It's been a habit of ours to deliver the Best & Worst issue in August every year since 1988. That got me thinking about how many things in my life have been habits and how strange they really were
I can remember way back when I was playing baseball, and someone pointed out that my hair was always dirty after a game. I didn't perform many head-first slides or forget to wash the night before, so I began to pay more attention to why my face and hair got that way. It seemed that every time I batted, I wiped dirt on my hands to give me a better grip on the bat, and then, unknowingly, I would wipe those same dirty fingers across my forehead to move the hair from in front of my eyes. I never knew I was doing this, but everyone else did. I also noticed that my teammates were paying more attention to me than usual, only to find that there was a bet going on as to how often I would perform this dirty act.
Well, I did it every time I was at bat, and a few of my teammates were making good money on me.
After I found out about this habit, I began to pay more attention to others. Though I kept my wallet in my back right pocket, I kept my paper money in my left pocket, and my coins were always in my right. Neither made sense. Another habit of mine was to eat the coleslaw on my plate first, even if the accompanying ribs looked tastier. That being said, I would always pile the bones away from the iced tea toward my left to prevent a senseless iced-tea disaster.
Speaking of eating, I also would rather dunk a piece of beef in the steak sauce instead of first pouring the sauce on my meat. I do have other habits that don't involve food or dirt. I always shut the alarm off before it blares in the morning so as not to wake my wife. On the other hand, while I am asleep, I don't mind rolling over and hitting her with my arm while she is asleep, waking her up before the alarm goes off.
It's also a habit of mine to save calories by using the right amount of Sweet'N Low in my coffee while also staring down just enough chocolate chip cookies to replace those saved calories. This is all done subconsciously. So when you see me doing something a little crazy, and I do it all the time, it may be a habit, or it just might be my way of seeing if anyone is really paying attention. My teammates made a fortune watching what I could do with dirt.