People

Writers Are Weird

I was working a lesson in the writing class I’m taking and I had a moment. You know, one of those breakthrough moments. I was making a mind map about why I want to write. I came up with many things that surprised me but one in particular struck me.

I wanted to be able to justify my weird. I’ve been odd my entire life. I’ve always seen things just a little differently than the people around me. I over-analyze everything (I don’t advise this). I add theme songs to daydreams. I bring up books constantly as examples of…well everything.

I often came across as distant. I wasn’t really, but when you’re in the middle of making up a cool fight scene it’s a little difficult to give others your full attention. I’ve lived more in my head a good portion of the time.

I was/am one of those types I like to call fringe people. You know, the kind that like to be in a group but stay on the edges. I’m not anti-social but I’m too busy watching everything to truly participate. I enjoyed this a lot but everyone else tried, unsuccessfully, to get me more involved. Every time someone came to the realization that I was content where I was, they thought I was weird as hell.

One guy thought I was the strangest person he’d ever met because I really truly listen to lyrics in songs. It probably didn’t help that I said things like: “This song talks to me.” Another said only weirdos and the British drink tea!

I’ve been accused of being strange because I read science fiction and fantasy. Or even just for preferring reading to whatever it is that someone else wants to do. My coworkers at previous jobs never could understand that reading IS doing something and no I really didn’t want to stop to talk about nothing with them. The readers out there get that one. Ever heard this while reading: “Since you’re not busy….”

No matter what anyone thought or said, I stayed weird. It’s part of me. It is me. However, when you hear something in a negative light for years and years it eats away at you. I didn’t know that until this lesson. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wondered if being weird was good. There was some guilt insidiously hiding there. Sometimes it made me stupidly put down my pen. I got over that but there was still a need to prove myself.

If I was this weird then I damn well better be a writer or the weird was for nothing, unjustified. Well frack that! I am weird, and I will wear that title with pride. I will write because I want/have to, not just because I feel like I should just to prove something to someone.

It boils down to most people think you should be exactly like them and if you’re not then you are branded with these terms: weird, strange, odd or bizarre. I looked up the definitions and I fail to see how of these things are bad.

  • Weird — fantastic; bizarre
  • Strange — unusual, extraordinary, or curious
  • Odd — differing in nature from what is ordinary, usual, or expected
  • Bizarre — markedly unusual in appearance, style, or general character and often involving incongruous or unexpected elements; outrageously or whimsically strange; odd

I don’t need to justify my weird, I need to embrace it. I’m a writer and writers are weird. We have to be and if we weren’t then there wouldn’t be so many books out there to enjoy.

So I’ll keep reading and getting way too into music. I’ll continue writing and I’ll always be weird

If you’ve ever been saddled with these labels, well it’s probably true, and so what? What exactly is it that you have to prove? All you have to be is you. Be weird, embrace strange, believe in bizarre. Normal is just a setting on a washing machine anyway.


I’ll call this my six minutes of writing for the day, but it took much longer. Now I’m going to do some writing in 10 minute bursts for a while. I love productive days!

Sidenote: When I did a spell check, frack didn’t come up lol!

Teenager Discrimination

Not everyone believes that age discrimination is really a thing, at least not when applied to teenagers. I myself have practiced it when I worked retail. I might not have accused any young people of anything but I certainly kept an eye on any large group of them that came into my store and I’ve had to ask a few such groups to leave when they started damaging things. What I’m wondering today is, is that fair? Sure it’s fair to be thrown out of a store for behaving badly but what about the being prejudged part? No, probably not.

Today my fourteen year old daughter had a bad experience in a store at our local mall. It was a party supply store, yes a national chain. She went in with a large group of friends, that was the first check off the list against her. It was all girls, add another check. Ten teenage girls aren’t really capable of being quiet so I have no doubt they were being loud – check. In a group of people who large, the ones actually shopping are going to want different things but they wanted to stay together so they went down every aisle. It didn’t really take long for an employee to get so suspicious she had to say something.

Did she tell them they were being too loud or disruptive to other customers? Nope. The exact quote as repeated to me was:

“I hope you guys know this is not a playground, it’s a store and if you’re not going to buy anything we’re going to kick you out.”

A playground. Can you get any more insulting to a teenager? I think not. I know the employee had no way of knowing if these kids were paying customers or not, but isn’t that the point? As a matter of fact, five of them did make purchases, even after being humiliated.

Now as a parent of a well-behaved kid who has rarely done anything wrong in her life (she’s a people pleaser, poor thing), I’m furious with that lady. As a former retail employee I understand, to a point. I think she handled it badly and that perhaps she needs to not work weekends. I, for one, have never been into a party store on a weekend and Not seen teenagers in it.

My daughter also told me the store was actually FULL of teenagers, mostly in groups, so the party pooper in the party store probably has way less hair than she did this morning.

What would you have done in the employee’s place? For the parents out there, would you be angry?


Sidenote: I wrote for much longer than six minutes today and I’m very happy about it! What’s next for me? Why a story about a fictional grumpy, job hating, teenager loathing villain of course.

My Happy and Sad Experience While Shopping Today

I have a lot of writing to do today. I have a class to work on any and all the creative writing I can fit in. However, I feel the need to take of moment and share my experience from this morning. I had a few places to go today so I decided to do it all early so I could have as much uninterrupted writing time as possible.

Let me back up for just a moment and tell you a little something about me. I’m in a hurry, all the time. I don’t know why but I tend to do things fast. I write fast, I walk fast, I drive fast, etc. I have no particular reason for this habit except I don’t like to move slow, (I think this is why I like action movies instead of drama).

So I was at Sam’s, having picked up the five things I needed and was walking towards the exit when an elderly man ends up in front of me. As I said before, I’m not known for my patience but it’s different in a situation like that. This man was walking very slow and deliberately. I got the impression he couldn’t go any faster.

I supposed I could have sped up and gotten around him but suddenly I wasn’t in so much of a hurry. I watched as others whipped around him and I could tell by the set of his shoulders he felt bad about his snail’s pace. Coincidentally, he was parked next to me. By the time we got to our cars the man was clearly exhausted. He didn’t have a lot of things but he did have some heavy items and I was going to offer to help him but he grabbed them quickly and easily and threw them in his trunk, so I put up my things and took back my cart while he finished up loading his car.

When he was done I asked him if I could take his cart for him and the look on his face was troubling. He was shocked, and grateful. He said thank you and I took the cart. When I got back he was still standing at the back of his car waiting for me. I told him to have a great day. He flashed a huge smile and told me I was very kind and he left, still smiling.

It made me happy and sad. I was happy because he genuinely needed the help. It was easy for me to push a cart six or seven car lengths but would have been hard for him. I was sad that he was so surprised. From one expression and then his deep gratitude I could tell my offer was rare. I got the sense most people found him a nuisance or at the very least a road block to get around. Most of the people rushing past him in the store today didn’t take the time to see this man was doing the best he could and wasn’t trying to inconvenience anyone. He is just a very old man doing everything for himself, by himself, for as long as he’s able. I felt like he not only needed, but deserved the help.

I wish more people would see it that way as well. I know there is a lot of nice people out there who would do the same as I did. I’m not saying everyone is a jerk. However, what if you’re the only one there who could help? Would you? I hope so.

Even though it made me a little sad, I’m glad this tiny thing made his day, and his beautiful smile certainly made mine.

I’m off to work on my class. Maybe I’ll write a happy story today.

Too Much Anger In The Air Today

Any of you ever had someone confront you after they caught you shake your head at their terrible parking? It happened to me a little while ago. I was about to pull into a spot and realized there was a car taking up half of that spot and the one in front of it. I drove around and went to another spot and noticed there was a lady in the badly parked car. I shook my head and thought she was an idiot.

That was the end of the story for me. Not her. As I walked in front of her car to get to the store she partially got out and said “Why did you shake your head at me?” She was pretty agitated, and waving her phone at me. I was so surprised I only said “Excuse me?” She repeated her question, which seemed to anger her even more.

I stopped and stared at her for a second before responding. “Look at your parking job.” She turned bright red, and I continued on into the store, (I’m pretty sure I was still shaking my head). I have no idea what she said after that, but I could hear her practically yelling into her phone, bitching about me I’m sure.

So after I walked in the doors I turned back and watched as she corrected her parking issue and I laughed, which of course got me weird looks from the people near me. Did I leave out that this lady was a much older woman, like 80? She was also half my size, so I was somewhat impressed that she had to guts to confront me.

I felt a little bad, because I didn’t have to even respond but she caught me off guard. However, I think it’s ridiculous to yell at someone for noticing when you mess up. I did see her in the store and she pretended like I didn’t exist. This time I kept my head under tight control.

I feel like I should somehow turn this into a short story or flash fiction, or even a small scene. Either way I wanted to share it; this was too weird not to. Has this kind of thing ever happened to any of you? How did you handle it? I can’t be the only person that has that issue where words come out of my mouth before thoughts are completely processed.

Changes

Sometimes people just need a change in their lives. It could be little, like a man shaving off his beard or growing a goat-tee. Other times it’s bigger, like a mid-life crisis car, or a major wardrobe overhaul. For me, it was a haircut.

This was no ordinary haircut. Oh it started out that way, but changed quickly, and often. I went into the salon and explained that I wasn’t absolutely positive what I wanted to do, but I wanted the back of my hair a little shorter than the front, then I asked for the stylist’s advice.

Her name was Elyssa and she was almost good at keeping a straight face but I caught the ‘oh crap’ look in her eyes. I found out during the cut that she was new, not only at the salon, but she had recently graduation from cosmetology school.

We started with a bobbed style. I hated it. That’s a lie, it was super cute, but it wasn’t really what I wanted. Too bad for her, I still didn’t know what I wanted. She made a few suggestions and she cut a bit more off. This cycle repeated a few times until my hair was sitting right along my jaw line, which was three inches shorter than when I got there.

I would have left it like that but Elyssa wasn’t stupid, she could tell I wasn’t really happy with it. I assured her that she had done a fine job. My hair looked great. She modestly agreed but told me she wasn’t letting me out of her chair until I was satisfied.

She called another stylist over and we all discussed my hair some more, looked at a few pictures and I finally made a decision.

I feel the need to explain myself a bit here. Normally when it comes to my hair I’m very decisive. I go in knowing what I want. I tell the person cutting what I want, ask for advice if they don’t think it will work, then get the haircut. Simple, quick, easy.

My hair backstory this time changed all that. I wore my hair short for most of my adult life. Then four years ago I decided to grow it out. Two months ago I cut nine inches off. Ever since then I’ve been trying to find the right length, all while trying to avoid going back to really short.

Did I say people sometimes need a change? Well in this case I needed a change back.

When I told Elyssa exactly what to do I thought she was going to fall over. What I asked for was basically the opposite of what I’d originally told her I wanted, and complicated. Let me remind you, she had little experience. I wasn’t scared, she’d done great, not only with the cutting, but the dealing with her indecisive customer. Plus, my hair grows fast, so even if I didn’t like it, it would look different in a couple of weeks.

She had to get advice a couple of times and I had to point out things she missed a couple of time but we got it done. It’s short in the front, extremely short in the back. I love it! In a way I look like myself again. It’s no wonder I was never happy after the first big cut months ago. I’m glad I finally stopped avoiding what I wanted all along.

Haircut I hate taking my own picture, but I wanted to show the results.