We all have our quirks. Here are a few of mine.
The event: Backing into a parking space
What it means when other people do it: There’s a high likelihood that the person is pretentiously showing off his vehicle, especially if it’s a sweet ride. If he cocks his wheels to the side, there’s an 88% chance that he’s a d-bag. The other 12% are those who were either lucky enough to pull through from the space behind it or those who strategically park their vehicle for a post-heist getaway.
What it means when I do it: Nothing special at all. The front end of my car is so low that it would hit any curb. My ability to estimate distances is pretty awful – So when I do try to go in front-first, I’ll get out of the car thinking that I came within a foot of the curb, but it’s still a whole car length away. Why can’t I estimate distances?!? I have to back in because of the combined limitations of my vehicle and my brain.
The event: Sneezing (once)
What it means when other people do it: Nothing special, many people sneeze only once. Some people hold their nose and make a crazy muted “KAK-Koop!” sound, which always makes me feel uncomfortable because I imagine the pain of boogery pressure getting shot up into my sinuses. I also know a woman who suffers from the condition known as Man Sneeze, which is very unfortunate.
What it means when I do it: If I sneeze just once and can’t get a second one out, I’m in a weird hazy place for at least an hour. I’m stuck in Half Sneeze Mode, can’t operate any heavy machinery, and shouldn’t be trusted to handle any sharp objects.
The event: Shaking hands
What it means when other people do it: I think for most people, it’s considered a formal gesture for specific situations. It’s our culture’s way of saying “Hi there, this occasion requires that we shake hands, so let’s hold a firm grip for two shakes and then disengage.”
What it means when I do it: I shake everybody’s hand just because I like doing it. It’s my way of saying “I need to touch you. Because I’m touchy.” I would hug everyone if I could get away with it.
The event: Shaking a leg or foot
What it means when other people do it: Some people shake a leg or a foot from time to time as a nervous tic. Whether it’s bouncing a knee or rocking a foot wildly back and forth, it’s like one specific part of their body is having a seizure.
What it means when I do it: I do this all the time whether I’m nervous or not. There is usually some part of me in motion when I’m awake. If I do it just right and I have some part of my leg propped up next to a table in the conference room, it will shake the whole table and disrupt the meeting. “Are we having an earthquake, or is that Jeff’s happyfeet?” I don’t even realize what I’m doing until someone suddenly grabs my leg and says “OH MY GOD YOU’RE DRIVING ME INSANE, STOP IT OR I WILL CHOKE YOU SENSELESS.”
The event: Failure to use a blinker while changing lanes
What it means when other people do it: Unfortunately, this is very commonplace these days, and it probably doesn’t mean anything at all for the average driver. The driver is probably busy flipping through Facebook or Twitter, and she may not even be aware that her vehicle is moving into a different lane right in front of you.
What it means when I do it: I’ve decided that I hate you. As a person who is sensitive to the use of blinkers, any failure to blink on my part is very intentional. If you see me change lanes in front of you without signaling, that is the equivalent of me somehow hanging both hands out of the driver’s side window at the same time to give you the Double Bird while I scream obscenities like a crazyperson.