A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Introducing....Casual Fridays

Hi guys, it's Britt. I've decided to start calling my Friday posts: "Casual Fridays," because it's the day when instead of writing a Tire Swing story,
I just let it all hang out. Think jeans in the office.

As most of you know, my mom has been in the hospital for the past week with a head injury. Yesterday she came home, and we're all fussing around her. She's pretty confused, and is having a tough time remembering things. Her memory will eventually come back, but we're not sure how this will effect her personality in the long term. I've been doing alot of thinking about our minds, and the qualities that make us, us.

So today I want to talk about quirks, or our little idiosyncrasies.

One of my sisters hates to have her hands touched. The other one must eat a banana every morning. Laura whistles when she gets nervous. Alison rubs her feet together when she's trying to get comfortable. Jeremiah paces when he's thinking. Jessie swallows a piece of gum almost right after she's popped it into her mouth. Craig makes beat-box sounds while he brushes his teeth.

I'm completely obsessed about whether or not the oven is turned off, even if I didn't cook anything that day. Before I leave the house, I have to touch each of the burners to make sure it's cold. One. two. three. four.

What are some of the quirky qualities in the people you love? What drives you nuts about your partner? What makes you cherish them even more?

In stories, quirks are what can make a well-developed character really live.

I'll never forget the description of the character of Frank, in author Guy Vanderhaeghe's book, Homesick. Check this out:

"Frank the usher was fifty-five; a nancy boy with fluttery hands, wide-awake astonished eyes, and a habit of whispering conspiratorially everything he said. He sucked peppermints constantly because he worried about his breath, carried his comb stuck in his sock, and walked as if he was holding a ball bearing between the cheeks of his ass and didn't want it to fall out. Frank was a great fan of musicals and sometimes when he watched them at the back of the theatre his feet would start to shuffle rhythmically. Once Vera saw him suddenly attempt a pirouette in the dark."

Have a wacky holiday weekend everyone, and I'll see you back here on Monday for a new story.


  1. Tyler has to touch everything when he comes into the shop, literally, everything in the store will be slightly askew.
    I can't wait for the next 'casual friday,' I'll wear my well worn denim and a comfy T. xo

  2. Keith couldn't just drive. He had to fiddle with the radio, check his Blackberry, adjust the mirrors, change lanes (with just one stingy click of the turn signal after he was already mostly in the next lane), take a sip of coffee, then precariosly balance the cup on his lap while he shifted. On our first trip to L.A. together, he negotiated morning rush hour traffic on the San Bernardino, eating a yogurt parfait with a spoon, and consulting a map. He was a driving variety show. How I would love to see another episode.