I think one of the hardest things to accept in life, besides death, is trying to find out what normal is. The Hot-shot Wall Street executive who chooses to neglect his wife and kids by working 95 hours a week can somehow justify his long work hours as normal. Because he is using that time to make a high income to provide for all the creature comforts of his family. That same guy can look at someone who has just recently retired at the age of 52 years old and think that person is a lazy bum. Lazy bums are not normal, but he doesn’t care enough to realize that “Lazy Bum” just spent the last 30 years serving their Country, or that “Lazy Bum” just spent the last 30 years teaching high school students the basic fundamentals of learning.
We live in a World that is populated by over seven billion people. Seven billion people of different faiths, skin tones, languages, cultures and on and on. However, the one universal constant is that it is normal for people on Earth to fall in love, get married and have kids. I’m sorry, but I didn’t get the memo.
Throughout my whole life, I have had people ask me the same series of questions over and over. “Are you married?”. “Do you have a girlfriend?” “Do you have any kids?” And in almost every instance my answer is no, no, no. I have no idea what their motive is in asking me these questions. Are they trying to get to know me? Are they trying to find a common ground? Do they think I’m gay? To be honest, I don’t care and I couldn’t give a shit.
However, claiming that not being married and having kids is not normal is just plain stupid. I choose not to be in a relationship, because 75% of all relationships end in some form of bitterness. I choose not to get married, because 57% of all marriages end in a divorce, and the average person will be married 2.7 times in their life. For men, divorce does not come cheap. I choose not to have kids because, as a person of color, 72% of black kids are raised by a single parent. Is that normal? Is it normal for a police officer to follow around a person of color enough times to send them to the brink?…Well, yeah, that’s normal. However, none of these things have to be.
Being normal is a state of mind. Some people reading this will be shaking their heads saying that the writer doesn’t get it. The writer hasn’t been in a 40 year marriage like “this reader”. This writer knows that 40 year marriages are not normal, but normal marriages don’t last 40 years. It is not normal to bring harmless children into a hate-filled world. It is not normal to bring a black child into this world when statistics say 25% will spend some in the prison system. Also, another 25% will live in Poverty. Over 90% will be involved in racism, whether it’s inadvertent or overt. Some will say that statistics are due to poor parenting, and I have found that it is totally normal to blame the victim for the mess that they were born into.
I started with the simple premise of trying to find out what being normal is, and after listing some of the things people claim to be normal I have chosen to be abnormal. I guess I’ll have to march to the beat of a deaf drummer, because you people scare the living shit out of me.