There’s a meme that made its away around Twitter starting in *checks Google* 2018 that has found its way into my everyday speech. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s saying “My toxic trait is…” and then following it up with a tongue-in-cheek truth about yourself that sometimes may cause you discomfort or harm. I did some digging and found the original tweet, written by @nokathy_, who gave the prompt “name a toxic trait that YOU have”:
And this may not be totally accurate (I’m not that interested in doing a deep dive on it, so this is based on a quick Google search), but it looks like the meme really took off–and became tongue-in-cheek–when the original tweet was quote tweeted by @Raquel_Savage who responded with “I’m attracted to men.”
So, in true Akilah fashion, here I am four* years late to the party with a list of my own toxic traits, prompted by me pointing some of them out to my daughter when she was here for break and then me needing a blog post topic.
*Technically three since I first contributed to the discourse last year on Instagram when I shared that “My toxic trait is looking at coloring books on Amazon at 1 am when I should have been in bed by 12”:
So in random order, here is a list of my toxic traits:
1. I pause my TV when I do something else and only realize it when I look up and see the random streaming platform’s screensaver bouncing around. I already had this on my list before I started the post and just looked at my TV and was greeted with the Hulu logo making its way around my screen, so. (I wrote five more bullet points–and this parenthetical–before actually turning my TV off.)
2. I put stuff on my bed and then get upset/overwhelmed/annoyed that I have to clear it off at bedtime. I do this every single day. What makes it worse is that as I’m putting stuff on my bed, I’ll say to myself, “You’re going to be mad when you have to put that away later before bed,” and then proceed to do it anyway. And it’s never just one little something or piles of something. No! It’s always A LOT of things that need to be moved. It’s a real problem.
3. I posted this on Facebook in 2020 and, no, I have not stopped doing it: One of the reasons I’m hard to live with is that I constantly heat up my food, try to eat it, respond by saying, “OMG hot hot. It’s hot!” while fanning my tongue to which my daughter says, every time, “Just wait until it cools off” and I say okay but then stick more hot food in my mouth and say, “OMG hot hot. It’s hot!” and then she says, “Why do you always do this? You know it’s too hot to eat” and then I shrug and do the exact same thing the next time I heat something up to eat.
4. Possible TMI: I pull my pants all the way down to my ankles when I go to the bathroom (at home). I don’t know when I started doing this, but one day I noticed I did, was confused and slightly horrified, and then had the same slightly horrified and confused response every time I did it thereafter. Which is basically every time I go to the bathroom at home.
5. I put notes to myself on random slips of paper and envelopes and then not am not able to find a specific note when I need it, and I know I have it written down somewhere. The worst part is that I am usually sitting at my desk when I do this and the to-do list notebook and (bright pink, mind) Post-It notes that I have for this very purpose are both in arm’s reach.
6. One of my goals for this year (that I did not add to my post about 2022 goals) is to drink 64 ounces of water per day, something my doctor told me to do years ago. (Again: late to the party.) My toxic trait is drinking 24 of those ounces throughout the day and then drinking the last 40 ounces after my “get ready for bed” alarm goes off at 10 p.m. (when I’m supposed to be in bed by 12, ahem).
7. I am late for Zoom meetings even though I am sitting at my computer before/when they start because I plan to be on time. I am also late for Zoom meetings when I only have to move from my couch or bedroom to my desk. What I have learned is that I hate meetings.
8. I drop my phone approximately 947 times per day. Bless up to phone cases and screen protectors because otherwise I would be in serious trouble. It just…flies from my hand. I don’t know why, and I can’t explain it.
Anybody else want to confess to a tongue-in-cheek toxic trait? I would love to hear about yours.