rdl from "when I grow up" suggested I post some of my past columns. Thanks for the vote of confidence, and the idea. So here is one from February 2005.
In the course of talking to people, I have come to the not-so-surprising conclusion that we are more alike than different. Yeah, some have blue eyes, some brown, some straight hair, some curly, and some of us are follicley- challenged. We come in various shades and hues, lengths and girths, and speak in a vast variety of ways.
But there are some universal experiences and reactions that make put us in the same boat on this voyage of life.
Awhile back, a comedian made a big hit with the use of a line after a statement….”you just might be a redneck.” So borrowing on that phrase, I’d like to offer just a few thoughts that “If you (fill in the blank), you just might be normal.”
If you’ve ever reached down into the cushions of your couch and found an M&M… and ate it…..you just might be normal.
If you’ve ever tried to rearrange the insides of your nostrils while waiting at a stop sign, and glanced over at the car next to you to see the driver grinning at you….you just might be normal.
If you’ve ever come back from the mailbox smugly thinking you must be quite popular, only to find most of the mail headed to the recycling bin and the rest to the “bills to pay” folder, you just might be normal.
If you’ve ever come home from little Johnny or Janies’s soccer game, and come to the realization that, no, the college scholarship is NOT in their future……you guessed it, you just might be normal.
It really is no crime to be normal. It beats abnormal. Or dysfunctional. Take solace in that. So don’t be ashamed if…
You ever have accidentally nodded off in the armchair while watching the 9:00 news.
You have driven like crazy, violating at least 12 traffic laws, to get to a kids tournament basketball game, dropped the kid off at the door, and raced into the gym, only to find that the game ahead of you has just ended the first period.
You’ve tripped over absolutely nothing, and then done that little skip like you meant to do that, thank you very much.
You once fell asleep with your arm over your head, dreamt that you had a horrible industrial accident, bolted awake and freaked out because you could neither see nor feel your still-sleeping right limb. (well, maybe I’m the only one who has done that).
Maybe you have had that, shall we say, “blemish” so big it had its own zip code, and you’re long past puberty.
Or walked off the elevator on the wrong floor, gone all the way down the hall to the office you thought was yours, only to open the door, look around and quietly back out.
If you’ve ever found your wife’s car keys in you coat pocket, after already pulling into your own parking lot, and had to make THAT phone call home…..you just might be normal.
If you’ve ever…done the “left, right, left shuffle” with somebody in a hallway…bumped your head on the doorjamb of your car…got so sick that the toilet and the trashcan were required at the same time……threatened to quit your job, 3 times in the same week….refinanced your home mortgage to pay off those charges, only to find those same charges mysteriously rise once again…wondered what in the world your teenaged son or daughter sees in someone else’s teenage daughter or son…..well, then, you just might be normal.
To misquote old Forrest Gump, “normal is as normal does”. It takes shared experiences to see our humanity. It’s this world’s trips and stumbles that keep us honest.
So take heart, friends and keep that stiff upper lip. Just hope nobody sees that hunk of mayonnaise hanging off the end of it.