Just the Right Amount of Strange

Have you ever met someone and clicked with them instantly because they’re the same kind of weird that you are? Isn’t it great? It’s such a relief to feel understood and accepted.

Recently someone pointed out to me that there’s really no such thing as normal. Good point. I’ve never known anyone who hasn’t felt at least a little bit “out there”.

Personally, I’d find it rather creepy if we were all alike. The implication would be that we had no free will or independent thought. I can think of no better definition of hell.

That’s why I’m instantly repulsed by people who tell me that the only way to get to heaven is by subscribing to a specific creed. That sure doesn’t sound like heaven to me. I don’t want to agree with everyone all the time. I don’t want to check my brains and my personality at the door. I would die of boredom. You keep your Stepford Wife Heaven to yourself. I’ll have no part of it.

I like to let my freak flag fly, and enjoy having it fly with plenty of crazy company!

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Like the way my weird mind works? Then you’ll enjoy my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

What is Cool?

I just saw a video of a woman who looks to be about my age. She’s playing the drums. That’s putting it mildly. She’s playing “Wipe Out.” She’s freakin’ rocking that song. I mean… damn. I want to be her best friend.

She’s not dressed cool. She’s wearing a pink golf shirt and some shorts. If you saw her in Walmart pushing a grocery cart, you wouldn’t think she was cool. But this woman is so cool it’s ridiculous.

What is cool, anyway? Someone called me cool the other day and I nearly choked on my tuna salad sandwich. Me? Cool? Hardly. I have spent most of my whole life feeling weird. I can’t imagine that anyone would want to emulate me. In fact, I wouldn’t advise it.

When I was young, I thought the Fonz was cool. Now I look at re-runs of Happy Days and I think he’s kind of silly at most. He was a loveable, leather-jacketed clown who reduced women to the worst versions of themselves.

Cool for me is unique, but not weird. It’s not about popularity, but yes, it’s often envied. It’s being confident about blazing your own trail. It’s about being so comfortable in your own skin that you don’t care what other people think.

Cool is that guy who shows up at that rally for Planned Parenthood. Cool is wearing a Hawaiian shirt over a sweatshirt in the dead of winter, simply because you like the shirt. Cool is that woman who spends her time raising an endangered species of butterfly because she can. Artists are almost always cool. And anyone on the Jamaican Bobsled Team is cool by default, in my opinion. I also happen to think that anyone who has invented something that makes the world a better place is way, way cool.

Cool is also standing for things when others don’t have the courage. That anonymous guy who stood in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square? Coolest. Person. Ever. I hope he survived.

Malala Yousafzai is cool because you secretly wish you were her. At least I do. She has a moral compass that never deviates. She lives a meaningful life.

The bottom line is that cool is hard to define. You just know it when you see it. Who do you think is cool?

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It would be kind of cool if you bought my book. http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5

In Praise of the Codex Seraphinianus

The Codex Seraphinianus, created by Luigi Serafini and published in 1981, could very well be the panacea for all the major struggles in my life. It’s a manuscript written in a strange, made up language with an even stranger alphabet, and what accompanies it are some of the most disturbing and/or delightful illustrations you will ever see. I wish I could afford a copy of this fascinating publication. I’m sure I’d spend half my waking life lost in the weird world it describes.

The reason this book appeals to me so much is that I seem to spend a lot of time trying really hard to make sense out of the nonsensical. I want everything to be explainable. I want there to be answers to all my questions. I am desperate to have all things fit into neat little boxes.

This book challenges that belief system, and flies in the face of any attempt to categorize things as black or white, right or wrong, fact or fiction. This book lives in the gray areas that we all would prefer to avoid. It defies logic. Or, rather, it invents a logic of its own, one that appeals greatly to the Daliesque world in which our subconscious resides.

The strangest thing about this codex is that the more you look at it, the more it seems to add up. It almost appears to hypnotize you. It causes you to suspend your disbelief to such a degree that you begin to flirt with the idea that you’re losing your mind. But only for a second. Or two.

If anyone out there is wondering what to get me for Christmas, now you know.

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Too Peopley

Apologies in advance. I’m in a mood. I’ve probably snapped out of it by the time you read this, as I generally write my entries several days ahead of time.

There’s a reason I’m a bridgetender. I thrive on the isolation. I like working independently. I also live alone, unless you count my dogs, and that’s by design. I don’t get people. People often don’t get me. My dogs are my best friends.

I’m sure it doesn’t help that I have no filter. If I think it, I tend to say it. Sometimes that’s perceived as tactless. That’s truly never my intent, but there you have it.

To say I’m an introvert is putting it mildly. People suck the life out of me as a general rule. I can only take them in small doses. After a while I feel the need to go off and hibernate somewhere.

I have this core belief (stemming from a very damaged childhood) that most people think I’m weird and therefore cannot possibly like me. From an adult perspective I know that’s not rational, and I’m sure all my friends will be horrified to read it, but there it is: my soft underbelly.

I only write this because if I feel this way, I’m sure others do, too. And if you are one of those others, I’d like you to know that you’re not alone (even though half the time you probably prefer to be). I’m right there, too, and yet the vast majority of the time I’m actually a fully functional human being. Go figure.

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It’s Not Easy Being Green

The first time I heard Kermit the Frog sing that song when I was a little girl, it made me cry. And I have to admit it still chokes me up to this day. That’s because I’ve felt green my whole life.

In this case, “green” means different from everybody else, and yet somehow not particularly special. I feel green when I hear coworkers getting all enthusiastic because we’ve got a new hire and “she’s gorgeous” (as in, “what a refreshing change.”) I feel green when my intellectual friends start speaking computer-ese, and I suddenly feel as though I should be chewing bubble gum. I feel green when I share my unique perspective and am met with blank stares.

In America, we claim to prize individuality, but most people seem to want to be popular and accepted and understood. “Cool” seems to mean trendy, but it has to be trendy enough to where everyone wants to follow that trend. You’re expected to stand out in a crowd, but only as a leader of that crowd, not as someone who is on the sidelines, alone.

Boy, Kermit wasn’t kidding. It’s not easy. Not even a little bit. Sometimes it hurts like hell.

But because I’d start blubbering the minute he started to sing, I seem to have missed the point of the whole song. If you listen to it all the way through, you realize that what Kermit is trying to say is that, yes, it’s not easy. But it’s important. We all have a role to play. We all matter. We need to accept ourselves and love ourselves for who we are. Because, after all, green is a fundamental part of the color spectrum. This world would be a lot more ugly without green.

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Thanks, Jim Henson, for being green.

A Real Stand-Up Guy

I know this guy with severe ADHD who is extremely socially awkward. In fact, most people consider him rather weird. He doesn’t pick up on social cues. He doesn’t get when he takes a joke too far. He doesn’t see when he’s making people uncomfortable. And he can’t tell when people are embarrassed for him.

He has this really strange view of women. I think in his mind we all wear gloves and pillbox hats and are so fragile that we must be wrapped in gauze padding in order to function. He means well, but it puts people off.

Because of this, people stand him up all the time. A bunch of people even stood him up at his own wedding. How rude is that? (Fortunately the bride showed up.)

I could go on and on about how heartless and cruel people can be, and how it’s a horrible thing when you take advantage of someone who is socially weaker than you are. But the fact is that he’s an adult and needs to take responsibility for his own life. So my advice to him (which he won’t take) is to stop considering people his friends when they treat him like crap. Even he can see when that happens. He just doesn’t think he deserves better. What a shame. What a waste.

The bottom line is that water rises to its own level. In other words, if you allow people to treat you like shit, a lot of them will do so. Set boundaries. Certain behavior should be a deal-breaker when it comes to friendships. Go for quality, not quantity. You’ll be much happier.

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