Trina Machacek: Idiosyncrasies are quirky

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

Let me start with this $3 word, idiosyncrasies. Might be considered $3.25. It does have 14 letters after all. You went back and counted, didn’t you? Me too. Twice.
We all have some quirky things. It’s just the way we all live our lives. But. Oh yes, an idiosyncrasy-lined “but.” It’s how we react to the little stinkers our friends and relatives have that teach us patience, forgiveness, and just how to laugh without moving our lips.
Did you know there is a “YouTube” video about how to fold a towel? This is just too much. I figured the best way to fold a towel was so that it would fit in the place towels are kept. Until a bath or shower when you grab one and use it as a towel is meant to be used. But nope.
Apparently how you fold your towel could be considered an idiosyncrasy. Does that mean if we all fold differently at some point there will be a need for idiosyncrasy police to be called to make sure we conform? A drag net, well a towel net, could be needed!
What if you have some of those huge wraps that you wrap up all warm and cozy after a shower towel — uh that you did not “borrow” from the Hilton! They do not fold like the regular-sized towels do. Woe is me. Will there be a non-compliant idiosyncrasy fine? I am in so much trouble constantly on many levels that I will never meet any towel folding guidelines.
I actually love my idiosyncrasies and Trina features that make me, me. Yes, I think I have used the word idiosyncrasies enough. They are just our very own quirks and peculiarities. Oh, another $3 word. Let me just stick with quirks. A cute little word. Worth about 79 cents.
A friend of mine can smile and light up my world. Then at the end of the smile there is a tilt of a head followed by a look on that face that is quirky. It is so unabashedly quirky that it is the greatest idiosyncrasy. I would bet my friend has no idea it happens.
My dad had some of the dooziest quirks. He would pick up a celery stick that my mom was cutting up for a relish tray and grab the saltshaker. Every time, every time without fail, he would walk over to the sink, wet the celery, and shake the salt on the stick with such precision you would have thought salt was more valuable than gold. The very few times I remember him helping to wash dishes he would run the tiniest stream of hot water to rinse off the dishes that as the dryer, I would stand there forever waiting for each dish. Driving me nuts-o. I would give a lot to stand next to him and watch that again. He has been gone for a long time.
We humans are not the only species that have quirks that make us special in varied ways. I remember feeding cattle in the winter in our feedlot. There might be just a few or hundreds to be fed every morning and when it was really cold, we fed in the evenings too. It was so cool to see that the cattle would line up at the trough in the same spot each day. So much so that we would give some of them names. “The Pusher,” who always needed extra space on either side to be comfortable. That “Dang Sneaker” who could take all the hay as far as she could reach, from the left and right before eating right in front of her. That little piggy. They each had something as did the dogs and now my cats do. Yes, idiosyncrasies cross the boundaries of all lives. Pretty cool actually.
The way we do things become us. In summer, I mow my lawn the same direction. Every time. I know it’s not how I was told to mow. I was not to mow over cut grass as it would clog up causing the mower to chug and spit and that is not good for the machine. So, every time I mow and cause that sound, I giggle. It will bite my backside, I am sure. But until then, it’s a quirk of mine. Maybe it’s that our idiosyncrasies are showing our specialness. Our unique selves. Maybe.
I’m here to tell you though, if you ever grate cheese (one of my favorite snack foods), if you ever grate cheese, and do not pick up a thumb and finger full, smooch it a bit and stick it in your pie hole, well, we just cannot be idiosyncrasy friends. Yum.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her books are available online or email her at for a signed copy.


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