One of the most important lessons I learned about relationships, be it between family, friends or colleagues, is that quirks are part of the deal. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
The quirks can be amusing, benign or frustrating, depending on their nature.
I feel like most of mine are slightly amusing, but borderline frustrating. For one, I cannot allow a door to remain cracked at night.
A bedroom door, closet door, cabinet door — they must all be shut completely. Because if they’re not, my mind immediately concludes that a killer clown is looking through the crack, waiting for the ideal opportunity to jump out, roar, honk his nose, or whatever killer clowns do.
So there have been many a night that my husband has to rise from bed to make sure a door is closed for me.
Like I said, borderline frustrating.
But all relationships have these little oddities or predilections the other person must accept.
Well, you don’t have to accept them, but you do have to live with them.
Or at least I do because quirks run rampant in our house.
My husband considers simply leaning over his glass as contamination to his drinking water; my younger son will not put his shoes on unless the line on the toe of his socks is perfectly straight; and my older son loses his mind over picking up dishes with “old food” on them (imagine smears of ketchup on a plate).
I make lists and notes for everything; I place all toilet paper so that it unrolls from the top, not underneath; and in order to fall asleep I must hear the hum of a fan.
Oh, and all my coffee mugs must face a certain direction when stored in the cabinets. Otherwise I’m disrespecting the coffee, and coffee is a revered liquid to me.
I’m willing to bet some of us share certain quirks.
You ever walk into your bathroom and you know no one is in the shower, but you pull back the shower curtain to look anyway? Yeah, me too.
Give yourself a minute or two and I’m sure you could come up with a collection of your quirks.
Better yet, have someone list them off for you. It can be quite fun, and potentially provide a bit of understanding for all parties involved.
Other people’s quirks used to be puzzling to me, but I realize now weirdness usually comes with a reason.
I once knew a guy who loathed crust on his sandwiches.
I don’t remember why his sandwich had crust on it that particular day, but it did.
He searched for a knife for 15 minutes or so, and by the time he found it and disposed of the crust, almost half of our lunch break was over.
I rolled my eyes as I ate my cheap noodles, thinking how weird he was.
Fast forward nearly two decades and there I am in my kitchen watching my older son pull the crust from the sandwich I just made him.
This aversion to crust is a new trend for Mason.
Up until two weeks ago, he ate crust just fine.
As he pulled the crust off I asked him why he was ripping his sandwich apart.
“It tastes better,” he said simply.
I never thought to ask that guy all those years ago why he didn’t like the crust. I wonder what his answer would have been.
So a no-crust request is a new quirk added to our list, and I made sure to leave my husband a memo sticky note.
Some call people with quirks weird. I call us unique.
Reach Marquita Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.