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Thread: Are you normal?

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Are you normal?

    I know that by definition, being aspirants of a simple living lifestyle we may not fit the mold in certain respects but..

    Last night I was talking to my DD. I hadn't spoken to her since last weekend when she met her new boyfriend's parents for the first time. So I asked her what they were like. She said, "Oh, they were really nice!" And then in an attempt to describe them she said, "They're more ... um...." She was grasping for a word and I was saying in my mind "please don't say 'normal,' please don't say 'normal."

    "They're more.. normal." she said. And then she went on to say that the mom was like the typical soccer mom. Well, I was a "soccer mom" to all 4 of my kids in a literal sense--I wonder how I'm NOT a "soccer mom" mom in the figurative sense?? I have to ask her about that, but the take-away was: his family is normal, her family is not.

    Do you consider yourself normal? Would your children, or other family members, describe you as "normal." If not "normal" you take that as a compliment or a concern or are you neutral about it?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Total "normie," right here!
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  3. #3
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    No, I'm not normal. I'm not on a career ladder clawing my way to the top, I don't aspire to designer goods, I watch little TV, don't go to the movies, or listen much to popular music. I don't go shopping for fun. I don't have children. I'm not particularly spiritual. So if you tell me I'm not "normal", I would probably admire your observation abilities.

    Does get a little lonely though. I have a hard time with small talk, since I can really only listen and not participate. There is so little overlap with what I like to do with how most people spend their time. So not much for me to say without their eyes glazing over. With a lot of folks, that's ok though, since they just want to talk.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gimmethesimplelife's Avatar
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    This is such an interesting question! Thanks for posting it, Catherine!

    I remember once I saw a meme on the Internet that said that all "normal" is is a setting on a dryer and the older I get the more and more I agree with that. "Normal" to me is such a subjective word and what is "normal" to one person is not "normal" to another. For quick evidence, note some of my takes that have been disputed in Simple Policy (and I'm not naming anyone nor am I trashing anyone's views, I'm just making a point). All along I have merely posted my truth and I guess my "normal" from the 85006 - see how this hasn't gone over with some folks here? Certainly my "normal" is different from theirs..........

    But then again this word is so subjective for me. I didn't indoctrinate in high school, I stopped believing in the US at a very young age in stages, I did go to college and at the age of 50 I'm finally training for something the remotest bit related to my degree, I don't chase consumer goods....what impresses me is having passports to more than one country, not driving a nice car or living in an upscale zip code with an appropriate house.

    Something else I've noticed.....I truly believe that some of what is considered "normal" falls into social class....what is considered "normal" in the 85006 is not going to fly well in Paradise Valley or Cave Creek or North Scottsdale (moneyed areas in the Phoenix metro area). How many people in these upscale areas voted for Hillary Clinton as she was unlikely to antagonize Mexico so as to keep access to affordable medical and dental care across the border open to Americans? How many people in these said areas protested a social cause recently? How many people in these said areas are afraid of the police? See what I mean? My point is the "normal" in the 85006 does not translate to "normal" in these upscale areas - but vice versa holds true, too.

    What passes for "normal" in nicer areas than where I live - most of what passes for "normal" there at any rate - does not work for me and has not for years. On the other hand, in an hour and a half I'll be getting on a city bus (auto ownership is not "normal" to me - and wearing some of the best of my thrift shop business casual (buying most clothing other than underwear and socks firsthand is not "normal" to me) will be training for a supervisory position (most people would consider taking this job "normal" though I believe?). So much of my daily life is not what people above the 85006 would consider "normal". But for me it's very everyday and boring and "normal" based on my life experiences and what life has taught me - not what society has taught me but what I have come to realize based on my life experiences and through independent thinking, something of which I am quite capable. Interesting topic! Rob

    PS I came back to add that society's "normal" overall does not work for me and realistically never has - something I personally find flattering about myself, though I'm not going to go around and advertise this fact. This also translates to the gay world, too - what many in the gay community consider "normal" does not work for me, either - my independent thinking knows no immunity from any group of people or way of thinking it seems.....
    Last edited by gimmethesimplelife; 9-12-17 at 9:11am.

  5. #5
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    I am traveling right now and am struck by what Rob said about "normal" being so different depending on where you are. I think what your daughter is talking about might be social norms, and they do vary so much by place. I was just visiting my brother on an island and the social norms are completely different than where I live, so I do not think I would feel normal there and people might find me more aloof and certainly "lower class" since it is a very rich island! But where I live, in another state on the mainland, I pass for normal pretty easily, and people talk to me in checkout lines and we seem to approach things in a pretty similar fashion.
    When I have visited my friend in New Jersey, I was struck by how different that was than the Midwest or South,where I have been living. I went to high school in New Jersey many years ago, and New Jersey then is not like New Jersey now, as there is so much more money and social pressure, I guess you would call it. Lots more pressure on where kids go to college, on competitive activities, on your kid distinguishing him or herself than when I was going to high school in New Jersey.

    I think that is part of my nervousness about figuring out where to live--can my normal fit in with their normal?

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post

    I think that is part of my nervousness about figuring out where to live--can my normal fit in with their normal?
    I hear ya. Definitely part of my anxiety about finding a new place as well. They don't explain that in the Zillow reports.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Rob, you reminded me of the famous Krishnamurti quote:

    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

    jiddukrishnamurti1-2x.jpg
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I would feel kind of insulted to be described as "normal," though I can pass. I've never been afraid to be myself.

  9. #9
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    I guess I maintain an appearance of mostly normal but probably have ideas that aren't the norm - especially where I live now. It has been interesting to leave a place I knew backwards and forwards and plop myself into unknown cultural territory as a retiree. I had no idea there were other kinds of normal once I left the "island" of Austin.

  10. #10
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    There's no such thing as normal; only average. "Normal" appears to be a straw man people like to set up and knock down to demonstrate how unique they are.

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