I know I said I’d post my TV segment details yesterday, but I have something else on my mind so that’s going to wait.
I recently spent a few days with our friends’ preteen daughters and they had lots of questions, everything from what I was like when I was their age to what I’d change about my appearance. They were so pure and yet so cautious of being judged. It got me thinking back. I once read something to the effect of, if you don’t have a weird friend, you are the weird friend.
Sidebar: When I was in college, my bestie/roommate studied abroad. These were the days before Skype and What’s App so I spent hours cutting out magazine clips and gluing on faces of people we knew (original Memes) to keep her up to date. I spent days making her a book full of pictures and inside jokes to make her laugh and sent it half way around the world. I was so proud of it, imagining her cherishing it forever like some sort of Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood thing.
She later told me that when her parents saw the book they thought I was insane. She said her parents had been worried that I was obsessed with her. Turns out, I was the “weird friend.”
It’s one of the first times I saw something I valued about myself negatively through someone else’s eyes. I like to think that they have embraced my weirdness since then 🙂
But if there’s anything blogging and being on TV has taught me, it’s that the way you are initially perceived differs wildly based on a person’s social expectations and experiences. Some people find me relatable, some people find me weird-but-entertaining, and some people find me completely insane. I recently had a Twitter comment from a stranger saying that her 16 year old daughter had watched me on TV and asked her if I was drunk. She meant it as a funny compliment and I took it as such.
Marisa (my step-aunt/first true love other than my Momma) once sent me this:
My point is this: I want my daughters and my friends’ daughters to know it’s okay to be the “weird friend” as long as you’re a good friend. If I could tell my younger self one thing it would be this:
“Just because someone doesn’t “get” you right away doesn’t mean they don’t like you. They just might not be your person yet. Move on, but don’t give up.”
If you’re reading this, I’m pretty sure you’re my people. Thank you so much for letting me be your “weird friend.”