I would hate to criticize my mother in law in a public forum but sometimes you just have to tell it how it is.
I have traced it back to her!
I don't know why I didn't connect the dots before. You see, she is solely responsible for the twiddle gene. Her son has it and so do all his children. I on the other hand, not being related by blood, am free of the twiddle gene. I often think that if had the twiddle gene too, then it wouldn't be quite so annoying. As it is, I don't, so it is, annoying that is to say.
They all do it, the foot tapping, hair twiddling, flicky fingers, nibbling and the like. These are the kinds of people who make teachers yell, 'sit on your hands!' More unfortunate types are twacked with a ruler.
Then there are the ear lobe pullers, the people who suck air through their teeth and the women and girls who do that thing with long hair that has no name but ought to have one.
Who can ignore the chin rubbers and beard strokers? I'm very agin the jostling change in your pocket types. I cannot stand the rhythmical drumming of fingertips on the table top boffins, the fluff pluckers and the throat clearers. The rockers are pretty annoying too, swaying forwards onto tippy toes and then rolling back onto heels guys, gearing up for speech. I'm convinced that Restless Leg Syndrome should fit in there somewhere.
Due to my never ending thirst for knowledge, I have conducted scientifically controlled experiment to determine the cause of these behaviours. 9 times out of ten, when you ask someone 'why are you doing that incredibly annoying thing?' the most common response is 'what? or I'm not doing anything!' Bizarre as it may seem, they are oblivious to their behaviour and more importantly, it's effect on their audience.
They're all variations on a theme, be they displacement activities, coping mechanisms or an aid to concentration. No matter how you choose to label them, they all fall into the chasmic category of annoying. If you are unfortunate enough to belong to a family of twiddlers, what might you do to relieve the stress of such an existence, lighten the burden? This is a question I have often asked myself. No amount of kooshes and fiddlesticks will placate them.
I asked myself this question again, as I waited seven minutes outside the school for the boys. My daughter sat in the back seat with her mild fever and a twiddling fingers. The offensive digits played with the electronic window button, up and down, and up and down…..for 420 excruciating seconds. I tried to distract her with conversation but she never missed a beat. I tried and work out what it was that was so annoying? Was it the noise? Not an offensive noise really and quite quiet. Repetitive but rhythmical. Would it have be more annoying if she'd did missed a beat. Why?
I should have acted sooner, probably about twenty years ago.
Back then, we'd sit on the sofa together, the Chesterfield. We'd talk about the future, or rather, I'd talk and he'd twiddle. As the months rolled on, the sofa grew bald, buttonless and saggy. Sadly, the male of the species was fatally flawed. If only I paid more attention. If only I'd known that we would produce a whole twoop of twiddlers to taunt me. As I said my wedding vows I sealed my own fate. As we packed to move out to the States, the sofa was just so much collateral damage. Oh woe is me, cursed by this twiddle riddle, pure innocent that I am.
Now where did I leave my knitting?