Certain flaws are necessary for the whole.
It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The other day, I was in the car with one of my friends (let’s call her MrsJ) on our way to meet another one of my friends (let’s call her MrsH) for some shopping (cause that’s what girls do). MrsJ has a great sense of humour and language so our discussions are often very, how shall I put it…, intellectually funny in a ‘you had to be there’ kind of way.
MrsJ blogs too, or used to anyway. Now she has two dogs and presents all the syndromes of a busy mother.

Anyhow, whenever we talk, there always comes a point where we go: ‘Maybe I should write a blog post about that?’

MrsJ thought I should write a blog post about toilet etiquette. Because, after the How to be sexy post the logic follow-on would be…, yes, toilet etiquette.
I know! But you had to be there!

So, we were talking about these taboo topics and how talking about it (or at least writing newsletters or blog posts about them) makes other people open up. And I have proof of that! Because each time I write about sex and similar topics, it doubles my click and open rate of newsletters! And I have had so many personal and email reactions to those posts: some women went and bought a new dress, some wore a very elegant dress to a normal evening out, some bought some red heels,…You go girls!

It confirms that talking about ‘taboo’ subjects is good! It confirms that we are all the same, with the same fears and, yes, quirks. Or as I put it to MrsJ: ‘We all fart in the toilet.’ Hence the toilet etiquette post idea.
No seriously, we all do! And still we are embarrassed by it. We try to muffle the sound, hold it in until ‘the other toilet visitor’ has left the stalls…. Seriously!
Seriously, this is not a post about toilet etiquette…
My question to MrsJ was: ‘Is farting in the toilet a normal thing or just a bad habit.’  And whereas we agreed it was normal physically, we got to talk about quirks.

According to the dictionary, a quirk is a peculiarity of action, behaviour, or personality; a mannerism.

A few examples:

  • not stepping on the lines of the sidewalk (my kids like to make a game out of this)
  • turning a switch 3 times (like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets – although he had more of an obsessive compulsive disorder, come to think of it, he was not stepping on the lines of the sidewalk either…)
  • not being able to make a choice when given too many options (that would be MrsH in Starbucks)
  • saying ‘I hear what you’re saying’, a lot…

We all have such quirks. And they can be funny, are used in books or movies for character making.

Sometimes however, certain people’s quirks are just plain annoying… 🙂 The sniffling guy on the bus, the guy who talks very loudly on the phone, the guy at work who uses way too much cologne and each time you have to shake his hand you smell of Azzaro pour Hommes the whole day no matter how many times you wash your hands.
(Of course you may replace ‘guy’ with ‘woman’ wherever you please – and add your most hated perfume.)

Some quirks can even be categorized as a medical condition. And one (#6) has actually a lot to do about the toilet etiquette I was referring too earlier 🙂

I don’t think there is a cure for quirks (unless they are a medical condition). We can of course tell people about them, give them gifts to hint that quirks are bothering us, but above all, I think we need to be aware that we are all human. And each time we find ourselves condemning someone else’s quirky behavior, we should look at ourselves first (because we are always quirky to someone else too), try to see the humor in it (most quirks really are very funny) and just smile knowingly.