How boring would it be if nobody had quirks?
What I mean to say is that people have these habits, these quirky habits – and they’re part and parcel of who they are, regardless of whether they’re annoying or habits that these people are trying to break. The hardest thing to do is look past habits that grate on the sensibilities, and that’s something that I’m getting much better at. But the quirky ones – those are the ones that we sometimes don’t notice, but they sometimes help people identify us.
“But Surfer Rob,” you say, “I don’t quite follow – I mean, I know what my buddy Jim looks like. Why would I identify him by a habit?” Good question!
It’s like the eyes. You know a person’s feelings by their eyes, more than anything; and sometimes you can identify a specific person’s eyes. Their quirks tend to be the same way, because – well, they’re quirky. I can do impressions from time to time, which is something I know that I’ve never mentioned before – now you know something new about me!
In the past when I was (literally) living in Detroit, having parties at the house I lived at with my buds Bryan and Kevin, and we were entertaining some more nefarious vices among many good friends, we’d be talking smack about someone who wasn’t there (you know we all do it!) and I’d bust out an impression on-the-fly. Sometimes I’m pretty good at it, and you know what makes it easy? A quirk. Sometimes the quirk and the righ tone of voice is all it takes; throw in a verbal idiosyncrasy, and you’ve got it in the bag. Let’s take Jim Schmidt as an example –
fun fact: we had two guys in our circle of friends with the same name – Jim Schmitt and Jim Schmidt. I could do an impression of both, but Schmitt didn’t have any vocal idiosyncrasies that I could pick out – as a result, he was a James Dean-like character to me, because he’d stand there, feet slightly apart, playing with his wallet chain. He’d spin it once, flip it up, catch it, and drop it. Over, and over, and over. He was just too cool for words.
So we’re talking about where we’re going to get . . . sandwiches (refer to the television show How I Met Your Mother if you don’t know what I mean) and I mimic Jim without thinking about it – intentionally, but by now, we know him well enough. He’s got a deeper, quiet, smooth voice. A little bit of a lisp. A certain widening of the eyes and a very obvious way of twisting his goatee whenever he starts talking about weed. Sandwiches!
Okay, so that’s what I’m talking about. Now, he also had a bad habit of getting in such a way that he’d have to crash on our couch, rather than going home at the end of the night, but that wasn’t so much a quirk as a tiresome burden on us. One thing I felt kind of bad about was when Bryan and Kevin asked me to kick him out. We wanted an empty house and we figured out that Jim was pretty reliable for that tiresome habit. I totally did it; I’m not comfortable being a jerk about stuff, so I came at it like I was just sticking to my guns, and that it was really a consensus. I like to put off the blame from myself whenever I can, but when that’s not the case, I’m more than happy to share responsibility if that’s how it is.
So to make the long story short, quirks do a lot to make us who we are. The world might not be so boring without them, but like the eyes, our quirks are somehow part of our behavioral fingerprint. Love them or hate them, why should we change those of others?
What do you think? Do I have a quirky habit you like or dislike? How about anyone else you know? Do you do impressions? Let us know in the comments!
This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.
So far, 61 other responses have posted:
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