20 (Maybe) Weird Things.

I’ve said it before: we’re all weirdos. See the following.

Right, Idris?
  1. I read over people’s shoulders on the train, especially when they have hefty, voluminous books in their hands. I mean, how can I be a legitimate bookworm if I don’t hoard what you’re reading?
  2. If you stand too close to me anywhere, this is clear evidence that you want my kidneys.
  3. I don’t necessarily mind the scent of gasoline. (Stop raising your eyebrows. Doesn’t that acrid aroma take you back to the days of school buses and running to get to class on time? No? Fine, it’s just me then. Le sigh.)
  4. Speaking of school, I get a little sad when September comes. Reminds me of the return of school and losing summertime, air-conditioned basements, and leisurely family time/trips to the local library. Poor kiddos.
  5. When I hear this song, I weep. I don’t know why.
  6. Speaking of inexplicably sad songs, I crave them sometimes. The melancholy can be oddly uplifting.
  7. In elementary school, I was in class with a girl named Marni Levy. One of my Dad’s friends owned an auto shop which was next to another shop named Levy’s. In my mind, I believed that Marni’s father owned that shop. Because of the last name. It never dawned on me that the world is undoubtedly filled with millions of Levy’s.
  8. Can you believe I still remember Marni’s name? I just Googled her. And found her. Oh, the Google. We were in 4th grade together.
  9. By now, you understand that I’m a low-key private investigator. Let us give thanks for Columbo, Jessica Fletcher, and Hercule Poirot. I really believe in my skills, y’all.
  10. To this day, I can’t check my pulse. Because I have no idea what I’m counting. And really, does it matter? As long as we all know how fast or slow it’s going?
  11. I have safe songs. Songs that prevent me from throwing myself to the ground and bawling during stressful and/or anxious times. When I hear these songs, I calm down. It’s amazing. I’m sure there’s a psychological link to a relaxing memory somewhere. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears, Drive by the Cars, and Dancing in the Dark by my boyfriend Bruce Springsteen are a few. (By the way, the term “safe song” came from an episode of Ally McBeal. I latched on to the term immediately.)
  12. If I must drink a green smoothie (like being forced by a kidnapper or a bank robber), I don’t want to taste the green part. I better not taste that green part.
  13. My actual shoe size is 8 1/2. But I wear 9, 9 1/2, and even 10 sometimes. Because my toes are alive and sometimes cannot physically take being in certain shoes. Like they need room to breathe. It’s the weirdest thing.
  14. I inherently associate smells with memory. See #3. It’s not weird, per se, but it’s tough to explain to people why you’re backing away slowly from them because their perfume reminds you of terrifying kindergarten teachers.
  15. “Conspiracy theorist” is an appropriate description of yours truly. They’re watching you. All of them.
  16. I read the ending of books first before I buy them.
  17. For a long time during my adolescence, I truly believed that I was adopted. Like, really. Actual mother: Diana Ross. Or a queen from a faraway land. Same thing.
  18. See #15. There are at least two people in history that I believed faked their deaths. But we won’t get into it now, folks. Not trying to scare you this early in the morning.
  19. I’m a sassy, swinging, modern girl. But I may or may not be clueless about the lyrical content of most songs.
  20. When “LOL” became a thing, it took me a while to not use it as a verb in my mind when reading it. (“Wow, she’s doing a lot of LOLing.”) I also perhaps maybe Googled it at first to see what in the world it meant. Add “SMH” to that list, as well.

There is it, folks. A few quirks and oddities that I contentedly call my own. For the record, I certainly believe that “weirdness” is all relative; life would be quite shapeless and gray without the downright different ways we all perceive things. So take a deep breath, install Google on your smartphone, and enjoy your life.

Bon weekend, mes amis.


I don’t know what it is about entering a store and looking through racks of clothes and trying them on that fills me with pre-root canal-esque queasiness, fear, and disdain. Most of my friends hear my “I detest shopping” complaint and are shocked that my recent weight loss didn’t translate into a complete change in mindset, as if my ability to wear smaller sizes somehow means that now I want to run through store aisles with gleeful abandon. No. And perish that thought, immediately. The fact is, friends: I’ve never

The typical reaction in front of every single store.

liked shopping.

My relationship with the acquiring of clothes, specifically, has been the following: my mother purchased my clothes until I was in my mid-twenties. First of all, this is what the mothers of sheltered girls do. Second, since there were tumbleweeds running through my wallet (former minimum wage girls unite!) most of the time, I heartily left it to my primary caregiver to clothe me. When I finally started working my first “real” job and making a bit more money and taking care of myself, all of that changed. I was now responsible for heading to the stores and finding my own clothes. A task that became my white whale. I had no idea what my personal style was back then. I wore the clothes my mom bought me and let’s be real: as chic as my mom was and still is, I was her daughter. (And always a little girl in her eyes.) My clothes were floral and functional. So to have to figure out what looked good on me, what I liked: hello, Moby Dick. Also, I was (am?) a lazy drone who didn’t like looking for anything. Add to that a preference to hide in clothes rather than be accentuated by them and you had someone that side eyed the department store 100 percent of the time. Needless to say, I kept to the floral and functional options and seriously kept it moving.

But then comes the passage of time, journeys, figuring out what I like, learning that I’d rather look at flowers than wear them emblazoned on a dress, that sort of thing. Yet I still can’t come to terms with it: peering through tags and fabric, searching, de-clothing in a white room that may or may not be on a camera pointed right at me. I just don’t like the process. And forget shopping with friends. Goodness. Yes, it’s my lot in life to be surrounded by lovely women who spend gobs of time strolling through stores and pronouncing that something is cute every ten seconds. (I do love them, though. I promise. At times. Kidding.)

So what does This Square Peg do? After all, you’ve seen some of my finds on here for Fabu Fashion days, so you know that I shop. Here it is, dear reader, my shopping modus operandi: I run in and out. My time inside stores doesn’t go beyond a certain amount of time, lest someone finds me in a melted heap somewhere by the shoe section. I even try things on, but it has to be for a serious reason, like I need the outfit for a special event and hardly feel like returning it. And I do it quickly. Everything must be done quickly before The Queasiness comes. You thought I was exaggerating, weren’t you? I wish. I really do get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. But let’s end here, shall we? We’ll save all the gory stuff for my future therapist. May he or she be blessed with patience and plenty of ink in their pen.

Anyway, folks, yet another strange adventure in the life of your Square Peg. Tell me: are you a shopper? Are you not? How do you feel about the whole thing?