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

Dusty archives, once again…

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 neurotic. But that’s okay. As long as you keep that natural 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 that clueless Marjorie Taylor Greene 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.

(Pastor Clodhopper at COI: “Thank you for not joining us this Sunday as we celebrate our devotion to privacy and the invention of home-delivery…”)

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.

(Police Officer: “Can you help me understand why you stabbed Mrs. Peacock with a toilet brush in the Express Lane?” Helen Killer: “I’m deaf and I could still hear her screeching away on the phone with her therapist, Dr. Brian. Something about getting a pap smear confused with a Rorschach test. No one but the two of them needs to know this information. No one.” Police Officer: “Got it. No further questions. You’re free to go.”)

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. Unless you’re trying to impress your date with how high you can lift those legs.

(Bobby Joe: “Girl, you make me wanna grunt when you do that mess.” Sally Jo: “This? Oh, it ain’t nuthin. I gotta trick pelvis. And a waterbed back at my goat farm.” Bobby Joe: “Dang, you fancy. Just show me where to turn and we’ll show them goats what’s what.” Sally Jo deftly points the way using the foot behind her left ear…)

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. You’re merely concentrating the flow into one focal point which will then spread out to cover the same amount of floor. Only people who have appeared in “The Nutcracker” need to be walking like that.

(Biff: “I never really cared for nutcrackers. The name just makes me uncomfortable.” Muffy: “Oh, you’re fine. They don’t make them small enough to find yours.”)

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 over-reactive, wide-ass maneuver that you hope 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 know what a turn signal might be.

(Little Billy: “Mommy, why is that man driving like that?” Mommy: “Because some people don’t have any sense and you should never date them.” Little Billy: “I bet he has a waterbed and a goat farm.”)

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 all the time. 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 and say rude things to innocent people.

(The Alarm Keypad: “Did they pull out of the driveway?” The Back Door: “Not yet. The one with the ugly haircut is doing something stupid with the rearview mirror.” The Alarm Keypad: “He’s probably in denial about the ugly haircut. What does he expect if he goes to a place called ‘Cheap Snips and Beer’?” The Back Door: “Okay, they’re headed down the street. Mission engaged!” The Alarm Keypad: “Hello? Security Company? We have a breach on Bonnywood. Send 46 alerts to the guy with the beer haircut…”)

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.

(Sock #2: “Why do you always get to go first.” Sock #1: “Because I paid attention in high school while you were smoking behind the gym.”)

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.

(This bit of trivia goes out to the long-time guests at Bonnywood. Cleo the Cat, shuffling through important papers in Daddy’s desk: “Wait, my actual name is ‘Cleopatra’? This is an outrage. I should sue.” Scotch the Cat: “Oh, get over it, honey. I found out my name is really ‘Butterscotch’ when I broke into the computer at that vet where they took my berries.”)

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…


Previously published. 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.


78 replies »

  1. Cat nicknames are definitely a thing. And with as many as ours have had, it’s no wonder a few of them have been psychotic. I do have to take issue with your “berries” post surgery term though. Around here, they’re raisins. Because, ya know …they shrunk.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. B!!!!!
    I missed you and your hilarious huggable self, yo!
    This was like juicy yummy nectar for my thirsty-thinky-laughy mind
    Kisses Which are Endless,

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Hilarious! But I expected nothing less. I know we’ve discussed the railroad track thing before, it’s not a ‘thing’ in Utah that I’m aware of anyway. No, we lived near to railroad tracks when I was a child, and there was a lot of danger of us getting mowed down because we’d play there, putting pennies on the track to be flattened out to a huge thin disc of copper; but other than that….a train whistle is very soothing to me these days and I wish I’d have bought property near to the tracks instead of that effin’ truck yard. Regrets I got a few… ♪♫ Ziggy is Ziggy (no cute nicknames) BUT I don’t use his full name (Ziggy Stardust) more for my benefit than his. It’s a mouthful. I LOVE it that Scotch was actually Butterscotch…aw ❤ My aunt had a pair of Siamese named Cleopatra and Nefertiti … yeah something about those names for cats… my own cats were Biggy and Smalls, relative to their sizes more than anything else. After hubby died they were called 'gone'. The sneezing and cat hair wasn't worth the mouse patrol. Biggy was a Maine Coon and she was HUGE, biggest cat I've ever seen. Thank you sincerely for sharing these always relevant points about those things everyone does..

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh, the train whistle thing. I definitely remember that from my childhood. We were somewhat out in the sticks when we first moved to Broken Arrow, although that changed rather dramatically over the next few years, with lots of folks moving into our area. And I really don’t know WHERE the train tracks were, as I never discovered them whilst exploring the the hills and forests around me, but they were somewhere not too far, as you could hear that whistle, late at night. I was already a night owl, then, often staying up to the wee hours, despite having to be up early for the school bus. (We were in the sticks. It took an hour just to get to the damn school.)

      That whistle, though. Somewhat muted, but definitely there, speaking of all the places I might go someday…


  4. Bwahahahaha! 1. Saying “excuse me” when you sneeze alone. Hell, I don’t even say it when I’m not alone. (kidding) I say ‘Goodness!’ My grandmother used to say “scat here.”
    2. No sorry here. I just flat out tell them I don’t understand them or I didn’t hear them.
    3. I never talk on my cellphone in public. NEVER.
    4. Lifting your legs over RR tracks? I thought you just drove onto the tracks and looked for the train…either that or tried to outrun it.
    5. This one is puzzling. I dry my feet off before I get out of the shower. I have my floppies right there ready to put on.
    6. Nope. Not me. My new car will literally turn on a dime, and I know how to drive.
    7. I don’t have an alarm. I have a gun.
    8. I’m usually sitting down when I put on my socks. AND, the left sock always goes on the left foot, first.
    9. Most of our kitties have been named kitten, with the exception of Leroy.
    10. Oh, don’t you know?” That pencil is no ones’ favorite. It’s a weapon. Haven’t you ever watched John Wick? He killed three men with a pencil. (I taught him how).

    Liked by 4 people

    • 1. Did you know that your hear actually stops when you sneeze? True story.
      2. I used to be polite about this. I’m not anymore.
      3. Ditto.
      4, This may or may not be an Oklahoma thing, not sure.
      5. Oh, I try off as much as I can in the shower. But (TMI alert) I’m a bit… hirsute. The hairs trap the water and it takes me three days to fully dry off.
      6. Same here. My RAV4 can do a full u-turn on a two-lane road without going off the pavement.
      7. I don’t have a gun. I have an alarm. 😉
      8. Yes, left first. Not sure where I picked this up, but it stuck.
      9. I’ve always had absurd names for my pets. It just goes with my territory.
      10. LOL! Wait, what was the question…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did not know that your “hear” stopped, but I do know that your heart does. It’s also impossible to keep your eyes open, unless you tape them.
        #5. “Trying” off can be problematical. That’s why I don’t wash my hair in the shower or in the bathtub. It is VERY long, so I wash it in the kitchen sink. (With a strainer of course, to catch the hair).
        I think I’ve seen these RAV4s. Not sure. Mine is an Infiniti Q50….she’s purty/
        Still no alarm. My intent is…if anyone should break in… I’ll holler, “stop! Put your hands on top of your head. Now stay right there until I go fetch my gun!”
        #10. The mercy killing with a pencil. I think a pen would work just fine…or a knitting needle…or a real needle…or an ice pick…or a screwdriver (Phillips head)…or an acrylic straw. I have an arsenal of weapons. LOLOL

        Liked by 1 person

    • The “lifting legs” thing was very prominent in my childhood. I still think parents made it up to distract their wee urchins from slugging each other in the backseat. But many of my friends still did it even in high school, which was kind of weird, especially if you were the drive and the car would suddenly slow down, which is not what you want to do on a railroad track.

      Good to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Are you sure it’s just the nick-name strings? Just kidding. I always give fancy or alternate names to most people and things in my life. My long-time bestie? “Stargazer Lily”. One of the first cars I owned, a 1973 Super Beetle? “Papaya Carlisle”. My head is a strange place, but it’s fun in here… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. All very true. Even though I’m not personally involved, I am often a witness to one or another on your list. Several of my friends take the trouble to name their cat this and that, but eventually the cat’s name, without exception, evolves towards “meme” or the word about the color of the cat’s coat. We like to add “Ar” before the coat color. So a spotty cat will be called “Ah-Spot”.

    I am not quite sure of the waterbed reference, but goat farm? I love goat since when we were young, we were all brought up on goat milk since cow milk was way too expensive. The goat milk smells very badly, but we drink it for the nutrition. I even knew the goat who gave me milk since we lived very close to the village, but she refused to let me pet her. She’s beautiful, but her coat was not very clean unfortunately.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I always spend a lot of time figuring out a pet name, even if they already have one when they come to live with me. Two examples are “Felina” (who only stayed around long enough to have a litter of kittens, and then vanished into the night, leaving me as the adoptive parent) and “Splotchy”, who stayed with me for many years and two different houses.

      I didn’t mean to imply any bad mojo about goats. I only referenced that angle because of my own childhood, wherein there was a surprisingly large number of goat farms in Oklahoma. (And waterbeds.) I don’t think I’ve ever had goat’s milk, but I do enjoy using goat cheese when I’m cooking, because (at least for me) it’s one of those cheese that absorbs all the flavors of whatever you’re cooking. Some cheeses are too pushy and want to be the star instead of a team player… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Many goat farms in Oklahoma. That’s very interesting. And waterbeds too. I’ve always wanted to experience waterbeds, but never have the chance. I guess it feels like half on land half in water. LOL.

        All, Felina is so irresponsible. I know several women like that, but at least they leave their kids to the grandparents…

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m mixing colloquialisms here, but not lifting your legs whilst driving over railroad tracks was akin to the “step on a crack and break your mother’s back” advisory that was also part of my childhood. I think the grown-ups just liked to torture children in Oklahoma…

      Most people do assume that “Scotch” the Cat is akin to “Scotch” the drink, and that’s entirely understandable. I named him Butterscotch because that was his coloring when we first rescued him, but I already knew that “Scotch” was going to be his functional moniker. That’s just one of the ways my questionable mind works…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My husband does #6 all the time and it drives me crazy! But I’ve given up on trying to get him to stop. I think it’s just too ingrained.

    As for the kitties, I usually calling them Darling or Sweetie, but occasionally &#@! will suffice. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • I just can’t grasp the “swing-wide when you’re turning the other way” predilection. Yet I see it around here, constantly. Boggles the mind.

      We do have a few “catch-all” names that we have used with the various cats who have called Bonnywood home at one point or another. (“Buddy” and “Little Guy” for the males, “Girly” and “Little Mama” for the females.) But most of them have particular monikers. The current crop of ferals that consider our patio home base? “GP” for Guinea Pig, “CK” for Cow Kitty, “George” and “Pierre”.

      Oh, and there’s also “Squirty Gertie” for Cleo. She can be a bit gassy at times… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  7. “Perhaps we should change the phrase to “speak LOUDER and look at me when you say that, Mumbledore.” – LOL, plus the point, as all the others in the post, is directly on point. Love it!

    Liked by 5 people

    • #3 has certainly brought me to the brink of criminal behavior, far too many times. It just gets under my skin immediately and I start envisioning acts of possibly violent retribution…

      And thanks for loving my brain. What a lovely thing to say! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.