Monday, November 26, 2007

My Collection

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.


Vic Mansfield said...

Amen! bro. Since we live on the Margins of society, we are better able to welcome others on the margins.

The least, the last, the lost. Some One I know about also liked to hang out with those on the fringes.

Anonymous said...

Very well put.
I used to hang out in high school with the alternative "punk" type people. I also had friends that were jocks, nerds, etc. I've always thought life is more interesting with different folk.

Patrick said...

This is why I always get frustrated when I hear racist or sexist things coming out of the mouths of some gay guys. Seems like they should know better. But every demographic has its clueless wonders, sadly.

Doug said...

I've always had diverse friends, as well. People who wouldn't generally get along with each other, but who all got along with me.

As Patrick says, it is sad when members of the LGBT community denigrate or exclude other minorities, even those within the LGBT community itself. I don't understand how a member of any minority can discriminate against a member of another minority.

john said...

Wow!! That was one of my favorite posts!

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Joe, I wonder if everyone that was on some type of margin would just admit it and we could pull together, how many main stream people would really be left.

Jason, same for me in my later years, made life more fun to be able to float around to different groups.

Patrick, I am always shocked by that but to be honest I could be homophobic to certain gay people in my younger days, if I judged them to be too fem etc, not proud of myself but I am changing that.

Doug, again I agree, like I said in the post, the more people on my side in life the better, whether gay, lesbian, straight, race, religion, should not matter.

John, thank you buddy! Glad you liked it.