Meridian Star

December 28, 2012

Normal or nutty?

By Anne McKee
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Here’s the thing … I was sitting in the doctor’s office recently, and you know the routine. I sat there and thumbed through the magazines. Of course, most of them were about good health practices. I mean nothing of great intellectual value.     There were no movie stars, glamour or beauty advice, or the latest fashion tips – not even vacation itineraries. Nope, it was only about good health – good grief.

    In desperation, I began to scan the publications – first looked at the pictures, of course. Then, I noticed something of interest. It was an analysis of human traits – mainly quirks, tics and zany habits. Something of which I could relate – like quirky. Uh-huh.

    The article was written by Lenore Skenazy. As I read, I began to think of all of my quirky friends and relatives. I seem to have hit the over-the-limit number of these type folks. Perhaps I draw them to me? Or, maybe we all have something in common? I had to read more.

       First, allow me to expound through my thoughts that were triggered by Ms. Skenazy’s magazine article. What I am about to share is a careful analysis of my life, acquaintances, friends, relatives, and/or used to be friends. The names have been withheld so that you can have fun trying to decide who might be the quirky so-and-so. Uh-huh.

          You hear a song and can’t get it out of your head – humming all day and remember humming in your sleep as well, or the weirdest of weird dreams attack your night slumber. Perhaps you have trouble recalling names. I mean folks you have known for years and the name won’t come to you.

    Then, there is the fear of germs – even flushing the toilet, Ms. Skenazy cited, might send tons of bacteria into the air to travel into your head and land in your blood stream. Oh, my, never can visit public facilities again – an unsettling development.

    Do you worry, worry, worry – about the whole world situation or even develop a trauma about the poor hungry little squirrels in your yard? Do you overstock your pantry — 10 cans of cream of celery soup, a dozen boxes of rice or even two dozen containers of black pepper?  

    Well, not to worry – all of these quirks are normal or at least sort of normal. Psychiatrists reason the compulsiveness that caused the constant humming can also develop into good work habits – also diligence toward following details and guidelines. That’s good, right?

    The anxiety and worry that resulted in an overstocked pantry, or stressing over the little hungry squirrels, demonstrated compassion and sensitivity. Over-reaction toward the germ/world could be a mild bipolar disorder, which might indicate creativity, per studies of behavior.

    Just think about it – very creative people have to be a little quirky. I mean don’t their thoughts and perspectives hang out on the moonbeams? I believe that is more nutty than normal.

    Who wants to be just normal – another face in the crowd? In order to achieve more than normality, one must be somewhat abnormal? That makes sense, doesn’t it? Well, maybe not a normal take on good/reasonable sense, but a whole lot of fun.     You see abnormal folks get away with a lot of stuff – don’t have to work as hard, given the minimal load of duties, because, well, they are somewhat lacking normal-wise. What?

    Also, the abnormal ones usually enjoy large doses of sympathy, the largest portions of chocolate pie, the first spot in line, and, of course, their momma demanded only the best for them – no matter the cost.  So, a little bit of the abnormal trait is not so bad, right?

    Normal or nutty – it’s everywhere!

    What about a phobia? I have first-hand experience in this area. You see I have a phobia of lizards – no matter if the little green ones or the big mean ones. My husband even gave up a great promotion because we would have had to move to the tropics – home of the big lizards.

    Why am I terrified of lizards? Was I attacked by one as a child? No, because my mother was scared, too. I’ve learned the name of my lizard phobia is Scoliodentosaurophobia – had to be something I couldn’t pronounce or spell, but what-the-heck! Keep those creepy/crawly reptiles away from me.

    I read there are several interesting methods of treating this phobia that does not involve drugs. What? Treat the lizard phobia – I don’t think so. I rather enjoy the fact that I am pretty certain I will never come face-to-face with one of the slimy things. If it should ever happen, that would be the last thing, because I would surely die on-the-spot.

    Now don’t you feel better?  I mean knowing how normal I am, even with my phobia.

    The secret – STRESS! Yes, I read that one may overcome nutty traits by avoiding stress. Take time to laugh, think positive thoughts, and surround yourself with good and decent people, who value honesty and integrity.

    See the glass half full rather than half empty. Take time to enjoy life rather than run hither/thither from one place to the other. Set priorities, love your family, work in your church, and be thankful for good and loyal friends. The unkind people, who you thought were your friends, have fallen away and that is good thing.   

        Then one wonderful morning, you will arise and “Wallah” – you are more normal than nutty. Understand that I wouldn’t recommend becoming totally normal. I mean you want to have a little fun, don’t you?

      Normal or nutty – it’s all good, sort of.



    Anne B. McKee is a published author and professional storyteller. Visit her website at www.annemckee.net.