YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollectionsHair

From the desk of Dora DePaoli, Staff writer: Jigglers, tappers, clickers and doodlers

March 30, 2001

It has been said a person spends the first half of his life learning habits that shorten the other half.

Another oldie: giving up a bad habit usually brings on a worse one — that of bragging about it.

Somerset Maugham said: "The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones."

Some folks tap their feet, crack their knuckles, twirl their hair, tap their pencils or doodle. My sister, Louise, is a doodler. She doodles while talking on the telephone. Her husband has been annoyed a time or two when some of his business papers have fallen victim to her scribbling. An artist, she frequently sketches in addition to writing her name over and over.

My 5-year-old grandson, Eric, has liked tugging on his mother's hair since he was a baby. The other day he finally seemed to notice her thick hair. As he was pulling his little fingers through her hair he said: "Mama, you sure have a big bundle of hair."


Recently I was seated next to a young man who had a jiggly leg. His leg was in constant motion. I doubt that he was even aware of it. My boss, Managing Editor Bret Kofford, is another jiggler. His father used to holler at him to stop. His dad would scream: "Can't you ever stay still? Are you on drugs or something? You're driving me nuts."

Darren Simon, the paper's city editor, is a rocker. The closer it is to deadline the faster he rocks in his chair. He says he learned it from the rabbis when he spent a year in Israel.

At a recent meeting of the Holtville City Council I noticed our mayor, a personable and hard-working fellow, constantly clicks his ball-point pen. He did this next to the microphone at the meeting. All the clicks came over the speakers loud and clear.

My late husband used to rub his index finger and middle finger together and he would frequently tap his rear pocket while checking to see if his wallet was still there. The kids loved to mimic him. They also had his limp down pat. Normally a relaxed driver, he would clasp and unclasp his hands as he tightly gripped the steering wheel in both hands if he was tense.

Married friends of mine both count squares. If a room has any number of squares they start counting. The husband even gets into multiplication. About the only thing I count are the number of railroad cars pulled by a locomotive.

At many churches people occupy the same pews year after year. If a visitor, unfamiliar with the normal seating arrangement, happens to be in their seat, they hardly know what to do.

It is habit for me to open the drapes and window shades throughout the house the first thing in the morning. Then I usually check the temperature on the big thermometer on the patio and pick up the newspaper by the front door. Coffee drinkers in the family usually put on the coffee the first thing and dog owners give their pets a run in the yard.

The encyclopedia states the importance of habit in our everyday life frees individuals from the need of constant thought and enables persons to devote themselves to the general ends to be attained and to the acquisition of new skills.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles