Saturday, May 5, 2012

There's a Weirdo Raising My Children

My family has told me from the day I was born that I was a little strange. Possibly not even from the planet Earth. I never really understood why they thought that. I just did what I did, liked what I liked and said what I said.

I did come out of the womb rocking my head back and forth and never stopped. I’m sure that looked a bit strange to grown ups. Head back and forth…that is how I put myself to sleep until my self conscious pre-teen years when I feared rocking my head back and forth on a pillow would give me a bald spot. These days if you rock your head back and forth someone somewhere thinks you need medication. No medication for me and no bald spot thankfully, but still considered a little weird by polite and normal society’s standards. However, I have always been pretty good at hiding my brand of odd. (Until Facebook that is. The cat is out of the bag but only just a little). I mean, I can interview for a job, I can put someone at ease, I don’t mouth breathe unless I have a cold and I can hold a conversation with a doctor, a lawyer, a butcher, a baker and/or a candlestick maker. So I may be a Martian, but I damn well have taught myself how to fit into Earthling society.

What makes me a weirdo? Hell I don’t know. It’s just a stupid label I’ve been given because I occasionally voice an odd thought that entered my brain. My brain either is missing a chip or has an extra one embedded in it from my birth planet. What’s the big deal that I have a mental ritual I have to perform in order to keep people who’ve left my house from getting into a car accident? It only takes 30 seconds out of my day. Not such a big deal to me. So what that I wish there was a computer that could calculate how many times I’ve said the word, “the” in my lifetime. You have to admit that would be pretty cool. And I don’t think it’s so odd that I’ve spent time wondering what it’s like to a be an ant on a tortilla chip trying to figure out how exactly to start chomping into that sucker.

Some weirdos prefer to be called “eccentric”. As if that is the high class superior version of weird. Not me. Apparently I’m just a good old fashioned weirdo. And that’s cool with me. Besides, you have to be British to be eccentric. And you usually have to have a hairdo out of the Helena Bonham Carter catalogue of hairstyles as well as a set of teeth out of a rusty old tool shed. And you must own a lot of purple-ish fringy scarves. Not to mention you typically emanate an odor that can only be described as ‘lavender fields of chocolate curry covered patchouli mothballs’. It’s an odd smell and fitting for the best of the eccentrics out there. Oh, and let’s not forget the disproportionate amount of cat hair covered clothing whether there’s a cat (or 15) in the picture or not.

So, eccentric in my book is too specific. That label won’t work for me. Not a big fan of strange either because I think of the word stranger, and I don’t know a movie with the word stranger in it that turned out well. Strangers on a Train. Not a happy ending for Farley Granger but he did ask for that so my sympathy is limited. When a Stranger Calls. Yeah. Ruined the lives of every babysitter that watched it in the late 70’s. Not a scarier opening to a movie is in existence. Gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.  More recently, The Strangers. Don’t have to see that one to know the outcome is not good. The movie poster art tells me all I need to know.

Freak. I can take or leave freak. I tend to think of Circus oddballs with unusual body shapes and circumstances when I think of freaks, but I can sometimes find it endearing.

Bizarre. Bizarre goes a little beyond eccentric, strange, freakish, odd and weird to me. If you’re bizarre, you’re usually doing things that even aliens would find bizarre. Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman a few years back. Bizarre. I don’t care how he explains it now, he made Andy Kaufman antics seem like a chat with Morley Safer. Fellini’s Satyricon. Classic foreign film and bizarre as hell. Even after taking a film theory class where we discussed it, I still don’t get it. So if I’m being called bizarre, I fear I’m beyond making sense anymore.  

People can call me names, but I personally don’t think I’m all that odd. My head just drifts into the clouds quite a bit. But I come back to Earth just as often as I leave it. So I think what my family should really be labeling me as is “balanced.” That’s’ a nice and appropriate term. And my balanced ass likes to march to my own tune. It may be a tune with the word “poop balls” in it. But it’s mine and I’ll take it over marching to no tune at all.

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