We’ve all got those special little qualities that make us all unique. I’m not talking about the tiny mole on your right hand that resembles Abe Lincoln or that one rogue strand of hair that protrudes from your chin until you realize it and pluck it immediately hoping that no one saw. No, I’m referring to those things you do that make you totally you. If what they say is true, that we all have a twin walking around some where, it is then, these “quirks” that make us all uniquely ourselves.
What’s that you say? You don’t have any quirky qualities? You’re……”normal”? First of all, what is “normal” and would you want to be and secondly, we’ve ALL got something. Look, I’ll help you out and I’ll go first.
My favorite time of the day is 12:34. Now I don’t really care if we’re talking AM or PM here, it’s the sequence of 1234 that’s important for this game. Every day, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, my little internal clock goes off and I notice that it’s 12:34. Perhaps it’s my OCD personality that causes this, but for that instant, those sixty-seconds in time, I smile knowing that everything is in order and that all is totally lined up in the Universe. (Note: For those of you playing along at home, please don’t point out the multiple time zone thing…..this is my own personal happy moment, so just go with it please.)
Still can’t come up with anything? How about this one; I cannot throw Tootsie Roll Midggie wrappers or drier sheets away until I have tied them into a knot. Yep...one knot...right in the middle and then off to the trashcan they go. Unlike 12:34, I don’t really have an exact explanation for this one other than perhaps I just feel that they look tidier this way.
If you’ve ever seen me eat M&Ms then you know what’s coming now. I feel that there is a right way and a wrong way to eat M&Ms. If we’re talking Peanut M&Ms, the correct steps would be to put one in your mouth, cut the peanut out and then squirrel it away to the side of your mouth while swallowing the chocolate and outer shell. Once you have three peanuts successfully captured and clustered together, you can chew those up and start the process all over again. I don’t even have a hypothesis as to what started that thinking process, but my explanation for plain M&Ms actually does make sense. I eat them in sets of twos: two blues, two reds, two greens, etc. Once I’ve eaten all of them in their little orderly set, I eat all the singles together in one last chomping motion. See, this way, all those singles aren’t lonely any more and won't be traveling to my stomach without a match; this way, they get to make the journey in a group.
Maybe your unique qualities aren’t this extreme. Start slow if you need to and build up to it. Qualities to this magnitude take years to properly cultivate and grow.
Are you one of those people who won’t let the food on your plate touch anything else? I’m sure you won't find this too surprising, but I actually get this one. Again for me it’s a control thing; I understand that once it all hits my stomach it all unites into one giant mass of mush for my body to process , but this way I’m still in control and the food tastes will stay separate, as they were intended to be. (Caveat – Just to be clear, this rule does not apply when eating mashed potatoes and corn as those items need mingle and become one cohesive group pre heading for my stomach because, well..just because!)
Toilet paper – we all know it goes on the toilet paper dispenser one way and one way only, right? Can I get an AMEN on this one from the crowd? Keys on your keychain and bills in your wallet...they all have to face the same way, right? High-five me on this one! Come on, don't leave me hanging!
Sigh, okay so perhaps I’m a bit extreme with some of these. Maybe everyone doesn’t bend a soda cans in the middle before they throw them away or separate their wooden utensils from their plastic utensils into different containers on their kitchen counters for aesthetic reasons. But you can’t tell me that you haven’t been sitting in someone’s office before and found yourself rearranging things on the table beside you or have never walked up to a picture that was hanging on a wall and straighten it...even if you weren’t in your own house.
I used to think I was a bit odd or strange because of these little quirks. Though now that I have daughters of my own and I am beginning to notice their own special brand of ticks, I’ve come to realize that it’s these ticks that make them unique and special. It’s these ticks that give them consistency and a sense of control in their own little Worlds. It’s these ticks that make them more interesting and entertaining to watch.
So I say, forget the name calling people! Down with the labeling of being “anti-normal”! Next time someone calls you “odd” or “eccentric” because you stopped dead in your tracks from unpacking those groceries to turn all the cans in the cabinet the same direction, turn around, smile warmly and thank them for noticing! Embrace your inner compulsive self and wear it as a badge of honor, for it is these things, these special little qualities in your character that make you uniquely you.