Monday, March 28, 2011

Go Ahead. Call Me Normal. I Dare You.

Today I tweeted a question (that always sounds weird to me) asking why some folks think it’s an insult to call someone “weird.” It started me thinking about this whole weirdness thing, and I figured I’d share my thoughts. I’m a giver.

This whole topic came to mind because of a recent reconnection with an old friend. Said old friend – let’s just call him the Pilot – and I have known each other long enough to have birthed a theoretical love child who would, in theoretical world, be of drinking age. However, our friendship is like a donut, in that there's this big hole in the middle (long, odd story to that).

Anyway, the Pilot and I have spent some quality beer time catching up on life and all that happened during our 12-year hiatus, and I’ve noticed that after several of my stories, the Pilot will respond with, “You’re such a dork” or “You are really odd.”  He’s not saying that in an endearing way, either. It has a sneery, cliquey, Mean Girls quality to it. I can almost picture him in a plaid mini-skirt, knee-high socks and flats ala "Glee" when he says it; even if he's not a bad looking guy, that's not a mental photo anyone wants.

Fortunately, I am quite agéd, “seasoned” if you will, and such comments don’t really bug me. Instead, they just surprise me, in that I have this Pollyanna belief in my head that people of my age should be beyond such petty high schoolishness. You know?  I mean, seriously, who at my age cares about being a dork anymore? We have bigger things to think about, like wrinkles, white hairs, spider veins, odd aches and pains or trying to sort out if we can pretend that any of the latest clothing trends are appropriate for our age. In other words, we’re all dorks, just because that’s what our age makes us.

Hat = Didn't want to "do" my hair. Sunglasses = Way to avoid make-up.
Embracing my inner geek has freed me up to enjoy life immensely. Some of the most fun and memorable experiences of my life came about because I disregarded doing what others considered appropriate or cool or safe. I moved to L.A. after college, with almost no support system to speak of, because I’d never been there. I hiked across a lava flow in Hawaii. I started running marathons at the age of 27… in fact, I started running at the age of 27. I participated in a flash mob. I worked on a TV show just because. I introduced myself to Brendan Frasier, twice! I lost a bet at trivia and had to (got to?) sing karaoke to a bar of strangers. I can boast an amazingly diverse set of friends – diverse in more ways than you can imagine – who make life interesting every day.

And I quit a lucrative career to pursue this teaching degree thing, after which, if I’m lucky, I’ll make close to one third of my most recent pre-grad-school salary. Let me repeat that… One. Third. Why the heck am I doing this then, you ask? Because it’s a passion and a dream, and I want to make a difference. That decision, with that rationale, is the definition of dorky and odd.

So bring it on. Try to call me normal. I dare you.


  1. pilot is just jealous of you. he lacks vision. you are a visionary and visionaries are not normal. well, unless you are at a visionary convention, and then they would be normal in that particular instance, but otherwise not.

  2. OMG, Missy, you just made me choke on my nightly M&Ms. (And I feel quite comfortable using "OMG" in this comment since it is officially a word now.)

  3. I think it is weird that those words were all he could come up with as a reaction to your stories. Seriously. Like get a vocab. When I read it I read it as endearing so I was surprised that you explained it wasn't.
    I agree, ya just can't worry about it now these days. The older you get, the more you couldn't care less about what people think.

  4. As John Lennon said, "People say I'm crazy, doin' what I'm doin'." I've been a geek my whole life. Now I'm still a geek, but I'm a cool geek. Like you say, Megan, I'm too old to worry about being weird, so might as well embrace it! It's actually one of the things I love about myself! :D

    BTW, the other advantage to geek-dom is that you learn to dismiss other people's judgment reflex. If I won't let myself be judged, I'll definitely notice when it's happening to others. People who judge... I judge them to be narrow-minded idiots.


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