Traveling makes me realize how idiosyncratic I can be. Although traveling itself doesn’t make me anxious, I’m around new people who force my awareness of activities that are subconscious at home.
I can’t imagine having quirks is that uncommon, although the number may be unusual. I’m somewhere above anal retentive but not yet at batshit crazy. Every textbook I’ve read has advised me that unless these quirks obstruct ‘normal’ interaction, it’s not technically a psychosis. Yes, for this medication helps too.
The idiosyncrasies range from strangely pointless to slightly paranoid. To wit:
- Whoppers may be my favorite candy in the whole entire world, but my favorite Whoppers are the ones where just a little too much moisture got in the malt so the centers are chewy. I’ll buy a box of Whoppers and eat a small nibble out of each one until I find the chewy Whopper. The streets of cities I visit are littered with Whoppers, each missing a tiny bite.
- Wherever I am, I must have water, a book, and lip balm. Perhaps in a former life I died of dehydration, boredom, or unmoistened lips.
- When seated in a large space, I need to be seated in a place where either I can’t be seen or where my back is against the farthest wall and I can see everything. In a perfect world, both.
- Unless I’m exhausted, I can only fall asleep on my stomach. My left hand must always be pressed against my left hipbone. I figure that if I can still feel it, I’m not fat.
- When I drink out of glasses, I always lick the edge first. I read somewhere that doing so will keep lipstick from transferring. I don’t wear lipstick but I still lick the edge.
- The dishes and items in the closet must be organized in ROY G BIV sequence (subordered as necessary).
- I touch the outside of every plane I fly on.
- I can’t go to sleep at night unless I have checked three times that every door and window is locked.
- Everything in my work space must be at right angles.
- My office, travel bags, vanity area are filled with Ziploc bags, each carefully organizing something: pens, USB cords, barettes. Everything has a place and its place is in a Ziploc bag.
- I count when I walk — cracks, trees, people wearing red, breaths, steps. I count in German, French, English.
Not so much an idiosyncrasy but a behavior is that I am ridiculously anti-authoritarian. When I realized it and copped to it in my late 20s, apparently I was the only one surprised by the admission.
When I travel, all my toiletries must fit on a single washcloth (as illustrated below).
I’m on my way home right now, to my home and home office where I’m around people who don’t know, don’t care, or aren’t aware of my little illustrations of nuttiness – or where the situations don’t ever arise. That’s comfort that’s better than any medicine.