Have you ever watched someone in an adjacent car at a traffic light doing an unmentionable thing? And felt smug? I have. But today, as I was sweeping dust UNDER the rug in my kitchen, I realized that I am simply REPLETE with such bad habits, and in an effort to seem much more human and approachable to my handful of faithful readers, I am now going on record with a list of my worst, but not disgusting, bad habits!
I watch all the most lurid reality shows on television. The more horrible, the better. Morbidly obese people getting gastric bypasses are fascinating. Those Hoarders? I just can’t look away! And I feel so superior watching the Nanny and all of her uncivilized charges! At least my children learned to say “Please” and “Thank you!”
I talk to myself incessantly. This seems quite innocent. But how many of you get into loud ARGUMENTS with yourselves! Do you chastise yourselves? How about hitting yourselves in the head? And I sometimes get into self arguments while shopping. The other day, while telling myself kind of loudly that “it is ridiculous to buy another down vest when you already have four!” a woman at the adjacent round ring moved away conspicuously.
I harbor envy. For every woman I see wearing either big diamonds or Tod’s loafers, I cherish negative thoughts. Perfectly landscaped gardens make me irritable. Women who toss off gourmet meals (my sister and daughter), make me want to sabotage the béchamel sauce. I WANT A GUCCI BAG!
I cheat on my diet all the time. Coffee ice cream is simply my undoing. Buttercream icing is like heroin!! As a result, I have to spend so much time atoning (or is it toning?) at the gym that they all know me by name there! And when I went on vacation without telling them, they CALLED THE HOUSE to make sure I was ok!
I spend WAY too much time in bed in the morning. Some days I am still lying there at lunch time! My mother instilled in me that PJ’s must come off before nine a.m., and here I sit RIGHT NOW, typing away in my jammies, and it is two o’clock in the afternoon! There are days when I just manage to get my clothes on in time to make dinner!
I never make grocery lists. As a result, we have four bottles of ketchup, three Worcestershire sauces, repetitive herbs and spices, and redundant olive oil. This drives my husband to distraction, and he has taken to making regular inventories of the cabinets, announcing loudly, “OK: TWO CINNAMONS. THREE DRY MUSTARDS. DO WE NEED BOTH OF THESE CRISCOS? HOW ABOUT BAKING SODA?”
I love candles, buy lots of them, and NEVER light them. For some reason, they always look much more glamorous in the store. The same goes for soaps. I have a stockpile of scented soaps that would cleanse the unwashed of THE WORLD. One bar, I bought in London at Fortnum and Mason thirty years ago, and I just can’t bear to use it. I am sure it has no scent whatsoever anymore!
I just love stinky cheese. My Dad introduced me to Limburger and Liederkranz when I was a child, and I was hooked forever. Some people have gone so far, when entering my kitchen, as to inquire if the dog has committed an indiscretion. It is never good when people check the bottom of their shoes when you serve the cheese plate!
And finally, one of my worst sins: I eavesdrop! It is especially bad in restaurants when I can’t pay attention to my own conversation, because the one at the next table is so much more interesting! Often, STARING accompanies this, to which my daughter has been known to say, “For God’s sake, Mom, cut it out!” In my defense, however, I must say that this habit has never gotten to the point of my attempting to JOIN conversations at other tables. My husband is the champion of this tactic, and it does embarrass the heck out of me!
Let’s face it, no one is perfect. That is probably me at the traffic light in the car next to you—dental flossing….