Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Sunday, November 29, 2009

C: Feeling “Not Normal.”

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

26 comments:

Aisyle said...

Do not worry we are not normal either. We still have boxes of christmas cards we bought like five years ago, unopened. And we have a squirrel that eats the christmas lights.

Olde Baggs n Stuft Shirts by LindaOma said...

I am a six decade lady who for years worried about not normal. For a couple of decades I even called it "irregular", you know like bed sheets that are seconds. LOL. Now I embrace whatever it is I do or don't do. It took me far too long worrying about normal. We don't send cards, my dh and I haven't made a bed in too long to worry about it. We clean up (good not just the dust and fluff) just before Turkey day and it lasts until after New Years. That way we can just enjoy what we abnormally do.
Don't worry my dear, you're fine. Normal is in the eye of the beholder. An old broad in New Mexico
Hope ya don't mind me buttin' in with my 2 cents worth.

Queenmothermamaw said...

Well I love Olde Baggs comment. Who has the authority to say what is normal, well except you know who. I have been what I feel normal and not normal for 7 decades, and like her I don't give a ---- any more. Yes I still have values and treat people fairly, but I don't make my bed but every two weeks when the cleaning lady comes. So there. Our youngest daughter spent the night with us Friday night and she said "Mom what have you done to this house?" I said, "This is Santa's workshop. Just be quiet I am making all Christmas presents by hand." Didn't hear any more.
QMM

jan said...

I am right there with you on the bed-making. My bed gets made when the sheets are washed (and that is not weekly...more like twice a month!) I used to send xmas cards after the new year. I used the excuse of 'then I can send a photo', but I didn't usually...I think there are lots of versions of 'normal' - we just have to accept the one we are!

Iron Needles said...

What normal is, is over-rated. What's 'normal' got me worrying about what people think. Hooey. What's normal for you? Maybe not 'normal' for me!

kath001 said...

Normal behavior is just a mathematical average of everyones traits...good, bad, and indifferent. Personally, I can't stand to get into an unmade bed...so on the mornings I work, and hubby leaves it unmade, I have to make it before I crawl between the sheets. I always think that THAT is not normal. But between the two of us, we average out. :)

ps: That is not saying that my house is immaculate. Oi vey! If you could see it right now, it would make you feel very normal!

Janera said...

I'm 50 years old, effective this year summer, so I figure I don't have to worry about normal anymore, either. Not gonna happen.

So, may I join in? It'll be fun.

unmade bed? check
unsent cards? check

Also? Some of my pants have elastic in the waist. No kidding.

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Just sending a hearty "ditto" to all the above comments....bed is NEVER made....least of my concern, and the list goes on. It's nice for others...all that "normal" stuff, but I have neither the energy nor the inclination. ♥

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

I am about afraid of talking about normal and not normal.....cuz I know I quit making my bed too, wish I had done it years ago so my kids could be more not normal:) and is it normal or not to figure out the whole movie before the end, or is it noraml just to enjoy the movie?????? your normal in my book:0 but then we may both be NOT Normal:)

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

I've always felt that being normal or average was a fate worse than death, so you're swell in my books. As to the bed making: my mother always said I had to make it 'cause you never knew who was going to come visit? Well, we just lock the doors.....

Kim said...

No wonder we get along so well - I've never been normal. I too hate house work and would rather do most anything than clean house.

Janera said...

Oh, yes. I forgot to address the issue of the tasteless man. I hope he painted his new chicky's cabinets purple and gold.

Jody Blue said...

I would think it would be rather bland to be "normal" I'm sure we are all still a work in progress as far as fully embracing the "not normal".

Vickie said...

You sound pretty normal to me C. I do the same with my Christmas cards, birthday cards, happy July 4 cards, you get it. I have good intentions of buying gifts for people which never get done. Making my bed is sometimes way down the list. Like my son says, "you're gonna get back in it tonight anyway."

I like "Olde Baggs" attitude. And the whole list of the others. We're all normal I guess - Also, I appreciate Janera's addressing of the decor in your ex's digs with his floozy.

Protege said...

I think the definition of normal is very relative. As long as you are happy with who you, are, do not let anyone tell you what normal is.;) I have been called out of the ordinary by many and I take it as compliment.;) The most intriguing people I know are those who do not follow the mainstream.;)
xo
Zuzana

KathyB. said...

First of all, I love yellow and cobalt blue contrasted, but really...your husband's kitchen colors were ghastly....and "not-normal" is an apt description of what your gutters would have looked like, for sure. However, I am one of those pesky people who HAVE a compulsion to make my bed upon arising...no matter the time or if I am in danger of being late..(I even make it before rushing downstairs Christmas morning to open presents) my bed will be made. Over the years though I have realized that makes ME the "not-normal" one. Who knew? YOU!

I think you seem refreshingly practical and very normal, but I have to ask about the sewing supplies in evidence around your bed...do you sew in bed?

Vickie said...

ah yes see I knew there was a reason I kept coming back here...and there it is ya see you just confirmed it were sista's hehehe..no normality permitted,cheers Vickie

addhumorandfaith said...

C -- I'm right there with you on the bed-making thing. It comes from the 15 years that Hubby worked 3rd trick, so between us, the bed was being slept in most of the day -- why make it for a few hours!

When we were looking at houses when we moved here, we looked at one we realllly liked, but the master suite opened onto the entryway! If the bedroom door was open, you could see the bed from the front door! We said "no way". I would have had to make the bed ALL THE TIME!

btw, re. cards, e-mail me your address and V's will you. I want to send you Christmas cards. :)

carla said...

Most days the bed gets made, either by me or my husband, depending on who was the last one up. And I do mail out about 25 Christmas cards every year (sometimes handmade) but I neglect to put in personal messages in all of them. I do sweep and vacuum.

But I hate to mop. Really hate it. So let's just not talk about that. And I have such a problem with clutter. I'm trying to be better (I really am) because I don't like living with it but it's a hard row to hoe.

Speaking of which, I have all these really wonderful and noble intentions about gardening that are never realized. Can I get credit for my intentions?

And finally, I'm with you on the weather thing. I rarely know what's predicted. And when I do listen to the radio, they make such a big deal out of it: "Cold Front Coming In! Temps not out of the 50's until Wednesday!!!" They call that a cold front for the last day of November?! No wonder we don't listen to them.

Sumandebray said...

Normal is Boring!
Carefully careless is a lot of work.... anything in between is fun. My 2 cents :)

Kim said...

Now that your mention it I remember the cabinets being the yellow and blue. Amazing what we do remember.

Martha said...

Obviously, I am also "not normal" -- I only make my bed when I change the sheets (which is not that often)...haven't sent Christmas cards in decades....and never pay attention to the weather forecast. In addition to these, there is also....making quilts for grandchildren who do not yet exist instead of maybe cleaning the house.

The only time I really wanted to be "normal" was in high school. I got over it.

Suzanne said...

It's the new normal....or what's normal for us, not other people. Does that make sense?

I've been trying to make the bed everyday but that doesn't often happen. Christmas cards may or may not get purchased and mailed. The Christmas decorations may or may not be pulled out of the basement. The house may or may not get cleaned.

I learned years ago not to make myself crazy or to create a "normal" based on other people's ideas. I love your normal. It's good.

elizabethm said...

thanks for visiting and for your lovely comment. If you ever get to see our house (built 1620) you would understand why we are not normal - just doesn't work up here.

Leslie said...

I'm a week late on commenting, I don't think that is normal. Oh well. I spent my early life trying to be what I thought my mom and dad thought was normal and then by starting with getting married at age 19 I went against "normal" little by little. I liked it and started doing it more and more. Now I am not the "normal" one in my family anymore but I like it. I might be considered normal in someone elses family though. I do make my bed everyday but that's just my quirk.

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel

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