“And this one here, this one we’ve got loads of in stock; ya know what I mean?”
There it was again, grating.
The motorsports salesman continued his spiel, hands gesturing and mouth sideways-smirking. Every now and again, he’d slip that phrase at the end of a statement -not in the same pattern, no. He couldn’t even alleviate my senses that way.
See, I’m bothered by repetition. Maybe you’re not. Maybe in sixth grade, you could have sat through your classmate’s reading her report aloud with an, “And, um” announcing each new paragraph. As she became more and more nervous, the phrase increased to lead each line. Then, she stuttered it after every pause.
Maybe you like “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
Instead of reflecting on irritants, however, my mind wandered to a mirror: what am I doing, perhaps unconsciously, that drives others up the wall?
I know of one thing. I know because of others’ comments and because of my own instincts. I wrestle with years of childhood shyness and mumbling and such to just LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE when speaking.
Much of my conversational behavior irritates me. I know I couldn’t stand a recording of myself; I’d spend the entirety of it regretting this gesture or that head flip or ugh; was that what I thought smiling looked like?
Not that I am recommending harsh criticism of oneself. Rather, I wonder what habits you’ve noticed in yourself. Did another person have to point it out for you?
What sorts of amusing or irritating idiosyncrasies have you seen in others? Will you write a character based on them -if ya know what I mean?
Here’s last week’s recap:
Tuesday, January 11: Updated y’all with “The First-Ever 2022 Blog Update!“
ALSO!! Matt of A Prolific Potpourri has been doing audio performances of my Wilhelmina Winters series. He does them once a month for Short Story Saturday and they are excellent. Go listen!!
©2022 Chel Owens