Get Your Weird Out (or Get Your Weird On or Have You Hugged Your Weird Today?)

You know how a four year old will roll around in the grass, tumble downhill, stick things in their ears, make silly faces, sing nonsensical, tuneless songs, and giggle like no one is watching?

Of course you do. We’ve all been four once! And what’s typically the worst thing that happens? A parent might ask something like, “Are you being silly?” The four year old will giggle, nod enthusiastically, keep on being silly, and the world is right.

Yet we seem to slowly forget how to be silly, starting somewhere around age nine. Can you imagine making faces, singing nonsensical songs and giggling in the break room at the office? On the bench with the other soccer moms? In your dentist’s waiting room? Maybe, just maybe…you might have an excuse at happy hour with three martinis under your belt.

Now, keep in mind I live in a city with the slogan “Keep Portland Weird” and an annual World Naked Bicycle Ride. (Quite a change from where I grew up near Raymond, SD, population 50.) All the same, I suspect most people don’t allow themselves to get weird or silly often enough. I’ve been blogging about creativity lately, and creative outlets/expressions can come across as weird in a society of blue suits in tall office buildings with elevators and video surveillance equipment.

While “Get Your Weird Out” isn’t one of the tenets in my newly completed HOW TO BE MOST FULLY YOURSELF IN ANY SITUATION: The Ten Tenets of Authenticity model, perhaps it should be! Two of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert and Martha Beck, openly share their weirdness – and Gilbert was named one of the most 100 influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2008, while Oprah Winfrey calls Beck, who has two degrees from Harvard, “one of the smartest women I know.”

I’m thrilled to report I’m now weirder than ever (or at least since age four.) Six years after my divorce, at the age of 48, I fell head over heels in love. Whether through karma, experience, coincidence or a combination thereof, I suddenly found myself in a loving relationship filled with extraordinary joy, exuberance, weirdness and laughter. Silliness suits George and I well.

I mentioned the Indianapolis 500 Cat Marathon in my blog back on March 18, 2013 and the Summer of the Cold Socks was highlighted August 30. Now, until such time as George and I should get really weird and start a podcast, I give you this…in hopes it will tickle your silly giggle bone.

Our home is graced by the presence of feline Lady Jane. She has sleek, glossy, black fur, is affectionate, determined, and vocal (I should probably take her to Toastmasters with me), treats flies like prey, and likes to eat. We put her on a diet, in fact, when her belly became so large she couldn’t reach around to clean her butt. For a while I did it for her. (With diaper wipes, in case you’re wondering.) That quickly became tiresome, hence the cat food reduction plan. Which worked.

In the meantime, however, an issue developed in our bed (yes, our cat sleeps with us) known as “stinky cat butt.” This would sometimes mean, on said bed sheets, small, somewhat circular brown marks – not pretty to look at, nor to sniff. I washed the sheets often and we were thrilled when Lady trimmed down and was able to bathe herself again without clutching the carpet with vice-like claws on one paw and wrangling her body into very un-Lady-like contortions with the other three.

Yet recently, just as we were preparing to leave for a mini-vacation to Whidbey Island, I found a small brown spot, way down on “my” side of the bed. And I didn’t want to change the sheets right before we left for a few days. I groaned, and said, “Well, at least it’s far down and not where my feet go.”

Whereupon George began singing:

It’s way down below where my feet don’t go

My feet don’t go

No, my feet don’t go

Way down below where my feet don’t go

But maybe someday they will.

You can hear the tune in your head, right?

We were making the bed, at 9:00 in the morning, and I was laughing so hard I could barely smooth the covers. I managed to sputter: “I can’t believe you made stinky cat butt into a hillbilly song!” George: “It’s not a hillbilly song! – it’s a children’s song, you know, like the wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round; they go ‘round and ‘round.” Me: “It may be a children’s song, but it’s being sung by a hillbilly band. Can’t you just see the upside down wash tub?, some instrument with one string…” George: “A washboard…” Me: “An old guy with no teeth, a straw hat, and a harmonica.” Welcome to our world of weird and silly. You might like it. Way down below where your feet don’t go. Come join us.

Authentically Yours, Laura