Happy about Nothing.
“W” for Weird
by, 08-05-2011 at 02:36 PM (445 Views)
“Don’t talk to her” “She’s weird.”
“One time, she was laying on the floor in my garage and just staring at the ceiling”
“She just kept saying ‘Look at the little red light’”
I was only nine years old the first time I remember hearing it. It meant something different then, when I’d never experienced it before. Words are often powerful the first time you encounter them, simply because you never heard them before. When one experiences something for the first time, whether it be good or bad, it’s memorable, it’s intense, it’s moving. I remember how weird it felt to be weird, even though I didn’t know what it meant. All I knew, being a kid, weird was the worst thing to be. When you were a kid, you thrived off of what was normal, accepted, “cool.” Adults do it too, still, they’re just more sly about it.
That was the first time I remember hearing the word. And, well, once you begin to focus on something, once it becomes real to you, you start to notice it more. Soon I was hearing it all the time. “She’s weird” “Her family’s weird.” All over the place. I couldn’t put a finger on it. They were normal as I saw families being normal. My parents were kind and giving to all of my friends. They were also intellectual and full of motivating speeches about the pursuit of academia. Nothing weird there. So maybe it was just kids, kids being mean. Maybe. But it didn’t stop in my childhood. Then I was just the weird girl who always wore headbands with a ponytail.
In middle school I read books at lunch, Clive Cussler books, not exactly pre-teen girl material. I’d slick my hair into a greasy bun and I’d wear over sized sweatshirts. It wasn’t exactly “normal” but it wasn’t really that weird either. Or so I thought. I was shunned for being weird, still. In eighth grade a girl taunted me because I shopped at places like Ann Taylor Loft or the Limited, she said I wore “old lady clothes”. I thought I was kind of classy.
So then after all the “weirds” and mild taunting I made it my mission. I was going to be a normal person. Whatever it took. I was going to fit in. At least a little. This was in high school. I dressed like everyone I hung out with, but it didn’t last long. Pretty soon people had started saying I’d changed, and I wasn’t the same as I used to be. Like…who do these people think they are? Why I should be resented for trying to fit in? When I endured the pain of being excluded because I didn’t? Did they? I felt like most of them didn’t understand.
So, maybe my friends were right. And so I went back to being “weird”. I will say some appreciated it, when I started to get older, but there were always the ones that continued to notice, and that weren’t shy about pointing it out. I remember it over and over, so called friends telling me he/she thinks you’re “weird”. It hurt, I just wanted to be the same. I did. I really did. Maybe it’s pathetic.
When I switched schools it was the same thing all over again. I was still “weird.” Many people didn’t want to be associated with me. It was different now, though. I wanted it. I was okay with being alone. I wanted to make them the bad guys. I wanted to so badly. And better than that, it was me who was in control. They couldn’t touch me. For years, nobody could touch me. But they still tried.
It’s funny, but for two years I stopped noticing. I know people used the “W” word then, and more often “Crazy”, but I can’t remember specific instances. I was like a sheet of bulletproof glass. I loved it.
There were good people, there were always good people. And there were always people that used the “W” word religiously concerning me. It was always them, back in high school you might consider them the kids with it all. Popular, charismatic, good-looking. I had learned to deal with them, but in my head, I judged them too. Like they did to me. I was just as bad when it came to judging.
It wasn’t just the kids at school. I felt out of sorts in my extended family too. The odd one out. Surrounded by a barrage of do-gooders and talent sponges. That’s how I saw it anyways.
That’s how I perceived it.
I remember sitting around a bonfire with my cousins one night, one of them retorting “Most of them (Our Aunts and Uncles) think I’m pretty out there” “But you…you’re WAY out there.”
Out where? Oh, in weird0-land? Again? Not again.
Then, after taking a year off, I went to college. I remember orientation. I met some interesting people. One girl, I tried to befriend, I talked with her for awhile. I made a corny joke, a one-liner, a prospect of my “W” sense of humor. We were moving in a group, and I remember her quickly moving to get ahead of me, away from me. I guess it didn’t work. The joke I mean.
It happens every now and then. “I told this girl that you were my friend” and she responded by saying “She’s weird”
“You’ve gotten weirder” “You’re so weird” “You’re so crazy”
“W” is assumed to be unexplainable, unconventional, nontraditional.
“W” changes via perception.
“W” is a lie that society tells us that prevents us from standing out. Or from taking a stand.
“W” doesn’t really exist.