Friday, December 21, 2007
Ramble Ramble
I'm wondering if I'm normal. Having said that, I also wonder if you are too. No offense. I don't mean to suggest that everyone reading this falls into the category of abnormal, especially not in any perceptible way. I'm simply curious if most of us out there, reading blogs might fall into the same sort of inner-panic that I do. The sort of anxiety that leaves us writing and reading blogs almost as a form of therapy, for lack of a better word.

I myself am perceptibly normal. I bathe. I wear appropriate clothing. I speak clearly, manage (somehow) to function most normally in every situation. Sit. Speak. Eat. Breath. Keep your hands inside the ride at all times. I am a mother of two, for goodness sakes. There's no room for crazy here.

To the outside world, I'm vanilla.

It's the inner struggles that have me questioning my grounding in the realm of "norm"

For example, today I dreaded the holiday potluck here in the spacious (note sarcasm) office kitchenette, as though I were walking into the office of a needle-happy doctor. Caught at my desk by my boss, I followed her at command (I mean, invitation) to the roomful of Christmas-sweater clad middle-aged mammography tech's where I felt immediately out of place, as though I were vibrant and loud like a shrill, shrieking alarm. All eyes turned to me and I shrank back, hoping to disappear between the time clock and bulletin board.

And then they foisted their pot-luckiness upon me. Eat! Try these! And look - feta burritos with cranberries. Cranberries! And I grew more and more uncomfortable. Bumbling, really.

I scrambled to pluck appetizers, scattered them over my plate, snatched a few squares of fudge to bring home for the kids - and then I raced back to my quiet, private office - where all feta-stuffed burritos found their home in my trash bin (cranberries and all.)

And I thought - I wasn't always like this. I was a bold child - a wake-up the neighborhood, go door-to-door with my zany ideas type of child. As a teenager and young woman too - even the things I did, the social situations I was involved in less than a decade ago, all give me anxiety just thinking of them. Have I changed that much? And if so - why? Age? Is all this adulthood finally getting to me? Or is it stress? Stress-induced maturity, leads to social anxiety? What was once OK is now risky, therefore, stressful, therefore, causes me to be anxious?

Or maybe I've just never been a big fan of forced socialization. Maybe my not wanting to participate in a yuletide potluck with a gaggle of virtual strangers is nothing short of normal. Maybe they're the ones who are strange - the people who want to reheat food from their home kitchens and then serve them in a room no larger than the gutted interior of an SUV - maybe they're the weirdos.

Come to think of it, I was almost always home sick from school on Valentines Day. It became like a joke between my mother and I. My sister would go to my classroom after school and bring home my box of valentines and a plate of cookies and cupcakes, and I'd go through the thin paper envelopes in the quiet of my own bedroom. Not much different than today, I suppose. (Though cupcakes fared better than the feta burrito's...then again, maybe not.)

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Blogger zhoen said...

I'm no fan of gatherings, especially enforced ones.

As for Normal, well.

Blogger Novice said...

You're fine, Babe.

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