@anonan I agree, my behaviour is both funny and pathetic at the same time, but the menu route is just something I got really used to before I learned the hot key command, and it's been difficult to unlearn, and it's convenient when only using the mouse to navigate, without the second hand on the keyboard.
But the main reason for going the menu route is that even though I try to use the X button on the tabs as often as possible, most of the time I want to close background tabs, not the one that is active in front of me. And only the active one has an X button, the background tabs do not. So it's easier to just right click on a background tab, and choose "close tab".
But from now on I'll certainly try to unlearn by bad habit and get over my addiction to the context menu. I'll have to start using the mouse wheel technique which I did not know of until your reply.