Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dumb Habits That Drive Me Nuts

Last weekend I tore out the dried sweet peas, a pod of which you see in this photo. It was dusty, itchy work. I heard myself humming. I don’t know why I wasn’t aware of it before. Now that I notice it, this compulsive humming, of the same bars of the same song all day long, is making me nuts.
Since I took note of it, I’ve tried to stop myself. As soon as I stop thinking about the humming, it starts again. And my repertoire, since I noticed it last weekend, is not large or even interesting. So far this week, I’ve hummed:
It’s a Grand Ole Flag
Camptown Ladies
Hark Now Hear the Angels Sing
And this timeless classic: The Muffin Man

Sunday I went around and dead-headed the roses, trying not to hum. When did this habit begin? I used to talk to myself while gardening. So I tried talking to myself. It was ridiculous. It was not a stimulating conversation. I said the same crap over and over again. And as soon as my mind drifted from the boring self-talk, there I was, humming It’s a Grand Ole Flag.

It was crazy. I came in the house and told Joe, “I can’t stop humming.” He told me, “You always do that.” I pondered this news. How could I forget that I hum a lot? Or did I just never notice this essential, tedious, daily thing about myself? Why do I hum? To break the silence in my head? To keep myself company? Yet I hum in the presence of others. What does it look like to them, this woman of a certain age walking around randomly humming the same lame tunes? I must have thought no one else could hear me.

That got me thinking about habits of other people that also drive me nuts. (I don’t want to be alone in my weirdness.) I know someone who always sticks his finger in his mouth after a meal to wipe around his molars. Yuck! How about guys who turn and spit on the ground while you’re talking to them? Double yuck! Someone in my household who shall remain unnamed always leaves tiny bits of veggie matter in the sink strainers. Gross!

There’s the lady who inserts “And, uh…” into every other sentence. The young women whose spandex tank tops cling to the rolls of fat around their midsections. The drivers who don’t know what their turn signals are for. People who say, “Irregardless”…

Does anyone else out there have humming issues? Habits that drive you nuts?

Camptown ladies sing this song: Do dah! Do dah!...


Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

loud breathers...something about the wind whistling through their noses drives me out of my willow :)

Your sweetpea photo brings back memories...I used to pull those with my Grandma and she'd sing too..."Dancin' with the dolly with the hole in her stockin's...

Peace ~ Rene

The Bug said...

I had a hard time reading the rest of the post after I read your list of ditties - I was laughing too hard.

My dad is a whistler & singer. He canNOT be quiet. I never really noticed that much but it drove my mother crazy & now it drives my husband crazy. The other night I was trying to come up with something to sing in church (a solo!) & didn't realize I was about to run my husband off. Heh.

Katharine said...

I don't hum...I sing in my head. You know, always having a song stuck in there, and occaionally I sing a few bars out loud.(which is good if i like the song) Only now, I have Camptown Ladies playing, and it takes awhile to switch songs... :|

Syd said...

Wide mouth yawns in public
Using tooth picks
Snorers on air planes
Saying You know every fifth word

I'm sure that I can come up with more but those are really bad so I'll not post them here.

Brian Miller said...

teehee...someone i know has an OCD habit of getting in and out of the bed, one right after the other...but i still love her...smiles.

Birdie said...

lol Chris! well, I don't know if it will make you feel better but sometimes I hum too ... mostly it is a song I heard somewhere, that I DON'T LIKE and suddenly here I go humming that song and it doesn't seem to leave me alone ... thinking about it I should ask hubby how much that bothers him ... :-) but I don't mind that in other people ...

TechnoBabe said...

Love it, you don't want to be alone in you weirdness! The first thing we do is find accomplices. I asked hubby and he said I don't hum. Oh thank gawd, I wouldn't want to do anything so weird. Ha.

Paul C said...

Don't like flip flops that sound that way.

Eva Gibson said...

What a fun post!!! How about someone unnamed who says they're leaving, and a half hour later they're still around???


I have to tell you--you've been on my mind this week--and especially today. In fact, I've been praying for you. ((hugs)) Is that silly? Ah, well--I wanted you to know.

Von said...

Ah yes the Hums..Pooh had them all the time and it worked for him.

crownring said...

I always thought that singing or humming while you work either meant you were content or you were trying to distract yourself from the mundane. I don't think it's strange at all, Chris. Now if you were talking on a cell phone while trying to cut down a tree with a chainsaw, I'd think it was time to call the nice young men in clean white coats to take you away!

Don't worry, be happy!

BTW, the habit that drives me nuts is when people send me e-mail forwards that claim your house will burn down or your dog will get run over by a Mack truck if you don't forward it on to 20,000 of your BFFs. A pox on the underwear of those who think up such recycled baloney!

Enchanted Oak said...

I'm sad that I don't hum songs I really like. Why not a little classic Bob Seger? The Beatles? Peter, Paul, and Mary? ... "Puff, the Magic Dragon, lived by the sea..."

evalinn said...

Not humming, but I went to a speaking-class a few weeks ago, and learned about a lot of strange habits I have...

Karen said...

I do the same as Katherine. Sometimes, I'd like to take a pick - one like dentist's use - and clean those old songs out of the crevices of my brain. (And sometimes, the only way I can get a song out of my head is to start singing another one.)

the walking man said...

Sounds to me like someone needs an MP3 player for their gardening.

I am just generally nuts, remember I am a poet, so peoples quirks and disgusting habits (my own included) are fodder for what I do best garden in the field of words.

Woman in a Window said...

Chris, I laugh to see you out there humming and talking and giving up/giving in. It truly gives me great joy. I know a few of you hummers, whistlers, singers. Me, I have no habits. Ha! Not one~

~other than I prepare the last bite. I mentally see it as the best one, square it off: the sauciest or tastiest looking, and save it, wait on it, and then indulge in it, and save one well measured last drink to chase it down. I'm sad if someone happens along and eats it on me, although I am working on my sharing skills. Normal, right?


Dianne said...

hmm thought I posted this, maybe I missed the word verification.
people and children who habitually make clicking noises in the car while I'm driving. something about the pitch. Unfortunately, I am humming "Bad Romance" from, yes, Lady Gaga, thanks to Mr Knowitall's post this week. I had to look up her music videos, hard to get those images out of my mind........ugh.

Magpie said...

This is a very funny post!! I know I recognize what drives me crazy about others, but would be interested to know what about me drives them crazy...well maybe not.

Georgina Dollface said...

I have this habit of singing a certain line from a favourite Tori Amos song. When a certain mood hits me, regardless of what I am doing, I'll unknowingly sing the lines: "Surrender, then start your engines. You'll know quite soon what my mistake was. All those on horseback or doglsed, you turn off at the bend in the road." It makes no sense but somehow when I am feeling a certain way,it is just comforting to hear myself singing those words. - G

Milo Gomez said...

It bothers me when you're speaking with someone and their lips mock yours and then they feel like they can speak the end of your sentence with you. It's like, you don't know what I'm going to say...don't steal it.
I get annoyed when people have their left turn blinkers on in the left hand lane of the freeway.
I can't stand when people write your when they mean you're. You're is you..are.. Y-o-u-r is your.
I also hate it when people exclaimate to much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. See like that...annoying.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

See I knew we were kindred spirits, a little too kindred.

My someone who shall remain nameless does the SAME thing. The sink strainer full of vegetable yuck was just cleaned (quietly) at lunch by MOI (cause it bugs me not him)

And I hum stuff all the time (oh and whistle tunes)

My sick and twisted sense of humor wants to start singing "this is the song that never ends" (from the sherry and Lamb Chop show. or "it's a small world" to add to your repertoire of annoying songs that don't go away ;OP

I should be locked up, but I'm still running free sober and actually quite joyful, though I am still quite "s'ill'y in the head."

At my parents home back in Michigan there are LOADS of wild sweet peas growing along their property and the road they live on. BEAUTIFUL!!!! :) (had a magpie moment there where random shiny thought came in)

OH yeah, and one more thing,
"guesstimate" DUMB word!

steveroni said...

I'm with Kathetine on this...Except my songs I pretty well keep INSIDE my head. Frequently a Peeps will say "Where are you..?" I cannot really say, "Well, I just started Beethoven String Quartet, Opus 18, No. 2."

But that WOULD be the truth! crazy is as Crazy does???

Chris, where do you get these crazy "question-posts"--grin!

Alan Burnett said...

During my years of deafness I kept myself sane by humming and singing to myself - it was the only music I could "hear". I still do it now - much to the annoyance of everyone within yards of me for I retain the singing voice of a deaf man!

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Mouth breathers...very strange indeed.

People who don't wash their hands after using the bathroom drives me crazy!

Yawning where people don't cover their mouths.

Rude phone talkers in public on cell phones in movies...ugh.

This post made me laugh out loud and was exactly what I needed today!

Oh, and I HUM all the time...strange songs from my childhood, "frankie and johnny", the "cattle call" etc...I have no idea why, but I know I do it.

Love you

Marion said...

I thought I'd commented on this post, but guess it was fodder for Google once again.

I love to hum, but generally there is no one around to hear me. And I always thought humming while you work means contentment. So hum all you want, Chris, soon you will be humming songs you really like!!!

Carrie Burtt said...

You always make me laugh! I think humming is a nice habit. One thing that some people do that drives me nuts is: people that go around with their cart at the grocier store like they are the only person on the planet. :-)
Hope you have a great weekend!

Peggy said...

I, too, am a hummer of inane ditties. I've come to realize, that they are very meditative - almost like a mantra. They help me get my work done. They keep me company. They are easy, and familiar, and automatic. Thank god for mindless humming.

Albert Einstein Quotes