It’s Not Easy Being Green In a Sea of Snowflakes

Posted on October 17, 2011 by

I often find myself the odd one out. Being normal isn’t fashionable these days, and I am cursed with being just that. Normal.

In my real life, I’m regarded as the smart one, as is my husband. Someone is always calling for our take or our suggestions on something. Can I help edit something, suggest a book on a topic, or explain an insurance nuance? Can he recommend the best way to handle some business, technical, or mechanical problem? I often think the world is in real trouble when I’m considered an authority on anything.

That concern is quickly set aside when I’m on my computer. Online I often find myself having to Google information just to participate in discussions. From antinomian to Z-spread, and everything in between. In other words, I’m painfully average. Smart enough some of the time, and too dumb to add anything substantive to a discussion at others. I’m in the mushy middle, quantitatively speaking.

I’m a typical woman. Solipsistic: check. Petty: check. Overly sensitive: check. I’m prone to all of it when I’m not actively working toward the opposite. I work at it by guarding my thoughts, considering others’ points of view, limiting what and how much I allow to come out of my mouth, and praying. Another thing is listening to my husband instead of just rushing headlong into whatever direction I feel like. Did I mention praying?

The weird thing is that people routinely tell me how atypical I am. They say that I’m an exceptional wife or woman or mother. It’s laughable because I’m really not and I know it. I just work very hard to overcome my terrible, typically human tendencies. To be better than I would be if I awoke every morning convinced that I’m okay just the way I am. If I was really extraordinary I wouldn’t have to work so hard at it or fail so spectacularly so often.

Somehow however, everyone else is a snowflake. Everyone is an outlier. Online, the women aren’t ever like most other women. They take pride in being detached, analytical, and above the fray of base, normal womanhood. Online, the women are all beautiful, super smart, uber-feminine, with just enough masculinity to be comfortable hanging with the boys. I on the other hand, am average looking, only somewhat intelligent, and often in over my head when the boys get to talking even though I constantly admire the way the male mind works.

In real life, the women aren’t like most women either. No one cares what anyone else thinks, up to and including men in general or even their own if they have one. I on the other hand, get dressed in the morning, look in the mirror and think, “No matter how comfortable this is, I know he’ll hate it. Let me go change.”  They are too secure to concern themselves with the things that I may fret over. You either take them as they are or get to stepping. I on the other hand think to myself, “I need to look good for my guy. I can’t eat these donuts.”

They stick together, regularly do lunch and genuinely enjoy being together. Again, I’m in the middle. I’d rather cook a dinner and socialize in the living room with my feet up than at the mall.  I sincerely enjoy an hour of good girl talk, but after a while the conversation inevitably goes some place I’d rather not go and I’m looking for the cleanest exit. Not because others are so horrible (although they sometimes are), but because I have to guard against my own tendency to be so horrible

I read chick porn like Pride and Prejudice, The Inheritance, and Jane Eyre. I read health and nutrition books and a good amount of theological stuff, including the Bible. My online sisters read not only theology, but economics, psychology and science journals that would leave me reeling. Never chick porn. I’ve become more educated but I have to start with the “For Dummies” version of books on many subjects.Online people seem prepared for the coming collapse. My offline friends read the Bible and don’t have much time for anything else but the occasional magazine article. They seem less worried about the state of the world than me. I wonder what that might be like; to feel fully informed and prepared or to be blissfully unaware. To stand on a solid ground, as it were.

Do you know what it feels like to be boring and normal in a world full of snowflakes? Some days I wonder what the heck is the matter with me. Everyone is special and aware of her fabulousness. I want to be special, too!

My life really isn’t as bad as it must seem to all the special people living exciting, engaging lives. I am content despite my lack of that extra something that makes life a party every day. It doesn’t bother me to be normal despite the fact that ordinary is viewed as slightly above death in this culture. You’re either special or you’re nobody. So now everyone is special.

As much as I admire the little trophy that every player in the game gets, I am not interested in finding my inner snowflake. I’ll leave that to those who know me best. I am at least blessed to experience  extraordinary love despite my ordinary humanity.

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