Wednesday, September 9, 2009

36. Normal (Part 2)


I'm just a normal guy. Just your everyday, average, long-haired Eagle Scout. Must be a million guys just like me. You know, straight guys who hate sports, have a passion for typography, color and design, and who have a collection of custom, handmade knives? And who love the Muppet Show?

My son Ozzie, he's not normal. Not according to the standard rubric. Mind you, he doesn't know. From his perspective, looking through those big, beautiful almond eyes, I imagine he feels quite normal. I'm not sure how I'll ever even explain the concept to him, and I hate that I have to do it at all. But he will likely have questions for me some day, questions about why he isn't quite like others. And I hope, when that time comes, I have figured out an answer.

Honestly, I'm growing tired of the whole concept of normal.

Normal - the pursuit of normal - is a fool's errand, anyway. We all think we want normal, but when we have it, we want something else. Something different. That's why people wear jewelry and customize motorcycles and avoid tourist traps and tweak their orders at restaurants. Quite often, normal isn't very interesting.

And normal is in the eye of the beholder. What's normal in Zimbabwe isn't normal in Iceland isn't normal in Australia isn't normal in Utah. There's a guy who walks around the street in front of my office every day wearing a giant hat with flowers on it and mismatched, striped socks. It's funny to imagine him waking up in the morning, slipping on those socks, plopping that stupid hat on his head - it's a routine that must seem very normal to him by now.

You really want normal? Really? Fine, you can have normal. Crank the Beatles in your Camry while you drive to the ice cream shop to have a vanilla ice cream cone (not a waffle cone or a sugar cone, just one of those normal, tasteless ones). While you're having your treat, you can think about how much you dislike Tiny Tim, flying saucers, stilettos, David Lynch movies, Antarctica, Pop Rocks, llamas, Pac Man, April Fool's Day, Pluto, the pyramids, mohawks, white tigers, extreme sports, Japanese robots and Leonardo da Vinci.

Me and Oz, we'll be having mint chocolate chip.

You know, I once drove hundreds of miles out the way just so I could make a left turn in Albuquerque (note: if you don't get that, you didn't watch much Bugs Bunny). I realize that was not normal. But somehow, even as my iPod shuffles through Italian rock music, Britney Spears, and the Wu-Tang Clan, my life - my life with Oz – feels perfectly normal to me.

10 comments:

TUC said...

And so it is.

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

AMEN brother :)!

Laurie said...

Wow. I love that. You have such an amazing way with words, you really do.
Thanks so much for sharing your journey with Oz.

Tara said...

Almost spewed my coffee at the left turn story! Love it!

Tara said...

Almost spewed my coffee at the left turn story! Love it!

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Love your writing and I applaud that you have found your footing so soon. You and Oz are destined for great happiness.

Lisa said...

You always make me laugh out loud. And by the way, I looooove mint chocolate chip. And Wu-Tang Clan.

Monica Crumley said...

Wonderfully said. Normal isn't very exciting anyway. When my 12 year old busts up laughing for (seemingly) no reason, we joke and tell him he isn't "normal" but in reality, it's his goofiness that keeps us laughing and I wouldn't want him to be any other way. I love the photo of Oz w/ the baby dolls. Precious. BTW, I LOVE your golden advocate award. So cool -- congrats.

Lisa said...

I love this. So eloquent and so true.

onlywhoiam said...

Normal is relevant. Normal for Oz will be whatever he is. It won't be abnormal, it will be his normal. It may not be typical... but typical is just what we're all used to.

And by the way, if you ever miss that left turn in Albuquerque and end up in Minnesota, do note that it's called peppermint bonbon, not mint chocolate chip. ;)