Friday, January 23, 2009


That’s what I am – peculiar. I mean that in the most flattering way however. I embrace my peculiarities, my idiosyncrasies, and they are what make me lovable in my humble opinion.

Sometimes an idiosyncrasy arises from a need to entertain myself, to find a way to make something mundane and boring a little more interesting. I am one of those people who needs something for my brain to do all the time. I can’t just not think. (How’s that for a poorly constructed sentence that conveys the exact meaning I desire?) Other times an idiosyncrasy arises because I like order and orderly things. Many times it is a combination of both those reasons, and many times it revolves around food and the preparing and/or eating of it.

Since my peculiarities are what make me so lovable I thought I’d share a few with you here, just so you’ll love me even more than you already do.

Peculiarity #1
I can entertain myself for quite a while if I’m in a room with a rug that has a pattern in it, particularly a geometric pattern of some complexity. I study the pattern, looking for the repeats in it, the flaws in it, following the lines in it, making games in my head about tracing around parts of it without touching other parts of it.
I have done this ever since I was a little girl. It kept me out of trouble many times I’m sure because I wasn’t the kid running around getting into everything. I was just sitting quietly playing with the rug’s patterns in my head. I still do. If you are ever with me and catch me staring idly at the floor or the wall see if there’s a rug or wallpaper or drapes or painting with a geometric design in my gaze. Chances are there will be one, and I will be dissecting that pattern in my head in innumerable ways.

Peculiarity #2
When alone (and sometimes in front of others if I’m not too self-conscious about it) I eat sandwiches by eating around the outside edge first to get rid of the crust and the part of the sandwich with little to no filling and then eat the inner good part. I clearly remember when I was young the first time Mom took me someplace where they served hamburgers on buns. Up until then I’d always eaten them on regular bread using my edge first technique. Here was bread with crust not just around the edge but all over! And it was round! I couldn’t figure out how to eat it and asked my mom where you start with something like this and was puzzled by her answer of “anywhere you want.” What?!? It disturbed my sense of order in the world. I have, over the course of the last 40 years or so, gotten over it and can eat a sandwich on a bun with little consternation, but that leads me to. . .

Peculiarity #3
When eating a sandwich on a bun I will examine the sandwich fairly carefully to determine where “the good part” is. The good part would be the part with the best filling to condiment to bun ratio exists. That’s the part to eat last. I start with the part that is most lacking in proper filling/condiment/bun ratio. Nothing, nothing, nothing makes me unhappier than a sloppily made sandwich that is slapped together without regard for getting the condiments evenly spread and the filling evenly distributed. It leaves so little good part to be savored.

Peculiarity #4
When I eat French fries from a fast food container I pick them up and eat them one at a time, carefully choosing each one in “pick up sticks” fashion. In other words, I try to pick up the next French fry without disturbing any of the other French fries. What’s the point of this exercise? Gives me something to do, makes it a little more interesting than just grabbing them willy nilly and shoving them in my face.

Peculiarity #5
When eating a meal I eat each thing in it’s entirety before eating the next thing starting with my least favorite working up to my favorite thing. I do make occasional exceptions to this, if as I’m eating one thing I think that it is so good that I might like it better than that other thing that I haven’t eaten yet. Then I’ll switch to the other thing, take a couple of bites, and decide whether to return to the original item or eat the other thing before the original thing.

Peculiarity #6
If I am eating a casserole or stew I eat the individual parts in order, picking out all the vegetables first, in order from least liked to most liked, then whatever protein item is included, followed by any pasta or rice from the dish. I am less and less meticulous about this one as I grow older, and sometimes I’ll eat the concoction all together without regard for the individual parts. Sometimes. . . but not always.

Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I’m sure there are others. Like I said before, they just make me more lovable!


Sailor said...

I trace patterns as well, I thought I was the only one that still did this as an adult. Nice to know I'm not the only one!

As for sandwiches, I'll eat them willy-nilly; but, I'm in accord with the distress, if the filling and condiments aren't evenly spread. I mean really, is it hard to spread the mustard properly?

Fusion said...

I used to seperate my food on plates, pushing each into it's own little pile. As I've grown older I don't do it as much, but sometimes I still catch myself...

John said...

I do the rug pattern thing also. And my Oldest daughter, who I thought was the world's pickiest eater, shares some of your eating peculiarities. its nice to know she'll probably turn out just fine ;-)

Gnightgirl said...

Interesting; while Clint eats more like you, I like to meld the flavors, put some of this and that in each bite, and see how it goes together.

My most "peculiar" favorite last bite: The last bite of an ice cream cone. The very bottom, with those waffle walls inside, and the ice cream has sogged them all down, but the outer cone is still crunchy? If it were up to me, that's all I'd eat...but I don't know how to get down there without eating the rest.

Maybe I could just hang outside of DQ, and offer to buy the last bit of every lil' kid's cone?

Val said...

I was an inveterate "separate foods" kid although I still tend to eat my way from least favorite to most favorite!
I also forgot to ask in your last round of q's - does N follow a vegetarian diet? [sorry, I noticed just like me, you rely on the occasional fast-food refueling stop - but it's a big PITA to find vegetarian options that way! I for one get tired of french fries!]

Desmond Jones said...

Wow, Truey. . . you really are nuts! (um, just kidding) (you knew that, right?)

Actually, I've been a linoleum-pattern-finder since my childhood, also. I especially like looking for patterns that look like faces. . .

And food. . . I'm pretty much the complete opposite of you - I enjoy mixing my foods together. Molly makes a ginger-tuna dish that she always serves with coleslaw; and I always mix the tuna into the coleslaw. . . Does that make me nuts?


Fiona said...

I'm peculiar too!! I do the pattern thing on carpets - heck I can find patterns where you don't realise they exist at first, I don't need geographical, I'm looking for the repetitions in any pattern. And in traffic I'll spend ages working out how the numbers relate on the licence plates. Here we are two alpha and four numeric and if I see, for example, 4592 I'll be adding 4+5=9 and +2=11 and then 1+1 = 2 LOL

I eat around my sandwiches all the time. Burgers I chomp through if fast-food but if served then I'll cut it in half first to give me an even line to eat around!

I am pretty much a cyclical eater too, preferring to finish one thing before starting another and NEVER putting two things in my mouth at the same time.

I count steps whenever I use them and if there are two or more sets of stairs I count them and compare if they are the same each set or different, then I wonder why.