Got Quirks?

October 03, 2011

“Indulging our quirks is the secret of contentment.”
—Sarah Ban Breathnach, Romancing the Ordinary

I have a complaint. Where has the Table of Contents gone? Two of the books I’m reading have chapters with names instead of just numbers, but no Table of Contents. The publisher couldn’t spare the space or paper for a Table of Contents, yet they can have a page in the back with details about the book’s typeface?! I’m as interested in the typeface as the next person (not very), but I’d rather be able to read the chapter titles and speculate on their contents. I also like consulting the TOC to see how I’m progressing through the book. I don’t like flipping through the book to read the chapter titles, or trying to assess my progress through them this way. It’s just one of my quirks.

A quirk is a peculiarity of behavior, an idiosyncrasy. Our quirks are part of the reason we are who we are—and most of them are completely harmless, though they may seem strange to others. Some of them become habits, or even superstitions—like the hockey players who will not step on the team logo on the floor of their locker room (and won’t allow visitors to do so, either) or the Hollywood writer who backs out of a room in which something good happened.

Quirks can be as simple as whether you put on both socks, then both shoes, or a sock and a shoe and a sock and a shoe; how you take your shower; in what order you eat the foods that make up your dinner (“never end with a bite of something you don’t like”). Some of my additional quirks include:
  • I often get the hiccups when I take the first sip or two of a carbonated drink.
  • I don’t like mayonnaise on anything except steamed artichokes.
  • I keep lists of all the books I read each year.
  • I talk to my dog and my horse just like they are people. (They don’t talk back, however, at least in words…)
  • I prefer to slice fruit like apples, peaches or plums rather than eat them whole.
I could go on, but…I’d like to know: what are some of your quirks? Do you ever try to change them?

Morning quirk habit

You Might Also Like


  1. I don't like for anyone to read one of my new magazines before I do....and my husband has a whole routine for how he fixes his peanut butter toast every morning, using the same bowl, etc. He also likes to leave out the same door he entered when he goes somewhere.

    Quirks are us!

  2. Truth told, I don't usually read the TOC. I read the index! Guess that's one quirk. I hate it when people put a book face down with the book open. Besides potato salad, the only way I used to eat mayo was with artichokes but I gave that up a few years ago and eat them plain now.

    Back to quirks. I run my tongue against a sharpish spot between a couple of teeth. My husband says I look like a rabbit when I do! I also chew my nails. I try so hard to stop but only can for a short time if I put some nail polish on.

    I give my husband 3 kisses before I head off to bed. No more and no less. It's a ritual - or a quirk. I get crabby if I have to wait till after 6:30p.m. for my dinner. Oh my, that's enough. Why are quirks mostly negative?

  3. Well, I miss the TOC when it's missing! That happened to me recently, and it made me a bit irritated. I like to read the index too, as well as the copyright date and publisher info! Is that weird?

    I know I must have other quirks, but in all honesty, they actually seem normal, like everyone should have the same! :)

  4. Timaree--The three kisses quirk is sweet! I think a lot of quirks are "neutral"--it's just sometimes other people get annoyed, or we think we shouldn't have our quirk!

  5. Elizabeth--I often read the copyright date, too! And since everyone has quirks, I guess that makes us normal!

  6. Oh.... I've got my quirks (the 'right way' to do the sheets on my bed, etc. ) .... and I'll admit that I'm too quick to get annoyed by some quirks of others (like those closest at home).

  7. Claire--I forgot to mention the "right" way to fold towels!