or… things (about me) that might drive other folks crazy
By Jeff Salter
Topic: Do you have any habits that your family or friends consider odd?
Unlike the bravery / boldness of some of our Resident Foxes, I did NOT solicit input from family or friends — no doubt they could list enough oddities (about me) to fill a book! I’m a pretty self-aware guy, so I guess I’m sufficiently qualified to list a few of my own idiosyncrasies.
One that is well-known to most readers of my Possum Trot Posts is my aversion to celery (among other “green things” that so many cooks add to so many dishes). And, yes, when I discover celery in my food, I’ll usually pick it out. As discreetly as possible, but sometimes there’s about as much celery as there is edible stuff!
Most of my family is aware that I do NOT enjoy eating out. I’m unequally yoked to a spouse who loves to celebrate ANY occasion by eating out. Not me. I don’t like crowds, I don’t like being jostled while I’m eating, I find the buzz of multiple conversations too jarring, and I don’t like other people handling my food. [Don’t get me started on the restaurants which leave ketchup on the table for months at a time and it’s handled by 784 customers before I have to use it!]
Here’s another that will be familiar to readers of Possum Trot Posts: I like to count stuff. Until covid forced closure of all exercise places for about thirteen weeks in early 2020, I had a 14-year total of the number of times I’d gone to exercise since my rheumatology doctor told me I’d HAVE to start exercising or my body pain (and other fibromyalgia symptoms) would worsen significantly. From Jan. 2005 through the end of 2019, I’d gone to exercise 2047 times. That was an average of 135.4 times per year / 11.3 times per month / 2.6 times per week. My year of highest exercise attendance was 2007 with 149 visits // my worst year was 2010 (when I began having severe stomach issues) with only 111 visits. Why do I count stuff? Exercise was something I did not want to do… and counting my sessions gave me goals – short term and milestone – to work toward. Hey, if it gets me to the gym, it’s good — right?
As you can tell from the example above, I enjoy fiddling with arithmetic. That’s another oddity of mine. When I’m loading things into the dishwasher, there will be a pile of eating utensils in the bottom of the sink. I estimate the number of knives and then sponge off what I believe will be half or more of them in the first handful. Same with spoons, and then forks. And, believe it or not, I’m usually right on target. By looking at a pile of utensils, I can guestimate that 7 knives will be half of the knives, 9 spoons will be half of them, and 8 forks will be half of that group. Rarely do I miss by more than one utensil. Is that odd, or what?
Speaking of arithmetic, here’s another foible: I find a degree of satisfaction in balancing my checkbook. Yep, you heard right. I’ve been banking for at least 54 years and I’ve balanced my checkbook every single month. [That’s 648 statements… and for several years in Shreveport I also had a second checking account with the credit union and balanced that one as well]. Just the other day, I was one penny off… and I re-did the whole thing to find that penny. A penny saved is a penny earned, y’all. [You’re probably wondering if I ever find any bank errors. Yes, on one occasion, several decades ago, I found a bank mistake and got it corrected. More recently I discovered a deposit that did not belong in my account… and I gave it back.]
Speaking of pennies: I look for – and frequently find – loose change in parking lots. Just this very week (Monday, in the rain), I found a DIME in a parking lot.
Errands is another thing I dislike doing. I’ll put off errands as long as possible and when they simply must be accomplished, I’ll group them so they require only one outing. Below is one (of many) from 6-8-2015 that I devoted to the subject of accomplishing multiple errands in minimal time:
Possum Trot Post (#15-514) — I think this is a new record, folks. As some of y’all know, I dislike running errands, so when I have to do so, I try to bundle them and dispatch as many as possible in the shortest amount of time possible.
Today’s run was three stops in 31 minutes. Yep.
Try that in Cincy or Dallas or Memphis.
Left the house at 9:34 and returned at 10:05.
Bought some bleach at Big Lots (Light # 2) — don’t ask — then paid a bill at the bank (Light # 4), then bought Denise‘s breakfast at Hardee’s (Light # 6).
The run included nearly 2 minute wait at the bank and at least 3 minute wait at Hardees.
At Big Lots, it included my search for the bleach and waiting for the clerk to realize someone was at her register.
Oh, and these 31 minutes were really a “Four-fer” — because (while I was gone) UPS delivered the printer I’d ordered Wednesday.
Uh, plus, I also got a breakfast for myself while I was feeding Denise. So let’s call it a “Five-fer”.
As you can see from that example, I use arithmetic, I include an element of challenge, and I turn a chore into a game. Many will consider it odd – and I’ll admit it may be – but if I can convert a chore into a game, I figure I’m the better for it.
What about YOU? Is there any way in which you may be considered odd?
[JLS # 593]