Pippi Longstocking: The Princess of Quirk

What’s not to like about quirks?

Start with the word itself.

Quirk

The way it quirks right off your tongue–it’s immensely fun to say. Punchy. A combination of advanced physics (quarks) and zippiness (quick).

Next, the definition: “A peculiar behavioral habit.” Iconoclastic, fascinating, authentic, and beautifully weird!

We all have our quirks. Mine include insisting on putting utensils handle-up in the dishwasher, affecting crazy hairstyles ranging from cornrows to mohawks, and signing my name in emails in ALL CAPS.

Like most of us, I’ve encountered plenty of quirks on my spin on this planet–from a friend who cries every year on their birthday to a colleague who spun in her chair every few minutes to a someone who pretends they can talk to animals. Overall, I find these quirks vastly interesting snapshots into the many facets of the human experience.

But, let’s be honest: quirks can be surprising, annoying–and hard to know how to respond to as a partner.

Quirks are a key bucket of activities to cover in your User Manual. Evaluate your habits, document your strange-ish behavior patterns–your unpredictable inner weird–and share them with your partner. Many of our quirks only surface in specific situations–that bawling on your birthday only happens once a year, for example–and you can save your partner a lot of heartache and confusion with a hefty heads-up.

And if there’s anything your partner should do to manage your quirks–besides put up with them!–clear direction is vital. Most of us aren’t great at handling routine/predictable behavior, and expecting your partner to respond helpfully to surprising and — by definition — peculiar behavior isn’t realistic.

No matter what, quirks are always somewhat interesting, and part of what makes your partner so unique (in a refreshing, inspiring way–we hope). And the evergiving bonus is that quirk will always be a ton of fun to say aloud.