Weird is as weird does

Special to the Democrat MissourianMay 16, 2014 

Dick Francis had it right when he said, "some people are born weird, some achieve it, others have weirdness thrust upon them." I think I was born with some weirdness, and like a muscle, the more I use it, the stronger it becomes, and the easier it is to see. That would mean my wife has had weirdness thrust upon her. Wow, that sentence was weird. What I mean is that I am well aware that my spouse has to endure some weirdness from time to time. Not "medical attention is required" weirdness, not "I think there is a pill for that" weirdness, but enough that she deserves some recognition for her troubles.

Anyone else out there smell their towels before they dry off? I refuse to dry off with a towel that possesses even a hint of funkiness. Normally, that means I check it before showering. The times when I don’t, a drippy walk of shame to the linen closet in the hallway is required. Who wants to dry off with a smelly towel after you just spent all that time cleaning up? Regardless of the logic, it’s hard to explain yourself when your wife catches you buck naked in front of the linen closet smell testing towels.

In keeping with the linen theme, paper napkins should be outlawed. There have been times when I’m tempted to leave a restaurant if I have to claw my way into an over-stuffed napkin dispenser to get a tiny little single-ply paper square to wipe my hands and mouth. We go through quite a few tea towels in my house, not for dishes, mind you, but for my face. This to me doesn’t seem weird. I have been informed, however, that it isn’t quite normal.

I’m sure every one of you can relate to the trouble inherent in shoe laces. Walking around with your left shoe laced up tighter than the right one drives us all insane, yes? Just like you, I may spend a few extra minutes before walking out the door making sure each shoe is equally tightened. That’s hardly an idiosyncrasy since we all do it, right?

The issue that is most concerning for me is the need to wave and greet people as they pass by. In this day and age, where civility is almost an afterthought, where communication usually means something digital, it seems many of us have forgotten about the simple pleasantry of saying hello. For those of us that may have some OCD issues, this can be a real problem. I wave at you as I drive by, and you don’t wave back, I’m going to assume that you’ve recently had a massive stroke and simply didn’t recognize me. If I say hello as we pass in the office hall, and you don’t respond or even nod, I may bean you with the nearest stapler as you walk away. Fairly certain I don’t have Tourette’s, but it’s hard to suppress the profanity and the involuntary spasms that occur on those rare occasions I catch someone trying to wave at me and it’s too late for me to respond. I feel compelled to turn the car around and follow them home to apologize.

The Doors, who were weird in their own right, had a song, "People Are Strange." My guess is that we all have our own little quirks and silliness. Light bouncing off all the imperfections in a diamond give it its sparkle. Some of us are just a little more sparkly than others. So, I’ll say goodbye now. Did you wave back?

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