My mother once remarked to me regarding some of my friends, that I had the strangest collection of eccentric and odd ball friends that she ever saw. Actually she is correct, I often say that I could never have a party with all my friends in one room. The thing is not only would they not get along, some may end up heatedly arguing each other. I was taken aback a little by Mom's statement, she asked me "why is that?" I never really thought of it before, however it was easy for me to come up with the answer. Some people just don't fit in with society, they drum to their own beat and in the rush of life most people will not take the time to get to know them. I tend to live by the motto, life is rough enough, so the more people you have on your side the better.
I like people who have a bit of character to them, hidden levels to their personality if you will. I like to be surprised by people, like the brick layer who reads sci-fi novels on his break, or a strict by the book boss who on weekends makes stained glass windows, and the tough construction worker buddy who visits art galleries and museums on his time off. I just find these people more interesting because they are not predictable. Honestly I have also learned you can trust a person who is willing to stand out from the crowd and say they don't have the same taste as everyone else, as opposed to a person who tries to conform to any and everything. I also found that they "get life" meaning it is not always about the faster car or bigger house.
It is also obvious as to why I learned not to judge someone for sticking out a little from the rest. I knew that it would be hypocritical for me not to empathize with people who did not fit in to society. Often they saw the same thing for gay people as well, before I started to come out, it was often my off-beat friends that supported gay marriage and understood we are like everyone else, just with a different sexuality.
What has me thinking this way is something I saw on TV last night. I don't watch a lot of TV but this year I have been following "The Amazing Race" for the first time ever. One of the couples really stands out as the odd ball couple. They are Goths, they look like people dressed up as black and pink vampires. Most people watching the show ridicule this team, based only on their looks I would assume because they are actually good competitors. The last two episodes had the teams in Africa, and the surrounding area was consumed by absolute poverty. As the teams came to the end of their challenges, most complained how hard they found them, about the other teams, one woman even had a fit that the first place team did not let them come in first this week, I am not sure what part of competition she does not understand. The thing that struck me was the Goth couple was very aware of the people around them. The woman sobbed because she became over whelmed by the conditions in which people had to live but mostly by the fact that even in this poverty everyone was still friendly, open and seemed happy. Interesting how the more "normal" couples were oblivious to the suffering going on around them while the "freaks" were the ones who expressed compassion and empathy. It makes me understand now why a young person would color their hair pink, dress like a vampire and say, I am not part of this society.