let your quirk flag fly :: of trousers, toast, and trailers

May 26, 2011

So we were having a… discussion. Do you have those?  All married people have them, I suppose.  You know, our marriage would be just about perfect if I wasn’t in it.  🙂  I thought for sure I was right this time. Just one time…

But no.  As it turns out, I wasn’t right this time. In fact, after I had said my piece, Amy quietly reminded me of a few of my idiosyncracies – my own personality quirks – that transcend rational thought.  It was one of these quirks that had started all of this in the first place.

This was one of those times.  She had, through no fault of her own, stumbled unwittingly into my irrational headspace.  And therin lay the impetus for the aforementioned discussion.  I had to concede, when faced with actual facts instead of my own irrational emotional personality quirks, that – doggone it – she had a point.

And no… I’m not going into the details.  Let your imagination run rampant.  I’ll never tell.

Suffice it to say, she was dead on about a few of my personality quirks.  I didn’t see myself as an unusually quirky person… but oh yes.  I let my quirk flag fly more often than I realize. And the glory of it is, people who love me roll with it, and love me anyway.  And that is a gift.

Today, my message is this…  Most likely you have your own set of irrational quirks.  Guaranteed, the people you love have their own, as well.  My advice:  instead of butting heads against those quirks, and as long as they are not causing the rest of the family undue stress, I’m encouraging you to roll with it.  Go ahead and enable those quirks.  Yep, I’m talking full-on quirktastic co-dependancy.

Because real, powerful, life-affirming love means “who you are… I love.” And there’s plenty of time for “who you are becoming… I love, too.”  But an open discussion of personal quirks within a home or among roommates or close friends seems  like good juju to me.  Get ’em out there in the open.  Respect the quirks, baby!

Example: My mom, God bless her, is a top-calliber cook/home-maker/guest-entertainer.  People love to come to her home for meals, conversation, and good coffee.  It was a great home to grow up in.  But the kitchen is MOM’s domain.  You do not mess with the kitchen.  I repeat: you DO NOT MESS with the kitchen.  Every detail matters.  Case in point, when we load the dishwasher, knives go point down, but all other silverware must go eating-end-up, so that as the water rinses off the utinsels it runs DOWN the handle, away from the eating end.  That, right there, is a grade-A quirk, in my book. But here’s the deal… this is Mom’s passion.  The kitchen is HER arena, and she uses it to love and serve people.  And she’s great at it.  And we love her for it.  So, you know how we express our thanks and love back to momma?

We put the knives pointy-side down and the other utensils eaty-side up.

I don’t know that it makes a lick of difference, but my Mom wants it that way, so…  good times.

So, in the spirit of transparency and personal confession (which is good for the soul, I’m told – and makes for more interesting reading), here is a short list of some of my identified quirks.  Again, these may not seem rational to you, but that’s not the point.  The point is, they seem not only rational but downright IMPORTANT to me… at the time. Of course, it is also therapeutic to be self-aware enough that I can identify when my personal quirk is taking over rationality in my inter-personal interactions.  Therefore, here’s a short list from the inner-mind of Joshua Skogerboe:

(1) When beginning to do laundry (which isn’t often – Amy has to shoulder this one most of the time), I must scour the house for every piece of dirty clothes.  Like the random sock that ends up under the boy’s bed.  The baseball shirt that got wet in the rain and then hung up in the closet when mom and dad weren’t looking.  The PJ’s that my seven-year-old took off while in bed and which now are stuffed under his covers instead of in his drawer or the dirty clothes basket.  Before I begin, I want to get EVERYTHING together so it can be properly sorted into piles before the process begins.  I know it’s borderline OCD.  I know.  And we have five rowdy boys who, unless herded with a cattle prod, tend to shed their clothes in a moving explosion of laundry, leaving a trail behind them.  So my quirk sometimes needs to take backseat to reason to keep that laundry train a’ movin’.

(2)  We must eat hot food. This increases exponentially (a) when I cook it, or (b) if I have cooked it upon the grill, or especially (c) if the meal involves eggs or toast.  This is peculiar to me in a frighteningly irrational way when it comes to eggs and toast.  I would prefer the toast to jump hot out of the toaster into my mouth before it cools in any way.  This way I can savor the toasty crunch of the golden brown outer shell and still enjoy the soft core…  Mmmmm, toast.  But let’s say I put bread into the toaster and get sidetracked with another task, allowing the bread to pop up and sit in said toaster for more than 14 seconds.  No good.  Bad juju. The toast must be thrown out.  I know.  Starving kids in China.  Consumerism run amok.  I’m evil and wasteful and bad.  But dude… you GOTTA eat fresh toast.  And that is all.

(3) When the family is going to watch a movie, there must be no extraneous shuffling about or donning of jammies or last minute drinks of juice while the previews run.  No how. The trailers are sacred nuggets of extra enjoyment BEFORE the actual movie gets started, and I’m not about to concede this moment of extra goodness.  Now you kids SIT DOWN and CLOSE YOUR YAPPING MAWS and I mean NOW!  We’re going to have some FUN around here, or ELSE!  Keep on talkin’… that’s it.  I don’t care if you have to pee.  WE ARE HAVING FUN RIGHT NOW or, so help me,  I’m going to send you to your room for the week with nothing but gruel and  cold toast!  …wait. Did I say that out loud?  Sorry.  Quirk alert.

Ahhh.  I feel better. Not so much for my confession of irrationality but for the fact that many of you now, surely, are nodding your heads in silent approval.  Darn right you get every piece of laundry. No doubt eggs and toast must be consumed within seconds of leaving their implement of cookery.  Doggone straight the DVD trailers on family movie night are sacred and must be enjoyed silently or else.  Can I get an AMEN?!

OK, your turn… confession is good for you.  Besides, we want to laugh at you.  Or WITH you, I mean.  What are YOUR quirks?

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“let your quirk flag fly :: of trousers, toast, and trailers” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


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Psalm 24:7 & Luke 10:42 >> Like David, and Mary, I'm in pursuit of my one thing. I'm the Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL. Pastor, teacher, writer, communicator, designer, and drummer. I definitely got the better deal in my marriage to Amy. And I couldn't be any more proud of my five amazing boys. Deeply grateful.

6 responses to let your quirk flag fly :: of trousers, toast, and trailers

  1. “Quirktastic” !! yes. I only know you through this blog, and I know you are quirky. 🙂 I bet Amy knows a lot. 😀 I also know you let it fly.

    My personality (ENFP) wants to be known. Not all do. Someone who knows me, recognizes quirks, brings them to light, makes fun of them in a playful way, or even mimics my quirks, loves me. Know my quirks = love. If they are negative, help me, encourage me. Make it come out your mouth, and you’ll get better or best from me.

    My favorite people have obvious and numerous quirks 🙂

    Also, if you think you DON’T have quirks, strenghts, weaknesses, or things that work well or WILL NOT WORK for relationships, marriage, or His glory, USE someone who knows you as a mirror. You’ll become aware!! You’ll also meet people who have changed, overcome, or even share joy in having an incurable quirk. Start an “I am the messiest guy I know, but I have to have all my shirts facing the same direction in the closet” club. I’m glad I’m not a member of “that club” 😉

    Check the defensiveness. Use another person for a mirror. Hold what they say to the light of God to check it, but “how am I?” or “how are we?” reduces the tension of somone having to ask for an improvement which makes some people shut down, starting a cycle.

    Oh, wait. I’m “that club”‘s am that aligned shirt club’s president. Mess, OK. I can’t handle dirt, but I can handle not knowing where anything is. 🙂 Love a good mystery. Love a good misunderstanding, love a good risk, talk, and coming together and laughing/healing. Love. Not all do. Quirk me.

    (squirrel) HAY!!! How come you get to highlight in blue, and we don’t!!!

    Thanks for posting. Quirk me, Brother Josh.

    • You know that club you talk about, where the bottom of the closet may be an archeological dig but the shirts MUST face the same direction… Check your membership card. Pretty sure I’m the President. 🙂

      Thanks Kevin. God bless, brother.

  2. Josh, you scour for all socks, a hidden baseball shirt, but do you get a towel or robe and wear it, so you can get the LAST pair of undies in the wash? Oops. 🙂

    I save things until the last minute, not because I procrastinate, but because I like a challenge. I create the supposed “almost impossible”, and then do it. sometimes I fail, but the estimation of effort is fascinating. My personality needs a challenge.

    I like seeing progress. I like a good messy garage or room going from “worst to first”.

    Throw a puzzle on the table, and I’m on it. 4AM? No problem. I hate that. I feel I have wasted time when done.

    I take pictures of everything, including food.

    I like ketchup on eggs. I like ketchup a lot.

    • I’ve got to get that last pair of undies in the wash – but I don’t even bother with a towel or robe. I know – TMI…

  3. Erika…Bwahahahaha! (So many other comments I will keep to myself) 🙂

    Quirks? Me? Ok, here’s a few:

    1. I must sleep on the left side of the bed. I toss and turn & have strange dreams if I sleep on the right. Fortunately, Kurt is ok with the right side.

    2. SO with ya on the laundry! I too must find every single solitary piece of dirty laundry in the entire house and then am frustrated when I realize I won’t be able to also wash the clothes we are all wearing. Funny thing is, I never seem to actually get it all done in one day anyway…but I start the same process of hunting down that last sock the next day. And, yes, the shirts/dresses must hang facing left & towels must be folded the same way with folded side facing the cabinet opening.

    3. I have 2 drawers in my kitchen with miscellaneous kitchen utensils scattered about…but every knife in the block has the sharp side facing right.

    Really, the list could go on & on but I’ll spare you. Have a great weekend!!!


  4. hahaha. Yesterday morning I forgot about my toast — “bad juju” is right.

    I don’t really resonate with all the laundry hullabaloo or the particularities about dishes. Actually, I think that everything that every OCD person IS, I am NOT.

    The one thing I can think of, though, is when I’m listening to music in the car — especially if it’s a great song — the car (and music, along with it) can ONLY be turned off at certain points. For example, while pulling the keys from the ignition might be ok right AFTER the Chorus and right BEFORE the second verse, MID-second verse or MID chorus (or mid-beat!) is NOT OK. Definitely throws me off big time.

    Also, always take the free stuff and only eat your shredded wheat when slightly mushy.
    I think that’s it for quirks. Otherwise, I am very normal.