Saturday, November 10, 2007

Short Bus

I have been reading a great book lately. It's called "Short Bus" by Jon Mooney. He is an adult graduate of Brown University who happens to have dyslexia and grew up being pegged as "learning disabled" and put through public schools in the special education system.

In his book, Mooney travels from California, to the East Coast, and back again. At each stop, he meets up with other of society's "outcasts" and reflects on the common bond of feeling outside of "normal." I wonder, do any of us ever consider ourselves "normal"? Do we each harbor some semblance of being a fraud posing as normal, afraid of being discovered at any moment? Maybe when we finally decide that there is no normal, and resist trying to fit in - maybe that is what being a grown-up is all about. So many of us are faking it - hiding our religion, our politics, even our intelligence just to fit in with the people we consider normal. We cover our faces in make-up and our hair in product, our bodies in designer labels and jewels. We go out into the world, projecting the selves that we want others to perceive us to be. Do we even know who we are any more? Does normal exist?

Ok, I gotta get back to reading now. I'm on the home stretch!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Excellent post! I'll have to make a note of that book, too.

I must say, though, that I've never really felt "normal." I laugh at things I find funny, only to see everyone around me recoiling in horror. I make no attempt to hide my beliefs, whether they be religious or political, but I've always been taught that those are two topics you NEVER discuss in a conversation because of all the different views. I don't hide them though, and I do comment when I see fit.

As for the designer stuff, well, I've never bothered. I hate makeup, and only ever wear it to work, or for a special occasion (and then, only minimal amounts). I feel sorry for women who can't step out of their front doors without a full face of makeup and dressed like they're off to a formal do, instead of just doing the grocery shopping.

Call me plain and boring, but, I figure, I'm learning to become comfortable with myself just the way I am - so why bother with the facade? What you see is what you get with me, I'm afraid!

And I've never really thought there was such a thing as "normal", either. Wouldn't that mean that the majority of people would need to be pretty similar? Where's the fun in that?