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What's wrong with normal?!

This is a question I have pondered often. Living in a world where we are bombarded with self help books, self help gurus, spiritual teachers, books telling us how to "succeed", how to be a winner, blah blah blah. HEY! What the hells the matter with normal?! There are WAY more NORMAL people in the world than SPECIAL people. Normal people go to work, pay taxes, raise kids and don't break laws. That's pretty amazing if you ask me. Most SPECIAL people I know of, or have read about are lying, cheating bastards.

Example No. 1: Bernie Madoff was a man of great wealth who lived a life in the lap of luxury. He was admired and looked up to by many people. Now, he sits in prison because he used his intelligence to figure out an incredeible ponzi scheme that robbed and cheated hundreds of people out of their life savings. Before his incarceration, in the eyes of the world, he was considered a success, a visionary. Bernie Madoff in my book? L O S E R.

My dad went to work every day. Never took a vacation and went to work when he was sick. He supported us and taught his children right from wrong and how to live life with honor. In the eyes of the world, or if you saw him on the street, you'd think he was nobody special. But he is more than special to me. To me, he is a GREAT man.

Example No. 2: When I was in elementary school there was a little Japanese girl in my class who always made straight A's. She was an outstanding citizen and was ALWAYS teacher's pet. She ALWAYS got called on in class, ALWAYS got special perks and special treatment and the teachers LOVED her. What they didn't know, was that she was a sadistic little shit who was the definition of a "mean girl" and ruled the playground like her own little fiefdom. Seriously. She made life hell for me and lots of other little girls in school. Now, if you were one of the teachers, you didn't know this about her. To you she was a sweet, studious and obedient little girl. Fast forward eight years ... she got knocked up right before graduation and no one ever saw her again. OK, OK relax ... allow me to elaborate. I was one of those nothing special NORMAL kids. Not super smart, not super talented and in truth, I was a big mouth. I'm sure half my teachers figured I wouldn't amount to much because I was just NORMAL. Follow me? Looking at me and Susie Perfect any teacher would naturally assume that Susie Perfect would grow up to be a great success and I would probably end up working in a donut shop for the rest of my life. From a teacher's point of view I guess that was a relatively safe assumption ... but it was WRONG.

As I've said in previous posts, I went to school in the olden days when bullies were bullies and teachers could actually hit you. And if your bully happened to be a sweet faced little Japanese girl who made straight A's no teacher would EVER believe that she took your brand new white sweater and stomped on it in the dirt ... Ooooh Debbie, don't be such a tattle-tale. True story. The point is that if you were to predict her future and mine you would never predict that she'd get knocked up and leave school. That would have been my future. And this traumatizing time left it's mark on my psyche ... to this day whenever I see a successful Japanese female, ala Kristi Yamaguchi, I automatically hate her guts.

"Yeah, I know you - ya little shit ... you probably always got straight A's and got to read aloud in class all the time CAUSE YOU WERE SOOOOO SMART."

Am I proud of this? No, but it is what it is.
There is a hilarious scene in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" that to this day makes me laugh hysterically. The scene: we're in a first grade classroom and one little kid stands up and tells the audience what became of him ... "I used to be a heroin addict but now I'm a methodone addict" ... had I known in the 5th grade that Susie Perfect would end up the way she did maybe I might have endured her torture with a sense of humor LOL!

Wherever she is today, I hope that Susie Perfect is happy. I really do. She is a memory from my childhood and she served an important purpose and that was to teach me how to deal with the mean girls of the world. AND ... most importantly, I learned that NORMAL is not less than. That there really is no NORMAL ... we are all special. In one way or another, everyone has a gift.

Teachers ... pay attention. I have always wondered why it is that teachers cater to the bright kids instead of those other NORMAL kids who could really benefit from their guidance. Who knows if that kid, who is just a C student, might not grow up to be another Bill Gates?

Bill Gates in high school - arrested for reckless driving.

Bill Gates today. The richest man on earth.

And that's all I have to say about that.


  1. And well put, I might add. You never cease to amaze me with your thinking out loud. I love it. Oh! And you too.

    You are so intelligent, it's no wonder you see so many things and are able to write about them and get your point straight across. Maybe you should be a columnist. Think about it.

    Hope all is well and Lauren is getting better with every day that passes.

    Your Comadre,

  2. Yes, I have encountered several of these types in my time as well. Happy little evil do-gooders! Addressing the student body about school pride and college... while stoned. Cheating their way through Honors classes and getting teachers to change their grades... yep, I remember these dishonest phoney-balonies. And I STILL don't like 'em. I hope they all get explosive diarrhea. :)

  3. Debbie,

    I read your blog and I remember those days well, and that according to the rules about special and normal, I should in no way be doing what I'm doing, because I wasn't even "normal," much less special.(Nowhere in all the media, TV, education, business, politics of my childhood was a brown lower-middle class Puerto Rican the "normal" in America.)

    I feel really bad sometimes for today's teens because they are the most studied and propagandized youth in history. But they are not being studied to help them grow wise, to learn the consequences of actions, to cultivate a sense of community responsibility, to learn something about fiscal responsibility, and respect for others, etc. It's all "market" research that is creating a nation of kids with the most inflated sense of entitlement in history. There have always been spoiled brats and bullies. But in our middle school and high school days they really stood out. Today, spoiled (entitlement-oriented) and bully (the in your face mooks (boys), the openly sexual/use my body like Brittany Spears to get what I want girls, the Jackass generation, etc) ARE the new normal. I doesn't take a genius to guess what's coming next, but it reads like a dystopian sci fi novel.

    On a much happier note, your dad looks a great guy.
    Have a great Christmas.



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