Granted,  my social life is practically non-existent but my girls and I do get out and about a lot.  When we’re out and about, I see other grown-ups and even though I try not to notice them…. well, I do.    I usually feel awkward, inept and, well,  just different.  This is nothing new.  I’ve felt this my whole life.  When I was a kid, I dealt with it by adopting a devil-may-care attitude and pretended I could have cared less what they thought or said.   By the time I entered college,  that  philosophy had given way to denial.  “I’m not weird, I’m perfectly normal.  It’s all in my head”  was my mantra.  Then, somewhere around the time my first daughter was born, denial had been replaced by weary acceptance.  “Okay, fine, I’m weird.  Whatever.  I’m too busy to care anymore”  became my new slogan.   In the intervening years since then, this has worked out alright.  I pretend I don’t care and move on to whatever current fun thing I’m doing with my girls is.    But… well…. you can’t really accept something until you know exactly what it is that you’re accepting so instead of trying to wrap my brain around the generalized statement,  “I’m weird” ,  I thought it best to write out the ways in which I know I’m different.  If I write it, it becomes real.  So, in no particular order, here are a few of the things that make me… well… weirdish me.

  • I can do this:

Do this and kids go bonkers. Guaranteed. 🙂

  •  Sticking my head in freezers or vents blowing really cold air is fun.
    –  Initially, I did this because it helped my head.  Now,  I do it
    because it feels nice.   I think I might should have been born in Alaska.
  •  I ALWAYS talk with my hands.  It so helps me get my point across.
  • I hate shoes.   I never wear them.   A friend from church told me that one Sunday she was volunteering in the Nursery and glanced out the window where she saw a little girl and a grown woman walking towards the cars holding shoes and one little girl walking on her tippy toes.  She said, “I thought,  ‘that must be Tiffini.'”   As a result, the soles of my feet look like they’ve been run over with razors.  But walking barefoot is worth it.
  • I whisper-repeat cool or important phrases.  If you say something that is novel-worthy, as soon as you finish saying it, I whisper it back to myself so that I can remember to use it in a book.  Same rule applies if you say something earth-shattering, that rocks my world.  It gets repeated. And sometimes if I say something that, when said aloud, convinces me it needs further exploration with a pen… I repeat it.
  • I chew ice like it’s candy.   Bringing me a mug pre-filled with ice chips to a lunch date is a sure way of making me your forever friend.  I’ve been known to make special ice—fill a cup with ice cubes then immediately use hot water to melt the ice cubes to easier-to-bite size.  They’re good and, since I hate drinking plain water,  it gets me my daily serving.
  • Massages freak me out—this explanation is better saved for the intimacy post I’m still trying to gather required courage to write  but, suffice to say, I go into instant panic mode when massages are even suggested.  It has to do with the whole fear of being selfish thing, and not really being able to relax or enjoy things too much.   I am, however, perfectly fine with giving them, if that helps.  🙂
  • I have written books for as long as I can recall. Although only four are published, I have over 110 others that are still waiting to be typed up. The longest hand-written one was 2203 pages.  I have to use wide-ruled paper, front and back. I don’t number the pages until I’m halfway through a notebook because, that way, I’m always impressed with myself when I see what page I’m on in the book.  I also must use a blue Bic pen, mainly because the clear casing allows me to watch the ink lower, which gives my writer heart a little bit of a thrill.  My characters are my friends and part of my family.  I see them and they talk to me.  If you contest that, you and I will likely not be very good friends.
  • I am not afraid to let my kids play in really cold, natural water, the kind you might find in creeks and such.  This is true even if it’s, you know,  January or something.
  • I do whatever my children do wherever they play.  If they go up in the playspace at McDonalds…. I go up.  If they crawl into a tunnel and ask me to follow, I will do so even if I’m fairly certain it means the fire department will have to come pull me out.  This inevitably garners me weird looks from other parents so I’m including it on the list even though, in my brain, the point of a playground is to play, thereby strengthening the bond between you and your child.  Right?
  • I sing with abandon.  I can’t sing very well but I don’t really care.  Singing is very therapeutic for me, and very special.  And if a good song comes on in the car or in the restaurant, I will sing along even if you and  I don’t know each other at all.
  • I let my kids paint their entire bodies however they want to on days we call Picasso Days.  Picasso Days take place usually once or twice a month.  They also get to decorate me.  It is fun, and it has taught them to enjoy art rather than worrying about if they’re “in the lines” or not.

  • Really hot bubble baths in garden tubs make my life so much more happy and it has nothing to do with anything sensual.  It’s just relaxing, and it’s a luxury I allow myself only on days when I really, really need something good.
  • I love strangers.
  • Even though admitting it seems to instantly lower my IQ by, like, fifty points,  some of the very best books I’ve ever read are of the historical romance variety.  If it helps convince you I’m not stupid, I also have a couple of really intense Holocaust, non-fiction books that will give you nightmares, an Aristotle collection of which I am a huge fan and also, I love “Walden” despite a  few chapters that are so boring I think he wrote them while he was half-asleep. Faulkner is one of my greatest heroes.  Still… Elizabeth Lowell and Judith McNaught and, yes, Danielle Steel, are some of my best friends.
  • I cook eggs in a bowl using the microwave.  It is way faster and way better.
  • I prefer manual cars to automatic ones but then again… who doesn’t like the feel of power and control that the manual gives you?
  • I am Coke’s number one fan.   I have even toured their museum and tasted, like, three hundred and something varieties of it.  In case you’re interested, the original is the best.
  •  I’m 31, and have never tasted a single drop of alcohol, much to the chagrin of basically everyone who has ever known me.
  • I do not wear make-up.  In fact, when I realized I was pregnant with a little girl the first time, I was absolutely terrified over the following thought:  “Oh no!   I’m going to have to learn how to put on make-up so I can teach her how!”
  • I homeschool my girls and would not have it any other way.
  • Public speaking does not intimidate or scare me.  In fact, not only do I enjoy it, I think it is part of my calling.
  • I have seen real angels who were disguised as humans.  I also saw real demons one night.  Real ones.
  • When I was a kid, my grandparents took me on a trip to the Bahamas.  On the airplane, I asked if I could open the airplane’s window because I wanted to bring my mom back a star.  I have a habit of wanting to transport untransportable things on trips.  When I went to Europe and took a bite of their chocolate banana crepes, my first thought was,   “how can I save this and get it onto an airplane for my mom and sister to taste in a week?”
  • If you tell me I cannot do something…. I WILL do it.
  • I was included in Who’s Who in high school.  This only proves I was, of course, always the teacher’s pet.   Yup,  I was that kid.   I was always a straight A student.  Except in math, which I always very nearly failed with flying colors.  The answer  “It just IS” never seemed to make sense to me when I asked  “but WHY is two plus two not five or three?  WHY is it four?”
  •  I’m TOTALLY athletic.  What?  You don’t believe me?  Listen, one time, while playing a big game of softball with a ton of people, I hit a homerun. I carried the bat all the way around the bases back to home with me without ever realizing that was not the way to do it but hey, that’s really beside the point.
  • Bees terrify the crap out of me.  But I’m not afraid of snakes.  Or bears for that matter.
  • I dream in color.

I’m very weird.  But, after reviewing this partial list of the reasons why (the really GOOD reasons are very complicated to explain and involve intricate thought processes), I’m left to ponder one further question….. aren’t we all?

Picture of Weird

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