Saturday, April 11, 2009

Normally Strange or Strangely Normal?

During my Mom's recent visit, I unearthed an old swimming report card while we were going through my baby book. There, among the chunky baby pictures and photos where I'm not wearing any pants (and my God there are a lot of them), I found a truth that has defined me for so many years. The date on this report card would put me at almost 4 years old, and the teacher wrote, as delicately as she could, “Joanne is a very different little girl.”

Thunk. Those words leapt off the pea-soup coloured page and smacked me in the forehead. It's something I've known about myself just about forever, but I never knew other people saw it too ... especially when I was that young. When I asked my Mom about it she said, “you always did march to your own beat.”

I've always known that I lived somewhere outside the borders of normal. While other little girls played house, or with dolls, I was out pretending to be a ninja, climbing trees, playing with G.I. Joes and beating up boys. All at the same time. I thought poop and fart noises were funny. I hated dolls. Barbie and My Little Ponies were for weenies. In fact, I remember one day when my older brother stole (gasp) the head off a Barbie doll at a department store. He brought it home, cut off all her hair and dyed what was left green with kool-aid. We called her “Boobie”. That was the respect I had for dolls. I didn't care that Kirk Cameron was dreamy, or that NKOTB was cool.

As I got older, I think I got weirder. In my twenties if I had taken out a personal ad, instead of reading, “I like candle light dinners and holding hands while walking barefoot on the beach”, mine would have read, “Loves hurtling down icy cold rapids in a raft, hockey, and drinking Earl Grey Tea.”

It's the tea that makes me a lady.

All this self aggrandizing drivel to say normal and I were never well acquainted. Looking back I now realize that if it was popular, I hated it. I'm still that way, for the most part, but I have noticed a strange trend. Weird is now cool ... the more different you are, the higher your score on the coolness scale. Bizarre hairstyles are now trendy. Fauxhawk anyone? Wearing clashing couture is now the norm. Pink goes with red. Wear your polka dots with stripes, if you please. It's a free-for-all in the fashion world! Music that would have been listened to only by indie aficionados is now downloaded by the masses. Thank you Al Gore for inventing the Internet.

Looking at my life now, I think I've immigrated to normal. I'm a stay at home mom who loves looking after her family. A good day for me is taking Elise to story time at the library and scoring a great deal at Target. It seems everyone around me is getting weirder, and I'm becoming more normal. Or does that make normal the new weird? I have a headache. I'd better go watch my soaps and eat my bon-bons.

And for the record... poop still makes me laugh.


HeyJade said...

I don't think any of us would want you any other way than you are, Jo.

Val said...

Poop always makes for good fodder! I have always felt a little different too, and yes, it seems that with age we become a little more normal. Yes maam Joanne, we are getting OLDER!

Liz Sobolik said...

I agree with Jade, you're wonderful just as you are, Jo.