We all have our individual eccentricities. Many of us (including me) are a little shy when it comes to revealing these oddities to others, out of fear of being exposed as “weird,” and ostracised by the rest of the world. But what if we’re not as unique as we think? What if there’s plenty of people around us who share the same quirks and have spent their entire lives thinking they’re alone? To test this theory out, I have decided to share some of the weird things I do and see if there are people out there who can empathise. Mind you, this is not an exhaustive list but I’ve decided I’d rather not scare everyone away all at once. So, without further ado here are 5 things I need someone to validate doesn’t make me crazy:
1.) I become nervous on semi-crowded public transport. Let’s take trains for example. Notice how I use the phrase “semi-crowded.” I have no issues getting onto a train where we are all packed shoulder to shoulder, stuffed like sad, little sardines. That’s because I have no choice in where to stand and don’t have to think about where is the most convenient and least obstructive spot to squeeze myself into is. This becomes an issue on trains that are becoming crowded but haven’t been filled to capacity yet. There’s only standing room, but enough space that I must choose what is the most optimal place to station myself at. If the area around the sliding doors is free, then clearly that’s the best place to stand. But when even those have become someone else’s territory and the aisle is the only place available, that is when I get nervous. If no one has ventured into the aisle yet then I can easily station myself smack bang in the middle, but if at least one person is there I start to mentally calculate where to go. If the person is already in the middle and no one else is around, should I go as close to them as possible to give maximum room for new passengers at subsequent stations, or should I leave some room between us so it doesn’t look creepy? If they have established a post for themselves only a portion of the way down the aisle, where should I go then? It’s a 50/50 chance of still being in the way because no one can predict how many people will come through each of those doors at the next stop and therefore which side needs more space. Either way, I often find myself diligently watching the doors at each stop to see where I may need to shuffle to next. I don’t think anyone around feels the same, nor do I think any passengers I am eagerly trying to make space for are appreciative (or aware), but it’s something I have to do or I’d feel guilty. Public transport etiquette sounds ridiculous, but in today’s age where the population is constantly growing, I never understand why people intentionally take up more space than needed. Why does your bag need a seat when you clearly can see plenty of people are standing and deserve a seat more than your inanimate object? Man, I can’t believe I’ve spent this entire time talking about where to stand on long vehicles meant for transporting hoards of human beings. But then again, that’s what this entire post is about. So let’s keep pushing on.
2.) I obsessively like being able to give correct change. Despite the world transitioning into cashless payment systems, I still prefer to make most of my purchases in cash. I have this compulsive need to be able to give the exact change if possible, so that I can minimise the number of coins I carry, especially small values such as 5 cent and 10 cent pieces. It gives me this wicked sense of satisfaction, which is why I have to know what the exact price of something is before I walk up to the cashier so that I have enough time to check my wallet and calculate what the most optimal amount to hand over is. This means if something is on sale and prices are NOT “as marked,” I will calculate what the exact amount is. I prefer to be given notes and dollar coins in change if feasible, therefore if something is $21.50 and I don’t have any notes smaller than $50, I’ll handover $51.50 or even $52 to make sure I can get at least $30 in crisp, clean notes. Sad, huh? But I enjoy it and it helps keep my wallet organised so I’m not going to stop until I have no more cash to spend.
3.) I will leave my favourite bite of food until the last mouthful. No matter how big the portion is, or whether or not I believe I can finish it, I will leave my most desired and anticipated morsel of food until the last moment. I’ll decide early into the meal what my favourite parts are and make sure I eat around it and eventually package it into what I think the perfect mouthful will be. If we are having a meal with multiple dishes, I make sure to finish on the one I like the most. I guess I like ending my meal on a high-note and going out “with a bang.” Some (like my mother) might say it’s a stupid strategy, because what if you become full before then? What if you tire out before the much-awaited climax and can no longer enjoy its thrills? Well, let’s just say I like to live dangerously because it’s a risk I am willing to take and a habit I have no intention of going cold turkey on. Besides, my dad used to do as a child too, so I take comfort in knowing it proves there is no doubt I am his daughter.
4.) I like to pretend I’m an actor in my favourite movies and television shows right before I fall asleep in bed. Depending on what I have recently seen (and which actor I am currently obsessed with), I will create a character for myself and make up a scene I can mentally act out. And before anyone with a dirty mind starts to imagine inappropriate things, I want you to know they’re usually completely innocuous scenes such as having a conversation or arguing with another character. I always enjoyed drama in high school and to this day I still secretly dream about becoming an actor, so it only seems fitting for me to practise my skills in the dark. I used to do it a lot more when I was younger, nowadays it only happens if I’m not sleepy and am just lying idly in bed. I’ll agree it makes no sense and probably sounds slightly psychotic, but it’s a fun little thing I do in my own time and I’m not hurting anyone so why shouldn’t I continue?
5.) And now we’ve finally reached the end. Numero five. This final one is a little dark so I’d like to issue a trigger warning for anyone sensitive to death and suicide. Sometimes, when I’m on the platform waiting for a train to arrive or watching cars fly by as I wait for the pedestrian lights to turn green, I wonder what it’d be like to throw myself off the edge and become a splatter of flesh and blood on some poor bugger’s windshield. I have never had any suicidal ideation, nor do I actually want to die (I’m terrified of the thought), but I cannot explain the urge that creeps up on me as the train’s lights come into view and I can see it barrelling towards me. I imagine what it would feel like to step directly in front of it, how much pain my body would experience before my life inevitably ends. Do our lives actually flash before our eyes moments before our deaths? Or would it be so instantaneous I’d barely feel any pain at all? To be perfectly honest, I know for a fact there are people out there who feel the same and I also know what this phenomenon is termed. The “call of the void,” they’ve coined it and I’ll have you know it is not an uncommon experience in the world. It’s the same as when people are peering over the edge of a cliff or looking down from a height and have this sudden urge to jump. It is not a sign of suicidal ideation nor does it necessarily reveal an underlying mental health condition. From what I understand it’s a normal sensation and I’ve never actually gotten close to doing anything that impulsive. So why did I even put this on the list? I’m not sure really, I just thought it was interesting and wanted to put it last because it’s the bleakest out of all of them. Let me know if you’ve ever felt the same and I hope I haven’t completely bummed everyone out!
So that’s the list. Feel to free judge (but also don’t think me completely crazy because my self-esteem may not be able to handle it), but more importantly comment below if you can validate these quirks or have your own to share! That ends my little experiment, and now we can only sit back and wait. Cheerios!