Quirky
by Jen Hatmaker on December 12th, 2011

About this time of year, I become terribly enamored with people’s End of Year Lists shared on the interwebs (Top Ten Books I Read in 2011, Top Five Influencers in My Life This Year, Top Twenty Songs that Mattered in 2011). These blogs and articles discuss issues that matter, helping humanity evolve into a kinder, braver species. They give readers edifying information, important thinkers to listen to, profound books to read, noteworthy leaders to follow. These writers take their platforms and use their influence for great good. I admire them so much.

I’m joining their ranks, but with *slightly* less necessary information.

People, I have issues, and I believe it is time to air them. I’ve covered plenty of serious material on this blog, like this and this and this. I might have even tricked some readers into believing I operate only in deep thoughts and serious scholarship. Some of you haven’t recovered from my last post, when my family jumped off Santa’s sleigh and half the world came apart at the seams (let it never be said that I don’t employ a healthy amount of melodrama). So it’s time for some lighter fare, or as one of my commenters said on a previous blog about adoption: “You are the worst writer I’ve ever seen! This is exactly what I would expect from a girl from Texas, land of big hair bows and empty brains.” Good reader, I shall dabble in that of which you speak.

Here’s the deal: I’m plagued by a few idiosyncrasies, certain quirks, if you will. I exhibit some behaviors and tendencies that cause people to say, “Really? Get a grip.” I’m daring to believe there are more of you out there, and hear me say right up front: I expect you to offer some quid pro quo at the end of this little piece, because nothing fuels our eccentricities more than another human saying, “You think that’s weird? I’ve saved all my toenail clippings since 1991.”

So without further ado, I give you: Jen’s Five Top Quirks of 2011 (ok, and forever):

1. I’ve let on that I’m not a hovering Mama. My kids slide down banisters and build skateboard ramps and shoot each other with airsoft guns. I parent this behavior by saying, “Don’t cry about it if you get hurt. Or cry in your room where I can’t hear you.” But I have two issues that make me a candidate for Most Neurotic, Controlling Mom Ever: my kids’ sleep and their body temperature.

Since the day they were born, I’ve been a sleep Nazi. I count their hours. I watch the clock. When someone with credentials said, “Children needed ten hours of sleep at night. Believe me”…I did. I believed. I’m a believer. I enjoy my true comfort zone when they get twelve hours. I spaz out – one might say irrationally – when bedtime boundaries get pushed past my liking: “OHMYWORD. It’s 10:13pm and Gavin is still up. We might as well keep him home tomorrow, because he will not be able to lift his head from exhaustion.” I am a freak about a good night’s sleep. A full freak.

Also? I have a very weird fixation about their body temperature. Are you hot? Are you cold? Are you feeling chilly? Are you overheating? Do you need a coat? Where is your coat? Give me your coat. Are you hot? Take off your undershirt. Do you need some water? Do you need to sit in the shade? Do you need to sit in the sun? Do you have enough blankets? Is this blanket too heavy? If you get hot, push this blanket down. If you get cold, here is an extra blanket. Are you hands cold? Are your feet hot? You need a hat. Put on this hat. You can’t go out if you don’t wear this hat. Take off your hat; it’s too hot outside.

After asking Ben about his heat level 28 times from the sidelines at his soccer game, my friend Tonya was like, “Oh my gosh, Jen! Crazy alert! Leave him alone! You are even freaking me out.” I believe she was one second away from slapping me across the face.

I evidently don’t care a whit about other issues, for example, safety or ingesting poisons. This clearly doesn’t bother me:
"Don't worry, Babe. The eleven-year-old is in charge."

My kids could jump from a second-story window onto a mattress below while testing the feasibility of wind-resistant capes/umbrellas, and I believe my only concern would be if they were getting too hot or if was getting too close to bedtime.

2. For nearly my entire adult life, I’ve lived in Austin, “Live Music Capital of the World.” We are chock-full of serious musicians and indy singer-songwriters. We have actual producers and artists in our immediate friend circle. I can listen to interesting, unique, creative music any night of the week at two-dozen different venues. Austin hosts ACL and SXSW, two of the best music festivals in the country. This is a city where musical taste matters and is evaluated as a potential character flaw.

I love Top 40.

Like, love it. The sillier, the boppier, the more likely a twelve-year-old girl will have their poster on her walls, the higher the band is on my Love List. If it’s in Tiger Beat, I’m down. Almost every song I love ends up on a Kidz Bop CD. My musical preferences are fully juvenile and unsophisticated. My friends groove to bands called My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes, discussing the genius of the songwriting and creative brilliance. You know what I love? A sixteen-year old covering a Bruno Mars song on American Idol. (My friend Andy is a musician’s musician, and when Brandon mentioned my AI obsession and Andy gave me that look, I yelled at Brandon, “Why did you out me! I want him to take me seriously and now he pities me!”) Sydney, my sixth grader, and I were talking to a friend who casually mentioned Maroon 5 was coming to Austin, and we screamed in unison, “OH MY GAH!!!!”

Yes, I turn the channel when the raunchy fare comes on, and even I cannot listen to K$sha, but Flo Rida? Get in my ears. And don't mind me while I dance and sing at the top of my lungs. Whatever. This is my jam, keep me partying till the a.m. Yall don’t understand, make me throw my hands in the ayer, ay-ayer, ayer, ay-ayer…

3. This is unfortunate, because I’ve gone and put five kids in this family, but I have a teeny, tiny issue with sound. I call it Noise Pollution, and it makes me a little bit of a crazy person. White, background noise has been known to make me unravel like a lunatic. My family has been carrying on, just going about their business, talking to each other with a show on the TV and living a normal life, when all of a sudden, with no warning or even any red flags indicating an impending meltdown, I’ve flown into their midst like the Wicked Witch snatching remote controls out of hands, turning off every beeping, clicking, humming, buzzing, ticking electronic or instrument offending me, yelling at everyone about appropriate sound levels and demanding to know if they think causing deafness and anxiety in other human beings is acceptable. Usually, six bewildered people look back at me with mouths hanging open, as it might appear the punishment did not fit the crime.

Except that it so did.

The amount of sound trapped in my car between kids + music has actually made me consider sticking knitting needles into my eardrums. Once, the unceasing noise enclosed in the small space of my car pushed me to such despair, I pulled over on the side of I-35, locked my children in the car, walked fifty feet away and sat in the grass bawling, while my kids pressed their faces to the windows mouthing, “MOMMY! MOMMY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING, MOMMY?!”

I cannot write one word, not one, if there is a single decibel of sound in the room. What? Try a little quiet Adele in the background? Are you trying to sabotage my career? Because that is what would happen. I would start typing song lyrics and lose fifteen minutes thinking about how to kidnap Adele and lock her in my closet and make her sing to me whenever I just feel like rolling in the deep because no one in my house understands me. I need an empty, dead silent house to eek out a ten-word sentence, so when “someone” who lives here with me, who doesn’t go to school and is sometimes home during the day when the quiet space is possible keeps asking me questions like how do you spell in lieu of and did you put that thing in our shared iCalendar and I’m thinking about getting a new tattoo, I might accidentally come freaking unglued and threaten to move into an apartment. (This scenario is hypothetical.) (No it’s not.)

4. I love humor. I love to laugh. I love funny, stupid movies. I love funny people. I love sarcasm and banter. I love witticisms. I love Will Ferrell. I love banal comedy. I am a recent convert to Melissa McCarthy and plan to be her loyal disciple until I die. I believe laughter is the best medicine, and laugh and the world laughs with you, or some such.

But I cannot handle pranks. Can. Not. Even. Handle. Them.

Remember The Tom Green Show and Punk’d and The Jamie Kennedy Experiment? These shows almost put me into a coma. When a bunch of people are in on it, and one person doesn’t know it, and they are forced into an awkward/horrifying/embarrassing/confusing/distressing situation, AND IT IS BEING FILMED, I start praying for the rapture. My anxiety goes straight through the roof. I spontaneously develop hysterical psychosis.

When we were caught in massive delays for our son’s adoption, my friend Missy decided to post a funny Youtube video on my Facebook wall every day until we passed court. It was her Youtube Ministry, and it gave us such gems as this:
This made me happy for like 11 hours.

But a couple of months in, she started posting some prank videos, and they strangely drew no response from me. Finally she was like, What up, Mrs. Ungrateful?? That video was GOLD and you didn’t even comment! And I was all, I JUST CAN’T DO IT, OKAY? *in a small voice*…I couldn’t even watch. Then she was like, you’re weird, weirdo.

So please just note, if you invite me in on a prank, I will be voted Most Likely To Prematurely Yell At The Top Of My Lungs:

It’s not true! She’s not really hurt!
Oh my gosh! It’s not even your real car!
The waiter is an actor!
Don’t cuss! He’s not cheating on you!

I will ruin the prank. Count on it. And if you pull one on me, you’re dead to me.

5. So, I hate good-byes. And not just the legitimate kind like when someone is moving to Boston or going back home after visiting. I just hate them all. I can’t explain this. I am absolutely that person who slips out of a party like a ninja rather than doing a big good-bye scene, which if you’re still with me and on your toes, you might recognize is WAY WORSE. If my purse is in the hostess’s line of vision and Brandon won’t indulge my eccentric exit habits by getting it for me, I will leave it behind and make her put it on her porch where I can retrieve it the next day. I can’t tell you how many texts like these I’ve received:

Hey! Where did you go?
Did you leave?
What happened to you?
Did someone kidnap you? Are you in a trunk?

Even if I am 100% positive that this is the last time I’ll see you for a year, your bags are packed and in your car, which is running, and everyone is buckled in except you, your husband is giving the wrap-it-up gesture, and we’re standing in front of your sold house where the moving van just pulled away to head to your new life in Atlanta, I will say, “Let’s just talk later. I’ll see you before you leave.” I will say this. I will find a way to not have the good-bye moment, even if it is clearly, clearly the good-bye moment.

I can talk in front of 5000 people without so much as twitch, but give me a farewell to navigate and I shut down, a tad bit fixated on just getting away to a safe place where no one is saying the good-bye words and/or watching me say the good-bye words and I’m just nice and happy in my own home, even though Brandon is all, knock it off and stop being rude and just get in there and say good-bye, and I’m like, I DON’T WANT TO AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME. I am like Rain Man and Brandon cannot handle my neuroses:

Charlie: What's it going to be Ray? What's it going to be?
Raymond: This is a very dangerous highway.
Charlie: How am I going to get to LA?
Raymond: Course driving your car on this interstate is very dangerous.
Charlie: You want to get off the highway will that make you happy?
Raymond: Yeah.
Charlie: Well, you gotta GET IN THE CAR SO THAT WE CAN GET OFF THE HIGHWAY!
Raymond: Course in 1986, 46,400 male drivers were definitely involved in fatal accidents.

Please someone diagnose what sort of weird social disorder I have.



So there you are, folks, the top five. Please trust me, there are many, many others, some that make even less sense than these. (I didn't even mention my physical need to use italics and ellipses. I can't explain my need to emote.) Now your job is to share your "issues," because I know you people are weirdos. I cannot be the only one.

What are your quirks, tendencies, neuroses, or bizarre fixations? And if you say “my strangest habit is being too kind,” I will delete your response. Fo’ realz. Spill it.


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383 Comments
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cori - December 22nd, 2011 at 9:32 AM
I can so out-weird your list! I have so many quirks, I'm wondering if they're not quirks any more, maybe someone out there has named a disorder in my honor. :)

I'm totally with you on the complete quiet thing while writing. I totally write whatever I hear. If one of my people is even just sitting next to me, staring at me while I'm typing, I can't focus. They've even resorted to writing what they want/need on little sticky notes and sliding them within my range of vision - this too, ruins my train of thought.

And along the lines of noise pollution...all I have to say is YES! YES! YES!!! I'm so there. Except I have this other little thing that happens when there is too much noise going on, I start getting VERY confused. It's funny you mention RainMan because that is exactly what I start to do. I start hitting my head and calling out "V.E.R.N - V.E.R.N". It's very apropos. I can't think...I literally cannot but words together to make a sentence. I have this 'gift' of being able to hear every word being spoken around me. So in essence, I'm not really paying attention to any one conversation, but all of them. I'm a blast to talk to. It's also very MONK-ish. He likes to say "it's a gift and a curse - but mostly a gift". How I relate. :)

3. If you scare me - I will hurt you. Seriously. Even if you're my child. If someone jumps out behind a bush or a wall or a door, I start hitting them with my elbows. Why my elbows you might ask, because they're as pointy as a nail and when inserted between shoulder blades, they get the message across loud and clear. Don't even get me started on a tickle fight.

4. I can't small talk. My mind goes blank, I start to stutter, I get all flushed. It's bad. I can talk one on one for hours. But put me in a room with 5 other people and I'd rather blend into the wall. It's so bad that my dearest friend sent me a book for Christmas entitled: "Conversation Tips For the Small Talk Challenged". That's true friend.

5. Lastly, I get paranoid. VERY easily. All you need to know is right here: http://www.mommystories.blogspot.com/2004/07/just-call-me-paranoid.html


I love your blog. I love your heart. I love your realness and your love of the Lord.
May the Lord bless you and keep you


Carolyn - December 27th, 2011 at 2:15 PM
For pt number 4, have you ever looked at introvert/extrovert personality types? Reading this hilarious article http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/2696/ and the book Introverts in the Church have really blessed me this year.

I have the same 2-4, so as Luna from Harry potter would say, "you're just as sane as I am.". Haha
1 hot mama - December 22nd, 2011 at 3:02 PM
I don't want to scare you, but we may have been separated at birth. :-)
Jessica - December 24th, 2011 at 1:42 PM
I feel the same about the noise, unless it's noise I'm making. I must tell my husband to turn down the volume on the TV at least 25 times a day. He could mute it and I'd tell him to turn it down. I wish I knew how to turn down the volume on him doing dishes and laundry - but then I just remember I'm lucky to have a husband who does the dishes and laundry, and try to ignore it :)

I hate when I'm on the phone with someone, and another person tries to talk to me in person. I literally can't hear either of them when they do that, and then have to get both of them to stop talking.
Mindi - December 27th, 2011 at 2:48 PM
1. I am obsessed with the number 3 and judge the virtue of a task by my ability to "reach 3"; I force it if I have to (numbers divisible by 3 are lovely, too). For example, my bar exam number was 1981. Convinced I would fail if I did not reach 3, I devised the following formula: 1plus 9 equals 10 minus 8 equals 2 plus 1 equals 3. Voila! Weirdo. My son was born just before midnight on November 27. I was panicked he would be born after midnight because 2 plus 7 equals 9, a number divisible by 3. Like several number freaks above, I am not in a career related to math, for which this might be an asset. I'm an attorney.

2. I memorize the license plate numbers of cars with suspicious looking people in them and quiz myself on them. I watch the news and scan the paper for any crimes that might have involved these vehicles. I grew up on a dirt road, and our house was robbed three times growing up. I started doing this for all vehicles on the dirt road way back when. Though 16 years have passed since I lived on that dirt road, the quirk persists.

3. I have buried my loved ones mentally more times than I can count. Pre cell phone days, when my parents would come home later than expected (why was I the one waiting up??), I would convince myself they died in a car accident on the way home. I'd have their burial clothes, caskets, and speakers picked out by the time they got home (safely). If I can't reach my husband on his cell phone, I'll invent a cause of death. Same thing: pick out the burial clothes (and funeral suit for me), find a way to break the news to his parents and our son, pick out the city I'm moving to because it would be too painful to stay here, etc. Crazy irrational.
Cyndi - December 31st, 2011 at 12:42 PM
Jen, I've just discovered you...and I am so blessed that I did. This post made me laugh because I'm right with you on some of this! I too am a noise freak, which is unfortunate, because we are missionaries in what I am convinced is the loudest place on the planet. I dread anything that even closely resembles a holiday because I know that it will be fireworks and loud (really bad!) music and horns honking and people outside until all hours just being...loud. Even my anti-anxiety medicine doesn't take care of this one!

I have been a complete freak about my kids and their sleep habits since child #1 entered this world almost 20 years ago. Poor guy is a junior in college and I still call him to see if he's sleeping like he should be. For future reference-it is not appreciated. -_-

I cannot handle goodbyes, and living on the mission field is pretty much one big goodbye. I avoid the person who is leaving for weeks ahead of their departure, just to not have to actually say the word "goodbye". And it doesn't have to be someone I was close to-we've just said goodbye to so many people over the years that I can't handle it for anything!

Thank you for blessing my day. Have a wonderful New Year!
Brandi Mcfadden - December 31st, 2011 at 3:00 PM
I wrote a blog post about my 5 freakish things! www.mcfaddengirls.blogspot.com
Haley - January 2nd, 2012 at 9:40 PM
I think we are the same person- except you are an AMAZING writer and hilarious!! I also avoid goodbyes at all costs and HATE pranks. For a long time I coudn't watch "The Office" because I felt SO BAD for Michael Scott, it was like watching a prank show and I wanted to save him from humiliation.

I LOVE your blog. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. My little sister is adopted through foster care and has lots of questions/insecurity and I read the last like 10 blogs outloud to her (and my mom) and we were all three laughing our heads off. And I think it was good for my sister to hear about another family in a similary situation. Annnnnnd she has a crush on your son in the video fyi. Everytime I mention your blog she bursts into a wide smile and blushes. *sigh. She is such a drama queen! ;)

My husband and I have a little girl and are discussing adoption- we have our first informational meeting this month and we are SO EXCITED! Thank you for your blog, your honesty, and your awesomeness!
Krista - January 16th, 2012 at 5:28 AM
I assign gender and human personality to eeehhhverything. Spoons are female, grass is male. Forks and knives are both male, obviously. And incidentally, knife is really jealous of fork because spoon is into fork. Like, she hopes he proposes soon! Poor knife :( Sofas are female, carrots are male. Cars are either, depending on their headlights--- its all in "the eyes" how you can tell a female Honda from a male Dodge. (It's so bizarre and I can't even think of when I started doing it!)

 I'm also obsessed with names. As a kid, I kept name journals for all my Barbies. And my favorite baby doll I named Chevrolet. 

This is so cathartic! I'm typing in the middle of the night all my KAHH-raaazy mentalness! (iPhone just autocorrected that to "mental mess" which is EXACTLY what it is!!!! Go iPhone it's your birthday! You're smarter, than me!) 

I also can't EVEN function if the thermostat is set on an odd number. The hubby hates this! He's convinced the difference between 72 and 71 degrees is like $4 on the bill. Seriously??? And the $4 is totally worth it! 

I also have to press my car alarm button 3 times. It does its little mini-honk 3 times and I'm secure knowing I've overly locked my car!
Aly - December 30th, 2013 at 9:04 PM
I'm a 3 beeper too. I will give my husband "the look" until he beeps it 2 more times for me if he's locking the doors.
Heather - January 25th, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Wow--I love this post!!! I have to say that I TOTALLY relate! Since I've had kids, I have become such a sleep Nazi myself. I get angry inside when other particular people watch my kids and do not abide by the exact schedule! It's like a volcano erupting inside of me and I try so hard not to blow my top. I also can't handle when others put my dishes away and put them in the wrong places!! It drives me crazy and I will lose sleep on it until I fix it. Oh, and please wipe off your butter knives before you put them in the dish washer!!

Jen--I love reading your blog and your books! I've just recently been introduced to you and I can not tell you how similar we are! It is actually a relief to know that I'm not the only one in this world! Thank you for being an inspiration to me!
Lexie H - January 27th, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I simply love you. That's all. I wish I was your next door neighbor. Except that then there would be two of us, and no block needs or wants that. Not even in Austin!
Ron - February 22nd, 2012 at 10:50 AM
I can not help myself... I am sorry, truly. But ...supposably is a word. Despite what a spell-check might say, all major recognized dictionaries include the adverbial form of supposable (adj). So it is some thing that carried the quality of (adv form) the ability to be (adj form) supposed.nI really am sorry, I just can't help myself
Halli - July 28th, 2012 at 3:00 PM
I just discovered your blog and I love this one ti mademe laugh and now I have to share.

1. Toothpaste has to be squeezed from the bottom. My brother and I shared a bathroom and toothpaste. He would squeeze from the middle and it would drive me crazy! We eventually bought separate toothpaste! Also I brush my teeth in the shower and my toothbrush has to have a cap. I can't stand it if my toothbrush is "naked". One other thing I can't stand it when people swallow toothpaste. I could not be in the bathroom with my best friend while she brushed her teeth because she kept going until this wasn't any toothpaste left! Ugh! Spit and rinse, spit and rinse!

2. I need increments of 5. I have had friends that set their alarms on 6:32. What?!? Add 3 minutes or take 2 minutes away!

3. I hate wearing shoes and socks. I love going outside barefoot and will do so even in cold weather. I cannot wear socks to bed. I will end up taking them off in the middle of the night in a dead sleep. Also I must sleep with my Snuggie and my pillow cases have to be facing the right way and the tag must be on the inside of the pillow case.

4. Important dates (graduation, weddings, etc.) need to be on an even number or an increment of five. Otherwise it drives me crazy. When I get married the date will have to be even numbered.

5. I use...in every text at least once, sometimes twice. I use them in FB statuses and when I am writing papers. Love them...

6. I can make almost any situation into a FRIENDS reference. It's completely bizarre.

7. I remember names immediately. I will meet you once and not see you again for 4 months and I'll still remember your name. I think it is so weird so I will pretend not to remember it because I don't want you to think I'm some kind of crazy stalker.

8. I can't stand the sound of a metal fork scraping on a glass plate. It sends shivers up and down my spine and makes me want to vomit! Also I hate the words "moist" and "asphalt". Just thinking and typing those words make me want to gag.

9. I have to have background noise at all times. I sleep with a fan, I study with music, when I am alone in my home the TV is on whether I am watching it or not. Silence is NOT golden.

10. I cannot and will not use the first stall in a bathroom. Uh-uh, no way. I hate hand dryers and will go out of my way to use a paper towel. How am I supposed to get the door open after I have washed my hands if there is no paper towel? On the same lines...I will not high five. I work with kids and I have seen them do some completely disgusting things with their hands and then want a high five. I'm almost dry heaving just thinking about it. I will do a fist bump, but then will immediately use hand sanitizer afterwards.

11. I will watch the same move over and over and over again (I went to see The Hunger Games 5 times). I do the same thing with music. When I like something I will watch/listen/read it over and over again until everyone around me is sick of it. When I was five I watched The Neverending Story everyday. My dad stayed with me during the day because he worked nights. I drove him crazy...

12. My work space has to be neat and organized. Everything is labeled and has its own place. I will know if you have touched something. My clipboard is the same way. My house may be fralling apart at the seams, but my work place is neat!


Karla - January 2nd, 2014 at 2:26 AM
I remember names immediately too. My pastor-hubby forgets names of people he's known for years, never mind people he's just met. I remember names of people when I can't remember their faces even.
Skerrib - December 30th, 2013 at 11:35 AM
I freak out about life nearly every Thursday. Then by Friday I'm all sunshine and rainbows again.
elizabeth - December 30th, 2013 at 11:40 AM
My mother dropped me off at college by saying "i'm gonna run to walmart" and never returning. I get it.
Dawn - December 31st, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Oh this one makes me sad. :( and its funny too!
Cissy - January 4th, 2014 at 4:40 PM
I may have to use this....I have a daughter going to college in August.
Susanne K - December 30th, 2013 at 11:43 AM
my top 5
1.) I like all sorts of fruits but you'd better not mix them together on me, I will not eat fruit salad, fruit cocktail...not one bite
2.) I'm a noise pollution freak too...I like background noise ok but one weird toy going off in their closet or toy bucket and I lose it.
3.)also don't like pranks but love other funny things and people...just not Will Ferrell. please God no Will Ferrell
4.) I love all kinds of music w/ the exception of rap and heavy metal...put a rapper in a country song and I will turn it off immediately
5.) I love peppermint and chocolate but do not mix them together on me....never. Those are my top 5 but I have many more also.
Rebecca H - December 30th, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Choking. I am neurotically and acutely aware of the possibility that anyone besides myself could at any moment and without warning choke. The 1 year old on his minisculely-chopped up grapes, the dog on a banned-from-this-house rawhide, the husband on his cough drop.
"Sit at 90 degrees while you suck on that!"
"I can't believe you put that WHOLE orange slice in your mouth!!"
"Why didn't you chew the recommended 18 times before you swallowed that minced up piece of steak?!"
- I never actually speak these things, but I think them LOUD AND CLEAR. When in a restaurant (or church, bc let's be honest, there's a lot of coughdrop poppers in church), I review the p's and q's of the heimlich menauver in my head, and I sit with shifty eyes, waiting for a helpless soul to cross their hands in the universal choking signal.
One day, my son's take to school lunch will probably be blended, as he will have to consume it outside of my watchful, heimlich-prepared eye. And when he marries, I will likely gift his wife a Vitamix.
Not really.
Okay maybe.
PS -- Jen, go with Ka-Rip! (From a fellow Bison!)
Heather - December 30th, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Yes. Yes yes yes. And I think a Vitamax is the PERFECT gift for college bound children. I'm going to start a special little Vitamax savings account so I can get my kids the deluxe models in several years.
cindy - December 30th, 2013 at 8:46 PM
My kids think I am CRAZY because I wouldn't let them eat anything but yogurt or pudding for a snack for fear they would choke while home alone. I even let my son have ice cream for breakfast because it was less stressful for me than thinking of him eating cereal or toast.
Erin Pickens - December 30th, 2013 at 11:47 AM
All of the canned goods have to be in neat rows with the labels facing out.

I have an obsession with my kids' noses. They must be booger free at all times! Same for cleaning their eyes...

I can't stand to hear plastic rustling or metal utensils scraping on dishes... Makes my bottom teeth itch!

I will straighten the bed covers in the middle of the night. My husband can't stand this, but after 15 years, he's able to go back to sleep quickly!
K Smith - December 30th, 2013 at 12:04 PM
This is awesome! And, oddly enough, I'm smiling because I've been waiting for an opportunity to share my quirks!!
1. I can't drink water or tea from a straw. Only soda's.
2. Certain foods are not "breakfast foods" and should not be eaten prior to lunch. They are chicken, ketchup, mayo and green vegetables.
3. Birthday and Christmas presents are meant for the day of the occasion. It just about pushes my over the edge when I see someone give an "early" Christmas present (like in November) to someone they actually live with. My whole entire family has learned to abide by this simple rule :) thankfully!
4. I never watch a movie more than once. I don't understand why you would by a DVD of a movie...what a waste of money.

Kelly S. - December 30th, 2013 at 12:09 PM
So glad to know I am part of a large universe of fabulously quirky people!
1. I love the smell of bleach and water, so I use it to clean everything. Really. Everything.
2. I can't touch yarn because it sends chills down my spine. Listening to earphones lying down does the same thing.
3. I cannot sleep on planes or in cars. Kinda stinks sometimes
4.4.If I am leaving my house it has to be perfectly in order or I can't leave. So I always have to build time into NY schedule for my last minute bustling about.
5. I am certain I am bad luck for my favorite teams. So if things start going south during a game I will turn it off and leave the room. Scary, but this usually turns their luck around.
6. I hate to be scared or startled by someone. Makes me feel slightly homicidal once I recover!
7. I hate chipped nail polish. If I chip one and can't fix it IMMEDIATELY, I will scrape it all off so at least they match!
angie dailey - December 30th, 2013 at 12:11 PM
oh my goodness....
I don't even know what to say except- hahha
I feel really connected to the way you think.
I have 4 children- we have officially entered the grandparent stage.
And I am pretty sure that woman you see on television in the bathtub full of perfect bubbles will never be me....marriage for 21 years and God for all of it makes us look at the world a little differently.
I had someone tell me recently I wasn't enough of a prude to be a serious Christian woman.
Get real.
Because I am.

thanks for all of your blog posts and facebook rants- Keep 'em comin- and keep it real.
Renee - December 30th, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Can't stand public restrooms and if I must use one I stand and use my own tissue from my purse

I love removing eye boogies from my kids, the dogs, myself, once my daughter jumped out of the car at school before I could get her sleepy seed and my fingers tingled for an hour in disappointment

All the doors in the house must be closed except the bedroom ones which must remain open if unoccupied!
Tara - December 30th, 2013 at 12:13 PM
I love how you keep it real! My son calls me weird, but isn't okay with his friends calling him weird, he's 9. But I tell him it better to be weird then be like everyone else and he'll like it when he's older!
Becky - December 30th, 2013 at 12:16 PM
1. I yawn... I yawned while typing yawn... you fake yawn, I yawn.. the dog on tv yawns, I yawn... you blatantly don't say the word yawn while torturing me, I yawn... somebody taught this trick to all my neices and nephews and all my kids friends... I hate him (it is a good thing I love him)

2. I gag.. never know what is going to set it off... well except the Dentist, that always make me gag... it is awful... could be a smell, could be something yucky looking.. .just don't know.. my sister thinks it is hysterical... I end up vomiting a lot... sigh..

3. I HATE HATE being the center of attention... I am introvert! Know this and love me!!! the surprise birthday party when I turned 30 almost killed me... do not leave me alone in a room full of people or I will hunt you down and kill you... I don't care if I know some of them.. .don't leave me alone

4. I am not a hugger... please stop hugging me... if you have to hug on hello, you do not have to hug on goodbye... no really, I am good thanks... family & friends, you can hug.. short happy hugs, then let go... strangers, please no...and it would be great if you didn't kiss me either.. .thanks.. I am better than I used to be and I am definitely better than my sister... even my friends are like, just tell you sister I said... give her a wave for me...

5. No Massages.. nope not ever..please don't tough me... I have a very low tolerance for pain and you are hurting me.. this is not relaxing.. .no massages.. not boyfriends, not professionals.. please don't touch me...

6. I love pedicures.. yes you may touch my feet, but that is all... take your hand off my lower leg!! feet only.. .and no after pedicure shoulder rub.. please, I beg of you, stop touching me...

7. Must by nail polish for my toes.. lots and lots of polish... wait sale on Polish... I am there... they are not the same color, look different names... yes, they are close but they are not the same.. must have both...

8. I wear flip flops all the time... whenever possible.. I live in the Northeast so I have to put them away eventually, however it his 50 in December, January or February those flip flops are on... feet need to breathe!

9. I love to eat candy be the color (Spree, M&Ms, Skittles, Starburst, etc). by the color... divide and then eat by the color... best way... no need to meld the flavors.. why? They are their own perfectly good flavors...


Carliss - December 30th, 2013 at 12:23 PM
I can't stop eating candy cigarettes. They are my favorite and I am 55. No judging.
Courtney - December 30th, 2013 at 12:25 PM
1) My phone ringing. I hate the phone. Even if it's my best friend calling and I've been expecting the call, and I know exactly what she wants to talk about, I will 95% of the time let it go to voicemail, and respond with a text. I just can't handle it. Why can't everything be handled through text message and email.

2) I have sleep "issues" to put it mildly. I have to have at least 1 fan (preferably 2), can't be wearing socks, need as little light as possible, and the one my husband makes fun of me for, I don't close my eyes while trying to fall asleep. It's just weird to me to hold my eyes closed while trying to fall asleep.

3)salads. Why do reataraunts give you salad on a plate?! If you give me salad on a plate expect it to look like a bomb went off. I have to have everything in I uniform pieces size pieces and those pieces need to be small enough that I can have one piece of each in a reasonable size bite. Plus how do you mix dressing in on a plate.

4) the sneeze guard places. Do NOT lean over the glass at chipotle. It takes everything I have to not loose it when someone reaches over the glass wall at chipotle. They know what sour cream is, you don't have to try and touch it for them to know.

5) if I'm reading and you need to talk to me, approach soup nazi style. Get my attention, have ALL your questions ready. Don't dawdle. My husband is not a reader, so he doesn't get it, and will just start talking, and then as soon as I remember where I was and get back into it he'll think of something else to ask. This will happen 4-5 times. Then he gets offended when I say "is that all, are you done?"
Marlie - December 30th, 2013 at 12:26 PM
I hate long car trips cause I'm always the one who has to oee ten ten minutes down the road, so I hold it until I feel like we've been on the road long enough for an average person to have to pee. So before a long trip, I spend the 10 minutes before departure in the bathroom.

I chase the stray cats on campus. Because I love them and want to be their friend. I've been late to things cause I was following a cat around.

Mold creeps me out. Literally scares me. I don't buy bread anymore because I throw it out after a few days because I'm positive there is mold.

I pick my fingernails. And I get really excited when one gets long because I can pick it off again.




Nat - December 30th, 2013 at 12:27 PM
I can't stand the sound of the heater coming on at my house, I correlate the sound with a vacuum sucking the life out of my checking account%u2026 my kids are dressed for the snow or wrapped in blankets most of the winter%u2026. 62 degrees isn't child abuse right?!
Lisa - December 30th, 2013 at 12:34 PM
I think the two of us could be long lost sisters! I have never met you but I love reading your blogs and books and can totally relate with so much of what you say! You're top five could most definitely be my top five, but I have a few more to add. I cannot stand for anyone other than myself to touch my nose! It is by far my biggest pet peeve and my kids love to test me on it! For some reason it has become their priority to be the first one to touch my nose and live to see another day! Another one is that I love to get pedicures but I hate manicures! There's something about polish on my finger nails that drives me bonkers! Call me crazy, I know!
Hayley - December 30th, 2013 at 12:37 PM
1. I don't watch slasher/horror movies. They really creep me out. But I can watch crime/actual real-life scary scenarios over and over. 48 hours, SVU, FBI most wanted, Lockup...bring it on.

2. I hate, HATE, most words that have "oi" in them. For example, "moist" "ointment". Gross.

3. Anytime I feel anxious, I always feel better by rubbing my hands together. Hard.

4. I cannot sleep in socks. It makes me feel claustrophobic.

5. I don't like to be touched. My nerves can't take it or something. And if you ARE going to touch me, it better be somewhat strong. None of the lightly grazing of the arm or whatever. That makes me want to physically hurt you.

6. Cannot, CANNOT, deal with mayonnaise.The smell, taste, texture...all of it. If mayonnaise is in a recipe (dip, casserole, whatever) I am usually ok, but do NOT tell me about it. If I know about, I'm done.
Rene - December 30th, 2013 at 2:51 PM
Hayley- first 2, not that much....All the rest, totally me! I'm so with you. That whole "tickle my arm" thing makes me want to heave!
wendy - January 1st, 2014 at 9:26 AM
Okay, I've gotta know...foil, coin, loin, soil, asteroid, coil...all of them?
Selbach - January 2nd, 2014 at 9:29 AM
Ewwww....loin. Worst word ever.

Juli - December 30th, 2013 at 12:39 PM
1. I drive one route TO work and a different route home FROM work. It just seems too rigid and orderly to drive the same route both ways.
2. I "q-tip" after every shower and the more wax on it, the better I feel about my habit.
3. I have to come out even with my food on my plate. One bite of this, one bite of that, etc., all around the plate and the last round has to be one bite of everything on my plate or else I have to go get more. It's terribly inconvenient at buffets.
3.5 I also have to smell everything before I eat it. I try to be as inconspicuous as possible but sometimes I get busted.
4. I don't like rules. Most of them (think laws) I have to follow and usually don't have trouble with but my own rules for myself, I break all the time. Because I'm an adult and I can do what I want to do. :-P (see how adult I am?)
5. I'm really sorry but I always use the handicapped stall in the public restroom. I get claustrophobic in those teenytiny stalls. I can't even wear a turtleneck.
6. I like to spin in my office chair when I'm alone at work. It makes me dizzy happy. But I promise I'm just as normal as the next person...
Jennifer J - December 30th, 2013 at 12:42 PM
I hate the feeling of microfiber. Nope, can't do it, won't touch it, don't make me. I cloth diaper my baby and when I get a new diaper with microfiber inserts sometimes I make my older children pull them out so I can put in a different kind. if you have a microfiber sofa and I come to your house I will actively seek out another place to sit even if that is the last place to sit in the room. I will stand before I will sit on your micro fiber couch, thank you. and those winter gloves, hats and scarves that everyone find soooooo soft and comfortable... are you kidding me? Its like wrapping your body in sandpaper!

Speaking of sandpaper, that made me think of another one. I hate it when people erase with a pencil eraser. It sends chills up and down my entire body, head to toe. They might as well be rubbing sandpaper on my eardrums. When my children need to erase, I leave the room first. Or more likely, I make them use a pen to avoid the problem all together. This is a problem at work. I teach high school chemistry and physics. When my students make a mistake, I walk away so I don't have to hear them erase. They often mistake my actions for me being upset with them (teenagers always think adults are "mad at me") and then they tell their parents, "Mrs. J won't help me. She hates me." Then I have to have long phone or email conversations about how I don't hate their child, just their child's choice of error correction.
Laura - December 30th, 2013 at 12:44 PM
The sound thing... oh, the sound thing. I fear the day I have kids, because I don't know if I can stand it. When sound starts overwhelming me, my fight or flight reflex kicks in... I usually have to quickly exit the room so as not to harm myself or others! Last year my company moved into a new building that has an intercom system on which they now insist on blaring "the best hits of the 80s, 90s, and today." Like you, I love Top 40, BUT NOT WHILE I'M TRYING TO WRITE PROPOSALS OR CONCENTRATE ON TEDIOUS WORK. I'm currently spaced out from work because Madonna is telling me that I need a holiday, some time to celebrate.
Rach - December 30th, 2013 at 12:51 PM
This blog and so many of the comments are extremely encouraging to me - I hope I can remember this so that I will continue to feel less alone when I refuse to eat off a paper plate, for instance, because it makes my fingers feel weird......
There's one problem, though.....after reading some things here that make perfect sense (though I had never considered them before), I fear my list of idiosyncracies has just reached a new level. :)
Kate - December 30th, 2013 at 12:52 PM
1. I have a thing for clean ears. My doctor once told me at my annual physical that I "had the cleanest ears she's ever seen" and I wore that comment as a badge of honor. My teen son often gets lectures from me on not keeping his ears clean enough and my younger kids all have to put up with my aggressive q-tip scrubs.

2. I'm a picker. I pick my scabs. I pick my nose when I have a cold and wake in the morning with those huge, chunky dried boogers. When my babies were little, I used to pick their dried boogers and those little pimples that infants get.

3. I have 2 teenagers that regularly get pimples and yes, you guessed it. I pin them down to pop the ones that seem to just be *staring* at me. I can't help them with homework with there's a big whitehead on their nose waiting to be popped!

4. I make my husband hide his watch when he goes to bed at night. I can't stand to hear it ticking if he leaves it on the bed stand.
Jamie - December 30th, 2013 at 12:59 PM
OK, Jen. Here goes:

I have a thing against prime numbers. I HATE them. I would never get out of bed if my clock displayed a prime number. We had 3 kids and I was determined to add another to the brood because the thought of being a family of 5 made me break out into a cold sweat.

I would never, ever leave the volume on the radio or the TV on a prime number. The other night the hubs and I were watching TV, and he left the volume on 17. I took a deep breath, tried to let it go, and then 3 seconds later yelled out, "17?!?!!! Really? Are you trying to give me a nervous breakdown?!" Ironically, I was born on the 23rd (God's cruel joke) so deal with that by saying it's my lucky number. But you can be sure I would never leave the volume on 23.
Jennifer J. - December 31st, 2013 at 11:54 AM
My husband has a similar quirk with the TV volume, it has to be on an even number. Do you teach math or something? I used to work with a math teacher who thought every number had a hidden meaning.
Heather - December 30th, 2013 at 1:13 PM
1. I trace everything in my head. In a house (I love new houses that I haven't traced before), I start in a corner of the wall and trace every corner, door jam, window throughout a room. Intricate mantles are a favorite!
2. I am always singing something in my head. Even while having a conversation there is a song in the background. My toes are always tapping to the beat of this silent song. This drives my hubby insane at night in bed...they never stop!
3. If I wake up for any reason (bathroom, kids, whatever) and it's any later than 4am, I have to get up.
4. I wont use a hand dryer in a public bathroom. I'd rather wipe my hands on my pants then blow the warm nasty public bathroom germs all over my clean hands.
5. All knobs on the dash of my car have to be lined up correctly...like a car cigarette lighter must be turned perpendicular. If I am in someone else's car I have to fix it
6. All items in the pantry have to be facing with the nutritional info to the back and the cans with labels facing out. I will even fix these at the grocery store!
Alissa - December 30th, 2013 at 1:13 PM
I am freaky with names and faces. If I have met you once, I will remember when and where. This freaks people out - I understand - so I do my best to hide it. The "greeting" time at church drives me bonkers because we're all shaking hands and greeting people as though we've never met and it goes like this:
Out loud: "Bill? nice to meet you."
In my head: "Bill. Wife Shannon. Sat behind you three weeks ago."
Out loud: "Linda? Nice to see you."
In my head: "Sat in front of my husband last week. I wonder where her brown haired friend is this week?"

Also, if I know someone with the same last name, I WILL figure out who it is and whether you are connected. At my husband's christmas party, he introduced me to someone and I said, "Who do we know with that name?" He didn't know. We couldn't figure out the connection, but I woke up the next morning and my first thought was: That's the same name as one of the doctors in the pediatric practice in our old town.

I'm an engineer and I'm feeling a little inadequate that I don't count, sort, and number things like everyone else!
Adryan - December 30th, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Alissa, you are in good company. I have a savant-like trait with names and faces. I try to keep it on the DL.
Kelly - December 30th, 2013 at 1:15 PM
I always load the dishwasher the same way. Every single bowl, plate, cup, etc has it own specific place. When hubby helps out and load the dishwasher, I literally have to leave the room so I don't see him "doing it wrong". If it's not full when he's done, I'll wait till he's gone to fix it. I'm thankful for the help, but GAH!!!!
Lyn D. - December 30th, 2013 at 1:22 PM
Thanks for reposting! I must go back and read your stuff prior to this year! So here are a few weird things about me... I CANNOT sleep in black socks...I prefer naked feet, but if necessary, it will.not.be.black. I'd rather have frost bite. I love to have a good foot massage or pedicure, but if you are old enough to walk on yours, I don't want to touch them! I hate feet and the way they look. Not cute or sexy! My children learn to manicure their own at an early age or daddy does it. I am also obsessed with lip stuff...gotta have something on my lips ALL THE TIME. You may (will probably) see me in pink lipstick with not a dab of makeup on. I'd rather have some carmex in a desert than water. My family has been I formed that if I am unconscious, please moisturizer my lips, because I will know. Enough weirdness for now...Happy New Year! Thanks for the opportunity to feel "normal" for a minute!
Lo H. - December 30th, 2013 at 1:27 PM
When I hear people chewing or making saliva sounds I start to get physically angry at them to the point where I start glaring and clenching my fist and people ask if I'm going to hurt them. And tell you the truth, I probably would hurt them if i weren't totally against murder.
Ruth Ness - December 30th, 2013 at 1:45 PM
I am going to have to read these in spurts- Hilarious!!!

First thing I do when I check into a hotel room is untuck the bed sheets. I CANNOT have my feet tucked into the bed, they must be free!!! I have to untuck all the sheets on all the beds because the thought of anyone having their feet trapped makes me crazy (crazier :)

I cannot stand the sound of ticking clocks. Those battery operated clocks that go tick, tick, tick... batteries are gone as soon as I can get rid of them. Unfortunately, this applies to the lovely Grandfather clock we own. Cannot have the ticking around me :(

I'm sure there are more to come....
Melissa - December 30th, 2013 at 2:10 PM
Quirky? Well, yes, I am quirky.

I judge all food by texture. Cherry pie? Um, no. Why would you eat something that resembles an eyeball soaked in sludge? Gag.

I do not, DO NOT, eat chilli because of the dreaded kidney beans. Don't care who makes it, if I see a kidney bean, I'm out.

Nuts in brownies, cookies, or bread? No. No. NO.

I can't even deal with restaurants that have tvs. I'm sorry, were you telling me something life changing? It's just that right over your head a tv is playing an NCIS episode I've seen a hundred times and I'm not focused on you. (True story, my best friend deliberately scopes out restaurants that have tvs for the best table to have my back to the ever hypnotizing telly.)

I have to have my movies in alphabetical order. A college friend once randomly switched my movies out of order and I made her put them all back before she left.

I continually talk to other drivers and remind them the rules of the highway game.

Nicknames, I love them. I love having them and giving them. I love calling people "dear", "hon" & "sweets". But do not, for a moment, call me Missy. I will cut you. (Out of my social circle.)

That isn't even close to being the end but for now I've shared enough of my weirdness.
Jami - December 30th, 2013 at 2:10 PM
1) I despise odd numbers (especially birthdays)!! I was induced with all 3 of my girls so they could have even dates for their birthdays...14th, 18th & 4th. I was married on the 24th! If it's a number divisible by 4, it's an even better even number!!
2) the sound of fluorescent tube lightbulbs sends me into a tizzy! I would rather be in complete darkness than in a room with a tube lightbulb!
3) I too, am a sleep Nazi, but have very little 'danger fear' when it comes to my kids! I let my 2 year old jump off 20 foot cliffs at the lake, but missed Christmas Eve dinner with my in-laws bc she was still napping! I mean, why would they schedule dinner at a time that might interfere with MY child's nap?
4) I pick the split-ends off my hair...and have to fight hard not to pick them off others' hair if I see some!?!?

But I'm not crazy, you all are!!%uD83D%uDE18
Jessica - December 30th, 2013 at 2:11 PM
I always have to add a little more to whatever I'm doing. Example: pouring cereal, fill the bowl... add a little bit more. Pouring out shampoo, squirt out a little more than what's already in my hand. Making recipes, add a little more salt, spice, etc. than what it calls for. It's like I second guess every decision I ever make and always over compensate. In high school, putting down pom-poms in a formation, would place them and then ALWAYS bend down and move them a little, usually OUT of formation. I always need just a little bit more ketchup, PB, toothpaste, dishwasher powder, whatever. It's enraging.
Kat - December 30th, 2013 at 2:12 PM
I can't stand it when someone folds a piece of construction paper in half and then takes their fingers and slides them across the crease. I literally have goose bumps right now thinking about it. I can't even look. This also applies to paper towels or napkins. Shudder.

I also can't stand suede. That has got to be the worst material....ever. I refuse to wear anything with suede, shoes included. I will not touch it and if you are wearing it, stay far, far away from me because I might accidentally bump into you.

My whole house could look like a nuclear bomb went off; but if the kitchen is clean, it's all good. And vice versa, if the kitchen is dirty and the rest of the house is spotless, OMG we must be living in a den of filth and grossness.

I like to stuff things in closets, drawers, cabinets, whatever. That is my idea of de-cluttering. Out of sight, out of mind. When you open a door and stuff falls on top of your head, that's my queue to clean out.

I am obsessed with old country songs about smoking and drinking, losing your job, having money to buy your kids a new pair of shoes, going to prison, cheating, etc. The more problems in the song, the more I like it.


Tera - December 30th, 2013 at 2:20 PM
1. Random noises drive me berserk.
2. Alarm has to be set on a time that ends in 0 or 5. No other time is acceptable.
3. Swimming in a pool or sitting in a hot tub is akin to lounging in someone else's bathwater.
4. I WILL NOT use a hotel blanket/comforter when I go to sleep. I take my own blanket and pillow EVERYWHERE. I also wear flipflops in hotel showers.
5. I will not clean anything without wearing rubber gloves. The thought of touching nastiness with my bear hands sends me over the edge.
Courtney - December 30th, 2013 at 2:27 PM
1. I hate wooden popsicle sticks and sucker sticks made out of paper. Gives me the chills to even type it. Can't stand to bite down on it ....ick.

2. Every where I go I map out in my head the quickest way to get there. EVERY SINGLE TIME!

3. If my husband uses something and doesn't put it back where he found it I cant do anything until it's back in it's spot..... I've tried to ignore it and can not. It MUST be put back. However, it doesn't bother me if it's something I don't put back.

4. I can't stand cleaning dishes with food left in them. I don't want to touch it, smell it, nothing..... I will clean vomit, poop and pee all day... smell and touch doesn't bother me one bit!!!
Erin W. - December 30th, 2013 at 2:38 PM
It%u2019s fun seeing everyone air their craziness! Here%u2019s mine%u2026.

1. I can%u2019t fall asleep cuddling because it makes me itch. I love the idea of it but a few seconds into it I panic because I know if I need to move it will disturb my husband. Even if I try to get all situated before the cuddling actually starts I just KNOW I%u2019m going to get uncomfortable and need to readjust my position. After a few seconds I%u2019ll feel a little itch on my foot, then my back, then my arm, until my whole body is itching. I can last about a minute and a half before I tell him he has to roll over.

2. I smell my food before eating it. Kind of like how Robert on %u201CEverybody Loves Raymond%u201D touches his food to his chin before eating it%u2026.I put mine right up to my nose and smell it before it goes in my mouth. I have no idea why I started doing this but I remember my dad yelling at me for doing it in a restaurant when I was about 10 years old.

3. I have to unload my grocery cart onto the conveyor belt in a certain order: boxes, bags, cans and jars, cold stuff (but not frozen and not produce), frozen stuff, produce, eggs, non-food. It annoys me when the bagger doesn%u2019t maintain this order when bagging my groceries. I was in heaven when I lived in a city with a Shoppers Food Warehouse where customers bagged their own groceries.

4. I tracked both of my son%u2019s schedules for the first year of their lives. I made Excel spreadsheets and printed them on half sheets of paper to keep track of sleep (what time they fell asleep and woke up) and eating (what time and for how long they nursed, what time they took a bottle and how many ounces they drank, how many ounces of food they ate along with the variety). I designated little sections at the top of the page where I could write the total ounces of formula and food they ate each day. I also tracked what time they had wet and dirty diapers. With my second son I stopped tracking diapers after about a month but I looked back at my first son%u2019s spreadsheets recently and realized I tracked his diapers until he was about 9 months old!

5. I can%u2019t stand when my husband flips on a movie half way through if I have never seen it before. I can%u2019t bear to watch even a minute or two. I need to see it in its entirety from start to finish so that the storyline can reveal itself as the writer intended. I despise move trailers.

6. I have to wear clean pajamas every single night. Even if I take a shower before bed.

7. When I read the last page of a novel I have to cover up the final paragraphs with my hand to force myself to read only one line at a time, especially if it%u2019s the type of book that is likely to have a poetic ending. I%u2019m afraid my eyes will accidentally glance down and ruin the beauty of those final words. I've tried to just trust myself but I can't concentrate on what I'm reading because I'm so tempted to scan down to the bottom of the page.

Erin W. - December 30th, 2013 at 2:50 PM
Ack! I copied and pasted the above comment from Word and apparently every apostrophe was translated into "%u2019". It's funny because the other quirk that I didn't include is that I proofread obsessively 3 or 4 times to make sure I don't have any spelling errors. It's driving me crazy to see my comment so messed up. :)
Holly - December 30th, 2013 at 2:40 PM
https://30daysinthecave.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/quirky-fest-not-your-everyday-end-of-year-list/ Thanks for the inspiration!
Erin - December 30th, 2013 at 2:42 PM
I seriously can not poo in a public place, or if I'm chaperoning a trip for our youth group and I'm sharing a room with people other than my husband. I will make myself sick before doing so. Poo-pouri has made this somewhat better, but it is still really difficult for me. It feels inconsiderate and rude somehow?? (Yes, I know I have issues!)

I have the oddest fascination with popping pimples.

Raw chicken freaks me out. And I can't eat meat with the bones still intact. It's disgusting.

I can't wash the dishes if they're in a sink full of water. All that food floating around and the slime... Chills.

I can't stand hair. In the tub. On the floor. A stray on my shirt, your shirt, whatever. And forget me cleaning out the bristles on my brush.
Mrs. Gore - December 30th, 2013 at 2:43 PM
I participated in this fantastic gathering two years ago, but since I'd like to think I have grown and changed since then, I'll give it an updated go...

1. I refer to myself as an introverted ponderer, and the noise levels at my house (4 kids 6 and under and a husband who has an incredibly loud voice and is known to burst out in song) make me cuckoo. My husband knows I'm about to lose it when I start walking around and saying "shhhhhhh..." to no one in particular. He starts ushering the kids into another room, saying "Let's give mommy some alone time..."

2. I have a bad habit of smell-testing clothes to see if they are dirty or not. "Hmm, those kid underwear on the ground look like they've been peed in. Let me smell them to see if I'm right." Then, instead of tentatively sniffing, I take a giant whiff and spend the next minute or so doubled over in disgust and telling myself (AGAIN) to never do that again.

3. I think I am hilarious and reread my facebook statuses for fun, while chuckling out loud. My husband asks what's so funny and I say "Oh just something I'm reading on the internet..."

4. Inspired by a New Girl episode, my husband calls me "The Cooler" because I am really good at accidentally shutting down romantic opportunities. For instance, he'll cuddle up to me and say "you feel so good" and I (remember? the ponderer?) will snap out of a deep mental reverie and say "you know what I never get tired of? Ticking. I've loved ticking prints for as long as I can remember." The Cooler. Or, he'll say "gosh, you look beautiful tonight..." and I'll respond with a morbid "Does it ever hit you how fleeting life is? And that we'll all be dead before we know it?" The Cooler.

5. I have a playlist dedicated to karaoke songs, heavy on the Disney Princess variety. When I'm alone at home, I pull it up and sing my face off. My best song is "Just Around the Riverbend". And it's not like I just think it's good and I would make a fool of myself at an American Idol audition. It IS that good. I AM Pocahontas.

6. Speaking of American Idol, I have a reality singing competition problem. (And dancing, thanks to you!). I watch all of them, I read blogs about them after every episode, and if commenting on the pages wouldn't show up in my facebook newsfeed, I would leave lots and lots of dorky fan feedback.

7. I find it impossible not to self-promote when it comes to my blog. I don't WANT to be famous (au contraire!). I just want everyone to get to laugh at me and see how great my hair looked in our 4th of July pictures...
Leslie - December 30th, 2013 at 2:48 PM
Totally with you on the noise and music thing.(I always make my spotify session private because of all the music snobs in my life)

It stresses me out when people are fast chewers. My husband's family all chew really fast and it makes me nervous.
I have to sleep with a pillow covering my head.
The seam on my socks must be on the top of my foot.
I have trouble concentrating in a long-sleeved shirt?? I have to go change if I need to focus.
I will go to great lengths to avoid talking on the phone.
I have to make myself not stare at dirty teeth.
I try to figure out ways to stare at people without getting caught.(I just love watching people)
I constantly sniff my armpits to make sure I don't stink! Plenty more, but I'll stop.

Kay - December 30th, 2013 at 2:49 PM
I cannot stand when socks are inside-out when I go to put them in the washer! I have told my kids over and over to MAKE SURE YOUR SOCKS are correct when you put them in the laundry hamper! And I especially can't stand it when they are bunched up in a ball (long socks) and inside-out. And it's NOT MY JOB to fix them every time since I do every other thing in this house!
Dans - December 30th, 2013 at 2:53 PM
The first thing I make my kids do when they return home from school is WASH THEIR HANDS. forget school, anytime they come in the door they have to WASH THEIR HANDS. Total hand washing freak. Get your nasty school hands away from me. I could never be a teacher-I swear schools are huge Petri dishes.
Megan - December 30th, 2013 at 2:54 PM
1. When playing hide and seek, I immediately have to go pee once hidden. RS a childhood thing, but I played with my son (3 years old) the other day and I had to come out of hiding because I LITERALLY was going to pee my pants.

2. I cannot fall asleep with a television on. Turn it on and I will watch it like it's my job. This was inconvenient the semester in college where I lived with my sister, who must have a television on in order to fall asleep. PROB-LEM.

3. Love the smell of gasoline--but that's not all that weird to me any more after reading the skunk people's post!

4. When I see grouped numbers, I immediately apply math to them in order to make sense of them. (I.e. License plate is WS824, 8 divided by 2 is 4.

Fun to read all of other peoples quirks and know I'm not alone!
Michelle - December 30th, 2013 at 2:54 PM
I reuse everything. Not recycle. Reuse. I take things out of our recycling to reuse them, which drives my family crazy. Water bottles - they are washed and reused until I'm afraid they've been crinkled enough times to release estrogen receptors. Gatorade bottles: I have powdered Gatorade mix to refill them. Pringles cans: you can wrap them with wrapping paper and put presents in them with a nice bow on top. Lunch meat containers make great one meal containers for leftovers. Clear plastic spring mix salad containers are great for organizing all kinds of things, especially toys. Paper towel rolls: insert them in boots to keep them from falling. Kids meal toys: great for Medicaid children's clinics to reward a brave child after a vaccination, or for Kindergarten teachers looking for rewards to stock a treasure chest. Big plastic bottles that once held soda or juice: Clean and fill with water for the next homeless person you pass. Old sports jerseys and class t-shirts and camp shirts make great memory quilts. Egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds: Compost. And old Benjamin Franklin costume: gift to a blogger friend named Jen who's confessing a total lack of planning for her son's Benjamin Franklin debut at school landed her on the Today Show. Quite simply my quirk is this: I cannot throw things away unless I've exhausted all the possible good uses for them.
Georgia - December 30th, 2013 at 3:14 PM
I am WITH you on the pranks. HATE. THEM. Reading this also made me realize that I, too HATE goodbyes.
Tara - December 30th, 2013 at 3:25 PM
When out and about and I see an emergency vehicle, I want to go see the emergency to which it is responding. It%u2019s easier for me to know the truth than to imagine. At the very least, I turn on my police scanning app.
I cannot clip my son%u2019s fingernails. My husband has done this since he was a baby.
I always clean up our table at a restaurant. I stack the plates, bowls, and silverware. I gather all the paper trash (napkins, straw wrappers, sweetener packets) and put them on the stack. I can%u2019t stand to eat at a cluttered table.
I%u2019m freakish about safety and risk management and legal liability. I constantly preach/lecture to my husband and son regarding car safety, traffic safety, home safety, fire safety, etc. I am very risk-averse. However, when I am alone, I take on more risks while driving. I%u2019ve even taken the car over 100 mph once just to do it.
I have a terrible memory when it comes to names and events but I remember numbers really well, including phone numbers, credit cards, social security numbers and addresses.
Most every conversation and situation evokes a quote or scenario from Seinfeld or some of my other favorite TV shows and movies.
I hate disorder. I can%u2019t stand for things to be out of place in my home. I would love to remodel but can%u2019t emotionally handle the thought of something being out of order during the process. Occasionally, I will straighten items on the shelves at stores so that they will be orderly. I can%u2019t sleep peacefully unless the house has been %u201Cpicked up%u201D and everything put away before going to bed. When I go to bed before my husband and wake up to find the pillows were not straightened, the remotes were not returned to their baskets, his glass was not put in the sink, it just goes all through me.
I research everything. If something is brought up in conversation or on television that I%u2019m not familiar with, I can%u2019t wait to read Wikipedia about it.
I love to read celebrity gossip. I don%u2019t even follow pop culture much and couldn%u2019t name 5 Top 40 artists in any genre, but when MSN leads with entertainment gossip, I can%u2019t help myself, I always follow the link.
I hear every little noise and fear it is always someone trying to break in to our house or, worse, someone who has been living in our house unbeknownst to us.
I%u2019m a list maker. If I%u2019m writing a list and I misspelled a word or my pen stops working and I have to use a different pen, I have to rewrite the entire list on a new piece of paper.
I hate leaving my house without all of the beds being made. I hate it. I feel it dictates how the rest of my day will go.

Tara - December 30th, 2013 at 3:29 PM
I don't know what happened to my post but it drives me crazy to see my apostrophes replaced by
%u2019.
Jamie - December 30th, 2013 at 3:39 PM
Sleep nazi describes me and while I don't seem to care about their body temp, I monitor their bms like I do their sleep. They must poop before school (since they won't go at school) even if it makes me late to work. When my boys were born, for 15plus months I wrote down their eat, sleep, and bowel movements adn required our sitter to do the same. God love her. Still kills me they won't tell me exactly how long my kid sleeps at preK. I had another mom agree, we don't care about their day, just tell me if they how well they ate, slept and if they pooped!
HeatherS - December 30th, 2013 at 3:43 PM
I love quirks!!
1) I don't love talking on the phone. I need to be mentally prepared to do this. Texting is the most amazing thing ever. Ever!
2) can't send a text without emoji. They just add a perfect little something. %uD83D%uDC83%uD83D%uDC4A%uD83C%uDF5C%uD83D%uDE1D%uD83C%uDF89
3) down on the noise bit. Hubs comes home from work and asks why I'm not responding. "I've been talking since 2:56pm when the spawns got in the car. I just don't have the energy. Text me." %uD83D%uDE2C
4) this goes with #3 but I HATE repeating myself. This doesn't bode well having 4 children. Unfortunately.
5) poop. 2 of our 4 don't love veggies (read as hate all veggies). Therefore, I just know their pipes will be clogged. "Have you pooped today? Oh really, where? Which bathroom? Are sure it was today?"
6) loooove humor and mild pranks i.e. Rearranging friends' furniture while they're out, put chewing gum all over a friend's windshield when she bailed on us for a GNO
Farrah - December 30th, 2013 at 4:05 PM
I have sat at work and read this for the last hour and can relate to more than I would like to admit! A couple more to add that I don't remember seeing...
1) HATE clothing tags. Can't touch them. Can't look at them. I gag at the thought of them.
2) Wet bread. GROSS.
3)Frozen pizza...DISGUSTING. Don't EVEN think you are going to get me to eat THAT! (of course I will feed it to my children)
4)Single mom/scared to death of an intruder...no joke...I punched my 4 year old in the face in the middle of the night! I FELT HORRIBLE!
Melissa Irwin - December 30th, 2013 at 4:15 PM
1. I have to check my shoes for spiders before I put them on because kung fu does not look good on me.
2. I'm a sweeper. All day everyday, I sweep everything but the cat. That's a lie, I sweep the cat too. I can't ever not be sweeping because tiny little particles of anything make me require some concoction of morphine and valium.
3. Open cabinet doors are what I cannot handle. I have a sound that comes out of me that is a cross between a roar and a growl. If you hear it, look out b'cuz I'm gonna start slamming cabinet doors.
4. Please don't take the last cookie. Eat all the rest but not the last. I will detonate.
Adryan - December 30th, 2013 at 4:15 PM
I am giggling so hard. You all are a bunch of weirdos. Here's mine:

-If I eat anything that has a dryness to it, especially certain nuts, (pistachios, pecans, etc) I must drink it down with a glass of milk. Not water. Has to be milk.

-If I hear #2 pencil on paper it gives me the heebie jeebies. My poor seven year old MUST use a mechanical pencil if he would like me to help him with homework.

-I sleep with one foot hanging off the bed.

-I cannot eat Popsicles off wooden sticks. This may it association with #1. Can.Not.Handle.It.

-When I have dry hands, I must apply lotion then wash it off. I just need the backs of my hands moisturized, but not my palms. Gag.

-In close relation to said moisturizer, there is no way you will put baby oil on any part of my body. When I see women at nail salon getting pedis and they had been rubbed down with baby oil, then they put flip flops on. Or roll their jeans back over slick baby oil legs. Barf.
Danielle - December 30th, 2013 at 7:09 PM
I am with you on not eating popsicles off wooden sticks. The thought of my tongue or teeth touching the stick gives me the shivers.
KB - December 30th, 2013 at 4:23 PM
1) Do not even think about smacking gum in front of me. Even marginally loud chewing is grounds for me acceptably going ape on you.
2) Do not say the s- word in front of me that is another word for reptile. If you don't know about the phobia, saying the word is actually acceptable. Once I announce to you the nature of the phobia, if you think it's funny to say the s- word in front of me, I have legal authority to punch you in the face.
3) Please "finish" things. Close the door all the way. Put the empty cup in the kitchen (or better yet, dishwasher). FOLD the laundry. (Removing from the dryer and leaving in a wrinkled heap is not considered finished--especially when it's clothing.) Wipe toothpaste drippings from the sink.
4) Do not, I repeat do NOT, pass gas in my car. And...if an unavoidable occurrance is impending, you'd better not be in my driver's seat.
5) If you have poor grammar, I love you in the Lord, but we will probably not be bosom buddies. It's a character flaw.
6) If in conversation I mention the Secretary of State, the Prime Minister of Israel, or the name of any of the last 5 presidents, please act like you know who I'm talking about.
7) When I pump gas, the total sale must not end in a 5 or 0. My dad taught me to stop the pumping at 5s or 0s so that he would always know the sale was legit on the credit card statement. One day, I thought everyone else must do this, so why is that a good idea? Now I can't stand for the sale to end in one of those numbers.
8) Friendship with me accepts that I will never hostess a party for your fill-in-the-blank line of merchandise I just bought at another party. I will attend parties and buy crap so you can get your own crap for cheaper, but I will not be hosting. In fact, I'm buying less of this crap these days, so really I probably will not be likely to attend said parties as much anymore anyway. Honestly, I never wear the jewelry, I never use the bags, I never cook with the cookware, and anything I ever do wear, use, or cook with either ultimately looks like crap on me, doesn't ultimately come in handy, or in fact breaks or cuts my finger off when I try to use it.
Ruth - December 30th, 2013 at 5:11 PM
Oh, and I have a weird facsination with pulling out chin hairs (wait till you turn 50 and those little suckers start growing in all manly like). I have to pluck it out and then see how long it is by laying it on the magnifying mirror. So frustrating when you can't get a hold of one and have to wait for it to grow out to get a good hold.
Becky - December 30th, 2013 at 5:36 PM
Thank you for sharing your quirks! When I heard you speak, I thought, "I'm going to smother my kids to death!" But generally, I'm okay with my son jumping across the room from his dresser, to the toddler bed while doing a summersault - at four years old. I also have no problem with them scaling the garage door, at two years old - But do not spill your food or take off your coat! And I'm proud to say, they have really lived up to the expectations very well!
Karen S. - December 30th, 2013 at 5:42 PM
I am cracking up at these quirks!!! Here are a few of mine:
1. I absolutely cannot stand for my thighs to touch when I'm sleeping. Even if I am camping in 100 degree weather, I will wear pajama bottoms!
2. If you have nose hair sticking out of your nose, I will not hear one word you are saying. I fixate on them. I wonder if they are tickling your lip. I try to imagine how in the world you didn't see them, or where your friends have been that they didn't tell you?!!?
3. I am fascinated by drive-in-movie-theater toes. (You Know..... big toes that look like drive-in movie theaters!!!!) Perfectly tapered toes are cool, too!
4. I love to touch the matching fingers from each hand together and make them dance to whatever music is playing, sometimes to the music playing in my head.
Christen - December 31st, 2013 at 12:21 PM
#4 almost made me pee in my pants laughing!!!!!!
Shauna VW - December 30th, 2013 at 6:13 PM
I CANNOT and WILL NOT set my cruise/alarm clock/or any other number setting device on a number ending in 0 or 5. I do not sleep with my feet covered. Ever. And no other person older than 10 is allowed to touch me with their feet. Hate them. Even my husband. And if his touch me during "special moments" all is over. Feelings gone and I am grossed out.
Lisa - December 30th, 2013 at 6:21 PM
I long to have real people (rather than on line pals) share their REAL quirks! Why do we Christian women pretend to have it all together? Don't we do more harm to our faith this way?

Thank you, Jen, for your real ness:

(1) I must shut down each evening - if that means staying up till 2 am to have a hour to myself, I will claim 'paperwork to catch up on' and fire up the laptop!

(2) running - I run to be alone - I ran 2 marathons in the last 2 years and 6-7 1/2 marathons -- just to listen to my books on tape in peace and maybe pray a bit, listen to some uplifting music, etcetera.

(3) Facebook - I hate it - I don't know those people, even when I should. It seems so pretend (like a whitewashed finish - made to look like real weathered wood, but actually a freshly applied gloss). Yet, I am drawn to it (reading updates) like a moth to a flame, trying to stay "connected".

That's all I've got for now.... :).
Audrey - December 30th, 2013 at 6:21 PM
So funny!
1. Cannot sleep on white sheets. That are too dry and I can't breathe. Don't ask me to explain what that means ... I can't explain it any better than that.
2. Cannot order the same thing as anyone else in a restaurant. If someone orders the sane as me. I will change my order.
Hmm, I thought I was weirder than this, I'll probably think of more later.
Amanda - December 30th, 2013 at 6:49 PM
Oh yes, thank you so much for the re-post! End of the year letters always make me depressed when I read them, just because I think back, and I really can't remember what I did from March to June or another good chunk of the year..so yours is a relief!

Weird things about me....I still like Chef Boyardee Spaghetti. with cheese slices melted in. No it's not real Italian food, but I like it.

I hate green beans. I have hated green beans since childhood. But apparently my mother brainwashed me to the point that I still buy, cook and eat green beans in my own home as a grown woman. Sometimes with ketchup on them because I can't stand it.

I love some Gilmore Girls. It still comes on and I still DVR it. I've probably re-watched every season five times, and there are still things that I don't remember and laugh at. My husband laughs at them too, though he tells other people he doesn't understand how I don't remember after watching them a ba-jillion times. The fact that he still pays attention to them while I watch tells me he is as much of a weirdo as me.

I do trade in my Gilmore Girls obsession for something else now and then. Currently, HGTV is what I'm going to have to fast from at some point soon. Particularly the Property Brothers. Why I would watch re-runs of somebody else's renos, I have yet to figure out, but I sure do!

And I encourage my kids weirdnesses....then call them weirdos...lol







Connie - December 30th, 2013 at 6:51 PM
So get the no goodbyes! I worked with the most awesome lady that was in our company for like 45 years. One afternoon I read an email like this. Just want you all to know that yesterday was my last day. It's been so nice working with you. What?!?! 45 years and a goodbye yesterday email! Hahaha. I get it and I'm stealing it when it's my time to go. Please, no goodbye card,flowers,lunch. I can't take it! Love your post!
Beth - December 30th, 2013 at 7:56 PM
I hate when people use their, they're or there incorrectly. It drives me crazy. Really crazy! I am obsessive about everyone in my family washing their hands when they get home. I hate sleeping with the sheets tucked in by my feet. Speaking of feet, I can't stand touching bare feet with anyone. I love dogs...young, old, big, or small! I too hate goodbyes.
Stacey - December 30th, 2013 at 7:58 PM
I think we were separated at birth. I often think - I brought these children into this world, why can't I tolerate the noise they make? I'll leave the gym after a nice chuck of peaceful time, get in the car with the kids and shush them the whole way home because I just need my quiet time after my quiet time. My husband was laughing hysterically at something online one time and he *had* to show me the clip and it was a staged elevator that had a trick door and a creepy little girl would appear and the people would scream and go crazy and all I could think was - those poor people!!
Joy - December 30th, 2013 at 8:19 PM
#1. I love to "eat" my chocolate milk like I would if it were soup.

#2. I am an avid reader, but cannot read if I can see my book mark out of my peripheral vision.
Dani - December 30th, 2013 at 8:31 PM
I can't sleep with the closet door open...bathroom door-yes...bedroom door-yes...closet-not on your life! Haven't been able to since I was 5 (I am 40). I have even been known to fix a relative's broken closet door just in pursuit of a peaceful night's sleep. I also eat one item on my plate at a time, not starting with the most desired first, but with the yuckiest first, finishing off with the best! And the food can not touch. When I was little I would place napkin barriers around each item on my plate to keep the food from touching.
kerstin - December 30th, 2013 at 8:42 PM
I absolutely cannot listen to my husband chew. I will stuff my fingers in my ears before I will listen to him chew. I swear he chews water. CHEWS WATER for pete's sake. I can't stand to hear anybody use fingernail clippers. I won't use the first stall in a public bathroom either. Oh, and, my biggest one? There is definitely something under my bed that will grab my feet. There is. I have to leap into bed and if I wake up at night I will go hysterical if my foot has gotten off the bed even a toe's length because the thing under the bed will bite it. It will. Great, now that I typed it out I'm pretty sure I'm a freak. LOL
Bree - December 30th, 2013 at 9:29 PM
I can't drink the last sip of any drink. Coffee, water, milk, juice...it tastes nasty to me for some reason. My husband gets annoyed because he always finds my cups sitting around with little sips left in the bottom.

I fray all of my toothbrushes out within like a month...I don't know why/how.

I can't stand when people say they "hate" a certain food or say it's "disgusting." To me that is rude. You may say "it's not my favorite" or nothing at all.

I cannot be close friends with you if you don't like chocolate, babies, or animals. Like, I've tried. It absolutely does not work, because those things are 75% of my life.
Kim - December 30th, 2013 at 9:47 PM
Love your blog, you make me laugh and feel less alone in my mommy world! I can't leave the house without ALL my essentials: purse stocked with everything imaginable, a little tote bag with my kindle to play an app, my current paperback, a water bottle (many times I take 2 if I know that I will be gone longer than an hour), and my coffee. I take all this stuff just for a quick trip to Walmart! What if my car breaks down and I want to read until I'm rescued, what if I finish my book and want to play an app or read a book on my kindle? I have to have hydration ALL THE TIME, and the caffeine is usually just "in case" I start to get tired. I will take all this stuff to drive 1 mile to the Starbucks to get a coffee!! My friends kid me about my stuff and how I still carry a "diaper bag" (it's a tote bag, seriously!), but I'm just lost without all my essentials and I don't find this weird at all, however, it does get a little tiring having to "pack" every time I leave the house! My husband has gotten used to this and so have my 4 boys, they all know to "help mom with her stuff" whenever we leave the house.....because you know what?? They have benefited from my stuff, I have entertainment, I have hydration, I have a sip of caffeine available, I have a purse full of all kinds of things a person might need when going on a Costco excursion!! No judging people, I can't stand to be judged, now that's a quirk!!
Amy - December 30th, 2013 at 9:54 PM
My name is Amy and I am a sheet Nazi. Sheets must be straight and tight before climbing in, but I don't care whether the bed is made up in the morning or not. I have been known to get my hubby out of bed to straighten the sheets before I can climb in. I used to iron my sheets, even in my college dorm, just so they could be crisper. I have three kids so I have let that part slide a bit because I am also neurotic when kids get even remotely close to the iron/ironing board.
Wendy - December 30th, 2013 at 10:18 PM
I don't do well with mouth-produce. If something is partially chewed and comes my way, I'm out. If someone dares remove gristle from their mouth and put it on a plate, I have to avoid at all costs looking at it, then try not to obsess about its grossness. "Is it still there? Why can't they put it in a napkin ? Is it still THERE?. I've been known to catch kid barf in one hand, then gag and dry heave while I wipe my eyes with the other sweaty hand.

I love a spoonful or two of cold pasta-with-meat sauce--just the sauce. I also have zero rules about what foods can be eaten at what times of day. Buffalo-chicken dip for breakfast? TRY AND STOP ME.

I've been told I have 'a unique skill set' of breaking, dropping, spilling or falling. There are dozens of stories. I even surprise myself. The other day I was holding a travel mug of coffee, but needed the same hand to stretch a vacuum cord, which required me lifting the cord high, and resulted in me pouring coffee on my own head. Also this year, I spent the night with a friend with cancer during her bone marrow transplant. I managed to spray my eyes and hair with antibacterial hand wash, pull out the " pull- out bed" so far that two nurses had to reassemble it ("we've never seen this before " ), and flood the guest shower by standing on a towel in order to avoid potential foot fungus. Then... There was me...sans clothes...swiping gallons of defiled water back into the shower before the water crept out the door to the hallway where all the brainy doctors were meeting before rounds. The falls and trips could fill a chapter.

I avoid at all costs common catch phrases like "phone tag", "been there, done that", "what does that 'look like'" -ministry phrase, etc.


Jeannie - December 30th, 2013 at 10:55 PM
1. I have a few issues with milk. It has to be either ice cold or piping hot (with chocolate). Anywhere near room temperature and I'm out. The idea of someone tasting or sharing another person's glass of milk is enough to make me throw up. Once my innocent two year old daughter accidentally took a sip from my cup of milk. I had to leave the room. The expiration date is not optional for me. I don't care if there's a full gallon left and I'm dying of dehydration. At 11:59 the night prior, it's like a blaring alarm goes off and down the drain it goes. While I pinch my nose closed in case it already smells rancid. I'm pretty sure most of these issues can be traced back to the boys in elementary school who offered up this line nearly every day: "Ooh- this milk tastes bad. Here, try it!"

2. If I'm the least bit ill, I immediately have to stop anything and everything from touching my neck. I've been known to rip off necklaces, strip off a sweater, and pull my hair into a bun all in under three seconds. When my husband finds me standing shirtless with my hair piled atop my head and a crazed look in my eyes, he knows I'm not feeling so well. I won't be caught dead in a turtleneck (a gag-inducing clothing choice if there ever was) and I didn't wear a single necklace for all nine months of both pregnancies.
Wendy - December 30th, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Oh my goodness, I love this post. I have been reading the comments off and on through the day, stifling my giggles because if I laugh out loud my children will all come running & crowd around me trying to see what's so funny and I just can't handle it when they crowd my personal computer space! Maybe just a little quirky? I can relate to so many of these so I will just add a few that I don't think have been mentioned.

I love the idea of oranges but I don't like to actually eat them. The texture annoys me and they never seem to taste as good as they smell. Also I can't deal with the whole peeling ordeal. The white peel stuff under my fingernails and getting my hands all sticky. Ugh. However, if you are eating an orange near me I will ask you if I can smell it. I will take a nice big sniff & be very content while you finish your orange in peace.

I do not like socks that go above my ankle. However, I also can't stand the feel of my jeans brushing up against my calves. So I buy long socks, cut the foot part off of them so I can just wear them over my calves to protect them from the tickly feeling of my jeans and I wear ankle socks on my feet.

My birthday is July 17th. I love the number 17 & see it everywhere. I had to interrupt my husbands phone conversation with our pastor because our car had reached 171717 miles. I also happen to look at the clock at 7:17 at least once almost every day. When I see that it is 7:17 I get very excited and proclaim that it's my birthday!!! Happy birthday to me! :) It is especially fun when I notice my "birthday" on my husbands actual birthday! For whatever reason, he doesn't seem to agree that this is fun.

I am abnormally concerned about running out of a food that I really liked. I will happily munch on leftovers for several meals until there is one serving left and then I will save that one serving until I really really need something yummy to eat... but by then it is covered in green fuzz. :'( I realize this is illogical and I am actually depriving myself of that last bit of yumminess, but I can't seem to make myself eat that last serving while it is still actually edible.


TJ - December 30th, 2013 at 11:04 PM
1. I eat the outside of things first. Like chicken nuggets from McDonalds... I eat the outside, then dip the chicken in honey and eat that. With Reeces pb cups I eat the little edge, then all the chocolate, then the peanut butter. Kit Kats? Chocolate ridge, then the top layer of chocolate, then the bottom, then the wafers- individually of course. I peel the outside off of soft pretzels and eat that before the inside soft part. You get the picture. Drives my husband nuts.
2. I don't like ice in my glass for a couple reasons- it waters down my drink for one, but mostly because when drinking from my glass the ice cubes bump against my lip causing me to make an awkward slurping noise. I hate it.
3. I round everything up in my checkbook- if something is $25.46, I write down $26 even though it would round to $25- I always go up to the next dollar. I am convinced this is like saving pennies in a jar, only I'm saving them in my checkbook. Although I don't know how it is of any value to me because I haven't valued my checkbook in over a decade. Sad but true. (I haven't bounced any checks though- I think it is those pennies adding up...)
4. I cannot stand text speak- I can't do twitter because narrowing my thoughts to 140 characters is impossible without resorting to "u" and "b" and "y?"... which I refuse to do, because it drives me crazy!
5. I hate waking up. I will wake up, realize I have three more minutes before my alarm, and seriously roll back over and then be annoyed three minutes later when the alarm goes off.

Here's some of my husband's quirks, just for fun...
1. He wears sandals 365 days a year. We live in Ohio, so it's not like it's sandal weather 365 days a year. But he will wear his sandals out in the snow. He also teaches phys ed and loves shoes- he has a massive collection at school, but every day he wears his sandals to work and THEN changes in to tennis shoes that match whatever he is wearing that day.
2. All the $1 bills in his wallet must be arranged by serial number. Weird, I know. And I still married him.

There are more but those are the tops!

Amy - December 30th, 2013 at 11:38 PM
I CANNOT open the can/tube of Pillsbury crescent rolls. Not knowing when exactly the "pop" is going to come makes me CRAZY!! I literally put the un-opened rolls in my sons hands, push him outside, lock the door, plug my ears and tell him he can't come in until he opens them. I then watch, (with eyes half shut), through the glass until he does it. Whatever - I'll pay for the therapy.
Emily - December 31st, 2013 at 2:16 PM
I almost peed my pants at this. Seriously
andrea - December 30th, 2013 at 11:51 PM
I have never been able to sit through an episode of "I Love Lucy", because I get so uncomfortable watching the crazy antics and misunderstandings.......pranks are the same way!!
Alissa - December 31st, 2013 at 1:10 AM
Oh how this made my day. I mean REALLY made my day. I NEEEEEED 15 minutes alone in the morning, in the dark, with a matcha latte and my computer. The alone time in itself is enough, but if I find something that makes me laugh as much as your quirks did, then I can be good and happy and kind and generous for the entire day, no matter what happens.

I am totally with you on the sleep thing but cold kids, tough luck. I signed off on temperature control the day my kids were old enough to walk and carry a coat at the same time. Too cold? Too hot? Your problem. That said, thirsty is your problem too. You'll remember a water bottle next time!

But white bread. Oh my heavens, white bread. I cannot. CANNOT. Send my kids off to school (or anywhere else for that matter) with white bread in their poor little tummies. My mind and body start to seize up as I can literally feel the refined flour sending their blood sugar rocketing skyward, then plunging to heretofore uncharted lows, followed by the terrible lethargy that sets in as their digestive systems grind slowly to a halt... It is the stuff of my nightmares.

Eat what they will later on (gummi candy being a totally acceptable food group of its own), my children MUST have grains for breakfast. Porridge; the stickier the better. Muesli; the Swiss kind that soaks in fruit and cream all night long. Whole wheat bread; preferably one that has so many wholesome, chunky, unpronounceable pre-historic grains in it that it can hardly stick together and must be dug out of the toaster with a spoon in hideously twisted half-burned chunks.

I will, however, make an exception for cold pizza. Cold pizza is great breakfast food.

The only thing worse to my mind than white bread for breakfast is being scared. You know the thing your kids just LOVE to do; hide behind a door, your car, a tree, a sibling.... then jump out and shout BOO!!! Hate it. HATE IT. HAAAAAAAAATE IT! Don't go there. I will hit you with whatever I am holding and won't stop until my heart-rate goes back to normal. My kids can tell you that's enough time to do some serious damage.

So, there's my top-of-the-list quirks. Happy New Year 2014 and hurrah for all of the amazing, uniquely quirky people that make up this wonderful world. I'm sending a special high-five to Brandi, one of the early commenters. Exclamation marks totally make us sound friendlier!!! You can say anything if you say it with exclamation marks!!! ALL CAPS and .... are also somehow indispensable to mailing and messaging. But people, really, the word is NOT 'disorientated'. NOT NOT NOT.

Sorry, one of my other quirks is getting sidetracked with tangential thoughts... HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!!






Clare - December 31st, 2013 at 5:25 AM
Wow, you could totally be my sister. I totally feel you on #3, 4, and 5.
Becky - December 31st, 2013 at 6:21 AM
I'm so with you on #1 (BEDTIME) and #3 (last night I made my husband pull the car over 2 miles from home because the kids were joking in the back seat and talkin over each other. We sat on the side of the road until they quieted down and my blood pressure returned to safe levels).

I am the opposite of you regarding goodbyes. I NEED to say goodbye. Even if my husband is running to the gas station that's 2 blocks from our house or the kids are going to school at the end of the block, they had better kiss me good bye or I will nt be able to concentrate on a single thing until they get home. What if something terrible happens and I never get to kiss them again? I MUST say goodbye like every time is the last time.

I also cannot stand pranks. I would stand next to you and yell "it's all just a set up!"

I love to knit, but can't stand the feel of some textures of cheap yarn, so I wander through Michaels and AC Moore caressing all the skeins until I find just the right one for the new project that won't skeave me out!

We all have our issues. :-)
Julie - December 31st, 2013 at 9:04 AM
Ok I have a few I haven't seen here yet (not to mention a few I have):

Typing with my teeth. I actually remember when this started. I used to drum my fingers in time to music or whatever and I thought it was annoying so I decided to "internalize" it and started tapping with my mouth and began visualizing a keyboard between my teeth so now I type words with my teeth. Like I will take the last word in a sentence or a sting and fixate on it, typing it over and over in a sing song fashion.

LOVE it when my kids or husband get a sunburn and I can peel the peeling skin after.

In public restrooms, I must rip the end of the toilet paper before unveiling the section I will use. Don't want anyone else to have touched the toilet paper that is going to be touching me.

TWO spaces after a period people, not just one.

Thanks for the group therapy Jen!
Jennifer - December 31st, 2013 at 9:33 AM
I'm not alone!
My top 5:
1. I hate ketchup. Can't stand the smell, the look, or even the bottle. I've been known to "forget" to buy it so it's not in the house. Don't even start with the crusty stuff left on dishes. I will throw things away rather than deal with it.
2. When I'm anxious, I have to rub something. But it has to be a certain material and feel "crisp." The folded-up car shades are perfect.
3. I will put off going to the grocery store until there's nothing left in our house. I can be extremely creative with random pantry supplies. I pretend I'm on a cooking show. I have to go to the store today with all 3 kids and I'm sobbing a bit as I drink my coffee and rubbing my blanky (#2).
4. I gag a bit when I see kids pick their nose. What's worse, I'm a kindergarten teacher and I will shriek "no picky- picky" when a finger gets close to a nose. I'm sure that's all my students will remember about this year.
5. On trash days, every bit of trash in my house must be emptied into the big bin, otherwise, I'm extremely disappointed.
I loved reading all the comments; this was fun!

Kristen - December 31st, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Dark water...ocean, lake, pool...something HAS to be in there.
Wooden popsicle sticks - can't even cope.
TV volume MUST be divisible by 2 or 5 - preferably both.
Milk must only be consumed from a glass (no plastic) and never anywhere but my own house.
Candies such as m&ms must be eaten in like-colored pairs.
NEVER touch the blanket/ comforter in a hotel. Never.
Megan - December 31st, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Ahh, thank you for making me feel better.
1. I, too, am a sleep Nazi. I do not appreciate cranky children, especially when it's just because they didn't have enough sleep. Two minutes past whenever I arbitrarily have decided they should be asleep, my blood pressure spikes and I am frantically trying to force them to bed.
2. As for myself, I will NOT get out of bed early. My best friend will wake up super early sometimes and just clean the house & iron until her people awaken. Not me. Even if I wake up 4 minutes before my alarm, I WILL. NOT. GET. UP. because, darn it, that is my rest time!
3. I am pretty introverted, but touch is my love language. I won't initiate contact with you unless you touch me first, but hugs and touches on the arm when we are talking totally fill me up. Having a pal casually touch my arm or shoulder as we talk makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. And while we're on the subject, please give me REAL hugs. Hugs where people try to avoid the fact that one or both of the huggers have breasts are so annoying! Gee, let's hover close to each other, touch shoulders and pat backs, but heaven forbid the breasts actually touch! I mean, really people. It's okay. Solid hugs are awesome. And being a semi-slender, NOT well-endowed, kind of bony woman, I just love hugging my friends who are - um - larger & softer. Again, just feels good.
4. I can't reach into a dark mailbox. I always envision a disembodied hand or a severed head in there. No idea why.
5. If you run with me on trails in the fall, be prepared. When my face hits a spider web, I scream like there's an ax murderer after me. Freaks me out. It tends to scare the poo out of my running companions too. Do. Not. Like. Spider. Webs!
Christen - December 31st, 2013 at 12:43 PM

-I divide almost everything into 5s. I either divide the object into fifths or group things into groups of 5. Window panes, computer monitors, cabinets, chairs, the ceiling fan....I mentally divide everything and count them off with my teeth (2 on the left, 1 in the middle, 2 on the right). If, say, cabinets are out of order by size, I mentally regroup them.

-I divide skittles, m&ms, etc into groups. One group with each color and so on until all the colors are distributed into a group (no duplicates in one group). Then, I eat them smallest group to largest group, chewing each group on one side, trying to end with chewing the last group on the right side.

-I like words with an odd number of letters, preferably with a vowel or a C in the middle.

-And lastly, my family's favorite, I almost never drink the last couple sips of water from a cup If you ever see a glass of water with a little left at the bottom, you can almost guarantee it's mine!
auntiejl - December 31st, 2013 at 5:01 PM
1. I am the household Grammar Nazi. You will listen. You will not conform to the colloquial vernacular. "Let" and "left" are absolutely NOT interchangeable! You will never "sawl" anything, and if you do "drawl," you'll be in Texas. Or Alabama. You SAW your sister do something naughty. You DRAW a picture. Gah! You will not use "whenever" for "when," or ask if you can simply "go with" and leave off the direct object, or say that something is "all" when it's "all GONE."

2. I cannot STAND the smell of Pizza Hut's honey-barbecue wings. Oh, golly, it smells like someone has puked in my kitchen. It makes me gag. Unfortunately, my husband loves them.

3. I can deal with just about any childhood malady without a problem, but please don't make me take care of a kid who is vomiting. I will sympathy-puke. If it's just a little bit and it's not much more than phlegm, I'm okay. Anything more than that is a recipe for disaster. I'm really good at the whole care-and-comfort thing. But moving the puked-on sheets to the washer is enough to make me gag. I buy stock in Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator just for these moments.

4. The pillowcases on my pillows have to have the open end facing my edge of the bed. I can't sleep if they're facing the center of the bed. My husband does not suffer from this malady.

5. I still take my Pooh bear (given to me on the day I was born) with me on long trips.

6. I have to make sandwiches with matching slices of bread when at all possible, and I flip one slice out so that they'll match up darn near perfectly when I slap the sandwich together.

7. I have three dresser drawers devoted to my fun sock collection.

8. Am I the only one here who has to eat m&ms and Reese's pieces in trios? Everybody else is pairs. Skittles are different, though. Those are usually munched in trios, but not always, and I work through the colors I don't like as much first and finish with the colors I like best.

9. Despite my being a Grammar Nazi and holding a Grammar Police badge, and scribbling all over the church bulletin with proofreader's marks just because I can, and wincing over they're/their/there and you're/your usage errors, and sighing over obvious spelling mistakes, I wrote my kids' garbled pronunciations of words phonetically in my blog. They were too cute not to.
Beverly - December 31st, 2013 at 11:20 PM
1. Can't stand talking on the phone. Please just text me or leave a voice mail. It's just better for both of us.

2. Those dang biscuit/crescent roll cans...I cannot and I repeat cannot make myself open one. I am scared to death of the sound it will make. I have to have someone else open those things and even then, I must leave the room and close my eyes. (I was glad to see someone else mentioned this in their post.)

3. Hand wipes must be in possession at all times. I'm talking like I have at least 10 packages around the house and am fully prepared at any given moment.

4. I love the smell of books and have to "sniff" the pages of them every chance I get. Kindle ain't got nothing on you baby!

5. I can talk to a room full of kids all day long but put me in a room of my peers and I freak.
Katie - January 1st, 2014 at 10:35 PM
This is heaven.

Alright - I can never set anything on an even / normal number. For example, I will wake up at 7:03 and microwave things for 2 mins and 19 seconds. I love it.

Another (rather tragic because of our current circumstance) quirk is that if someone talks about something, I will easily attach it to my own life. So, I'm desperately upset that I just read that someone has to turn the light on when they go to the bathroom at night because that way they can see if a snake is waiting to bite them...because now that is me. Forever.

And I am actually in the same boat with goodbyes. I literally dread family functions BECAUSE we have to say goodbye to every person before we leave. Scratch that. Everyone else has to, because I just walk out the door. "Sorry, fam. See you soon, I'm sure. But I'm definitely walking outta here before you have the chance to stop me."

Love this. Thanks Jen and everyone for sharing your quirks!
kc - January 3rd, 2014 at 1:20 PM
The bedtime sleeping thing is so me. My oldest is 10.. not sure how I am going to cope with them as they get older and want to stay up late. Like past 8pm. Here are a few others...
-I can have 4 kids in 5 years but I cannot mail things. I just can't. Boxes...post offices...the task is insurmountable.
-I hate the word "toes". Makes me cringe to even write it.
-I LOVE games like charades but waiting form my turn is torture. If there is a group of people who will let me do the "acting" everytime we would so be best friends and we would so win every time. I try to play this off and be all cool if someone needs to go again to break a tie or something but in my head I am all like dying for them to pick me.
Christi Anna Coats - January 3rd, 2014 at 1:31 PM
1) When people crease papers, I want to murder them.
2) I procrastinate to the point of personal devastation.
3) The sound of stirring a plastic spoon in a styrofoam cup makes me want to cry.
The rest of my quirks are here: http://coatsquotes.wordpress.com/about/
By the way, I read in one of your books that you stay with real people when you travel, so if you are ever in Greensboro, NC area and need a place to stay%u2026I'm your girl. We live near nothing, but we only drink fresh roasted coffee (none of that burnt Charbucks). We're total snobs about it. It's good.
Heather Holter - January 4th, 2014 at 8:46 PM
I go batshit crazy over missing toys, the sets that have so many pieces. Like tea sets, tool sets, kitchen sets etc. Occasionally a missing baby doll if it's newish. It's so bad I can't sleep at night. Last night I yelled screamed ranted and raved over a missing big blue screw to a kids workbench. It was under the couch. a month ago a cookie from a set of ten went missing and didn't turn up for the whole month. I don't know how much sleep I lost over that.

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