I, too, being human, haven’t escaped my own collection of quirky habits and annoying eccentricities. A recent poll taken of my closest peers brought agreement on one quirk in particular – the fact that I like to give all foreigners a genuine American welcome – I run them off the road with my car.
The birth of an oddball habit can be amusing to trace. Visitors to my home wonder why I own 20 washing machines and dryers. I tell them, “After years of never finding an empty machine in a laundromat, now I always do.”
During my childhood, my Mom always enjoyed livening up dinnertime by hiding a lit firecracker in my soup. Now, years later, I find it difficult to eat soup if it doesn’t explode in my face.
I don’t know why, but my Uncle Fred always reads the newspaper by shouting the news at the top of his lungs. “AND TODAY IN NORTH KOREA…” The neighbors tune in Uncle Fred instead of their televisions.
A friend has a preoccupation with introducing himself to homely girls and saying, “Words cannot possibly describe your beauty. So how about if we listen to a few screams instead?” (My friend is presently in the hospital with several broken bones.)
Eccentric habits and their development are a mystery. One expert suggests that the seed is planted early in life. Our father hits us and suddenly we have the urge to glue ourselves to a cat. Another expert claims that it’s biological in nature and suggests gene therapy as an answer. But how does that cure my Aunt Ellen’s habit of watching the world with one eye open at a time? Half the day she looks with just her right eye. The other half with her left.
There are habits that can be considered beneficial – liking dodging bullets. I inherited my older brother’s habit of driving backwards on a highway at 60 miles an hour. (It prevents accidents since other drivers get out of your way.) And, through personal experience, I’ve acquired the habit of never starting a campfire indoors unless it’s in a neighbor’s house.
Summing up, habits are like anything else. Some are good, Some are bad. And some create the look of fear on a person’s face. Those are the ones to be treasured.