05 August 2009

Perception of normal.

A strange word, 'normal'. It implies that things are as they should be, that the universe is in working order. But what is truly normal?

Is it staying up until one in the morning to finish a book you've read before, even though you know perfectly well that you have to get up at seven to go to work?

Is it normal to have bags of fleece lining your garage walls, instead of tools?

Does 'normal' consist of an entire shelf devoted to Latin translations of literary works such as "Winnie the Pooh" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", while the casual observer would be hard-pressed to find even one book covering helpful household hints?

In my house, yes.

Normal means going to bed when you're tired, and eating when you're hungry. Landscaping with huge chunks of native stone to cut down on mowing time. Teaching a baby ASL so you can have a conversation with him. Reading fairy tales in Latin to fifth graders. Having thirty-two projects on the needles at one time, just so there's always something to work on that goes with whatever mood happens to strike you. Putting someone's name in the freezer when they cross the last line. Singing 'Amazing Grace' as a blues number, or to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme, or to the tune of 'House of the Rising Sun'.

Normal is agreeing to make a wedding cake on a day's notice. Surreptitiously eyeball-measuring a friend's feet when you hear they have a birthday approaching, and wondering if you have enough sock yarn in their favorite color. Listening to a co-worker berate their spouse for the thousandth time before you head home and tell your husband that you are grateful every day that you married him.

Normal is cake frosting purchased in five-gallon buckets. A house with over two dozen musical instruments, bags and totes full of fleece, yarn, and knitting utensils, and a thousand-plus books, but only one decent pair of pliers.

Normal is carrying a picture of yourself in a silly hat and wearing a stupid expression, just to remind youself that it's okay to laugh. It's also carrying an obituary clipping of an old friend, just to remind yourself that it's okay to cry, too.

Normal is as normal does.

What's in your wallet?


Kitten With a Whiplash said...

I love your normal. We share some normalities, but overall it's extremely different from my normal. It just sounds wonderful, and really, really cool, and not un-normal at all.

Sue said...

I think everyone measures normal against their own normal. Just as I measure whether one is tall or short in comparison to my height.

I think your normal sounds wonderful.

Molly said...

Who translates Harry Potter into Latin? People with rocks in their heads I'm thinking! I endured Latin through H.S.and have always been glad I stuck it out, but I did not enjoy it. Which proves that things you loathe studying can, in fact, be good for you! And where are these grade school kids who love to listen to stories in Latin? You know some such prodigies?
When my granddaughter was a toddler her mother taught her ASL! I was really amazed at how she picked it up and communicated with it. I'd never heard of anyone doing that before, which goes to show that I still have a lot to learn. Which is normal for me.....

Molly said...

Oh, I forgot one thing! I would be willing to post pictures of my feet, so you can surreptitiously surmise how large you should make my socks!

Lourie said...

It's all how you look at it. I think you are a little on the nutty side for agreeing to make a wedding cake with one days notice, but I am nutty too. It's what makes us interesting!