Saturday, 6 December 2014

Way out of line

I don't think I could be "normal" if I tried. My thoughts and feelings are so way out of line with what passes as "normal", I'm reconciled to the idea that I'm thoroughly eccentric. Or at the very least "different".

I feel profoundly sad about things other people don't even notice. I feel totally unmoved by what utterly enrages them. I get absurdly anxious about supposedly routine events. I adore things that others find incomprehensible.

I've never wanted children, or wanted to live in the suburbs, or wanted a high-flying job, or wanted two weeks on a beach at Torremolinos.

I feel really peculiar wearing a suit and tie, or reading a mass-market tabloid. I haven't eaten meat for nearly 40 years. I hate fizzy drinks, instant coffee and beer. Fashions in clothing totally pass me by.

I've always been a socialist, even when half the population was besotted with Mrs Thatcher and socialists were seen as "the lunatic fringe", "the reds under the bed" and "the enemy within". I was abnormal with bells on.

Of course "normal" is impossible to define anyway. It means different things to different people,and every survey of "normal" behaviour comes up with a different formula. It's one of those nebulous ideas that keeps slithering out of your grasp like a bar of soap.

So I think I'll just carry on as usual, even if it makes other people feel uncomfortable. Or bemused. Or censorious. Better that than running round in circles chasing an ever-moving target. As Popeye said, I yam what I yam.

23 comments:

Grannymar said...

I'm glad U yam what U yam, 'cause I like the way U yam!

Secret Agent Woman said...

Don't you think most folks notice how they differ from others more than they notice how they are the same? I figure everyone of us could generate a list of things that it seems like everyone else does or likes or values or loathes, that we do not. I guess I just hear so consistently from the people I see that they don't feel like they fit in that I've come to believe it's pretty much the human condition. The penalty of being sapient, maybe.

Now here's the important question - by fizzy drinks, do you means sodas? Or all carbonated beverages? And is that why you don't like beer? And is champagne also on your no-go list?

Nick said...

Grannymar: That's good to know. In that case, I won't change a thing.

Agent: I hadn't thought of that. You might well be right that we tend to focus on our differences. If I start to list all the similarities I share with others, there could well be just as many. I guess we focus on the differences because they're what cause the problems.

Yes, I think our fizzy drink is your soda. And no, I don't like carbonated drinks generally. I just don't like the taste of beer, but I do like champagne, even though it's fizzy!

Wisewebwoman said...

What SAW sez.

I think we all like to believe we are different, like a rate race exemption card. But are we really?

I know so many say to me that I walk to the beat of a different drummer and I do I suppose, pulling up roots, moving to the ocean, giving up my successful business to write, consciously living alone and avoiding frenetic social coupling events, etc.

But do I really?

XO
WWW

keith said...

No Nick, I wouldn't say you were abnormal. Just bloody weird, in the best possible way of course.

susie said...

I'm curious about what makes you profoundly sad about things other people don't even notice.

I'm coming back to check!

I know I'm weird.

Bijoux said...

I agree with Agent that everyone focuses on their differences. That's why people don't get along.

My husband always talks about how important it is to be 'normal' in a job interview. I always wonder what 'normal' is!

CheerfulMonk said...

I think differences are interesting --- just the opposite of snobbery, reverse snobbery, feeling superior or inferior.

Nick said...

www: You may seem to walk to a different beat but I guess underneath you just want the same things we all want - security, love, happiness, good health. The outward differences are not the whole story.

Susie: I was thinking of all the violence and carnage and suffering across the world that a lot of people seem be indifferent to, they're so focused on their own families and lives and ambitions.

Weird is the new normal!

Nick said...

Bijoux: True, we can fall out with people quite unnecessarily because we fail to see all the things we have in common.

I understand the idea of being normal in an interview. Not saying or doing anything too weird that'll flummox the interviewers. Wearing "appropriate" clothes, saying "appropriate" things, having an "appropriate" CV. Yep, I get that.

Nick said...

Jean: Surely emphasising and exaggerating people's differences is exactly what causes snobbery and disdain?

Nick said...

Keith: Bloody weird is right. Something got a bit scrambled during my nine months of gestation.

susie said...

You are right. Most people don't know what is going on outside of their little circle.

Nick said...

Susie: Even if there's not much they can do about it, you'd think they'd be more aware of the dreadful lives other people are enduring and at least show some compassion and concern.

CheerfulMonk said...

Most humans are hierarchical. They like to feel superior to others, so they pick details to support themselves. It strikes me as silly considering how tiny we are compared to the universe.

Helen Devries said...

I think I want what most people want...to be left in peace to get on with my life. Unfortunately I don't agree with most people on the way to achieve this end.

Nick said...

Jean: I don't think we're born with the need to feel superior to others. I think it's very much something we pick up from others.

Helen: I share your wish. Unfortunately there are many people who instead of leaving others in peace enjoy harassing and disturbing them in the name of some worthy goal or other.

John Gray said...

Secret agent woman ( great name btw)
Said it for me
X

Nick said...

John: I think she's right. We're always hyper-aware of our differences, because those are the things that are embarrassing or painful or awkward. Or we imagine they're unique to us and so horribly weird we must never mention them.

And as she says, that feeling that we "don't fit in" is commonplace.

Rummuser said...

"Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from."
~ Jodie Foster

Nick said...

Ramana: How right she is!

Secret Agent Woman said...

So I came back to check, as I always do, and had the lovely experience of seeing people on board with me. In Meeting we say when that happens, "Friend speaks my mind."

Nick said...

Agent: True, a lot of people have agreed with you - we tend to overlook all the similarities between us.