For the people of the world that know me, and know me well enough, know that some people on the outside view me as a little unusual. Or, as the blog is called, quirky. Eurghhh.
The word quirky hurts me. It is used to describe me all of the time, and whenever I hear it heading my way, I shudder.
It has so many potential meanings, but the only variable is the person using it. Not the person it is aimed at. Quirky is both a positive and negative word. When I get described as quirky, I then have to read between the lines and see if that person just finds me a little bit different to the expected norm and quite likes it, or wants to run away as fast as possible before they catch the quirk, dye their hair green and get a pineapple tattoo on their arm.
The main reason for my aversion to the word, started around ten years ago, on a rare night out in an Essex hot spot we shall call Paces. I must also say that this was the only time I have visited Paces, for a few reasons. I am not your typical Paces clientele, at the time I rarely wore heels, (they limit my fantastic dancing abilities) I NEVER exposed my legs, and I definitely did not wear fake tan. I stood out like a massive pale sore thumb. The kind of sore thumb that has been hit with a hammer, trapped in a door, sliced off and surgically reattached. I am fine with that, I fully accept that people are meant to be different from one and another, otherwise the world would be a terribly boring place! The thing is I wasn’t treated in that way, on one of my regular trips to the toilet, I was treated like a social outcast. Even to the point of overhearing complete strangers whispering about the fact that I was wearing black tights. I suddenly was sent back ten years to being back in secondary school. So what did I do? I stood up and called them out on it…nope, I’m lying. The only way to deal with the night, was how I deal with most things, a couple of drinks. OK….a couple multiplied by six to ten.
Now what happened next was the sentence that sculpted my dislike for quirky.
At the bar, ordering two jager bombs…another lie, ‘Its £5 for 3’…’Ok I’ll have six,’ a delightful young gentleman approached me, he looked me up and down, said he liked my belt. To paint the picture, it was in the era of thick waist belts, that had no function, other than to restrict room to eat, mine had studs on it. I said thanks, he looked me up and down again and said:
‘You’re well quirky, init? Bet you like goth music and shit. I’d like to tick you off of my list.’
FAB! You charmer. Obviously, I left with him there and then and it is the man I married.
I joke, I drank my jager bombs and stumbled around until I got to the point of being carried out of Paces, with the bouncers laughing at me. Another reason I did not return, the public shame, and another reason to wear black tights. Modesty protection.
Now so, a super fast google of quirky shows the confusion around the word. This is the first definition:
having or characterised by peculiar or unexpected traits or aspects.“her sense of humour was decidedly quirky”
Synonyms: eccentric, idiosyncratic, unconventional, unorthodox, off-centre, strange, bizarre, weird, peculiar, odd, freakish, outlandish, off beat, alternative, zany
I must admit, I have red hair, I like giraffes and have a parrot candle stick holder, nicknamed señor Beakyface.
I am not freakish. I am not bizarre. I can be a tad strange. I’ll give the internet that one.
Here is the next corker of a definition:
quirky- something that is strange/not normal but cool
Wearing long stripy socks that are odd…
Well pass me my long stripy odd socks, and I will ride my pet unicorn to the nearest rainbow, I’m off to be cool.
Now, being completely open and honest, I think this could be the point in my life I gained the title. This is me circa 2009, on a night out wearing a ruffled skirt, a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, a denim waistcoat (I wish waistcoats would make a comeback, I am waiting patiently), and biker boots. The picture on the right is me on a casual trip to the pub. My staple outfit for quite some time was fluro tights, and some kind of leopard print.
I think the best part about my google search of quirky was finding this:
This image is from a wikiHow page named aptly ‘How to Be Quirky: 14 Steps.’
There are a startling amount of similarities, to my 2009 self and that image. In fact I think it could have been modelled on me. My point is that now, as I am zooming towards thirty, I no longer wear ruffled skirts, waistcoats and fluro. I am 75% of an adult. I have a husband, a dishwasher, two Dysons, a dog and a goldfish. For some reason the quirky label sticks, and it subjects you to a lifetime of disappointing gifts, because, ‘this is weird, she’ll definitely love it’, and whispers from strangers, to the level of even a parent whispering, a little too loudly, to their son to not go near me in the pool on holiday because of my red hair and a couple of tattoos. (I can only imagine its in case I pulled out my emergency hair dye kit and bleached their child, or they caught a contagious disease from my back street tattoos).
To sum up, be nice to the ones you think of as ‘quirky’, we’re not weird, we’re interesting.