Idiosyncrasy

I found myself explaining what idiosyncrasy is to a friend. Now I can’t even remember how it came up and why I was doing it, but I remember that it suddenly dawned on me that I don’t know this word so well to differentiate it from words like eccentricity, temperament, characteristics, antics, missteps. For example, is grumpiness an idiosyncrasy? I guess everybody has a friend like this–friendly, sociable, happy, but perpetually grumpy. Sometimes I feel that his life is probably too uneventfully happy that he wants to add his grumpiness to spice things up a little bit. Of course the past several months provide sufficient fodder to be grumpy about, but long before the current pandemic and political unrest, he has become consistent in voicing his dissatisfaction. A trip, a restaurant meal, a conversation with a waiter, a political event, a piece of news–anything can be a trigger. It’s good that after venting his rage for a while, he can calm down to become his happy self again. Sometimes I think he is a bit like Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, but of course Larry takes things to an extreme. Or probably he’s like Woody Allen, but without the whining humor.

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