Habits & Quirks

Did you ever stop to think about how habits and quirks shape who we are?

Habits are those behaviors that give our life structure and predictability. Quirks, I think, are habits gone rogue; behaviors that reflect our personalities and, for better or for worse, make us unique.

habits & quirks

A few examples…

HABIT: I try to always practice good manners. Please and thank you, napkin in my lap, elbows off the table.

QUIRK: When someone fails to say “thank you” to me, for instance when I hold the door open for them, I get a bit passive-aggressive and say a very loud “YOU’RE WELCOME”.

I’m not particularly proud of this quirk, but I can’t help myself.

HABIT: I was taught that the proper way to set a table is: fork on the left, spoon on the far right, knife next to the spoon with the blade facing the plate.

QUIRK: This habit is so deeply ingrained in me that, without fail, when I sit down at a restaurant and am faced with silverware not laid out in this manner, I must reset my place setting before looking at the menu.

silverware in napkin

This will not do at all.

If I find the silverware wrapped up in the napkin I will disassemble, place the utensils in their proper place and the napkin in my lap.

Every single time.

HABIT: I believe strongly in respectful discourse between individuals.

QUIRK: When expressing my opinion in a conversation, I feel compelled to end with “in my opinion” just so it’s clear.

“A certain candidate running for President is both scary and evil, in my opinion.”

“Mushrooms are terrible and should be banned from the earth, in my opinion.

“Pizza, on the other hand, is the most perfect food and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner, in my opinion.”

HABIT: I was taught that it is improper to take a knife to your salad. My grandmother always said that salads should be prepared so that the pieces are small enough to manage in one bite.

wedge salad

QUIRK: Wedge salads are my arch nemesis.

HABIT: I try to be observant – always aware of what is going on around me.

QUIRK: Sometimes being observant is a good thing like the time I was able to track down the family that accidentally took my suitcase instead of their own when they got off the “T” in Boston.

But sometimes, it can get a little freaky-stalkerish like the time when I had a feeling that the young man sitting near us at a restaurant was about to propose to his adorable girlfriend. Darn if he didn’t do just that but I was in the ladies room and missed the moment.

No worries. Before leaving the restaurant, I stopped by their table to extend my congratulations, say I was sorry I had missed the moment and to assure them that I would “imagine it in my mind”.

I actually said that.

Freaky-stalkerish, indeed.

Moving on…

HABIT: I make a habit of being thorough.

QUIRK: This manifests itself in the form of extremely lengthy text messages. And lots of emojis. The more the better. And enough exclamation points to effectively make my point.  Possibly a few Xs and Os thrown in for good measure.

HABIT: Polite people engage others in conversation. Myself, I like thorough conversation.

QUIRK: I am prone to share my entire life story with everyone I meet, especially waiters, store clerks, hotel staff, flight attendants, really just about anyone.

“Yes, I’m checking in. We have a big family group checking in, actually. We have all come to Disney World to celebrate my father-in-law’s 80th birthday. He lives in Nashville and almost wasn’t able to come because of a snowstorm. And my youngest grandson is here for his very first trip. And I was born in Florida and used to come to Disney World quite often. In fact, my mom took us all to Disney World in the first week it was open. My high school’s Senior Night was at Disney World and it was so much fun…”

“Uh… Ma’am, check in is at the desk across the lobby.”

If asked, I bet my husband and children would say that this habit/quirk is the one that drives them insane they find most endearing about me.

After all, it is our habits that give order to our lives and our quirks that make us ever so lovable.

Habits & Quirks is chapter 3 of the Who I Am project hosted by

Dana of Kiss My List and Bev of Linkouture.

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  1. Very thorough coverage of this topic, Mo! I tend to tell my life story too; I can’t help it! Maybe that’s why we both ended up with a blog.

    My newest goal in life is to one day dine with you, and watch you rearrange the silverware.
    Dana recently posted…Pre-worrying and cold pillowsMy Profile

  2. I do the EXACT same thing with the silverware!!! My quirk comes from being a Home Economics teacher for half my life….
    sometimes my friends will mess with my place setting at their house on purpose and then take bets on how long it takes me to correct it!!! So glad it’s not just me….hahahaha!
    janey recently posted…Another one for the Blog Collection!My Profile

  3. I’ve never heard of not using a knife to the salad. Now I won’t be able to eat a salad without thinking of you!! My family thinks I talk too much too. Have a great Easter!

    • Perhaps that “knife to the salad” thing was a quirk of my grandmothers that she turned into a habit. Hmmmmm…. Everything I thought I know has been turned upside down.
      Mo Lux recently posted…Habits & QuirksMy Profile

  4. Salads should definitely be in bite-size pieces. Alas, there always seem to be a few lettuce pieces the size of the Titanic in mine.

    This was fun. I didn’t picture you as an emoji abuser, er, user!

  5. Happy Easter to a most enjoyable quirk. May all your place settings be correctly done and every door opened be graciously passed through.
    Barbara recently posted…The joys of exploration.My Profile

  6. Mo, I just laughed out loud at your first quirk — I do that, too! No, I’m not proud of it, either, but something just comes over me and I have to let it out. I do something similar when I thank someone for something and they respond, ‘No problem.’ It shouldn’t be a problem…it’s their JOB, for pity’s sake!! Just say Thank You and be done with it!

    • Oh my gosh, just this morning I read a whole thing about the “no problem” problem. I knew someone who owned a restaurant and fired any of his wait staff who used that line with customers.
      Mo Lux recently posted…Habits & QuirksMy Profile

  7. We have the same habits – every one you mentioned. My husband does not have any of my habits. Does yours? Opposites attract to some extent.

    Interestingly, a middle-school teacher once told my child to never use the words “I think,” “I believe,” “I feel” or “in my opinion,” because, if the words are coming from your pen or mouth, then of course they are what YOU believe.

    I read recently that you shouldn’t place the napkin on your lap until the host does or until everyone is seated. That was news to me.

    • I can kind of understand the teacher’s point but in today’s world where opinions are broadcast as facts, I think we need to highlight the difference. I put my napkin in my lap immediately. To do otherwise would make me antsy! By the way, my husband has none of the same quirks as me and, in fact, sets the table incorrectly even though I have been trying to teach him for decades.
      Mo Lux recently posted…Habits & QuirksMy Profile

  8. “Quirks…are habits gone rogue!” <— Haha, this is such a great way to put it!
    I'm often tempted to loudly say "you're welcome" when someone doesn't say thank you. That was ingrained in me from a young age — I've been making Eve say thank you before she could even talk! (Baby signs.) And that's impressive that you were able to track down your luggage from the T. I'm sure they were happy about that too — imagine their surprise had you not noticed when they went to open their suitcase!
    Bev recently posted…Learn how to make your own stunning Byzantine braceletMy Profile

    • I love baby sign language! Such a brilliant way to reduce frustration for young children and their parents! The funny thing about the suitcases switched on the T was that mine contained two bottles of wine I brought to Boston for a party and theirs contained their outfits for a family wedding the next day. We were both quite relieved to be reunited with our own bags.
      Mo Lux recently posted…Habits & QuirksMy Profile

  9. I always rearrange the silverware & cannot leave them in a pile & especially wrapped in a napkin! Also as you know love lots of X’s & O’s so it looks like “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” Love You XXXX OOOOs!!

  10. Such a hilarious post!!!! I do that with the silverware as well! And, I am definitely an over sharer. Thank for the morning smile! Have a beautiful Easter! xoxo

  11. Too funny, Mo. I am delighted to read that you also must rearrange the cutlery into the proper order. I’m the same. You described it perfectly. However, I must take exception on your comment about being overly chatty and sharing your life story. I’d agree with you on the verbose front however you have a gift of listening to the other person’s response. Your manner encourages them to share their life story as well and you listen to it. That’s a rare quality my friend. Very rare indeed.
    Kelly L McKenzie recently posted…An Embarrassing Spring Wake Up CallMy Profile

    • Oh, Kelly, you just made my day! Thank you so much for your kind compliment. That’s one more thing my mom taught me: genuine interest in people’s life stories. It’s probably why I love reading blogs, LOVE reading stories about your fabulous mom and can’t wait to read your book!
      Mo Lux recently posted…Habits & QuirksMy Profile

  12. That’s funny about the silverware! I love that you tell your life story to store clerks, hotel check-in desk staff (even when they’re not the actual check-in staff) and other strangers. I love when people overshare with me but tend to be more shy myself. I’m glad you wrote this – I’ve been meaning to join Dana and Bev’s linkup and started notes for this topic when they first posted about it. Maybe tonight after work!
    Kristi Campbell recently posted…Will My Son Be Okay After I Die?My Profile

  13. Your grandmother would not have approved of one of my salads. I don’t use a knife but I have a big open mouth to get the spinach and forkful over everything else though. I’ve never had a wedge salad.

    Lover your texting quirk. And just a scenario, if you and I are ever having lunch together, my food would be gone before yours because you did all the talking. But it’s people like you that make me say more than I intended to, but I’ll do it after I eat. LOL!
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted…Things about me that bother other peopleMy Profile

  14. I do like it when someone texts *properly*, with grammar and punctuation and all that jazz which gets so very LOST in txtspk (which I h8). I tend to text ‘properly’ as well, though I wouldn’t call it a quirk so much as determination not to lose any self-glorified determination to stick to English As It Should Be.

    I laughed at your arch nemesis. I don’t understand the POINT of a wedge salad. You can buy a lettuce, take it home and drench it in sauce for a fraction of the price of buying one. There’s no imagination in it whatsoever and I’m astonished to see it on the menu of any self-respecting restaurant.
    Lizzi recently posted…Quirky, am I?My Profile

    • Thank you for your support in my mission to expose the truth about wedge salads. My husband and son-in-law have similar feelings about fondue restaurants like The Melting Pot. They think it is ridiculous to pay exorbitant prices to basically cook your own dinner.
      Mo Lux recently posted…My Favorite Wine Tasting EventMy Profile

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