Monday, January 11, 2010

Idiosyncracies and/or OCD tendencies

A friend's recent tweet reminded me of one of my strange tics: I generally highlight text as I read a webpage by double-clicking on it. It's not necessarily what I'm reading at the moment (I usually concentrate my clicking around the middle of the page), and I generally highlight and unhighlight repeatedly which I'm sure annoys people who know me in real life. Sorry.

I also count steps when I'm going up or down stairs, though I understand that one is a little more common. Plus, I have somewhat complicated rules about how I step on and over cracks and lines on the ground, but I won't bore and confuse you with those here on my blog.

I don't mean to talk (solely) about in which ways I'm weird: I like to ask other people what their idiosyncratic or OCD tendencies are. So what about you? I've had friends who must close any open cabinet doors in a kitchen, who crack their fingers in a specific way at specific times, or who always try to set their alarm clock to times that are palindromes. OK fine, that last one was mine again. But what are yours? What are the weird little things you do for no good reason?

7 comments:

  1. I read the comics in the newspaper in a certain order. The best one I save for last ('Pearls Before Swine') and the one I can barely stand to read (because I can't bear to read more than half of them).

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  2. I do that highlighting text thing, too! And I sometimes count steps (although not always) and count other things, and I don't like open cabinet doors in a kitchen, or open closet doors in a bedroom . . . and I don't know what else, but I must have a lot, because I'm sort of OCD in general. Case in point: I use hand sanitizer frequently even when my hands aren't dirty. I just like hand sanitizer. Also, I like to cut up my fruit (such as apples, pears, etc.) because it's easier to eat that way.

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  3. GMB: Nice, I always saved Peanuts for last in the BYU newspaper, and usually skipped Get Fuzzy.

    Amanda: I wonder how many people are afflicted with text-highlighting syndrome, sounds like there are a few of us! Also, what do you mean by cupping fruit?

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  4. I used to have lots of OCD things. For example I too counted my steps, had to have my dumbbells wherever I went to (I carried them in my bag when I went on a trip), always set my alarm clock to ..:40 and many many more (I was pretty OCD). Somehow I've managed to get over most of those things. I don't even care about the candy wrappers my boyfriend leaves everywhere or lying under the duvet while wearing jeans (that used to be such a big problem).

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  5. your cabinet-closing friends would hate me. I constantly forget to close the cupboard doors. to the extent that I once had a roommate who commented, "I always know when you've been in the kitchen because ll the doors are open!" As for OCD ticks, hrm...I don't think that I'm organized or focused enough to have such ticks. I'll keep the question in mind though. In the meantime, I'm curious about these complicated crack-stepping rules :)

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  6. I just saw this "weird" tag and clicked on it, and I would also really like an explanation of your crack-stepping rules, because for as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with how I step on cracks, and you are the first person I have ever known who has admitted to experiencing something similar.

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  7. @Karmatu Ha, glad you found this little gem. I'll try my best to explain my rules, but it might not make sense without a visual explanation.

    So it's all based on this balance sort of thing: if you were crossing a line that was almost parallel with your path, but it's on your right, you wouldn't cross it with your left foot first because that would cause you to cross your feet (put your left foot to the right of your right one--you're way of balance and it's awkward and unnatural). Naturally you'd cross over it with your right foot. By extension, imagine a line like the one described by the equation y = -x, going upwards from right to left, and you're coming from "below" (from the negative y values): then you have to cross it with your right foot because, though not as extreme as a line that's almost parallel with your path, stepping over it with your left foot first is similarly unnatural. So basically any line with a positive slope you cross with your left foot, negative slope with your right foot. Does that make sense? And if you're coming up on a line that is perpendicular to your path, you can cross it with either foot, no balance issues, both sides are equal.

    What's your method/madness?

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