Nature, Nurture, Neurosis

Someone out there will read this and then know far too much about me, perhaps more than I know myself. See, I have this strange habit. Hang-up. Hysteria. I know not how long I've suffered, or caused others to suffer because of, this affliction, but I believe it started during my early teen years. The condition typically presents itself like this: I fall asleep, someone speaks to me, and I deny sleeping. For instance, Disturber-of-my-peace:"Come on. Go to bed. You're obviously sleepy. I mean, you've been sleeping during the movie." Me: "I wasn't sleeping. I was resting my eyes. They're dry tonight for some reason." I must have lots of guilt pent up about sleeping.

Perhaps I once felt an overwhelming urge to "hang" with everyone, and as long as they kept going, I determined to go, too. Maybe I possess some odd, foolish, or simply neurotic characteristic that causes me to believe sleep is shameful. Then again, I suppose I could blame my parents. Genetics makes for a wonderful scapegoat. After all, my youngest girl is afflicted with this condition. Not long after she turned four, she was in the backseat, in her car seat. She had fallen asleep. When we reached our destination, the other children scrambled out of the car. I asked the oldest brother to wake her. I turned from the driver's seat and said, "Hey, babe, we're here. You've been sleeping." Dazed, foggy, she glanced around slowly and then said, matter-of-factly, as sober and sure as can be, "I wasn't sleeping. I was blinking."

How about you? Do you have some odd habit that serves no legitimate purpose? If you have children, have you noticed that you've passed it on?

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