”s and “n”s.  Bringing might become brig, when I am writing quickly.  
  5. As a middle school aged student, I got tired of people reading or attempting to read my journal over my shoulder, so I created a pictograph system.  I kept journals in that system throughout high school and occasionally have sections of my journals in it.  I still practice it, just to make sure that I remember it so that I can read old journals.  After I memorized the system, I destroyed the key.
  6. I also used to be fascinated by Leonardo da Vinci and his practice of writing in backwards, such that his work could only be read using a mirror.  I developed that practice as a teenager and kept several journals that way.  This, too, is a practice that I engage in occasionally at meetings when I’m bored or dismayed at the flow of the meeting. 
  7. At one point, I could write in fairly fluent French.  I have a whole section of a journal in French, which I can no longer read.  This is incredibly frustrating.  
  8. I am now 36 and only recently have I been able to leave my bedroom door open.  In fact, I close all doors when I have have left a room.  I will occasionally keep them open when I am just in a room working, but I always close them when sleeping.  Now the dog is allowed into our bedroom, and she is the best alert dog ever.  I feel comfortable sleeping with the door slightly ajar so that she can move through the night.  Once, when my house was robbed, I immediately knew something was wrong, not by what was taken, which wasn’t much; it was that there were doors open and a light on.  I never do either when I leave the house.
  9. My thumbnails are only half developed.  Where most people have a full nail, I have half of that on both thumbs.  The other side is hardened skin.  When I get my nails done, technicians always want to cover it with a fake nail.  Most people don’t even notice it; it’s usually children who do.  I have to keep those nails short, though my other nails might grow long, because I’m clumsy and hit things often.  Unfortunately, if I hit them hard enough, they will tear off and take the skin underneath with them.  As a kid, I would always have to dig pieces of nail out of my thumbs so that they could heal, because I would forget to keep my nails trimmed.  Also, I have these little slivers of nails on the other sides.  They are just these little spikes that, if not trimmed, can be pulled out.  Also, a bloody and painful travesty … so I keep my thumb nails trimmed.  
  10. I have a pathological fear of zombies … and yet I consistently watch all the new zombie movies that come out.  This started with watching Night of the Living Dead in black and white from the stairs of my childhood home when we had just moved in.  I was 3.  Night of the Living Dead was filmed near my mother’s hometown.  When I lived in Las Vegas, years later as an adult, I watched Resident Evil, the one that was set in Las Vegas.  I couldn’t turn off the garage light after getting in my car and opening the garage door for weeks.  Just the idea of leaving the safety of my vehicle at dawn was too much.  When I taught overseas, I told my middle school students about my pathological fear … one, being a bit of a smart alec (and also brilliant and generous), loaned me his copy of The Zombie Survival Guide.  I took mental notes and was pleased to learn that living in an apartment building was not a bad place to be.  
  11. I have an overactive imagination. 
  12. I once created a story about a ghost named Juan that I told with such detail in high school that the people I was with actually believed that I could speak to the dead.  
  13. I have an overactive imagination and a great storytelling sense.
  14. I prefer to eat hard boiled eggs with spicy mustard and sauerkraut. 
  15. A well-made hot toddy will bring me to tears with happiness.  
  16. I am extremely sensitive to spaces with crowds and need to have structured alone time anything more than two hours.  Conferences can be hard spaces for me.  Too many people, too many emotions, too much stimulation.
  17. With too much sugar, I get tired; this also happens with caffeine (usually).  
  18. I love to walk barefoot so much that I bought Vibram shoes, which simulate the experience of walking barefoot.  I wore these to my first and second date with my husband.  He noticed them on the second date and called them tacky shoes.   
  19. I have a collection of well over 100 scarves; about 40 of them are sarongs/pareos.  I have been known to wear them as shirts, skirts, dresses, head wraps, and to use them as purses, beach towels, regular towels, laundry bags, curtains, etc.  Give me a bit of fabric and I will have an outfit in no time.  This also, before I was an academic, allowed me to travel for up to two weeks with a backpack or smaller.  
  20. Though I am not the neatest person, I can be obsessive about small places.  My closet, for example, is organized by skirt, dress, shirt, sweater and within those categories, by color, light to dark.   
  21. When I am watching anything on television, I can become so absorbed as to not be aware of my surroundings or hear those speaking to me.  That said, I become oblivious to commercials.  I hold onto the story of the show only.  
#twt, #33of52, #52essays2017

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