On my birthday a few years back, I got one of those cards featuring perky messages from all of my coworkers. Most of them said some version of “Yay, it’s your birthday!” But then there was this little gem:
Happy birthday, Kelly. You are great to work with even though you are so weird.
I suppose that declaration would have stung if I lacked the power of observation, but I don’t. As I’ve studied other humans over the past four decades, I’ve come to accept the fact that yes, I am pretty damn weird. Perhaps the most obvious manifestation of this trait is my utter lack of discretion around talking to myself, which is something I do often – out loud – regarding a wide range of topics. I even talk to myself about talking to myself.
Hmm…I wonder what I’ll say to myself next…
In my early days, I confined that behavior to venues that were private (e.g., house) or semi-private (e.g., car). But when I lived alone on Orcas Island and forgot how to interact with people, I dragged it into the public sphere (e.g., grocery store), where I would engage in heated, solitary debate until I noticed fellow customers hurrying down the aisle to get away from me. (And really, who could blame them? It must’ve looked like I was arguing with soup.)
Funnily enough, of all the things I choose to be self-conscious about, talking to myself isn’t one of them. Whenever people catch me in the act, I just meet their amused and/or alarmed and/or baffled looks with an unrepentant stare. I want my eyes to tell them, Yeah, I’m talking to myself. I repeat: TO MYSELF. This has nothing to do with you. Move along.
I’ve decided that ongoing self-chatter is a sign of a creative personality. I could’ve asked Google for evidence to support this hypothesis, but after a conversation with myself, I determined that further research was unnecessary. After all, what does Google know (besides everything, mixed in with a shit ton of nonsense)? I get much simpler answers when I consult my own brain.
(It now occurs to me that conducting research via self-inquiry may be another indication of weirdness. I also think I finally understand Drumpf supporters.)
Regardless of the cause, I remain weird, which is fine. This is my husband, so at least I’m in good company.
Here’s what happens when our nephew comes to visit.
This is how we read bedtime stories together.
Our dog may be a bit off kilter, as well.
And I have no problem with any of that. As Benjamin Franklin tweeted in 1781, “‘Tis better to be weird than bored.” (Discovered on his Founding Father Twitter timeline, right before: “Beware of information you encounter on the internet.”)