When I was younger, I used to think of myself as someone who was weird, which I enjoyed. Then, in college, I had a friend who clarified it as being more “quirky,” which I think was a valid characterization. Although I enjoy things like sci-fi and video games, I still function in society. I don’t (regularly) have people avoid me for no apparent reason. I don’t sit in a chair and rock back and forth for no reason.
Some of the quirks are fairly random and somewhat comical:
I hate socks, but I can’t wear shoes without socks, so I usually wear sandals whenever safe (and high-quality ones at that: Chacos, usually Z2s). I have even worn sandals with a suit on occasions (though that was slightly to tweak some brittle people – another quirk/character flaw: I sometimes do things just to see how people respond. Sometimes it is for spiritual reasons, but usually just my entertainment). If I have to wear shoes, I will usually opt for hiking boots, although recently my boots fell apart to the point of no return, so it has been other shoes 😦
I hate to spend very much money on clothing and will basically only shop sales. The only time I buy clothes that cost more than 50% of the original price is if I HAVE to have it 9like work related). I have been using the same pair of jeans for motorcycling since I was in middle school (yes, I was chunky then too). But my camping gear must be top notch and I spend way more money there than I should, especially backpacks.
If I have a bad experience with a product or store one time, it is very likely that I will no longer give them my business, even if it was a fluke or the company has since improved. The bigger factor is usually not as much what happens, but how the company handles it (ie – Magnavox, Motorola, Wal-Green’s, Hyundai, ATT, Sprint).
I love people, but they drive me crazy sometimes. I need an evening or afternoon of personal space about once a week to keep from getting edgy. Even from my wife (I am really blessed that she puts up with me, which will be even more apparent as you continue reading).
When I read, I don’t always read the words or sentences in order, sometimes even 2 or 3 lines at a time, but they come together in the proper order in my mind. I end up being a very fast reader, although it often appears I am dyslexic when reading aloud. This, combined with the fact that I can remember concepts better than words, is likely why I have problems remembering vocabulary in other languages (even though I am a bit erudite in English), but once I have it down, I can usually read it relatively easily, though not always precisely.
If I am learning something new, I would prefer to read or converse about it. I can barely stand watching a video or listening to a lecture. I think it may be because I can neither speed it up or interact with it. I think this is why I am better at doing interactive teaching/discussion rather than preaching/lecture and why I tend to be on the brief side, unless I have interaction. This is also why I tend to take a lot of notes when I think it is something worthwhile. I have gotten better at it, but I used to view something in writing as being solid and reliable, but something spoken as being indefinite.
The worst set of quirks that I have involves sleep. This is the area that drives me nuts, and my wife as well, since she can generally fall to sleep in about 10 minutes basically anywhere, anytime:
I sleep much better in Colorado than anywhere else, probably due to the lack of humidity and thin air. I generally sleep better in the mountains than the plains, even if it is on the ground.
Regardless of when exactly the sun goes down, I get very tired from about 30 minutes before and until about 30 after the sun goes down. I then get a second wind. This is less severe in the summer and/or if I am able to watch the sunset against the mountains.
If I am woken up unexpectedly, I generally snap awake in about 3-5 seconds and can function normally for a few minutes. If I can fall back asleep in 5 minutes or less, there is a good chance I won’t even notice, but if I stay awake my functioning will be diminished but I will not be able to fall back asleep for several hours. Unless some actually has happened, in which case my adrenaline is usually pumping. I think I developed this when working at camp, particularly from dealing with bears consistently, and from being an RA and dealing with morons consistently.
About once every 1-3 weeks, I have a night were I cannot sleep hardly at all (as little as an hour or two), but am able to get up and function normally the following day. Sometimes I am a bit extra tired the next night, but usually not.
I cannot sleep in the car or during the daytime unless I am completely exhausted. I was done with naps when I was two. While I was in college or working at camp was the only time I could ever take naps, and that was because I was busy about 16 hours a day and rarely got more that 5 hours of sleep. It was more likely that I would make it through the week and then sleep 10-12 hours on my day off to catch up.
I normally go to bed around midnight and wake up around 7, though it can range an hour either way on either end. If I try to go to bed any earlier, unless I am completely exhausted to the point I am about to fall over, I will wake up in 1-3 hours and not be able to fall asleep again till about 5am regardless of how tired I am. I generally can only catch up on sleep by sleeping in, not by going to bed early. The cool thing is that I can typically wake up early for a trip, etc. without to much of a problem or needing extra sleep later, provided I am not already exhausted.
I have a fairly set procedure that I have to follow in order to fall asleep and stay asleep all (or even most of the) night:
First, I have to take a shower within 3-4 hours of going to sleep, closer is better (but not too close). I cannot sleep if I feel dirty.
I then have to relax without really thinking much for 30 minutes or more (sometimes an hour or two), generally by watching tv (which started when I was in HS). If I go too long, I sometimes end up not being able to fall asleep. Sitcoms or mild sci-fi (like Star trek) tend to work best. If I read something, I tend to get way too into it and then stay up really late.
After relaxing, I can go to bed, but the blankets must be neat and crisp, the room must be very dark and quiet, otherwise it drives me crazy and I end up not being able to fall asleep. Once I get past the tv stage, if I do anything to mentally involved, I will be up all night. Talking, loud noise, deep thinking, really anything.
If something messes up this process, then I will become wide awake and not fall asleep again till 3-5am, regardless of what I try, even though I am usually completely exhausted. The most successful way is to start the process again (shower, tv, etc), but I generally avoid it at first since it means investing at least an hour, maybe two (takes more relaxing the second time around). Even then, it will sometimes not help. I will be watching tv about to crash, go back to bed and be wide awake.
Because of this ridiculousness, I am usually up an hour or so later than my wife, which happens to help me fall asleep better (since she likes to talk and then fall asleep, which gets my brain going again).
Aside from all of this, I have to be careful to not eat, drink caffeine, play sports or be very active, or even have meetings within a couple of hours of going to bed since my brain/body will be going to much in order to go to sleep. Even having a church event that is done around 9 will throw me off.
The worst part about all of this is that I understand better than anyone how ridiculous and obnoxious all of this is, but I have not yet been able to change it (the second worst part is that as the more tired I am, the more grumpy I am and the harder it is to fall asleep). Maybe “weird” is a better term. Thankfully, I have a wonderful wife who puts up with my crazies and tries to help out in anyway she can, even though it frustrates her as much as me.