What Is Your Trademark Nervous Habit?

Week of December 10, 2003

Amy Sampo
Chefette, Cummel's Café
"I have a nervous knee, and it bounces to the point where people get annoyed by it, because sometimes you can hear it, like di-di-di-di-di, and I'll hear them say, 'Arrgghh! What is that noise?' And finger-tapping, that goes along with the knee -- you've got to do that bongo thing. It probably has something to do with music, because I am a singer, and maybe I'm keeping time to the music that's playing in my head."

Matt Johnson
Window Washer, Blue Sky Window Cleaning
"People tell me I have this strange tic where the right side of my face scrunches up and I give a sort of half-smile. I own this company, see, and sometimes I have to meet with a bunch of executives and they start grilling me: 'How fast can you get the job done? How much accident insurance do you carry?' That's when I scrunch up my face in a nervous tic."

Meredith Lux
Stylist, D-Zine Hair & Art Studio
"I clear my throat when I'm nervous. Actually, I got it from my dad. I was in the car with my mom one day and -- mmm-mmm -- I kept doing that. And she said, 'You know who used to do that? Your father.' I guess when I get nervous I get all choked up in my throat, so before I speak I have to clear my throat. Because if I don't my words will come out all squeaky."

Joseph Gilliam
Hemp Farmer
"Uh, my nervous habit is playing Hacky Sack -- I get to use my legs and dance around."

Robbi Courtaway
Editor, Webster-Kirkwood Journal and author, Spirits of St. Louis
"I'm a hair-puller. It's one of those things you do without thinking, and sometimes I actually end up pulling out some of my hair! I see others doing it and it's like, 'Why are they doing that?' And then here you are doing it. It's such a goofy habit."

Lana Camp
Southside Princess
"I do a lot of things when I'm talking to people. Whenever I don't like the way the conversation is going, I giggle like I don't know what they're talking about. It's a cop-out so I don't have to talk to people."