I have some heavier topics floating around my head, that I’m not quite ready to write about so I’m going to borrow an idea from Jen Hatmaker and post about the quirkiness of me. I’m also curious how many people will respond with: “OMG, I’m the SAME way.” So here goes:
- Every morning, when I wake up, I have a song playing in my head. This morning, it was “Lost Boy” by Ruth B. On any given day it can range from a line of a church hymn (And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings) to a commercial jingle (Your Metro Detroit Ford dealers…think Ford first!) to a current pop hit (Just like fire, burning out the way). Until a few years ago, I thought that this earworm condition was true for everyone. My brother and sister looked at me like I was crazy when I started a conversation with, “You know how you wake up every day with a song in your head?” Most of the time I like this little quirk about me. Unless it’s a Justin Bieber song. Then it’s torture.
- Speaking of songs, if I like a song, I must learn all the lyrics. ALL of them. This obsession was once much harder. I remember when I would buy a cassette and be thrilled that the case insert contained the lyrics instead of just the credits. The same was true when CDs replaced cassettes. Then, when the Internet came along, it blessed me with the ability to look up any song and BAM! Instant lyrics. Knowing all the lyrics also requires replaying a song over and over until I have it down. Maybe that’s why there’s always a song in my head.
- Another music related quirk is that I love countdowns. Music countdowns, video countdowns, movie countdowns, I love them all. Perhaps it began with Casey Kasem. I remember listening to the radio on Sunday mornings to hear what the top 40 songs were for the week. I recall fondly the “Long-Distance Dedications”. Then when MTV actually had videos there was the weekly top 10 videos countdown. I was a dedicated viewer till MTV swapped videos for reality programming. Later, in the first years of the new millennium, the American Film Institute would release a yearly movie countdown: AFI’s Top 1oo Movies of All Time, AFI’s Top Movie Songs of All Time, AFI’s Top Movie Heroes of All Time, and so on. CBS broadcasted the countdown every June for about ten years and it included clips of the movies, interviews with stars, directors, and writers, and revealed nuggets of trivia that I loved. I watched every time. Now I feed my countdown craving through Sirius satellite radio. Their 80’s channel has a weekly countdown that features the top 40 songs for that week during one of the 80’s years. Let me tell you, after years of listening, I’m declaring that the some of the best music of all time occurred during early November of 1983. That countdown included all of these prolific artists and bands: Prince, Billy Joel, Pat Benatar, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Journey, Huey Lewis and the News, Culture Club, Lionel Ritchie, just to name a few. And when the Number One song is “Islands in the Stream,” you know it was a week to remember.
- This next one is going to shock some. Brace yourselves. Pizza could drop off the face of the earth and it wouldn’t bother me one bit. Don’t get me wrong. I like bread. I like melty cheese. I like spicy meat like pepperoni and sausage. I just don’t care for all of it put together. Moreover, it doesn’t help how often pizza is the go-to meal. “Come over, we’ll order pizza,” and “Free staff lunch: pizza.” I get it. It’s a cost-effective way to feed a lot of people. But I’ve had my fill. As recently as two days ago, someone told me that they couldn’t live without pizza. I could.
- I could live without pizza, but I would be devastated if soup left my life. I could eat soup every single day. It can be 98 degrees outside and I’ll still heat up a bowl. I love to make soup. I love to eat soup. I love most kinds of soup. (Except Minestrone. Minestrone can take a hike with pizza.) I love that soup is comforting and flavorful and has the potential to make any ingredient the star. My favorite episode of Seinfeld was the one featuring the infamous Soup Nazi. I even shared my love of soup with co-workers by hosting BYOB (Bring Your Own Bowl) Mondays and bringing in some of my favorites like clam chowder, beef mushroom, and the classic chicken noodle. If I ever had my own restaurant it would be a soup cafe’. Or a soup truck.
- My final food quirk is that I am not a fan of “Brinner.” I prefer my eggs and pancakes and hashbrowns to remain as a breakfast food only. Restaurants that serve breakfast all day aren’t scoring any points with me. When McDonald’s decided to adjust its menu so customers weren’t locked into that McMuffin before 10 a.m. rule, this chica wasn’t impressed. I like my breakfast food where it is. In the morning. The way God and short order cooks and Tony the Tiger intended.
- This next quirk is extremely petty. I will never, ever, understand Hello Kitty. Why is she popular with girls, teens and even adult women? I should take the “to each their own” on this one. I should, but I won’t. There is one HUGE problem that I have with her. Hello Kitty has no mouth. I repeat, SHE HAS NO MOUTH. It’s creepy. It’s wrong. Why doesn’t she have one? I Googled the question and, apparently, the creator decided that leaving her mouthless would allow the viewer to decide what emotion Hello Kitty was expressing. If the viewer was sad, Hello Kitty would seem sad. The same for happy. Whatever. Knowing that doesn’t make me like her. Honestly, I’m pretty committed to my Hello Kitty stance. Sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to be petty. And this is a pretty harmless pettiness, so I’m going to hang on to it.
- Another quirky pet peeve of mine is inaccurate clocks. I can’t stand when a clock is even one minute off. I used to be in the Set Your Clock Ahead a Few Minutes Club. Then I figured out that being in the club didn’t really help me. All it did was force me to do clock math. I knew if a clock was set 6 or 9 or 13 minutes fast. So I would have to pause to figure out the real time. Why do that step? Just set all of your clocks for the right time and eliminate a step. Once again, with modern technology through smartphones and computers and atomic clocks and even cable TV, we know what the real time is. I’m not going to try to trick myself into thinking I have more time than I do. There’s a lot of math in life anyway. I don’t need to determine X-9=the real time.
- My last quirk is that I fall asleep with the TV on and have to have it remain on all night long. I know it’s a waste of electricity. I understand that according to experts sleeping with the TV on could prevent me from reaching optimum deep sleep. I don’t care. I’m going to hold on to this behavior, sleep experts and DTE energy analysts be damned. I can identify the exact cause for this behavior–a nightmare I had when I was 14 years old. Without going into details it was extremely realistic and involved an ax. I couldn’t sleep for weeks after that horrific dream. My only respite was to lay on the couch in our basement and watch Nick at Night reruns of The Patty Duke Show, My Three Sons and Green Acres. They would lull me to sleep and if I woke up in a panic, they distracted me from replaying the nightmare over and over in my head. Well, we know what happens when a habit becomes a crutch. Maybe someday I will wean myself off of the TV. Maybe.
It is bothersome to me that there are nine quirks and not ten. Ten is a nice round number. Nine seems open-ended. Perhaps that’s what I should embrace. I should leave myself open to finding something else quirky but makes me, me.
Celebrating quirks also celebrates one’s individuality. When we value our own uniqueness, as well as the uniqueness of others, we add value to our humanity. Right now, that is an especially important task we should all undertake.