My great friend, The Trophy Wife, called me today to see what’s up. Even though we are just two doors away, sometimes we go weeks without actually setting eyes on each other due to the fact that our families make unfair demands upon our time. We talk every day, though, and our kids are as intertwined as a nest of snakes.
I’m sad to say that she might have been a more normal person if she’d moved somewhere else. I feel sure that our “otherness” has been the tool that shaped her kids into absolute freaks.
(Note: I am including this picture of an elephant with a prosthetic leg because there was no other picture that could go with this story that includes that words”prosthetic leg” that wouldn’t have been just tacky, and also because this picture restores my faith in humanity. When someone will make an elephant a new leg AND give her a pink princess collar, all is not lost)
Once, a while back, the TW and I were lounging around on her sofa, discussing economics or string theory probably, and her stepson (who, incidentally dates my daughter, how inbred is that?) came walking in saying “hey, there’s an ambulance pulling a dead guy out of one of your rental houses”. Within 4 seconds, her kids had strapped themselves into their car seats and were displaying a decidedly Jack Nicholson gleam in their eyes.
Upon driving the two miles away to this ramshackle house we own, complete with chicken coops in the back and dogs tied to trees, we discovered that truly, one of our tenants had passed away. We sat for a moment in reverence and then a paramedic came out carrying the deceased man’s prosthetic leg.
I know, we’re wrong. We should have left it alone but my friend has a great haunted house in her basement every Halloween and I could see her mind turning about what was going to happen to the leg now that it was no longer needed. I’m just going to leave the conversations that followed to your imagination as those who were involved in it, besides the TW and me, seemed shocked by it. TuTu, her stepson, was so disgusted by us that he shook his head all the way home. Suffice it to say, after some rational pleadings on our part against the deaf wall of understanding that often comes with people in authority, we left without the leg.
Now, some might say this is not normal. But who, really, can say what’s normal?
Take religion, for example. I’m surely not going to get up on a religious high horse here as I find my whole grasp of organized religion changes daily. Although I grew up with what I though was a pretty good understanding of the whole thing, as I’ve gotten older, I find I am pretty darn tolerant of most things. As long as I’m happy where I am, I really don’t care what you believe unless you try to argue with me. My dad got the greatest pleasure in life from Jehovah’s Witnesses who came to the door. He would usher them inside with gusto and they would leave, an hour later, dazed and stumbling while my dad would be in the kitchen making a celebratory sandwich to chalk up another win.
I do find it sad when people say they have no belief at all. I turn things over in my head all the time, disregarding what doesn’t make sense, including what does. I talk to God a lot, a hundred times a day, describing how happy the new plants shooting up make me feel and telling him of my disgust at WalMart for buying animals that have been raised in horrifying circumstances. (Truly, if you’re buying meat at WalMart, shame on you for being both cruel for supporting this way of farming and tacky for buying meat, or almost anything else at WalMart.) God might get a little tired of all my chatter, frankly. I feel that if there is a god, and I fully believe there is, he (or she, if it makes you happier) is pretty pissed about the whole state of things. Let’s think about it, I’m confident he’s not hung up on marijuana, which he made, and who marries whom, but I’ll bet he’s really scratching his head about the fact that we cage up his wonderful creatures and then eat them.
God: “How’s that sweet little Marybelle doing, Gabriel?”
Gabriel: “Um, she’s standing right behind you already, God. Some idiot grilled her.”
I’ll bet he might be confused about grass mowing as well. Every time I cut the grass I picture God saying “well, hmmm, I never considered they’d do THAT with it. Seems a little redundant, but…”
Cricket and I have the same thoughts about Native American Indians. What if an Indian from 200 years ago could time travel and spend a day with us.
Indian: “Let’s see, you are wearing shoes that don’t allow you to run fast, don’t allow you to climb trees and make you feel like you’re running downhill at all times. It just doesn’t seem, well, normal.”
I do think both God and Indians would appreciate the joyous ingenuity behind roller coasters and water skiing though.
(I tried desperately here to find a picture of either God or an Indian on either a roller coster OR water skis. Couldn’t find one. Go figure.)
Normal isn’t all that important as I see it. Except for the time someone in my neighborhood painted their 20,000 square foot house pink, I really can’t think of a time when a little deviance bothered me. I even got used to that. In fact, wacky honestly delights me. This morning, on Facebook, for example, one of my online friends was looking for non-toxic baby paint. I have spent all day deeply regretting that I never thought of it. Pastel babies at Easter, neon babies in the summer. Glow in the dark for when they catch fireflies in the yard, orange at Halloween. The possibilities are endless.
Once people can start choosing their color for the day, racism might be out the window and wackiness will skyrocket. I’m thinking that this would greatly please the God in whom I believe. From what I’ve read and believe, probably God is just wishing we were a little nicer and a whole lot more tolerant. I think being periwinkle would just be a bonus.
In a quick aside, I would like to say that my new brother-in-law, despite being a brilliant mind and a fantastic father and husband, will henceforth be referred to, both in my blog and in real life, only as “Handsome”. Make a note.