Saturday, November 3, 2012


I’m odd.  I get it.  I’ve been odd since I don’t remember when.  Since birth, I’d bet. 

When you are told every second that your response to every-day events is wrong – that you are WRONG (stop crying!  I was just kidding!  You’re fine, get up!) you become convinced of your wrongness.  When you are sidelined from the family from birth, you become an edge dweller.  And your oddness becomes exactly who you are.  When you are forced to live mentally and emotionally outside of the center – you find yourself stretching and shrinking and folding and contorting to fit in the leftover spaces.  The cracks behind, the spaces next to, the leftover areas that are pinchy and uncomfortable.  Just to have someplace to live and breathe.  You become a Gollum.

When you are forced to be odd in social settings (wearing the wrong clothes to school, bringing the wrong lunches.  Never having a lunch.  Being late to school every day and falling asleep in class) plus you were never taught to rely on your internal barometer of what is normal behavior, what behavior to emulate, what to avoid - you end up being ostracized and the oddness becomes infinitely more permanent.  You find a way to get to be ok with being ALONE and odd, or you would go nuts.  Or you do both.  You never can figure out what is normal social behavior so you manufacture your own.

You don’t get invited to sleep-overs very often, except with the friends who have sympathetic parents and who know a kid doesn’t get to be so weird without HELP.

Soon (if you are me) you start to HATE anything normal, you love the odd.  You wouldn’t take Davey Jones on a bet, but Michael Nesmith was YOUR Monkey.  Danny Kaye and Dwight Yokum and Lyle Lovett become your champions – they are wonderful and weird and smart and have been forced to the fringe, just like ME.  At first, it is anything different just for the sake of it.  But then you realize that those people – they grew up with the same burdens you did and they are so much more YOU than any main-stream people.  And it translates over to furnishings and collectibles and style. 

 Stuck in a 50's time warp - I love my living room

But you always feel how ODD you are.  How very fucking different you are from every other person on the planet.  And yeah – I feel a little superior sometimes too.  Because I see things that people do not see.  I am SO AWARE and it’s like they are all asleep and what in the hell are they good for??  I cannot be in a social setting with a bunch of people without NOTICING that they are so fucking stupid with their idiot conversations and their stupid romantic entanglements.  They have no logic, no depth.  They all like the same things, the same teams, the same books.  They are all lemmings.  How many times have I heard “you are SO weird!” from people.  And ‘weird’ equates to ‘wrong’ every time.  Nobody expects 'funny', they only want to hear the regular bullshit they hear every day.  Next time someone asks you 'how are you?' in passing, instead of saying 'fine, answer 'hunky dory!' or 'Jim Dandy!' and watch how fast you take them out of their comfort zone.  They (most people) actually hate it.  HATE DIFFERENT.  And they let you know.

It becomes a huge burden, being odd.  It’s heavy and awkward and YOU are awkward everywhere and it always shows, like a streamer of toilet paper stuck to your personality, and sometimes you just wish you could be normal.  Normal and boring and NOT DIFFERENT.  But you’ve been odd for so long.  A lifetime.  And how can you UN-see?  Different is now a way of life, a BADGE OF HONOR.  But, maybe one day you decide you’ve had enough of being so left out all the time and you want to make an effort to change, to fit it.  THERE IS NO FIT IN, btw, but you figure it should be relatively easy to pretend to fit in.  After all, you did it in fits and starts your whole life.  Every job started out great, you were NORMAL!  But then, eventually, your oddness started creeping in and you can’t hold the act together for long so then you quit before you get fired (hopefully) and move on to another job/boyfriend…  But so, you figure you will try, another time, here at 51-years old in this new place – you will try and see how it goes.

I was invited to a Bunco party about a month ago.  This is where this all sort of started.  It was a group of women from my apartment complex, getting together for some sort of dice game and food and chatting.  FINE.  Jeff looked askance!  I bit down on every instinct I have and I went.  It was hell.

These women – what in the fuck?  They talktalktalk and chatter schmattah blah blah about NOTHING.  But it comes out fast and furious.  The woman in charge, you KNOW HER she is in charge of everything all the time.  Short and trim and efficient.  She has one of EVERYTHING you might need and she takes charge as if this Bunco game was important.  There is lots of food everywhere and lots of LOUD TALKING and a frenetic dice game where people yell BUNCO! randomly and a timer *dings* and once in a while everyone gets up and moves tables like a Chinese fire drill ßthis was exactly the wrong kind of game for ME, I get that.  But the people.  They were idiots and creepy and weird and then once I talked to a woman who sounded really interesting but I realized she was having a lot of really big fun! at this thing and if she could talk to these people all night and like it then she wouldn’t be able to talk to me for 5 minutes.

Yes, I judged.  I judged and they came up lacking and I was so upset because WHY can’t I just be happy and be normal and just let stuff go?  Why do I have to BE SO ODD.  I went home and CRIED because I must be a horrible human being, I can’t stand these perfectly normal people or their stupid dice game but THEY all can stand each other!  Nobody else in that whole room looked fring-y.  It was me, only me, lonely me.  Poor poor pitiful ME.  And, yes – they noticed I was weird and I hadn’t even DONE anything weird, I am marked for life.

My only point, I guess, is that – it really is a burden being so odd.  Being so weird and KNOWING I am so different.  I see regular folks doing regular things but I can’t join in really, because – why? Tell me – why can’t I just be regular.  I DO have friends who get me.  I DO.  My friend France back in San Diego, she GETS ME and that was so surprising, so WOW because she is so quiet and demure and she saw me.  Really SAW me.

Jeff – the saint.  He is odd also, he knows it, we know it.  His parents will never win any good parenting award, to put it in a nutshell (ha ha nutshell).  He says we are eccentric.  I say we don’t have enough money to be called eccentric.  We hang out together a lot alone because we think the same things are funny and I never have to explain my brain to him.  My son I raised in my own image, har, so he has no choice but to get me.  But I know he feels odd too, since he was raised to think that sort of thing is comfortable and normal.  He will have to fight that his whole life too.  My eldest sister, surprise surprise, is one of us also.

Alexis and I in St. Michaels

 I know you have all written about this – what I call our Super Powers.  Hyper vigilance, hyper awareness.  That we think dark humor is the ONLY humor.  So now, through you all, I have realized that childhood abuse creates this.  ALL childhood abuse - and there IS some comfort in knowing I am not the only one.  But, we are all acquainted from the comfort of our own homes – we aren’t actually HANGING OUT – I don’t think we could even take EACH OTHER for very long.  I am a hermit.  Are all of you hermits too?  It is the only way for me to survive, I am very serious here.  I require quite a bit of alone-time.  I need to NOT be around people.  They do not understand me, and I am SO tired of trying to explain myself or to fit in.


  1. I just wrote a post about the same topic the other day. It really is a travesty that narcissistic parents tear down their children this way, all just to serve their needs over their offspring.

    1. VR - I went to your blog and remembered I cannot view it. Would it be possible for me to be an 'invited' reader? Please feel free to email me privately. Thank you!

  2. Gladys, I hear ya about the Bunco. Could we add "Book Clubs" to the list? Why can't these people just be honest and say they came for the w(h)ine, the supercilious back-stabbing and "conversations" that involve talking AT each other instead of TO each other? Who can "sound" more "informed?" More..."intelligent"? It's a freakin' PERFORMANCE for one another, IMO. I didn't even fit into the socially-sanctioned "Passage Into Adult Life" when I was young and invited to a "party" that featured storage containers that "burped." I'm not sayin' the products weren't good-hell, I've lots of containers and "To Go" stuff for left-overs from the Dollar Store or left-over Cool-Whip (what ever) for when REAL friends stop over and we're havin' a meal, a snack etc. They work fine, even if they don't "burp."
    Yes, I'm kind of a hermit. I think as I age I'm coming to realize I like more wildlife than I do a lot of people around me. YES, gawd, do I EVER need and value my "alone" time. I've lived alone for so long now, I don't think I could even live with my dearest friend of bibty years, Rita-we've actually talked about doing that somewhere down the road. Rita's the same way: We both need "space." And privacy. Which I guess means we'd need a huge place ;) We're trying to get her butt moved from the mountains back here to the valley (her 'hood from her childhood) and sharing one vehicle even if we live at different addresses.
    I don't think we're "odd" anymore; I think of us as "discerning" in terms of what we want and need from others and what we require ourselves.
    Little One, I don't even TRY to "explain" anymore. I just let the Voice Mail pick up despite my very unlisted phone #/Caller ID because sometimes, I'm just not in the mood, yk?
    Your LR looks and "feels" so peaceful and calm. A bunch of kitchey stuff around drives me nuts. I've got stuff on the walls etc., sure. But not every *last* item I own and all that "busy-ness" gives me a head ache.
    Of course, my good ol' Tubbs snow shoes (which I DO use, they're just leaning against the side of an old birdseye and tiger maple chest of drawers, bow and quiver w/arrows and attached fox tail/feathers (a gift many years ago from one of my Native friends) peace pipe and furs displayed on stretchers not to mention old pack baskets stuffed with greenery and battery-operated LED lights stuck in there with the plants and foot traps hangin' off them on the walls probably seem "odd" to others as well. But hey, when we loose power (again) I have little "spots" of light here and there ;)
    Every item has meaning to ME and everything here is the stripped down to bare bones from moving from larger to smaller homes. My ammo box may seem incongruous with a pair of beautiful old lusters my S/M gave me years ago, the real duck decoys and old powder horn are, well, "Eclectic." But meaningful to ME.
    So we're "weird." I wouldn't know any other way TO BE. Martha Stewart would be appalled at my "decor." A PETA person would faint. I call it home, my sanctuary. I'm still sleepin' in the same ol' high head-board carved cherry double bed I've had for well over half my life. Gifted to "me" because no one else in the family wanted it. Or the old dresser that went with it.
    When I'm alone with myself and at peace with me, I'm never "alone."
    Or lonely. People in small doses are great. GREAT people in my life at all are a gift. I cherish THESE.

  3. Thanks for this post, Gladys, really hit home and resonated. You explain it so well.

  4. For someone who hates and fears 'alone', I am a hermit too. It's not necessarily I like my own company, I just don't feel like playing 'normal' too often. I can't even play it long! I say odd truths in inappropriate times, and only my friends will take it as normal. For example, I said to a friend who was pregnant with her first and close to her due date "are you worried about losing yourself? To stop being you and become a mother and relied solely on all the time?". She sat for a minute and said "I haven't thought about that". I got a lecture from my partner (who was there) about how inappropriate the question was. Months after I asked how I'd made her feel when I said that, if I'd upset her. She responded "dude, if I worried about everything you said we wouldn't be friends. In fact, when I had the baby blues and cried constantly, I thought about what you said, and it made me realise that I had some great friends who I can speak to regardless.
    (Sorry if this is a long comment), but I've come to a conclusion that sometimes weird shit gives you PERSPECTIVE! And we all need that, right? It's why I am here.

  5. Occasionally I get to work in the house's of some pretty well off people. If it takes me into their master bedroom, I get to see the way these people put on their game face for out there.
    It is odd to see a guy with a wardrobe and dressing area as large and involved as his wife.
    I stand there and gawk at rows and rows of polished dress shoes, and hundreds of suits and ties and not a thread out of place. All perfectly hung with the precision that can only manifest from the mentally ill.
    There won't be a pair of jeans in sight. No t-shirts. No sneakers. It's like stepping onto a space ship.
    I can't remember if it was Richard Gere in Pretty Woman or Mickey Rourke in 9 and half weeks, where the woman checked out and sort of inventoried the closet. But it reminds me of that.
    I don't understand what you mean by dark humor. You'll have to explain that to me.
    It'll have to wait though. I had Yoko Ono booked to add some back ground vocals to a friend's demo I am producing. But she cancelled at the last minute.
    To replace her unique vocal styling, I have a bunch of cats buried up to their necks and I am going to roll tape while the kid from next door runs over their heads with a lawn mower.

    1. I know what you mean - they cannot be real. This closet can NOT be a real reflection of life. Do they need TP ever in their lives?? It's all just set dressing.

      If those cats start meowing jingle bells imma kill you again. Just warning you.

  6. Thanks you guys. Sometimes after I write stuff out here, I need to disappear for a bit. Digging through all of this stuff makes me feel kind of slimy. But then a few days after I feel MUCH better.

    This one was percolating in me for a long time, and then the hurricane sort of brought it all to a head. Why, I do NOT know - what does a hurricane have to do with Bunco? (why is a raven like a writing desk). So, thanks for your comments.

  7. Maybe after a night of bunco your head swirls in a counter clock-wise motion?

  8. Maybe because "bunco" remind you of the definition? "A swindle or confidence trick?" (In action, no less?)
    Or perhaps "bunchole" (I'll leave that to q) or "bunion?"
    Glad Gladys is "back.
    Ohh, Gladys, you would NOT believe what I drug home today from the little "General Store" down the road today! It's goin' on the LR wall above the couch! HA! As soon as I find some LED lights or clear twinkle lights to staple in the perimeter of the frame (such as it is) that run on batteries, heh, heh, that baby is gonna be MOUNTED (shhesch, get yo mind right outta where it belongs) in a "Place of Honor!!" And I wasn't even lookin' for anything but a good sub and some chips because I'm done cookin' for a few days....One look at that and it was, "Yep, now THAT is truly Tundra!" And truly, this "displaced" Tundra old broad.

  9. TEE DUB, I can't wait to hear about it. Thank you so much for your well thought out comments on my posts - I love your 'voice' and your POV on life.

    I DO wish you had a damned blog, woman. :)

  10. Oh hell, I volunteer every day from home with an Professional Organization I belonged to for years before I "Retired." I don't use the "D" word because damnit, I will NOT allow this to define me. People think those of us who did not plan for our bodies to do weird stuff are sittin' at home eatin' Bon-Bons and watching daytime TV. Guess again.
    I have farrr too much brain damage and far less patience for crap than a Blog requires. I'm busy doin' what I do. And I scare the shit out of people. I'm NOT "PC." Hell, sometimes I'm not even "nice." It's surprising how many people appreciate it when you give voice to their fears and don't mince words. They're not scared any longer.
    And frankly, I'm not that interesting. So a few Bloggers allow me to "rent space" because they understand what's up.
    Now, tell me, am I one fortunate woman or what? Broke, but one lucky woman.
    What more could an old widow with the geriatric cat ask for? A very few good friends and the ability to talk to people all over this globe every day. Understanding you got an Israeli on the phone and you KNOW a colleague who'd be PERFECT for them BUT the person you have in mind is from Palestine. And figuring out how you can make this work. Or not. Animules that perplex me and make me laugh at their antics. "Neighbors" that check on me when my vehicle hasn't moved in forever. (Flat tire.) Homemade soup. A river across the road. "Forest" on three sides. Life and death unfolding every day and everything in between. I don't even have to leave home or flick on the TV, such as it is, when it's available.
    Now tell me, how much better-or worse-does it get? I dunno.
    And that's all I need to know.

  11. I love this line: "It becomes a huge burden, being odd. It’s heavy and awkward and YOU are awkward everywhere and it always shows, like a streamer of toilet paper stuck to your personality, and sometimes you just wish you could be normal."

    I can relate to that! I love the way you put it.

    I also avoid Bunco, book clubs et al!