My soon-to-be-ex husband has fairly poor taste (in all but first wives, mind you). Let me give you some examples: When we were into our marriage about two years, we lived in an apartment owned by my father, so we felt at liberty in “decorating.” I indulged his whim by allowing him to follow his dream and paint the kitchen cabinets cobalt blue with lemon yellow doors. The effect was horrifying—like something out of “Yellow Submarine.” Something like this:
This color scheme did not last long.
He struck again when we built this house. He made the arrangements for gutters to be installed. On the day of the installation, I got a concerned call from the installers. Could I come out there, please? My husband had specified “chocolate brown” for the guttering (unbeknownst to me), and the installers wanted me to be certain before installing.
When I arrived, the Hispanic installer explained in very broken English, very pronounced Hispanic accent that if he installed it, the gutters would look “not normal.” He kept using this phrase, like it was a widely-accepted adjective in English, seemingly unaware that it sounded, well, “not normal.”
“We can do this, but it will look not-normal,” and “If you want a not-normal house, we will put them.” “Senora, I beeeeeleeve that it will look so not-normal that you will not like it.”
Now, close your eyes and picture a light-colored home with rich chocolate brown gutters outlining the entire roofline. It would stand out against the roof, and it most definitely would stand out against the light, neutral color of the soffit and sides of the house. I called my husband and described what I thought it would look like. His reply? “Exactly what I intended!! I thought it would look great with the contrasting colors!”
I nixed the chocolate guttering, of course, not wanting my house outlined in brown, and chose the color closest to my house’s color (and was eternally grateful to the installer for following his gut on this one). But his “not-normal” phrase has stuck with me the intervening 12 years.
And “not-normal” describes how I sometimes feel about myself. You know, not quite “abnormal,” which has such a pejorative sound to it; but not typical, either. I think we all have our mind-pictures of what “normal” people do in daily life; I know I do. I was thinking to myself the other day about my “not-normalness,” which usually gets on my nerves. Here are a few of my “not-normals”:
I think normal people care a whole lot more about housekeeping than do I…a whole lot. For example, I think normal people probably make their beds every morning. Mine is lucky to be made up a couple times a week (well, at least some weeks I make it up a time or two…). Here is what it looks like most of the time:
Don’t normal people have some idea what the weather forecast is? Not me! Nope! I just can’t even think about it. Hence, sometimes I find myself in a courthouse two counties over, with the sky starting to rain cats and dogs, I have no umbrella. As I gaze out the door, bemoaning my lack of umbrella, opposing counsel with his/her umbrella says (a little snootily), “Didn’t you hear the forecast? We knew this was coming…” Whether he or she shares the umbrella to the car depends on how the case went…if I won too big, well I just get wet…
With holidays coming up, I picture “normal” households in my mind, as they bustle to get ready. For example, don’t most normal people send Christmas cards? I mean actually send them….I never do. Oh, some years I labor over just the right ones, spend a little time addressing some and a whole lot of time writing personal notes in them. Of course, later (say, around New Year’s Day when I am clearing up of holiday decorations), I discover my half-done cards…never sent. I believe it has been decades since I actually mailed out Christmas cards. Sigh. And the thought of them is so warming…
So you see, I am “not-normal,” and in so many ways that I do not have space here to recount. It would make me feel so much better about myself if you would comment and share ways in which you, too, are “not-normal.” Then, again, if you are one of those “normal” types, feel free to so-state! C
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