HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns

June 18, 2007

Conform and be dull

By LINDSAY SCHERER
On some of the quieter evenings at St. Cloud State, my roommate and I would talk for hours discussing a wide spectrum of topics.

On one of these nights, we stumbled upon the topic of normalcy. We spent what seemed like forever trying to answer one question: what does it mean to be normal anyway?

My roommate and I are both a bit eccentric in our own ways. That being said, the only conclusion that we could come to is that there is no such thing as being normal.

It’s simply a twisted myth invented to remove anything remotely interesting or delightfully bizarre from every day life. I, for one, will not stand for it.

Granted, there are norms in society that we are all expected to follow. For example: if there’s only one other stranger with you in an elevator, you don’t stand directly next to them. If you do, the other person will probably think you’re creepy.

Or if there is a line of people waiting for something, you go to the end of it. Unless you’re one of those people who budge, in which case I loathe you.

But what I’m referring to has more to do with personality. It is impossible to have a standard.

Each individual has their own quirks that makes him or her wonderfully unique. Otherwise we’d all be exactly the same and that would be BORING!

I find it despicably awful that too often people are judged negatively by the things that make them stand out above everyone else. Ridiculing peoples differences eventually causes them to lose a part of themselves.

When I think about the company that I choose to keep, the things that I love the most about them, and miss the most when they are not around, are the qualities that no one else possesses.

One of my friends laughs hysterically every time she tells a funny story. Most of the time, she can’t even finish it. But it doesn’t matter. I usually start laughing at how hard she’s laughing anyway.

Another one of my friends can fall asleep anywhere. She used to be able to sleep on the bus on the way to volleyball games, and I think she even took a nap between the bleachers once during a sporting event. Now that is one quality I would love to have.

My sister “beeps” whenever she’s trying to get things done and says “mer” to indicate that she’s sad. Sometimes I think that someone switched her with a robot, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

After I got to know my roommate, I told her that I was glad that she was weird. Otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten along so well. She agreed with me and then we both laughed.

I think being weird is an asset to your behavior, not a detriment. If someone calls you weird, say thank you. They just paid you a huge compliment.

After all, it could be much worse. You could be called normal (gasp)!

So squeak when you laugh, make up your own words, and organize your closet by color. Figure out what makes you happy and run with it.

More importantly, find out what makes you who you are and stand by it.

Or you can conform and be dull.