… from the bungalow

Yep, I’m a Weirdo


Quirks. Most folks have at least one. I figured I should share just a few of mine.

Sample Synesthesia Number Chart

An example of color/gender (grapheme/personification) association.

I mentioned in a previous post that I suspect that I have a touch of synesthesia, which is a neurological condition where unrelated sensory and cognitive pathways sometimes involuntarily converge. For example, when I think of the month of March, I automatically think of the color blue and the male gender. It’s deeper than thinking, though. I sense blue/male. Seven is burgundy/male. Thirteen is yellow/female… It seems to happen most with numbers, days and months, and always with color and gender association. And it’s pretty consistent. Tuesday is blue/female. Nine is red/female, but masculine. (She’s a girls’ softball coach.) Weird, right? And until a couple of years ago, I figured it was typical. (Image source: http://yourbrowsermyrules.blogspot.com/2010/11/synesthesia.html.)

Speaking of numbers, I count stairs. I always have. And I always start with my left foot, because left is odd. Obviously. I know how many stairs are in my current house (going upstairs and down to the basement), my last house, my grandparents’ house and probably a few others. It’s become almost involuntary after so many years. Did you know most homes have 12-13 stairs between flights? I didn’t look that up. That’s just been my experience.

Pink Pearl

Made in Malaysia. More like "malaise-ia."

Lastly (for now), I’ll tell you my weird little secret. I used to love–love–the smell of Pink Pearls. The pencil erasers by Paper Mate? They’re shaped like parallelograms, they’re squishy and they smell heavenly. They used to smell heavenly! I remember sitting in calculus class, sniffing my little Pink Pearl, caressing its velvety surface… Last night I went to Office Depot because they had 3-packs on sale for $0.50! (Limit 3 per family.) So I bought one, two, three packs of Pink Pearls. (I also like threes, so three 3-packs seemed like a no-brainer.) I figured, “this will last me a really long time. I can sniff my Pink Pearl and it will remind me of my school days and I will be happy.” I got them home, gleefully showed them to Karin, ripped open the first pack and gave it a whiff.

*Sniff, sniff* Hey… This… isn’t… right. They changed the formula! Gah! It smells more rubbery or something. (I’m pretty sure they’re smaller, too.) M*ther f*cker! (That’s for Cat.) Thanks for depriving me of my moment, Paper Mate!

I will agree with a Facebook friend, though, who said, “your life must be pretty good if this is what you’re sad about!” Indeed.

Still… *sniff*

~ Chris

Do you have any weird or embarrassing quirks?


Thanks for liking FtB on Facebook and sharing with your friends! 🙂 I’m on Twitter, too.


Author: Chris

Introspection to a fault. College administrator, parent, soapmaker.

33 thoughts on “Yep, I’m a Weirdo

  1. I appreciate and love your quirks, Chris. Fun post. I especially like the pic of you with the eraser mustache. Cutie-pie. 😉

  2. I smell my hands when I’m nervous or thinking about something. My friends growing up busted my chops about it mercilessly. Still do. Now when I do it my wife says, “what are you thinking about?” And I stop and we talk about it. Quirky weirdos unite..

  3. Um, I don’t want to scare you but me too on the erasers & counting steps!!! Are we related?? And thanks for dropping the MF bomb- sigh- you sure know how to make a girl feel all special!

    • Cat, are you serious? That’s pretty weird, but comforting to know I’m not alone. NP on the MF. I was already thinking SOBs, so it wasn’t much of a stretch. Usually if I want to call out SOBs in public or in front of the kids, I just say, “Bumpuses!”

  4. I used to think that something that happened to me was normal, but I guess it’s not. The THOUGHT of ice, or anything cold, gives me goosebumps. (I jsut got them.) I can not even THINK about someone chewing ice, or biting a popsicle. It makes me cringe. If I need something out of the freezer that isn’t right in front, I make Arick dig for it. Needless to say, I HATE winter, and I hate when it snows and people walk all over it and it makes that wretched squeaky noise, like 1,000 popsicles are being crushed. *shudder*

    • How funny, Heather. You’re getting a physiological response to a simple thought. It’s not unheard of, but probably unusual. “Weird” is relative. I think most of us have quirks. Thanks for sharing yours.

  5. If I walk on a tiled floor, I always make sure I get only one foot per tile. And if I have to touch paper, I have to moisturize my hands first..

  6. I don’t have any quirks at all. I sometimes like to buy crayola crayons and break them in half and shake them around in a pencil box to smell them because it calms my nerves. Sometimes I picture my current situation how it would appear in a movie scene – slow motion, extreme close-up, as appropriate, sometimes with music accompaniment. And I notice there are many more phallic symbols around than most people realize and it makes me giggle. But, no, no real quirks here, just a whole lot of normal.

    -Jennifer P.


    • LOL. That’s awesome, Jennifer! You know, this is something to keep in mind as a parent. Some parents will try to talk their kids out of doing “baby stuff” like using a blankie to calm them selves down. But when you think about scent and ritual and how effective those things can be at bringing back memories and feelings of safety, it just seems wrong to ever tell a kid, “don’t do that; that’s baby stuff.” Not that I tell my kids that, but I’ve heard it said. If you know that something soothes you, why not use it? I love the crayons idea! Crayola crayons do have an early childhood, soothing kind of smell.

  7. Naw, I only have awesome, envy-inspiring quirks! 😉

    You know, I’m really glad you turned this into a post. I read your status last night and smiled, but this morning? Reading this? I just closed my eyes and remembered that smell, which spells “childhood” to me. It’s sad to think that’s not a smell I’ll probably smell again, but I’m grateful to you for reminding me of the things I didn’t even realize they meant to me.

    • That’s great, Deb! I’m really grateful that so many others seem to “get it.” I wasn’t sure. But it’s the little things in life, right? The simple pleasures of being brought back to a simpler time in our lives. Nostalgia is good.

      One day, my kids will think back fondly on the smell of dad’s beer and Cheez-It breath. :/

  8. Quirks: my face sweats when I eat anything with vinegar in it – in fact my face will sweat if I even smell vinegar. No idea why. The tip of my nose, on the right side, twitches every time I blink. I remember every phone number I’ve ever had. I’m stupid good with directions if I have a chance to see a map. I used to listen to Rite of Spring to go to sleep when I was in high school (some lullabye, eh?), and I find Einstein on the Beach strangely calming.

    • I haven’t listened to Einstein on the Beach. I’ll have to check it out when I have 5 hours to kill. I have been guilty of going to sleep while listening to Le sacre! It’s incredible. Lullaby? Not so much, but it is wonderful.

  9. To quote a certain little girl in our family, “We’re a whole family of weirdos!” Wish you could see her more, she would sure love to be weird with you 😉

  10. You know… this Pink Pearl doesn’t smell completely different. I think I can get used to it.

  11. I always eat the crusts off a sandwich first then the inside. Always eat the top of a piece of pie, then the filling, then the crust. I have no idea why. My sister in law can name the amount of letters in any word in a nanosecond (10). We are all weird in some way.

    • That’s awesome, John. I’m gonna take a stab and guess that you are also particular about the way you dry off after a shower, you start with the same foot every time you put on your socks and that you eat the pickles off of your burger first. Am I close? You’re right. We’re all a little weird.

      I might have to work on developing your sister-in-law’s skill! That’s a neat trick. It would come in handy on those Scrabble-style Jeopardy categories.

  12. Interesting. So, does synesthesia ever help you memorize things? Did it ever help in school?

    • Thanks, Jeff. That’s a really good question; one that I had to think about. I never thought of it that way. But when I was in elementary school learning about days, months, numbers, multiplication tables, etc., those things did come easily to me because of the relationship I have with them. So in a way, you could say that it helped me memorize, but not in an intentional way.

      For example, 9 and 10 work together to create 9’s multiples. When 6 approaches 9 to make a product, 9 tells 6 to subtract 1, and 10 to subtract 6. She delegates. The product is 54. 8-1=7 and 10-8=2, so 8×9=72. Then, for each 10s place you ascend, 9 tells the multiplier to subtract an additional 1. So 12×9 would become 12-2=10 and 10-2=8: 108. 22×9 becomes 22-3=19 and 10-2=8: 198. 32×9 is 32-4=28 and 10-28: 288. You get the picture.

      Aren’t you glad you asked?

  13. I count every step too – up and down. I don’t know why, but I always have. It does come in handy when carrying loads of laundry up and down – then I know when I’ve reached the end and theoretically won’t bust my ass.

    #1 favorite all-time smell of childhood for me? Murphy’s Oil Soap and leather. Together. We had horses, and we used MOS to clean the saddles. Love. That. Smell.


    • LOL – “bust my ass.” I understand. That’s a great smell! I don’t have the same connection to it as you, but I can imagine. 🙂 Thanks, Amy.

  14. grrrrr i wrote all kinds of weird stuff here and it wouldnt let me post. short story chris, mom and i count steps too. we also both cant stand it when people eat their food upside down, like a cheeseburger for example. being weird makes us different and i love that ❤

    • Is this LCC? Upside down food, haha! It doesn’t bug me to that extent, but I do notice it when it happens.

      True: If you’re not at least a little bit weird, you’re not very interesting, if such a thing even exists.

    • Ohh… it’s MML. Not sure what the commenting issue was. Let me know if it happens again!

  15. Counting steps won’t help my lack of depth perception on stairs going down, with or without a load in my arms (which I generally can’t see around).

    I watch the show on the inside of my eyelids. When I was on the first two mood stabilizers, the inside shows differed, from one to the other, and from the usual oil-on-water in blues and reds of my previous shows. I can’t remember if or what the change was in 2004 with my current one, but it has affected my dreams. No longer tangential, they are a cohesive plot and I just enjoy watching my “private movie screen”, no analysis needed. Used to strongly associate the first few numbers with colors, not so much anymore. I have definite ideas about colors of calendar months, though, possibly introduced by the cutesy calendars of my youth. Gray, red, green, yellow, robin’s egg blue, lavender, orange, goldenrod, sky blue, burnt orange, darker gray, white.

    I do hallucinate scents occasionally.

    Oh, if you go to art supply stores, or educational stores, you may find Pink Pearls unpackaged. I’m willing to believe that some of the off-scent you encounter is from the packaging.

    Did you know there is a Pink Pearl (TM) apple? Developed by Alfred Etter, who bred quite a few pink-fleshed apples, one finds it occasionally here in the Bay Area. You can get more info about this, and other Etter apples, at http://www.greenmantlenursery.com/2008revision/fruit2008/etter-apples2008.htm Pink Pearl is about halfway down the page. Also check their Rosetta apples page.

    • A. Marina, I have noticed that the scent of my Pink Pearl has changed a bit over time. Either that, or I’ve become accustomed to it. I did not know about the Pink Pearl apple. It’s pretty. And good tip re: unpackaged erasers. I’ll check that out.

      Thanks for your comments!

  16. thank you for sharing! i also have synesthesia! i stumbled apon this post why doing research for my phychology class. did you find it easier to learn in school becuase of this? i always classified everything by color and had a much easier time remembering spelling words, or facts by writing them in my own handwriting each in a different color. i love this quirk i think its so facinating that others have this too! weirdos unite!

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