Written in response to the Daily Post’s Daily Prompt:
Quirk of Habit
Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or other people?
Some things just annoy the heck out of me, but because I am polite and civilized I never call people out on these niggling bits. Okay, every now and then I might say something like, “Are you a freaking idiot?” That’s polite, right?
There are two verbal tics that make me clench my jaw and grind my teeth. The first is the insertion of the phrase, “you know” into every sentence–sometimes multiple times.
Example: I was, you know, going to, you know, buy a new brassiere, but, you know, they’re just too, you know, expensive.”
You might think I’m exaggerating, but my college roommate was a world champion “you knower.” I found myself copying her speech pattern and flipping “you knows” about like pieces of confetti. When I realized what I’d done I had a long talk with myself and banned the phrase from my vocabulary. You know, I’ve been fairly, you know, successful.
The other thing that drives me crazy is hearing people, most often women, order their food in a restaurant by saying, “Could I have…?” Even if I don’t know the person, even if she is sitting two tables over I want to leap up and say, “It’s on the damned menu! Of COURSE you can have it.”
Instead I say a silent curse at whatever cultural practice makes women think they have to ask for permission to order something that is clearly available for purchase. It’s the same as our reflexive “I’m sorry” for things that aren’t our fault. I’m guilty of that one, lest you think me perfect. And I am so sorry.
Quirky habits I love? That’s a little more difficult. I love the way Studly Doright can fall asleep and begin snoring softly the minute he closes his eyes. Of course sometimes this habit falls into the annoying category if I’m unable to join him in slumber within five minutes.
Another habit I love is one found in those people who are so filled with gratitude that “thank you,” in many different forms has become habit. My friend LeeAnn is one of these people. Her conversation is peppered with sincere expressions of gratitude, “How kind!” “What a blessing!” and, “I’m so thankful.”
Likewise my friend Janie has made a habit of finding the good in every situation. She calls herself a “lucky, lucky girl” and she makes everyone else more observant of the good in their own lives.
I’m sorry, but I’m just not good at being thankful, you know. Sorry. You know, I’m working on it.