A non-apologetic manifesto about being weird.

Weird?  Not weird?

Weird? Not weird?

First, let’s get the definition straight.  If a person is weird, what the heck does that mean?

A Google search revealed these synonyms:  strange – odd – peculiar – quaint – uncanny – bizarre.

Now that we *almost* know the definition of weird, let’s explore this phenomenon further.

May I suggest that those who are not labeled weird by society do the following thing very well:  they fit in.  They eat the same as their peers, dress in the same clothes, act in appropriate ways, speak without being *too* strange or offensive, are friendly, polite and well-behaved, or at least act acceptably bitchy, raunchy and amusing.  They act “normal”.

A person who sleeps outside in March is NOT weird.  Is she?

A person who sleeps outside in March is NOT weird. Is she?

We can all look at our fellow human beings and pronounce who’s weird.  I am thinking of three people right now.  Each of these humans (in meeting my inner criteria of “weird”) really do not know how to fit in socially.  They say the strangest most inappropriate things!  They look awkward.  They seem uncomfortable. Yep, that’s my definition of weird, fellow readers.

In my own mind I am not weird.  I fit in socially, get elected to public office (well the tiniest public office in the country, mind you!) and look amazingly nondescript in jeans and sweaters.

Alas and alack, though, my friends, here’s where we must *sniff* admit the truth.

Is a person who almost kisses a fish weird? Someone who wears a 1969 snowmobile suit?

Is a person who almost kisses a fish weird? Someone who wears a 1969 snowmobile suit?

Several folks have *sniff* called me weird over the years.

Yes.  They have!

In the olden days, say twenty years ago, my insides shook and quivered and despaired when this label was tossed about.  Of course, it was usually the weirder ones in the community who said so.

There is a certain woman–I wouldn’t say who–whom I consider terribly weird (but would politely call her “unique”) who back in the 90’s listened to my avid descriptions of Native American sweat lodges and medicine men and dreams which came true.

She stared askance and uttered the words which pierced a dagger in my insecure heart, “No WONDER they call you weird!”

(That took ten years from which to recover, my sweets.)

One weird bear.

One weird bear.

In more recent years a couple of my best friends (well, closer friends) have taken to labeling me as weird.   But something strange hath occurred in the past ten years.  Suddenly, wonderfully, delightfully, thank all the weirdos in the Universe, I have EMBRACED the word weird!

It’s true.  I eat foods like quinoa and tempeh and tofu and seitan (no relation to the devil.)  I say the strangest weirdest things on the planet at times just because they seem so funny (to me at least).  I do odd things because it feels so darn good to be an individual and do odd things.  I write words like “hath occurred” and delight in manifestos about being weird.

It now feels like there is no other way to be on the planet!  Why in the world wouldn’t EVERYONE want to be weird?  Why would they want to be NORMAL?  Why would they want to be like everyone else?

Why would people want to fit in?  (OK, I still want to fit in.  Marginally fit in.  And I still want to be liked.  Well, sometimes I want to be liked.  I want to get re-elected as township treasurer.  I think I do.)

I'm not going to say he's weird.  Just a little...different...

I’m not going to say he’s weird. Just a little…different…

Don’t you want to say things that contradict yourself?  Don’t you want to wear bright purple when you’re 55 and not wait until you’re 80?  Don’t you want to wear a crazy hat with pom poms and long braid-like appendages and look like you’re Swedish?  (Wait a minute.  That’s not weird.  That’s what all the popular college kids do these days.  And Barry won me one of these hats at one of his fishing tournaments.  So I am SO cool!)

Don’t you want to be your wild & crazy & weird and & beautiful self?  Why in the heck would you want to be like Jane or John Doe?  Why would you want to be like your neighbor?  Why would you want to fit in when NO one else in the Universe can fit in your unique amazing individual shoes?

Please tell me that you’re weird, too.  Tell me you’ve reached a stage in life where you’ve embraced your weirdness.  We’ll start a club.  We’ll speak our minds so delightfully and uniquely and amazingly that everyone on the planet will beg, “Can we be weird, too?  Tell us how to do it!”



About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in January 2013 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to A non-apologetic manifesto about being weird.

  1. Yes, I admit it, I am weird, too!

  2. Val says:

    Oh, I’m definitely weird. And I embrace my weirdness (even when it doesn’t want to be embraced!) I’m so glad when I read this: “Suddenly, wonderfully, delightfully, thank all the weirdos in the Universe, I have EMBRACED the word weird!” because up to that point, I was thinking, she can’t be serious? Surely she can’t really think that ‘weird’ is something not to be proud of?

    Weird is glorious, Kathy. I’m so glad to be weird and so glad you now regard yourself as weird.

    And because I’m weird, here I’ll add a little winkie (is that like a… oh well, no, maybe not)… 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Val, it too me many, many, many years to fully embrace that I might not be–100% normal–but now am 100% convinced it’s something to be proud of. 😉

  3. Brenda Hardie says:

    Oh yes indeed…I have been a lifelong member (although quietly so) of the weird club. However, like in most situations, I’ve been sitting along the edges rather than in the center of attention. Come to think of it, most of my life I have felt like I’m on the “outside” looking in—-does that make sense?

    • Kathy says:

      One of my other friends described this exact same scenario, Brenda, just a couple hours after you did. Very interesting… To be sitting along the edges. It’s a good place to be. One sees and experiences both worlds, wouldn’t you say?

  4. Elisa says:

    ooooooooooooo yeeeeeeeeeeees the beautiful i!!!! ( i had to type that without a capital because it looks like an L(l), otherwise.

  5. weird is good in my book–I personally think we are all weird and try to mask it–

  6. I think we all have a little weird in us, its just how comfortable we are with ourselves and the possible rejection we may get if we let the weirdness out, me personally I know I am weird, I am not like many other females I know out there, I bow hunt, even when my son and husband don’t.

    I grow and use my own herbs for as many things as I can, and my children don’t always introduce me to their friends, cause “Mom’s just weird” and I accept it.

    I even enjoy it :-), I think, not positive here but I think there are more “conventional weird” people in the Great Lakes region, just cause we freeze in the winter and we dont thaw out until mid June. it makes for an incubation period for the weirdness to grow and prosper :-).

    • Kathy says:

      Deborah, that is a good way to put it. Perhaps there are more “conventional weird” people in our region. This crazy winter weather probably affects us more than we think. Glad to hear you’re a woman who knows her own mind and does what she likes. Did you get anything bow hunting this year?

  7. bonnie says:

    I have called myself weird for a long time. Now when I get in a weird mood, or do something weird, I shall smile, and know I am not alone.

  8. msmcword says:

    I think that I am kind of “weird”-and I am proud of it.
    In fact, even my blog posts would be considered “nonconventional” or “nonconforminst”.

    Weirdo’s, unite!


  9. Heather says:

    Kathy, I think you’re splendidly weird 🙂 You’re so YOU, and you are comfortable being you, and I just love that.
    I once had a student try to make me feel awful for being so exuberant about something I was teaching. I am pretty sure I made him feel bad, but I decided it was a teachable moment, and a good lesson for him to learn about bullying. I stopped class and explained that I was having a great time, loving who I was, and comfortable in my place. I told him I suspected that when he found such comfort that he would no longer need to be so mean. We became pals after that.
    So perhaps I’m weird. Well, if weird’s wrong, I don’t want to be right 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Ms. Heather! (I just typed Ms. Heater, which is a really weird thing to do.) You know what the best thing is, as you said here? When we’re comfortable being ourselves. That seems to be the main thing. I am so glad you were able to teach your student instead of retreating. That is so cool. Being weirdly right with you!

  10. Weird, I know well. We became pals a long time ago along with my weird son and sometimes weird daughter who did not like the fact she had a weird mom and brother.
    Welcome to the Universe of the Weird…you probably have just been around the corner where my children reside and I missed you looking for them!

    • Kathy says:

      Ha ha, Linda. I like what someone said up above about how we’re all weird–most people are just wearing masks and trying to convince themselves otherwise. It sounds like you could write a children’s book about the Weirds. Kinda like the Littles.

      • Great idea! You have a knack with writing a lot of words so I nominate you to write the book. I can add some stories about Weirdos to it….a collaboration….would that not be fun?

  11. Lori D says:

    I am not a parent, but from what I understand, parents become weird when their children or teenagers. Anyway, I’ve embraced my inner-weird by naming it “eccentric.” In fact, in some long ago blog post I believe I mentioned this very thing. I’m not much of a fan of labels, but I love the paradox of labeling myself a-down-to-earth,-eccentric. Thanks for this weird and ever entertaining blog post.

    • Kathy says:

      Eccentric is a very good word, Lori. I am not a fan of labels, either, but love it when you can express yourself using opposites. I am kinda down-to-earth, too. But eccentric. Yes, definitely.

  12. I have always said, “You’ve got to be weird to have fun.” I have never not been weird. I think there is a difference between being weird and being a complete social misfit. Weirdness does not have to be something unlikable. I am weird. I am eccentric. I am unusual. Or to quote a wise philosopher “I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.” (Popeye the Sailor Man)

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Lisa, for explaining the difference between being weird and a complete social misfit. Yes, you’ve described it exactly. I was stumbling to describe it but failed. Thank goodness for Popeye! Now, please pass the spinach…

  13. I’m proud to say that I’m a long-standing member of the Weird Club. I wear badges of honor (such as non-colored grey hair) to prove it. I’m so far around the bend that I’m usually in a different zip code — and I like it that way 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, what a cool way to describe your weirdness. Don’t you love it when we’re brave enough to wear non-colored gray hair? It’s always fun to see a colored-hair friend suddenly have the courage to go gray. They look so natural once again. Glad to hear you’ve embraced your weird zip code!

  14. Colleen says:

    Embraced! And a thought comes to mind, fitting-in is optional, an illusion really…but we will always belong.

  15. I earned the Weird Badge way back when at Brownie Camp and I’ve maintained my status ever since.. I really enjoy your brand of weird, Kathy–where can I go pick me up some of that? Or do I have to mail order it? (Oh yeah. I did get your brand in the mail. And I will answer you back with my kinda weird. Writing pen pal letters–that counts as weird, right?) And I’d like to see a picture of you in that hat, too!

    • Kathy says:

      Patty, I would love to know what you did in Brownie Camp to get your badge? LOL! I was always a shy little Brownie, hardly said two words, too afraid of being perceived as weird. I don’t know how to pass on brands of weird through the mail or not. tee hee…you would laugh at the hat! Someone said, “I can’t wear hats like that–but it’s so YOU.” Hmmm, wonder what she meant…

      • My Brownie Camp weirdness will make a fine story for my next letter, Kathy! And it’s a Michigan story to boot.

        I think the person commenting about your hat meant that she may not feel free enough to wear a fun hat. She should try it!

  16. sybil says:

    I consider the label “weird” a compliment. I am happily weird. Here I am at 62 and I still have trouble figuring out what clothes go together, or even if they fit me properly. Amy-Lynn can attest to that ! I was insecure when I was young and didn’t fit in. Now I don’t give a rat’s ass and my friends enjoy my quirkiness. I consider weird to be a goal. I find so many people seem to live dull, blinkered lives.

    I’m just discovering things and branching out and learning new stuff. I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life !

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, you shall be my weirdness guru. Thank you for this amazing manifesto you typed! I didn’t fit in as a young’un either, but was always trying my hardest. (OK, sometimes still do.) But, because of you, I will not care a rat’s ass either. I loved typing those words.

  17. P.j. grath says:

    I think of myself as very ordinary. My husband tells me I’m weird. He means it as a compliment. Mostly, anyway. I’ll take it that way.

    • Kathy says:

      If I were you I’d take it as a compliment, Pamela. That’s what I’ve learned anyway. The oddest thing is that my husband doesn’t think I’m weird. Perhaps that’s because he’s weirder? No, I didn’t type that.

  18. me2013 says:

    I have been called weird all my life, funny thing is I think it’s everyone else that is weird 🙂

  19. john says:

    You show me someone who isn’t weird at all and I’ll show you someone you really don’t know that well. (and let’s not talk about my neighbor)

  20. Love, love, love this post, Kathy, as I am most definitely weird, and I, too, have come to appreciate that about myself. And Sara loves me despite my eccentricities. In fact she love me BECAUSE of them! Let the weirdos unite!
    Hugs from a weird one,

  21. poetjena says:

    I am leaving this message here, which I know is not appropriate as it has nothing to with your wonderful blog. But I need to let you know that due to my Fb profile being deleted I no longer have you as a contact any more. I have had to find a new name (maria petrovskeia) and would much appreciate it if you could send her a Friend invitation and please let Che and Jeanne Marie know. Thank you so much…. ❤

  22. lisaspiral says:

    Is that snow person supposed to be you? I take weird as a compliment. It’s so much better than normal or more honestly boring, don’t you think?

    • Kathy says:

      No, Lisa, the snow person isn’t supposed to be me! But perhaps I should take that as a compliment? *grin* I went looking for odd weird-looking pictures at that one jumped out. It was begging to be included as an illustration. And it certainly wasn’t normal or boring, was it?

  23. Dana says:

    I’m happily weird as well, Kathy. In fact, it’s a label I’ve owned since I was a young girl. I’d say to my parents matter of factly, “You know how everyone thinks our family is weird?”, and without batting an eye or sounding remotely apologetic/concerned, my mom would say “Yes, dear, I do.” I was always taught that being yourself– even if it made you stand out from the crowd– was always better than losing yourself just for the sake of fitting in. (That’s what happens when you’re raised by a 16-year old girl and an 18-year old guy, I guess!)

    • Kathy says:

      I am laughing at how matter-of-factly you and your family embraced weirdness. Wonder how cool that would have been to be raised to embrace it? Were your mom and dad really that young when they married? I think if I’d embraced my inner weirdness at a younger age the kids would have benefited more from it. Alas. It took many more years to do that.

  24. Dawn says:

    Definitely. And happy to be so thank you! And may I say…the guy in the pig nose and flip flops? No question, weird.

  25. Karma says:

    Weird is a word regularly thrown around this household. Here’s a typical usage: Me: “You’re so weird!” Meghan or Sarah: “I’m your kid!!” No offense ever taken, LOL.

    • Kathy says:

      We’ve taken to calling all of our family weird, as well, Karma. Except Chris. We’ve decided that he’s–for some strange reason–embracing normalcy more than the rest of us. Go figure. He’ll come around.

  26. I prefer to be called an “outlier” rather than “weird.” It sounds so much more scientific.

  27. susan says:

    Hi Kathy,
    I’m so weird that I only LIKE other weirdo’s. We are soul sisters! YAY!

  28. Claire says:

    Hi there Kathy. Why would anyone want to be a Mr/Mrs Boring? Be yourself whatever that means and don’t upset or offend others, be sensitive to the feelings of all people and with these things in mind do or be what ever you like. I am with you all the way. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Claire, oh how lovely to see you again! I like how you put this. I don’t want to be Mrs. Boring? No, not at all. Mrs. Unpredictable Eccentric sounds much better. And being mindful of the feelings of others is always a good thing…

  29. Well yes, actually, I have indeed embraced my weirdness. But I prefer to label myself quirky because I like the sound of the word better. And I love other quirky people and embrace their quirkiness, too, as long as they don’t frighten me or seem menacing in some way. I have yet to kiss a fish, but I do speak to our Christmas trees soothingly before Tim starts sawing them down….

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, may I adopt that word “quirky”? The next time someone suggests any weirdness on this person’s part I shall respond with, “I’m really not weird. I’m quirky.” By the way, I can hear your Christmas tree whispering from the after life, “Thank you my friend.” That’s not too weird to type, is it?

  30. Stacy says:

    I won’t say that I’m weird, Kathy…I even enumerated ten reasons why I’m NOT weird! (Weirdness is relative, anyway.) ❤


  31. Reggie says:

    I don’t think I am in any position to judge you as being weird, Kathy, considering the fact that, for the last three weeks, I have been walking and driving around Cape Town with a sunshine-yellow piece of paper on a stick that I address as “Flat Kathy”!

    Weird doesn’t even cover how I feel right now…

    I think ‘quirky’ is an excellent and apposite description of you, “Curvy Kathy”. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, you know, I really must agree with you! You–and your new friend–probably couldn’t judge anyone as weird! LOL. You are a hoot. You and Flat Kathy, that is.

  32. Being ‘normal’ is highly overrated! The older I get, the more I embrace my weirdness. Glad you are okay with it, too! 🙂

  33. Kerry Dwyer says:

    I am not odd or strange or weird I am just differently normal.

  34. Karen says:

    Hey, I thought he looked familiar. Thats my snow man . But why is he over a caption that talks about being weird??? 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I SWEAR I’m not calling your snowman weird, Karen! Ummm, I swear it. I loved this snowfellow. It must have been some other blogger that put your snowman in my weird post. 😉

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