Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Yesterday, Victoria and I were having a discussion about the day’s events. She was sharing her experiences about the 100+ educational videos that she’d checked out from the library. I was telling her about my apheresis appointment and giving her a breakdown of some of the conversations that I’d had with coworkers. Then out of the blue she asked if I thought that other people think we are weird. I think what brought it up is that several times in the past couple of months we’ve gotten strange responses when we’ve told other people little facts about or family. The short answer to her question is simply, “Yes, Absolutely”. If by weird she means not in the same rut and pattern as most of the rest of the world I gladly and unapologetically proclaim my family’s weirdness. Here are just a few of the many things that make us weird:

We don’t have cable and we can’t pick up anything but one PBS station at home and everybody is cool with it.

The only programs we watch with any regularity at all are Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs.

The kids actually fight over whose turn it is to pick the next TV program and both options are educational; Cyber-chase vs. Eyewitness.

Our 12-year old has well defined political, social and religious views that are different than his parents’.

I have read more non-fiction books this week than I have watched football games in my entire life.

I have no desire to ever play a fantasy game of any sport.

On vacations we are known to stop and take pictures of cemeteries for hours.

Victoria wears no jewelry except for a wedding ring and an occasional necklace that we picked up on the Navaho reservation that may have set us back $15.00.

When she’s just killing time Victoria will do elaborate Photoshop layouts of family pictures, sometimes not even our family.

When I’m just killing time I like to surf for philosophical and political debates.

We both enjoy discussing the hard questions about life that most others simply avoid.

Our 6-year old correctly uses introductory words to his sentences like theoretically, presumably, and technically.

Our 9-year old would rather get a blank book for a journal than a book that already had words in it. She is a published author and spends one week each summer learning how to improve her writing ability at a local college.

We have a medium sized three bedroom house but on a typical night all four kids sleep in the same twin bed in the boy’s room.

I’ve had calls at work from the kids to remind me to pick up some tofu for dinner. “Remember to get two packages ‘cuz we like to double up on the portions.”

I could continue on ad nausea. My only point here is that I would not change one thing that I’ve mentioned. My concern is that many if not all of these issues may distance us from other members of our family and friends.
People have a natural tendency to be drawn to things that are similar to them. Perhaps an acquaintance of ours who loves football, online poker and never misses an episode of the favorite soap opera might understandably feel a little bit hesitant to try to get to know us. I fully recognize that this is a two-way street. I too would be at somewhat of a loss as to what to talk about with such a person. In spite of what each of us might perceive as weird I think it is best that all parties continue the attempt. The illusion that our difference matter more than our common humanity can be very dangerous and isolating.

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