My dad does this thing where he compulsively brushes the fringe on the Oriental carpets that litter the hallways and rooms of our house. I suppose it calms him down, this ritual of sweeping his hand-held broom against the tassels so that they line up like decorative soldiers. When he used to annoy me as a teenager, I’d take to passive aggressive measures and muss up the trimming just after he finished smoothing them out. Like a rug noogie. He’d go insane.
But I should have seen it coming — the fact that apples really do fall close to the tree — because at age 25 my own compulsions have made themselves extremely prominent parts of my life. For example, I check doorknobs behind me at least three times to make sure they are definitely, absolutely, positively locked. I can’t leave a bed un-made. I’ve picked up on Leandra’s weird eyebrow scrunching thing, and I’ve started straightening every object in sight. Picture me, at a restaurant, just tidying and organizing the table. It’s great on dates, I look really normal.
Perhaps the strangest habit I’ve developed is one that took hold about 5 or 6 years ago: I cannot fall asleep without putting a sweatshirt over my eyes. No, it cannot be an eye mask because those don’t have enough weight; my lids now require both medium-pressure and total darkness. I often forget that this is weird, thus alarming anyone who sleeps over and finds themselves next to me in my nose-to-head slumber turban.
My dad used to warn me that people get weirder as they get older — a large part of it, I assume, can be attributed to the fact that they stop caring so much. (The other part, like my nervous hair twirling tick that results in curly-qs all around my forehead, can be blamed on stress.) But it’s these idiosyncrasies that make us more interesting, and I like to think they give us character. At the very least they aid in keeping a tidier apartment.
Now what about you? Do you Saran-wrap personal belongings before airplane flights, as Charlotte’s friend does to avoid germs? Do you suck your thumb in tribute to childhood, or perhaps eat couch stuffing, like I saw one woman do on TLC? Maybe you have to listen to a specific song before bed, or start your day with a particular dance. Whatever it is, it’s Tuesday, and I’d rather share oddities with you guys than answer any more emails.
– Amelia Diamond