Yesterday I heard a same-sex couple interviewed about what it means to be married. The women spoke of how they in part resist the normality of marriage. When you have been an outsider for so long, she explained, it seems wrong to fit in somewhere, to become part of the normalized structure.
That I am meant to fit within certain structures because I have a husband/baby. I don’t fit. I suppose most of us don’t fit, but I chafe at the mantle.
Maybe I prefer being an outsider. As I’ve been for so long.
Someone on Facebook wrote a “joke” about what you should do the first day you arrive in a mental institution. He also “jokes” about getting out of prison. These are to him the two worst-case scenarios.
"This is what you should do," a young actor friend said last night, "Teachers who look like you should—"
He was telling me to shame the students in my class, to shame them out of texting. That my ample chest, curvy figure gets in the way of my authority. He has a point. What if I just bring you to class with me? Would that work? This is my confident-white-male-authoritarian-sidekick. See him for authority; see me for knowledge / empathy / thoughtfulness.
The other day a doctor asked me “What brings you joy?” and I was able to list so many things without thinking very much about it and this brought some satisfaction. That my daily life provides access to joy. This was not always the case.
One night some years ago I laid in a dark room with Magoo and his fellow four year old cousin as they tried to fall asleep. Every so often one would question the other, apropos of nothing at all: “Are there skunks in Pittsburgh?” or “Do old-fashioned cars go faster than convertibles?” or some other perfect bit of 4 year-old musing & inquiry and I wished for a moment that Magoo would be four years old forever, or that I could sit in this room with two four year old boys forever. It feels like heaven, sometimes. To have this life.