There’s an evil potion out there lurking just beneath the Earth’s surface. It’s been preying on unsuspecting victims for years – small children playing in the school yard, high schoolers under the lights at the Friday night football game and adults living behind a white-picket fence (or hunkered inside a cubicle) by the time they turn 25.
It tempts you with a lot of “perks.” It promises it can deliver some good old-fashioned sweet nectar. It lures you in with words like perfection, acceptance, happiness, even popularity. It can all be yours if only you’ll listen and believe its sweet song of seduction.
The notion I speak of, and I quiver and tremble as I type this very word, is normal. It sounds good, doesn’t it? A short, sweet, six-letter word. It’s like some syrup that can magically solve all your problems.
Isn’t that what everyone strives to be? Normal. Be honest. If someone doesn’t look a certain way, doesn’t say the right thing or doesn’t act the right way, we lightly (well, perhaps not so lightly) and swiftly (well, it’s more like forcibly) pin the label on them. They deviate too much from the norm.
They will forever and always, for centuries, for eternity, be abnormal.
Some people say our obsession with normalcy is a fate worse than death. I agree and can’t help but ponder: What’s so great about normal?
MORE JUICE AFTER THE JUMP…
I won’t pretend that I had some secret elixir in my youth that made me immune to normalcy’s siren song. I didn’t. There was a time – a dark time in my past (maybe I’ll elaborate more on it in my memoir someday) – when I’d have given anything to be normal.
To spend my days gossiping about boys and movie stars instead of discussing the treatment plan for my upcoming surgery. To sneak out to go to the movies with my friends instead of laying on the couch in a huge body cast that made me feel stiffer than King Tut in his tomb. I even would have settled for the opportunity to have to just worry about homework instead of some scary medical procedure.
But time has obviously shifted my perspective. In my house, I’m a bit quirky (in fact, I think the word “odd” once escaped my mother’s lips in a hushed whisper). I love wearing polo shirts in every color of the rainbow. I love Disney Channel movies. My choice of cocktail is a glass of apple juice or cranberry juice during happy hour. And most recently, in addition to my collection of Pez dispensers, I’ve decided to start a collection of snowglobes. I know some people may raise an eyebrow or two (and maybe even call me odd) at my quirky loves. Me? I just shrug my shoulders.
I’d take quirky over normal any day.
You see, normal is safe. Normal is quiet. Normal will let you lurk unnoticed in the crowd. But that’s not really what you want to do, is it?
Because after a while, the whole blending-into-the-background routine gets old. You find yourself wanting to be noticed, to stand out in the crowd, to wear your polo shirt with pride.
And after a little longer, you’ll no longer notice the Normal Police, those people who look at you strangely. Why? Because you don’t care.
Your normal might not be their normal, but your normal is nonetheless yours – something you own, something you’re entitled to that no one can take away from you.
It’s uniquely you. It finally feels good to be you.
What does your vision of normal look like? Maybe it’s a portrait of a happy family at the beach. Maybe it’s a kid playing in the front yard with his dog. I advise you right now to rip it up.
If everyone were “normal,” I envision it would be much like that movie “The Stepford Wives,” minus the gorgeous ’50s housewife outfits.
People would probably move about like robots, and if their wires somehow short-circuited, they’d be left standing still. They wouldn’t know what to do because they never carved out those quirks of their own.
As my blog tagline goes: Smart is the new sexy. Awkward is the new cool. Flawed is the new beautiful. So what are you? The world is yours.
None of the things you described are really quirky… what’s quirky about polo shirts and fruit juice? Weird blog entry.
Miss Matched says
If you would have read the subject line, it was my Sunday newspaper column, not a blog entry.
Do you know anyone who owns more than 20 colorific polo shirts and takes a picture of herself in each one? That sounds a little, oh, what’s that word for it? Oh, yes. Quirky.
I personally own about 20 polo shirts because the dress code at my work is business casual. I imagine a lot of guys who have a business casual dress code own 20 polo shirts and a bunch of khaki pants.
If not a weird blog entry, weird newspaper column.
Miss Matched says
Last time I checked, I was neither a man nor worked in such a place where business causual is the dress code.
And FYI, Khaki pants are so 1999. But have fun working in your polos and khakis.
Yes, sometimes I have fun working in my polo shirt and khaki pants. I don’t care that khaki pants are 1999 though. What a quirkster!
To clarify, by your standards I am saying I am a quirky person. I was not saying, “Oh, that Melissa, what a quirkster!”
Anonymous makes me want to stab them in the eye with a pencil.
On another note, a girl here at work has a snowglobe collection on top of her cabinet. It’s quite nice and extensive. And DISNEY makes some of the best I’ve ever seen.
Wait, hold up… she *collects* snow globes? Holy shit, that’s strange.