Tuesday, March 12

keeping your weird

I've always been attracted to people who are a little weird. I'm not talking bat sh!t crazy or out of their minds (well maybe just a little), but the eccentric and unique types have always been the people I want to get to know. Maybe it's because I created a "contact contract" in 5th grade and had the kids on the playground sign it in order to convince my parents to let me wear contacts instead of glasses. (Strange kid, I know.) I'm not sure.

But recently, during a riveting session at 826, I was chatting with one of my favorites about her latest crush (we'll call her Cindy*; she's 10).

Cindy (humiliated): So today, this guy found out I had a crush on him!
Me: Awwww! You're in loveee!
Cindy: No I'm not! But now everyone knows I have a crush on him.
Me: So who's the lucky guy? What did he have to say about this?
Cindy: Well... he doesn't like me back. He said it's because I'm weird.

This kind of broke my heart.

At a young age, we're taught to socialize and fit in with the other kids. But we're also often asked "if blah blah blah jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?" and we're constantly told to "be your own person." That's confusing. Especially when even in the 5th grade, being weird is wrong and bad and the boys won't like you (a fate worse than death).

I often wonder if I'll ever find the guy who matches my weird, so it was kind of hard to be confident when I told Cindy that being weird is a compliment and if the boy doesn't like you for your weird, he's just not worth it at all.

Isn't it funny how advice to a 5th grader can still be relevant in your mid-twenties?

*name has been changed for privacy purposes


Kelsey Elizabeth said...

My sis is in 6th grade and I have many palm-face moments when I get advice from her! My mom has a really similar philosophy to yours, she always says "I'd rather be weird than vegetable lasagna" (seinfeld reference haha). Weirdness rules.

Oh hello, Love said...

I think, ultimately, we're all a bit weird. So I think it's a matter of finding someone who you feel comfortable enough to let them into your weirdness. I don't think my husband comes off as weird to others, but at home, he is so comfortable that I get to witness all these little quirks and oddities that others don't. And vice versa.

But I think that's what's wrong with the idea of being weird. Once we realize that everyone is weird in their own way (and especially in their own space) then being weird won't be weird at all. Hah. I feel like I'm talking in circles.

Katie said...

I love this post so much. Poor girl. Weird is good!

Kirsten said...

I agree. When we are younger, it's all about fitting in. Then, in high school, eccentricity begins to be cool, and by college, weirdness is in.

Z said...

1. you're a part of 826!? that's aaaamazing! I'm desperately trying to get an internship there (by "there" I mean 826 Boston haha) this summer and it looks soooo cool! So glad you're involved. My roommate interns there and she comes back with the best stories.
2. I hear you on the weirdness. I was ALWAYS the weird kid throughout school (mostly due to my hyperactivity and addictive laughter). It was definitely rough at some points and I got teased a lot, but I think it vaulted me into adulthood since now I have a pretty thick skin and don't really care what "all the people think." As Tina Fey says, "do your think, and don't care if they like it!" what a cute post. :] Give my best regards and wishes to Cindy!!!

Niken said...

i agree. even when we're in 20's, we need to be reminded of that sometimes.

Rachael said...
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Rachael said...

I agree with you there. Sometimes it seems like, with guys, we still are back in the 5th grade.
But I think it's good to be weird. It makes you unique, and that's so much better to me, then being ordinary.
Although I feel for your little friend. It's not a good feeling when someone you like, doesn't like you back. But you gave her good advice, and I hope she takes it to heart :)

kbockmann said...

well written. I agree...what's fun about being normal when you can be unique and a little different. You're a great writer.

Tiffany @ Polka Dotted Cats said...

I so love this post. You will find your weird-mate, you will. I was a weird child, for sure. Which was not popular. Which was bullshit, because I'm totally rad now. xoxo.