Monday, August 16, 2010

I never realized it was weird

There are things that I do, little unconscious habits that I never think about, things that I've always done, things that I learned, for the most part, from my mother, growing up. And the funny thing about marrying someone is that they do things differently from you and sometimes they notice when you do weird little things that you yourself never notice. And sometimes they ask you WHY you do a particular thing and when you try to explain you realize that you sound insane, or that "Because that's how it's DONE" isn't really a sufficient justification.

But sometimes that IS how it's done. And even though it's weird that doesn't mean it's WRONG.

Some examples:

1. When I park in a lot that requires a ticket upon entry, I always take it with me out of the car. I scolded Torsten a couple weeks ago for leaving the ticket in the car. When he asked me why that was bad, it took me a minute before I remembered the explanation my mom always gave me: because if someone steals the car, the parking attendant is more likely to remember them if they didn't have a ticket. Likely? No. Possible? Theoretically.

2. When I use a public restroom, I always hang my purse on the lower of the two hooks. This is because if someone comes by and reaches over the stall to try to steal the purse, they will try the top hook first and I will have time to see what is happening and grab my purse before it can be stolen. Again, likely? No. Do I do it every time I use a public bathroom? Yes.

3. I always lock my car doors when driving, just in case someone tries to get in the car and hijack it when I'm stopped at a red light. Torsten actively disagrees with this. He was taught in driver's ed in Germany not to lock the car door because if you get in an accident the lock mechanism could break and you might not be able to get out of the car. His scenario seems more likely than mine but I still have trouble with the idea of not locking the car doors.

Of course, my mom also taught me a lot of stuff that is more basic/universal, like, you know, look both ways before you cross the street, never show up to somebody's house empty-handed, always send a thank-you note when you receive a gift, always wipe the public toilet seat before you sit down. But nobody ever questions those. But that doesn't mean that these other, less common habits are any less ingrained in my routine, you know?

What about you? What weird things did you grow up doing without thinking about until somebody pointed out to you exactly how weird they were?

27 comments:

  1. well you can tell Torsten that there was (is?) a time in Durham that somebody was going around hijacking cars/women who were alone and had their doors unlocked at red lights.

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  2. If I'm using public restroom..and it is my second or third visit to said restroom...I always use the same stall. My theory is that I've already been exposed to THAT stall's germs so why I expose myself to more. Crazy or so true it blows your mind? :)

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  3. For me, the reason for taking the parking ticket with me is that if someone breaks in and steals the ticket for their own use, you have to pay the maximum parking amount.

    I'm totally with you on locking the door while you're in the car.

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  4. I hang my purse on the lower of the two hooks as well! I have actually found in some stalls, that there is a second hook on the side of the stall just for your purse.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this :)

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  5. I'm an over-thinker and I never considered the purse thing. Now that's some forethought. I do lock my doors for the same reason as you. I also don't touch the public restroom door with my clean hand upon leaving. I see far too many people not washing their hands and touching it!

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  6. Of all things, Hub thinks it’s weird that I like to have the doors locked at night, because “If someone wants to get in, they’ll get in…”. I always drive with the car doors locked and give myself extra room behind cars at red lights in case I have to speed away quickly to avoid an assailant.

    I always, when brushing snow off of my car, also brush the snow off of my license plate—just in case I get pulled over.

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  7. I do all three of those things and don't think they're weird.

    1. All parking lots have signs saying not to leave your ticket in the car.

    2. I hope Torsten didn't witness you hanging up your purse in a public bathroom because that would be weird.

    3. My cousin had her purse stolen when a guy opened her door at a stoplight and grabbed it out of the passenger seat. AND one time a homeless guy tried to open the door of the car in front of me at a stoplight.

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  8. I always take my parking ticket inside with me for the exact same reasons as you. Plus, nowadays, you often have to pay for the ticket before returning to your car anyway.

    But, I'm torn on the locking car doors thing. I learned to drive on a Volvo and they tell you to leave doors unlocked for the same reasons Torsten does. That said, I now drive a Toyota whose doors automatically lock when you start the car. I just can't be bothered purposefully unlocking them.

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  9. I always lock the doors when I drive too. My previous car locked automatically when you started driving, and our new car doesn't. It bothers me.

    I always choose the first stall in public restrooms because I once read that the first stall is the cleanest since most people walk past it.

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  10. Both of our vehicles lock automatically so I've never thought about it. There are a lot of times I won't hang my purse. I'll hold it. If I have my windows down when I'm sitting at a stoplight where people are selling things I always roll my windows up so they can't talk to me. They freak me out. I do not stop at places at night unless I absolutely have to because I'm afraid of being kidnapped. Paranoid much? It happened to a woman when I was young and I guess that's what started it.

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  11. I've never thought of the first ones, but I ALWAYS ALWAYS lock my cars doors. Drives my husband insane...

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  12. Another reason for taking your parking ticket is that it could turn out that parking is validated.

    I don't tend to think to lock my car doors all the time, but I do if I'm in an unfamiliar area or one with people lingering around.

    Now I'm totally going to do the lower hook thing... I never thought of someone reaching over before.

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  13. I hover in public bathrooms. I KNOW, it's evil - and probably the reason there are always drops on the seat when I go to use one. But my Mom used to hold us off the seat when we were little, explaining about all the potential diseases that we could get from coming in contact with it. And that little paper slip they offer doesn't make me feel safe enough to sit down, it just doesn't.

    I think that's fairly common though. I can't recall anything weird I've been asked about. This might be one of those rare instances in which I'm almost normal!!

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  14. HA! I've got one for you, in regards to locking your doors on the car. I do the same thing. My dad ALWAYS says to me no matter where I am going or how old I am "wear your seat belt, lock the doors". I think it's automatic.

    Anyway, my grandma ... she would get into the car and and put her purse on the passenger seat. Then she would reach over and take the handle and buckle it into the seat WITH her - she said if anyone ever opened the passenger door while she was at a red light or something they could grab her purse but it wouldn't go anywhere.

    She also always twisted her rings so the diamonds/jewels faced into her hand when she was in public. She said she wasn't losing her hand over a theif.

    The things people come up with~

    P.S. I do the same thing with purse in the bathroom

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  15. Ice after drink. I once had a teacher who was explaining something or other and said, "[something something mathy something] and you'd have to be a real idiot to add the ice after you've already put in the soda." I have ill average skills that I like to exhibit with my beverages, thanks. I suppose I just live on the edge that way.

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  16. I know I have plenty of weird things that I do, but I can't for the life of me think of them right now...I'll be thinking about this all day now :-)

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  17. I used to hover, but no longer do, based largely on a post by author Diana Gabaldon entitled A BRIEF DISQUISITION ON THE EXISTENCE OF BUTT-COOTIES (http://voyagesoftheartemis.blogspot.com/2008/05/brief-disquisition-on-existence-of-butt.html).

    But I've never once noticed which hook I use for my purse. I do, however, deadbolt the door as soon as I walk in the house, which most certainly comes from my mother who was born and raised in New Jersey.

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  18. I do the purse-on-the-second hook, too! I feel like I would be too shocked at what was happening if a groping thief-hand came over the top of the door, but who knows? It seems like good sense to hang the purse in a less accessible place.

    Oh, and now I am extra-appreciative of the fact that my door auto-locks when I go above about 10 mph-- though I guess that's faster than any potential hijacker could run...

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  19. Mine are mostly pronunciations/ word choices that I never thought were particularly Southern until I had them pointed out to me- "have your picture taken," "dudn't even (instead of doesn't), etc.

    I also discovered that I'm more persnickety than most about the refrigerator is filled- tossing things on top of eachother or where you can't see the labels drives me nuts. And that makes perfect sense to me.

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  20. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS lock the doors in the car before anything else. I saw too many of those 20/20 episode's (I think that was the news show) where they filmed the reporter just walking up to people's cars and opening he door.

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  21. I've got a good answer to this one! My mom has a bee sting fear, and from the time we were very little, she'd always snap her fingers when bees were around. My entire life I have snapped my fingers when bees or wasps are doing that irritating hovering around you thing.

    It wasn't until a couple of years ago that a few of my friends noticed me snapping, and now my snapping at bees is a bit of a friendly joke to them.

    I'm 25 and I've NEVER been stung by a bee in my life... maybe my mom's trick works, and isn't too silly afterall? LOL.

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  22. Um, I will recommend taking the parking ticket with you because, if you forget which deck you are parked in, you can look at the ticket and read the name of the deck and then ask for directions, rather than wandering downtown Raleigh for an hour and a half, not that I have any first hand knowledge of that, of course.

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  23. Okay - the bag stealing thing DEFINITELY happens, we had big shopping centres actually telling women to avoid hanging them there/removing hooks altogether because they were being targeted. Same goes for locking the doors of the cars - particularly at night. Safety, oh yes!

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  24. this has become such a common practice these days i became so angry last weekend when this thing happened to me i contacted this company and they recover my stolen identity info http://bit.ly/9AmT7f

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  25. All very good things to keep in mind. I never thought about taking the ticket from you car when parking, so I did it the other day and lost it. Guess I will go to step 2 and hide it in the car.

    My dad also taught me to never keep other women's numbers in my wallet, but since I am neither married or have a girlfriend, I have no reason to heed his advice.

    Devon Vonshire

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  26. this has become such a common practice these days i became so angry last weekend when this thing happened to me i contacted this company and they recover my stolen identity info http://bit.ly/9AmT7f

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  27. When I am in the shower, all of the hair that I lose I gather on the wall and throw out when I am done showering. It sounds weird, but with long, curly hair it saves a lot of Drano/plumber snakes.

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