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?
“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.