Just to be clear, I am not normal.
On Monday I met my old writing partner’s wife at the park. I had yet to meet their baby, and boy am I glad I did. She’s lucky I did not eat her. I just didn’t want to take the chance if she wasn’t gluten free.
While waiting for Ay and Miss M to arrive, I made sandwiches while the kids played in the sandbox. (God forbid I made lunch in advance as opposed to dragging peanut butter and jelly bottles in a “Total Wine” bag to a fancy zip code play area. I’m just too unorganized to accomplish this feat and too
cheap concerned about Stink’s diet to buy drive-through.)
While waiting at the park, I struck up a conversation with a woman at the bench next to me.
“Your son is so sweet playing with that baby and his mom over there. Does he even know them?” I inquire.
“No, he doesn’t,” she smiled back. “But he can get along with anyone.”
I detect an accent in her voice, she tells me she’s a transplant from Arkansas, my kid starts playing with her kid, I get her life story, and Friday we are going to the beach together, along with 10 other mamas from my kid’s charter school who gab as much as I do. (Oh, Little Miss M is coming along, too, for her first beach excursion. If she dumps sand on her mom’s banana or lets a roving seagull snatch it out of her cute little paws, causing screams and mayhem to ensue, my life will be complete. Well, that, and if I had this bathing suit.)
I could go on and on, from my penchant for thrift store 1960’s tee shirts or my ability to extract family history out of old folk at Costco who simply want to hand me a mini taco sample and be 8 bucks/hour closer to their next QVC purchase. But I can’t help it. I’m happiest when I’m chatting and laughing and open to new people, ideas and road side treasures. (Sunday I found an Ethan Allen table on the side of the road that some lovely Spanish men tied up on the roof of my car. They wouldn’t take a penny, but I did shower them with thank you’s. “Muchos Gracias, Te Amo!” I gushed, proud of my ability to tell them I adored the table. Upon retrospect, I realized I said, “Thank you, I love you!” but in Andrea plain English, “Who Really Gives a Shit?”
I bring all this up because life works best when I embrace the fun stuff. I am far from perfect, but I’m living my life, not someone else’s.
For a long time, I couldn’t say this was true. I thought I’d only be happy when my son didn’t have T.S.. Ummmmm, that didn’t work out so well. Instead, I made a committment to start having joy on a daily basis.
The things mentioned above give me joy. Talking to you folk via this blog gives me joy. Connecting with best selling author David Finch and reviewing his book gave me joy.
As I mentioned here, being diagnosed with Asbergers at 30 was not in Finch’s Top 10 Goals. But saving his marriage was. In finding out what made him tic (no pun intended due to this blog) he was able to live the life that he was meant to live. He was able to reconnect with his best friend and wife, Kristen, as well as be present for his kids. Aspergers or not, he found joy.
I’m sure Finch won’t mind that I mention that he, like me (and probably like you) is weird. I mean, WEIRD. The fact that he can write about it and live it makes him wonderful. YOU all are wonderful also.
While you might not meet strangers on a Tuesday and go to the beach with them on a Friday, make sure that you encourage your inner weirdo to rise to the surface. T.S. doesn’t stand a chance next to that.
What makes you weird? I’d love to know.