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Monday, December 11, 2006

Tag! You're Weird!

Home is very ordinary
I know I was born to lead a double life
A murderous strife and misery
And when I find it, I know I'll make sense of me

Ms. Candy Sandwich has called upon me to share with you, dear readers, 6 ways in which I am strange. Of course, everyone is strange. I remember the moment I realized that and how happy it made me, and how my self confidence immediately skyrocketed. Sure, some people are strange in a wear all black, pierce their faces and listen to depressing music kind of way. That used to be me in fact, so I can totally relate. Others are strange in the sense that behind their mainstream appearances and demeanors lie complete miscreants dedicated to worshipping at the alter of all sorts of freaky and transgressive behavior. And others are weird because in seeming so damned normal, there must be something seriously fucked up about them.

As for me, well hell, I've always been quirky. I've experienced my entire life slightly beyond the fray. My 20's taught me social skills, but I'm still a bit shy and insecure around strangers. When your personality naturally predisposes you to a talent for appreciating the world through a slightly different perspective, you better damn well get used to feeling a little different and making peace with it. Due to this tendency, I tend to sympathize with underdogs and outcasts. I see the good in people even when they're behaving like complete douchebags. Of course, this gets me into trouble as well.

But I digress...I am strange (and fabulously so) because...

1.) I was born in a car and yet I am terrified of driving. Yes, it's true. Long story short, I was born in the back seat of a station wagon in Vermont, in the middle of a snow storm. My parents immediately wrapped me in an antique quilt covered with cat fur and drove me to the hospital. The fact that there were no birth complications is a miracle. I am, and have always been one of the healthiest people I know (knock on wood). And yet, when it comes to piloting a car, I am a total spaz. The theory within our family is that most of this fear stems from the fact that I was hit by a car when I was 13. I was knocked out and suffered a concussion and some sprains but nothing critical. However, the experience did instill in me a hyper- awareness of the ability of moving vehicles to inflict serious damage. I didn't get my drivers license until I was 23, and although I drove for a couple of years, it always freaked me out. When I moved into DC from Alexandria, I sold my little Toyota and haven't been behind the wheel of a car in at least three years.

2.) I am extremely loyal and hold others to the same degree of loyalty. This too gets me into trouble. Holding people to a moral issue that you over-value is never good, and I am totally guilty of it. My theory is that because it takes me a while to warm up to most people, that extra emotional hurdle that I have to clear in befriending people really means a lot to me. Once I've taken a liking to somebody, they're my friend for life and I'll go to ridiculous ends to help or defend them. So of course I expect the same, and it often frustrates me when friends don't give back the same amount of loyalty that I give to them.

3.) I have zero system for maintaining organization within my own life, but have a terrific flare for creating order for other people. Case in point, yesterday my roommate was freaked because he's going oversees for two weeks and has too much to take care of in the mean time. I immediately helped him identify several organizational strategies for tackling what needs to be done in the next week while keeping track of what he needs to do once he lands at his destination. This is ironic, because I am constantly losing things, and nothing I own has an official "place" except for my jewelry (I own a lot of it and it's all really nice) and my cashmere sweaters (ditto). My room is a jungle of piles. Objects disappear only to magically resurface several months later. When I lose something, it can probably be found in one of the six handbags that I regularly alternate between. I have the shortest attention span ever, and although I regularly come up with brilliant ideas, I almost always forget them or lose interest in them several minutes later.

4.) I am very time-conscious and have a system for visualizing it. I never wear a watch, but I pretty much always know what time it is. I hate being late, and I very much dislike being kept waiting by others who are less punctual. But even weirder, is the fact that I "see" time. For instance, the day is represented in my head with a traditional analog clock, shaded with a spectrum of colors. 4:00 is green. I don't know why, that's simply the way it's been since I learned how to tell time. For ages I thought that everyone perceived time in this way as well, and was disappointed to learn that not everyone thinks that 4:00 is green, 6:00 is pink, 8:00 is purple. But I do, and I think it's pretty neat. On a similar vein, loud noises cause me to feel physical pain that resonates beyond my ears.

5.) I am hyper-aware of physical spaces and how they affect the psyche. I am convinced that space affects our emotional well-being in ways that we might not be able to articulate, but nonetheless experience at a very basic level. As a result of this, I can't stand sitting with my back towards any sort of foot traffic, and sometimes certain spaces feel weird to me in a way that I can't quite articulate. I am also obsessed with furniture arrangements and will often sit in a room for hours rearranging furniture in my head to achieve what I believe to be the best practical use of space, balance of positive and negative space, and best channels for energy flow. And no, I do not believe in feng shui or whatever.

Hmm, only one more.

6.) I hate down-escalators. The fact that they're steeper than stairs, and the way the lines on them blur together after a while to disorient you make for a freaky experience when the Woodley Park escalator is broken and one must walk down it. Many a panic attack has ensued as a result of this scenario.

Strangely, that wasn't so hard to narrow down. But now it's time to spread the love. Now tagging EJ, Ryane, Seriously Awkward, and Musical Guru to spill it. Your assignment? Six fabulous quirks that make you a freak show. Ready, set, go...! (Panther, you're also encouraged to participate, although that would mean updating your blog, nudge nudge.) And of course, anyone else who wants to tell all, please do. The more the merrier.


Blogger recovering overachiever said...

I can completely relate to walking on the down-escalators. It's awful and I avoid it at all costs!

4:22 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

It's funny how many of your quirks seem perfectly normal to me; though, I cannot quite visualize time as color. I think that rocks.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Michael J. West said...

Tag accomplished.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Hayley said...

Cool post.
I just wanted to comment on the Poe and Liz Phair lyrics.

3:14 AM  

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