A Dilemma of Normalcy

A temperature of 98.6 is normal. That the clock keeps ticking away the seconds is normal. A person wearing clothes is normal, and a dog scratching fleas is normal. When things go kaflooey, when a temp isn’t normal, a trip to the doctor’s office throws a wrench in the day. If the clock wildly jumps around seconds, minutes and hours, a trip to Wal-Mart for a new one is in order. A person wearing clothes out in public is normal, but I bet those clothes aren’t on when that person is taking a shower like they normally do. And, the dog could’ve run into something he’s allergic to, so there you go again, this time to the vet.

Lately, I’ve been noticing quite a few more things that aren’t quite what I’d call normal. Imagine my surprise when I transferred the photos from my camera to my computer yesterday, and found this photo. It was windy, so whatever it was I was trying to take a photo of is missing, and I got this anomaly instead. What is this? Is it the birth of a pod person?

But, that’s beside the point. Or, normally, it would be beside the point. The point is…

Normalcy is a dilemma for me.

OK, my temp is relatively normal and stable, thankfully. Biologically, I’m relatively normal, I think. I haven’t had to make any frantic trips to Wally World for a new clock lately. My dogs usually share their fleas a bit more than I’d like them to too, but no allergies. And, thankfully, I haven’t forgotten to take my clothes off and put clean ones on before and after my daily showers. Um, not that I can recall anyway.

Still, normalcy is a dilemma. It seems to be a recurring topic for me too. A-hem. Pardon me.

I keep seeing things that I think isn’t normal, but it seems to be normal for other people. Like, some of the people at work, even though they are in my age group, relatively speaking, seem to think it’s quite OK – normal – to be all nice and smiles and helpful to your face, then be over in the corner whispering in each others’ ears to conspire your downfall. Now, this hasn’t happened to me, yet, but I watched it happen to another worker. Isn’t that the kind of thing normal people grow out of and leave at high school?

I stopped in at the paper after witnessing a bit of a different, dramatic overreaction from a coworker and had a chat with my editor. Newspaper people can’t be normal, that’s all I can think, and I’m so glad for that! Anyway, I tried to describe my dilemma to my editor and ended up sounding like a drama queen, which he adroitly pointed out at the same time that I came to that conclusion myself.  Touch√©.  Now, if he were normal, he would’ve sat there and smiled, then gone to whisper in someone’s ear about how much of a drama queen I am. Right?

I don’t dress normally. I don’t care if there’s dust on my shoes. I don’t care to go shopping for clothes either. I don’t care about the latest hairstyle or wearing caked-on makeup. I apply a pound of deodorant daily and even manage to bush-hog my legs every now and then.  That doesn’t matter so much since I always wear pants and no one knows how hairy my legs are.

I am open and honest and straightforward and respectful and interested in every person I talk to. Talking to people, lots of people, isn’t a chore; it’s something I love to do. 

I must be doing something right, and maybe fitting in and being normal ain’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway. Why? Well, I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of flirting lately, and have started quite the little collection of phone numbers that guys have given to me.

That’s normal, right? I have no idea!


  1. I must admit, I decided long ago that "normal" is highly overrated. Since I know there are loads of us here on planet earth with this mentality, methinks you may just be in good company after all.
    Who knows? This might just be the new normal :o)

  2. The people at your job are the same "Normal" I have always encountered in the work place. A bunch of backbiting jealous creeps. I like the photo of the pod though, but it reminds me of some of the people I use to work with for some reason.

    I'm not sure what normal is any more, but you certainly always sound normal to me. Good luck with that phone number collection. I bet you'll never call any of them, would that be "Normal"? I always felt bad when someone wanted to give me their number and I didn't want to hurt their feelings, but I would always accept then pitch them in the garbage.

  3. Jen, it is good to know I'm not the only one feeling the stress! Whew!

    Jude, I'll never know what "normal" is - I've never been accused of it. You're probably right. My desk drawer may be overflowing with scraps of paper with scribbled numbers on it before I throw them out though. To me, it's all mind-boggling. I've never been flirted with so much! Most of the time I tell them to just go home to their wife. Ha.