Normally I talk about writing here, but today I want to talk about weird people.
(Before I go any further, let me clarify that “weird” is a compliment. Moving on.)
I love weird people. I’ve made statements to this effect for a very long time. But in perfect honesty, it’s taken me awhile to fully embrace this – there has always been that small part of me (that was a rather annoyingly large part in high school) that wants to be included with “the cool kids.” But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to recognize that term as increasingly imaginary. The “cool kids,” I now can objectively see, are just people with similar hobbies, usually of a higher income level, who get off on being exclusive. That’s it. And they don’t stop being this way as they age – the same social mentalities that drove me crazy in my teens still drive adult society. Even in offices, there are still cliques. There are still the “cool kids” who speak derisively of that one guy’s unusual mannerisms when he’s not in the room. Or that one girl’s shoes.
Well guess what? You can’t fool me anymore. You’re not somehow magically better, just because more words come out of your mouth. That guy you put down, I’ve seen him work harder every single day than your whole clique combined. That girl you’re passively insulting? She’s nicer to me than any of you have ever been.
This is the lynchpin. And it may be a selfish reason, but here it is: weird people like me. They have always liked me, ever since I was small. Why? Well, doubtless because I’m weird too. I’ve always known that much. What bothers me now is that I don’t think I’ve shown enough appreciation to the weird people who have been kind enough to be my friends. These are the people who are not only the most complete human beings I know – because they can embrace the parts of themselves that make them unique – they also have so much heart that they actively befriend others.
Since when do the “cool kids” actively befriend people? Right? They’ll be nice to you for a few minutes to get you to use your expertise for them, whatever it is. In school maybe they wanted help with their homework. At work they can’t figure out that one project. That’s when they suddenly pretend you’re friends. Weird people are not like that.
Weird people bring you recipes just because they heard you liked cooking. Weird people ask how your novel’s going, and genuinely cheer you on.
This is my epiphany: somehow, nice has been labeled as weird.
In that case, I’ll work on being weirder. You have fun being exclusive. I’m going to go hang out with EVERYBODY ELSE.