Author’s Note: This post is not intended to elicit sympathetic or reassuring responses. Any and all offenders will get a “boot to the head.”
“Check all that apply: ___Male ___Female.” Okay…look down…got it. Check.
“Age:” Going by my birth certificate? Got it. Going by my mental age…well….I don’t think they have a box that says “Toys R Us Kid.” All right, I’ll stay with what the government has defined as real.
“Occupation:” Teacher sounds boring. Educator sounds too academic. Play-artist isn’t one of the categories. I’m not a published writer. I refuse to be a babysitter.
“Ethnicity:” Well, I’m down right peachy, which doesn’t seem to fit into any of the categories that are on this checklist. I’ve been told I have a be-donk-i-donk “that is a work of art” (not said to me by my beloved decayed snake carcass). I don’t feel very American. I am not European. And I can’t always tell people that I prefer not to answer (what does it matter anyhow? I’m me!).
I was thinking today about what I wanted to write about. Yeah, this isn’t just a blog that’s off the cuff. There’s some pretty serious thought that goes into this. Like how whimsical of a title can I get? You see, in order to be a writer, I have to write. That sounds pretty elementary…until it’s time to write. And Facebook posts and comments on students’ papers don’t count, much to my chagrin.
Anyhow, away from my ADD moment (Squirrel!)…I don’t fit. No, I’m not crying, sobbing out my bleeding heart, exposing my vulnerable underbelly and beg you all to love me.
It’s more like a statement of truth, a moment of fact, an epiphany of under-whelming somethingorother that I can’t really put words to. Over the years, I knew that my weird angles didn’t fall into the mainstream of what the world wanted. And it was hard. I sanded away at all my awkward edges and tried to smooth out the rough lines that people found charming, cute, obnoxious, annoying, aggravating. Note, I hear you all out there, taking in your deep breaths..about to say something reassuring. I’m taking off my shoe. I swear it. It’s off my heel and my toes are coming out and I have wicked aim.
I love-hate taking buzzfeed quizzes when I’m supposed to pick the perfect color and the just-right pattern or clothing style that is supposed to represent me. Nothing really matches me. I know that I’m supposed to choose the feminine stuff, but the lace and polka dots and frills are nauseating. The masculine stuff is too hard-edged and it’s…well…manly.
Come on! Where do I fit?
I’m not a tomboy. I’m not a lady (I used to get really pissed off at my Sunday School teachers who would pray for all of us “young ladies.” In my world, I was just insulted). I don’t feel like a woman. I’m not a man. And I’m not even talking about gender issues, sexuality identity, or that stuff. I love my beloved husband. The closest place I consider home is in the arch of his arms.
One moment, I want to wear make-up. The next minute, I’m thrilled that my cosmetic collection is deodorant and Chap-Stick. When I tried to do make-up for a brother-in-law’s wedding, my “dusty eye technique” made me look like I was in a fight. I have taught my children the art of courtesy and etiquette. I have taught my children the art of talking while burping or the joy of a good fart-war. Yup…Mom-of-the-Year-recipient right over here.
Disney Princesses gross me out but I love going to Disney World and seeing my daughter interact with them. I love beautiful dresses but will never wear them. I love camping and making fires but relish the joy of my beat-up, comfy recliner.
I don’t fit. It’s not just knowing that I’m a triangle in a square world with round pegs (or the other way around), it’s that I still want to find a way that my triangle self will fit in this round world with square pegs (and I just learned today that a square is not a rectangle but a rectangle is a square….what the hell! Now I’m seriously screwed).
I’m comfortable with being me in my quiet world of distractions and peace. I love the texture of my emotional skin so long as it is not in sharp contrast with the normal-successful people whose physical skins fit them as well as their emotional skins. I want…at times crave…the normalcy that I see other people enjoy. Then, I flaunt my mis-matched socks and laugh hysterically at the fact that I don’t fit.
As a kid, Flipper was my superhero. I’m serious. Other kids wanted to be Wonder Woman or Superman. I wanted to be a dolphin.
I don’t fit.
This morning, as I drove to school, I thought about Bloom County from the 80’s. I loved that comic. I loved that this group of misfits had found each other (God, I feel like I’m about to start singing Rudolph’s song
“Why Am I Such a Misfit? I am not just a nitwit? What’s the matter with misfits? something something fit in….” I won’t. I won’t…damn it, and there it goes, spinning through my head. Quick “Let it go! Let it go!” Ah…much better….).
So I don’t fit. I don’t fit in (yay non-conformity!) and I just don’t fit, It’s taken me a long time to realize that I’m actually okay with this, for the most part, so long as I don’t juxtapose all my curlicued right angles against the perfect patterns that exist in this world. And even then, my curlicued right angles are pretty damn cool. They make people laugh.
They make people think.
I’m okay with thinking.
Seriously, I have taken off my shoes and the entire library smells like old wool socks and it’s all your fault.