Every single person has quirks. Things like having to sleep on the right side of the bed, putting the milk in their tea first or reciting Oscar acceptance speeches in the shower. A lot of three quirks are cute. Some aren’t. When you’re in a relationship, ‘cute quirks’ can quickly become irksome. Or, in some cases, deal-breakers.
I was going to write a list of Jack’s annoying habits but that really didn’t seem fair. He’s not here to defend himself. And even if he did see this, he’d probably be so embarrassed he wouldn’t say anything. They’re that bad. So instead, for your reading pleasure, I’ve decided to humiliate myself. I am incredibly annoying. I can admit that. But I take some comfort from the fact that Jack is still with me (or very meticulously plotting my death, whichever). So, here’s my shame list.
1. I sing all the time
I can’t help it. I really think I lived in a perpetual musical in a past life. I honestly just made myself a coffee and sang ‘I’m all out of milk’ to the tune of ‘I’m all out of love’. Jack has to cope with my most annoying type of singing: car singing. I recently found a three year old iPod. Here’s a snippet of a conversation in our car:
Me: So then I told her that she should just…OHMYGOD, I LOVE THIS SONG…to the left, to the left, everything you own in a box to the left… So anyway, I told her that she should just… OOH, CHORUS… You must not know bout me, you must not know bout meeee.’
Annoying, right? Not to mention that my singing voice sounds like I’m a cat being put through a trap out of one of those Saw movies.
2. I have a GIGANTIC phobia of spiders
I can’t even. I just can’t. Even saying the word ‘spider’ is difficult. In the beginning, Jack thought it was cute and relished his role as protector from all things eight-legged (despite the fact that I know he secretly craps his pants when he sees a spider too). After a few years of ‘OH MY GOD JACK THERE’S A FREAKIN SPIDER THE SIZE OF A TARANTULA IN THE LIVING ROOM. JACK, GETITOUT, GETITOOOOOOOUUUUTTTT!’ it starts to wear a little thin. Now, the routine is: I run out of the house as silently as possible. I phone Jack from a safe distance with a calm ‘there is a spider in the living room. I would be eternally grateful if you could remove said spider so that I can resume my sofa day-dreaming.’ He then removes the arachnid. I just realised that he probably goes nowhere near the living room and instead has a beer. So I’m probably sitting near some spider colony who is plotting some violent revenge on behalf of their fallen comrades. Oh dear god.
3. I am a serial dieter
Jack has to contend with my constant dieting. Some weeks, I’m on a crazy health buzz. So he gets a lot of ‘ok, I’m having fruit smoothies for breakfast and then dry crackers for lunch. And for dinner, as a special treat, spinach. Then I’m going to go on a four-mile run. I don’t know how I ever ate chocolate.’ Then, a week later. ‘I need a cheeseburger. I need cheese. I’m gonna melt chocolate and have eight crepes. I NEED CARBS!’ And then the inevitable ‘I can’t believe I fell off my diet wagon. I’m so fat.’ So if he tells me that I’ll regret eating a cheeseburger he gets this ‘YOU THINK I’M FAT?’ but then when I eat said cheeseburger, I have the eater’s remorse, which makes me just as irritating. He can’t win.
4. My emotions
I have all the emotions. I cry at adverts/films/my failure to win the lottery on a weekly basis. I can be a little sensitive too. I once ran over a rabbit (accidentally I’d like to add incase anyone from the rabbit mafia is reading this) and I was inconsolable. Jack had to contend with me sobbing ‘but what about when she doesn’t go back to her burrow? What will her husband think? What about her little rabbit babies? WHO’S GONNA FEED HER BABIES??!!’ He tells me I over-think things. He could be right.
5. I am obsessed with animals
When Jack and I moved into our first house, I begged him for a dog. After about five days, I wore him down. We got the most beautiful Border Collie puppy and called her Molly. Jack loved her instantly but he still had his reservations: will she have enough space? Will she need to be walked a lot? What if we’re not here for her during the day? To me, it was like having a baby and I dedicated my days to her.
Less than a year later, my mother bought us a another puppy. This time, a male West-Highland called Oscar. I can’t explain how much we both love our dogs.
A few years later, I decided to expand our brood. I bought a guinea pig. I called her Dolly. After a few days, she seemed lonely and sad. I did some research and realised she needed a cage mate, so that’s when I got Emmy-Lou. Still with me? There’s more. I didn’t know it at the time, but Dolly was pregnant when I bought her. So she had four pig babies: Coco, Stevie, Ronnie and Roxy. Ronnie and Roxy have since died unfortunately. But at this stage we had six guinea pigs and two dogs. More was to follow. A week later, while driving home, I spotted a very distressed kitten at the side of the (very dangerous) road. I managed to catch her. She was spitting and hissing at us for days. Eventually, she came around and now her and Jack are inseparable. We had planned to give her away but we became so attached that we just couldn’t. Her name is Billie.
So we now have seven pets. Although Jack loves our fur babies very much, he often alludes to our lack of freedom and the responsibilities that come with good pet ownership. I like to gently remind him that having a baby will be this times a hundred. So, I’m doing him a favour really. So selfless.
6. I make fun of him
I’m not mean. It’s just that sometimes a brilliant ‘burn’ opportunity comes up and I can’t resist. But before you judge me, he’s just as bad. It’s what we do. Here’s an example of a recent conversation:
Jack walked into the room wearing a very questionable shirt that made him look like Dolly Parton.
Jack: Will this do?
Me: Sure. Everyone at the hoedown will love it.
7. I have a very short attention span
Sometimes I just zone out. I just can’t help it. I just…HEY LOOK, A CLOUD. What was I saying? Oh yeah, add some salt and water and the swelling should subside. You’re welcome.
8. I forget to recycle
This mightn’t seem like such a big deal but it drives Jack INSANE. He’s Captain Planet and I’m like one of those cartoon villains you’d see on a school film to raise awareness for the environment like ‘Captain Destroyer’ or ‘Thoughtless Thomasina.’ It’s not that I don’t care about the planet, it’s that I just plain forget. Recycling is relatively new in Ireland. I didn’t grow up in a household that recycled. It was considered a new-fangled hippy idea that was practically witchcraft for crying out loud. Every week when Jack is putting out the bins for the truck, he spots that the recycling bin weighs significantly less than the rubbish bin. He always comes back with a resigned look on his face
‘You’re still not recycling.’
‘I am. I recycled a coke can three days ago.’ I’ll be winning Nobel Prizes next.
9. I’m a terrible morning person
I love night time. I cook a lovely meal, I have a bath. I play with my pets. I snuggle Jack on the sofa. I do some school work. Mornings, on the other hand, are another story. No matter how many times I’ve had to get up early, it just never gets any easier.
The minute the alarm goes off, I feel homicidal. Don’t worry, my murderous thoughts are usually reserved for the inventor of the alarm. I feel a mess. Jack is mercilessly cheerful. And awake.
‘Morning’, he chirps.
‘Bleurgh’, I reply. For some reason, I’m hoarse. I’m also so uncoordinated that I once tore a ligament in my knee JUST GETTING OUT OF BED. It takes several cups of coffee and a long shower to wake me up. But for those first thirty minutes or so I’m as touchy as a pre-menstrual bear.
So there you have it. I do hope that you don’t want to punch me in the face too much. For all these bad traits, I have some redeeming qualities. Like, erm, am…. Look over there *runs away*