10 Reasons Why

10 Odd Things You Might Be Doing Without Even Realizing That You Are

1. Saying “excuse me” when you sneeze, even though no one else is in the room.

That’s very polite of you. It’s also slightly schizophrenic. But that’s okay. As long as you keep the reflex going, you’ll be sure to apologize at more appropriate moments. This will come in handy when you suddenly let loose with a surprise rip-snorter at Sunday church service, blowing the pretty little hats off of three elderly women sitting in front of you, making them think the Dust Bowl has returned.

(Edna Jean: “There’s that dang wind again. Guess we better load up the truck and head to Beverly.” Pearl May: “Again? I’m still diggin’ the sand out of my hope chest from the last time”. Lottie June: “I wonder if that nice John Steinbeck will write another story about us. Maybe they can get Sarah Palin to play my part in the movie, cuz she’s always lost in the wind.”)

2. Saying “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that” when you didn’t understand what someone just said.

Why are you sorry? You didn’t do anything wrong, they did, since they obviously didn’t say whatever it was very clearly or there wouldn’t have been an issue. Perhaps we should change the phrase to “speak LOUDER and look at me when you say that, Mumbledore.”

On the flip side, if you are using this phrase when you actually mean “I was trying to ignore you but now that you are apparently expecting some type of response, I need you to repeat everything I ignored and maybe I’ll listen this time”, then it’s your bad. If you don’t want people to engage you in conversation, then don’t go near people. This is a basic tenet in the Church of Introversion.

3. Hollering like a banshee while using a wireless phone in a public setting.

Who the hell are you talking to? Helen Keller? And why are you even bothering to use a phone in the first place, as your voice is now bouncing off satellites on its own. (Kim Jung Un and his many delusions can hear you in North Korea.) There is no reason for you to be squealing like a stuck pig unless you’re on the verge of orgasm or you’re in the midst of a prostate exam. (Granted, these activities could be very closely related in certain amorous situations, but let’s not ask or tell.) Knock it off, Chupacabra.

4. Lifting your legs when you drive over railroad tracks.

Or touching metal somewhere in the car. Or pulling on your ear lobe. This is the residue from childhood games that parents invented to keep you occupied and quiet. It really doesn’t improve your life in any way.

5. Walking on your tippy-toes when get out of the shower and head toward the bigger bathmat in front of the sink.

The floor is going to get just as wet no matter what, as it’s the same amount of water dripping off your body. Only people who have appeared in “The Nutcracker” need to be walking like that.

6. As you prepare to make a right turn onto a side street, you swing your car out into the left lane so you can make this really special, wide-ass maneuver that will guarantee a successful mission.

You really don’t need to do that. Your car was designed to make this kind of turn without you ending up in a ditch. It’s unnecessary. It also completely annoys the people who were peacefully driving in that left lane and minding their own business, when suddenly they are forced to slam on their brakes because your car is moving in the opposite direction of your turn signal. Assuming you even used one of those things.

7. You set the house alarm, walk five feet to the back door, then have a small paranoia attack and race back to the alarm to make sure you set it correctly.

And, of course, you did set it right. You always do, because it’s not complicated and you do it every day. But you know that if you don’t double check it, you will worry about it all the way to work and then be completely unproductive the rest of the day.

8. You try to put on socks while standing up, something goes terribly wrong with your balance, and you end up crashing into a piece of furniture that was just innocently sitting there and waiting for you to dust it.

You knew it was going to happen, but you thought you could pull it off anyway. Sadly, you’re not 17 and limber anymore. Now you actually have to take a small break and rest between socks. Maybe even lay on the bed and watch another episode of “House Hunters International” before you attend to the other foot.

9. You give your cat an “official” name, but then never actually use that name again.

Instead, the cat must suffer through an endless string of evolving nicknames that are vaguely related but still don’t make any sense, consisting of made-up words and repeated syllables that sound cute. The poor furry thing should probably be in therapy for some type of identity neurosis, but that type of coverage isn’t included in the Kitty Medical Plan. Just give little Bo-Bo Snookie Jumper something shiny to play with and things will be fine.

10. You take a tiny, unimportant incident and turn it into a torrid melodrama of pain and betrayal. At least in your head.

Whilst semi-snooping, you find this strange pencil on your partner’s desk in your shared home office. Your partner doesn’t use pencils, what’s up with that? And it’s been sharpened recently, a sure sign that someone is up to no good. And there’s a faint, possible perfume/cologne smell wafting from the evil wood. It doesn’t smell like anything your partner wears or exudes. This pencil belongs to somebody else!

What has been going on behind your back? Is it an affair? Oh my God! Your mind races as you mentally run through all your friends and acquaintances, trying to determine which of them has a fondness for stick-like things with graphite in the middle and is also a slut. Who has been lying to you when? Which skanky ho has been smiling sweetly at you during happy hour at The Regal Beagle, and then running off to recreate scenes from “The Postman Always Rings Twice” with your formerly-beloved partner who is apparently not the person you thought you knew? You stagger to the liquor cabinet and guzzle everything, because it feels important to accomplish such an objective during this time of personal trauma.

Two weeks later, after you’ve written to Dr. Phil, Oprah and Ellen, and even anonymously posted questions on some blog named “How to Seek Proper Revenge on Those Who Have Disappointed You in Life”, the phone rings. You set aside your latest bottle of gin, belch, and pick up the receiver. It’s your mother. Always the penny-pincher, she’s wondering if she left her favorite pencil at your house the other day. You know, the day when she and your partner got together to sketch out plans for your surprise anniversary party next weekend?

Whoops. You might want to call your lawyer back and have him tear up a few freshly-signed documents, especially that notarized rant where you went into graphic detail concerning what your partner can do with the graphite in his cheating pencil. But first, finish off that bottle of gin. Momma always said to eat everything on your plate or you won’t get dessert…

 

Originally published in “The Sound and the Fury” on 06/15/12. Revised and updated with extra flair for this post. (One item was completely excised but was given a generous severance package and now lives in a lovely bungalow on an island where hurricanes are irrelevant.) Photo source: Yet another snapshot from the Alcazaba of Malaga, wherein I was attempting to be arty but I no longer recall what that art might be.

 

34 replies »

    • Yep, that gets under my skin as well. And someone in my immediate family (no names mentioned for litigation reasons) feels compelled to come to a COMPLETE STOP before making a turn of any kind. My teeth have been gritted down to the nub… 😉

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    • Fair disclosure: Before I finally snapped and retired from Verizon, we use to take breaks and diddle with coloring books. We also kept cans of Play-Doh around for stress release and impromptu sculpturing. Oh, and we once recreated a scene from “The Silence of the Lambs” using those Peeps marshmallow bunnies. My immediate work group was actually quite nurturing and supportive, and I do miss them. The rest of the company can sit on it and spin, said with no bitterness whatsoever… 😉

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      • This ‘Silence of the Lambs’ thing would surely be marvelously therapeutic. The corporate gravy-train is corrosive to gentle and delicate spirits. I cannot imagine working for Verizon in any capacity at all having experienced them as a customer for a mere 12 months of my life …. my daughter, who graduated with an excellent degree in Fine Arts from an excellent school in the summer is currently training to work in a call centre for a bank. I find myself torn between reassuring in a somewhat brittle voice that her that it’ll be swell swell swell and wanting to go and airlift her out of Liverpool and wrap her in a creative bubble for the rest of her life. You did the right thing and bitterness is entirely acceptable 😉

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  1. #2, the advice my husband has given many times already .. Dont be sorry, but I kind of drop sorry everywhere,includin Sorry, I didn’t catch that.

    #8, Am guilty of doing and am very sure I can manage to accomplish it one day, even if you said I can’t, as soon as I practice to wake up early to re-start my yoga classes.

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    • I’m trying to do some strength training as well when it comes to #8. Of course, this mostly involves me watching YouTube videos whilst eating chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and not actually getting out of bed, but we have to take baby steps… 😉

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    • Uh oh, I hadn’t really thought about that. Now I’m starting to feel guilty about disrespecting those who are still with us, just on a different plane. Spirits have feelings, too, right? And they can be equally offended by discordant bodily functions produced at high decibel levels…

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      • Yes, I suspect that their displeasure is the reason weird things happen to us every now and then. SO, contains those bodily emanations when you think you are alone – because ……you are never alone (said in deep, eerie, mildly suggestive of violence and horror voice).

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  2. I’ve never heard of # 4 and the railroad tracks thing. Interesting. Now, # 9 … so many kitty names! I even made a list one time for all 4 of ours, then we gave them other funny names, like for western, wrestling, science fiction, etc. That was fun. 🙂

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  3. 1. it seems odd (and schizophrenic possibly) to do that, but what if, one day your prince DOES come and take you away from all your solitude filled moments? Prince might be offended if you’re rude and don’t say such things by rote. And yeah, Prince does sound like a dog name…which is covered under #9…sort of.
    2. Some of us were raised to say “Sorry” for EVERYTHING. Because for whatever reason we became the designated ‘evil child’ or witch hunter’s prey. Our budding self esteem, thus sprayed so liberally with the dew of hate filled monstrosities that were supposed to nurture us did such a thorough job of making us feel unimportant and even ‘in the way’ that we came to automatically apologize for breathing. (damn this one sounds less wry and more angst. Sorry! 😉 )
    3.I blame that idiot that switched cell phone horses in mid stream who used to go about hollering “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW??” He got bought by a rival cell company (apparently) and now makes fun of people doing or saying that. Geezus dude. Pick a side. He’s at fault for a myriad host of cell phone bad manners and faux pas across worlds…
    4. Huh? This must be a thing that was only taught in the midlands, because out here in the West? You stood on the tracks flipping the engineer the bird and then dove off at the last possible second, laughing your stupid 10 year old asses off; OR you put pennies on the tracks and came back later to find the flattened copper substitute mess and take it home and dribble over it with your buddies. I never heard of raising my legs. Couldn’t do it anyway now if I wanted to. Steering wheel is far too low and banging my real knee and/or my fake one on that? Causes swearing and cursing at the world’s unfairness in general.
    5. Never have done this, despite all the ballet and ‘jazz dance’ classes forced upon me as a tot. I just put a big bathmat by the tub. Problem solved.
    6. I met one of these idiots this morning actually. He almost caused me to hit an apparently innocent old fart who was driving about .5 miles per hour in the far lane too. The wide turn moron got a hot serving of American bird and some salty language for his breakfast. Unless you’re driving an insanely large 18 wheeler or have multiple ‘pups’ (extra trailers) attached to the semi, this maneuver is for the dim witted and inept driver, who richly deserves to have a large man drag them from their drivers seats and beat them soundly until they agree never to drive again.
    7. Um, you think this behavior is ABNORMAL? It’s S.O.P. for the OCDers in the crowd…
    8. Trying to balance on one leg and do anything (old ballet moves that you know better than to attempt, putting on pants, socks or underwear; etc etc) after you’ve reached a certain age is sheer bravado on your part. You might convince your brain you’re still 17, but your body (which rules, let us face facts) knows the truth of the matter and will stage a large revolt guaranteed to possibly paralyze or kill you. Just sit down and do it like the rest of the old farts. Nobody will judge.
    9. Dogs and cats are subject to this. They laugh and ignore us for the most part…although dogs will come if you say “shithead’ in the right tone of voice. Maybe cats are just slicker or just don’t give a fig as long as the kitty treats and shiny objects keep showing up..
    10. Well gawd now I’m embarrassed. I did this yesterday at the DMV didn’t I? Cheating of dead spouses is no longer relevant to me (If he’s cheating wherever he landed that’s on him. He presumably KNOWS my feelings on the matter). You’ve listed, with your usual stunning accuracy, the reason I never will entangle myself with romantic or co-existence relationships ever again. Who needs the drama? And while I miss doing the horizontal mambo now and then, the decaying state of my personal being tells me that the experience would be highly painful and embarrassing if I tried it. I have to wonder, now that you mentioned it, whether anyone really makes all that noise when orgasm time comes to town? I never did, and found watching Kim Cattrall holler in every sex scene she starred in (from Porkies to SITC the series and the two movies…the woman makes so much noise Kim HooHa (that bad hair idiot from N Korea) picked HER up on satellite and they channeled it to the masses and called it ‘verbal porn”. If she does that in real life, her partner(s) are very patient… most men (in my experience, which isn’t all that vast granted) don’t like a lot of screaming and moaning. Means someone might call the police..

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    • This comment is so stunningly wonderful that I don’t even know where to begin. Wait, yes I do. You have to turn this into a blog post. (And perhaps you already have, as I haven’t quite gotten around to visiting yours truly this evening.) Maybe you could somehow bounce off this one, although I hesitate to say this because you have already been overly-gracious in sharing my bits with others. (In a chaste manner, of course.) In any case, you simply must do it, as you have some gut-busting humdingers going on that deserve more attention. You simply MUST. So do it.

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    • I can’t even click on the link, because I know it will make me want to claw my face out of frustration, and I already have enough incentive to do that just by simply getting out of bed in the morning and discovering that SOMEONE did not buy coffee on their way home from work last night. (I will not name names, but it wasn’t me.) But your synopsis of the clip is further evidence that much of the youth of today do not understand consequence. And now I’m going to go drink my weak-ass tea because there’s NO COFFEE….. 😉

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  4. My husband does the wide turn thing. I think he likes to pretend he’s a truck driver, though I’m not sure because we’ve never discussed it. I figure if I don’t point out his peculiar habits, he’s less likely to point out mine. 😄

    Okay, now for what I really wanted to say: “basic tenet of the Church of Introversion”!!!
    OMG! How did I miss that?! Is this a thing?! How often do they meet?! (Oh, doh, it’s online of course! What was I thinking?) What are the hymns like?
    “Shall We Gather at the Library”
    “What a Friend We Have in Google”
    “Sweet Hour of Introspection”

    Brian, I swear if you don’t jump on this I might have to! 🙏

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    • “Swing Low, Sweet Spotlight”. You’re right! This is a goldmine that simply must be plundered. Naturally, I want to make this my own, but the decent side of me (when I can find it) is saying that this really belongs to you. You already have three splendid examples of quirkiness, and if you flesh that out with 7 more or so altered ditties along with some illustrations (via Daughter or You or Merricat) you could easily have a post for the ages. Or at least for the day. Run with it, Girl. Run! “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Closing of the Door”. Because really, it’s time for you to go. I’ll be sure to wash your covered dish and send it back to you. Just go.

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  5. Sorry. I’m Canadian. We say ‘sorry’ for everything. EVERYTHING. #2 is just a given. Sorry.

    … and #8 … I’m sorry. You must be mistaken. If I do it, it can’t possibly be odd. I am so deeply in denial about my decline into decrepitude, I must, MUST, put my socks on standing up. There may very well come a day when I don’t know who or where I am, but I will still be able to balance on one leg 🙂

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