Friday, July 6, 2012
Last night I was comparing Luke Skywalker to George Washington, and I caught the look in my Man's eye. That look, dammit! I'd know it anywhere, because I've seen it in the eyes of my fellow humans a few thousand times in my life. I'd seen it in his family's eyes and the eyes of my own kin - what on earth? Where'd that come from? Did she just say that? In public? Before us? Before strangers? Why is she still talking? The look said, to be brief, She's weird.
Did your siblings ever tattle on you for being weird when you were a kid? No? Mine did. "Mom! Dad! She's acting strange again!" To be fair, it was warranted. I was the one talking aloud to herself with accompanying hand gestures. The kid pretending a tiny vial of sample perfume was my secret agent communication device, and I'd run around the corner to have a classified conversation with my handler - when I was 12. I was the girl who sang to the boy she liked while he was standing in line for recess with all his friends in sixth grade. Good thing I was odd AND confident.
My best friend in grade school got me a birthday present, a key chain that proclaimed, "I'm not Weird! I'm Gifted." Well, I'd like to say that that is true, but so far there's been no evidence to support the gifted assertion. And I've gotten used to the periodic looks of weird from my family, friends and strangers. I can even shrug them off, explain to myself that they don't understand my special point of view, but the one person who can never give me the look or say the words is my Man. It hurts. He promised to love and adore me the way I am - forever and ever, I Do. Weird, warts, and all.
So last night when the kids had gone to bed, I gave him a talking to. He denied the look (probably remembering my tirade when he had actually said, "You're Weird," to my face a few years ago), wearily claimed he didn't remember thinking what must have inspired it. In my turn I told him that if he's irritated by what I have to say, he should come up with his own contributions to the conversation.
He responded rather disdainfully, "Star Wars is not my thing."
"Well, don't give me the look then."
He looked away.
I let him off with just the warning.
I remember a conversation he and I had a week or so ago inspired by some television show. I said, "If we had known each other as kids, you wouldn't have had anything to do with me. I was too strange. You wouldn't have liked me."
"No, you wouldn't have liked me."
"Sure, I would. I would have tried to be your friend, but I would have scared you off."
"You would have found me too boring," he asserted.
There was a pause as we looked at each other with something like mutual admiration and embarrassment, and then we burst out laughing. Because it was true, of course. We wouldn't have gotten on together then, oil and water personalities. But somehow as adults it works out, A strange girl and her quiet, steady guy.
As long as he never, ever says I'm weird.