“She’s just trying to be different…like everybody else.” –Good friend’s jerk ex-husband
When I was a kid, it was very important to me to be just like everyone else. The same acid-washed jeans, the same home perm, the same junky Jordache bag. I think it horrified my mother to no end, and not just because the style choices were so horrendous. She would always say, “Don’t you want to be different? Why do you want to be exactly the same as all these other kids?” I didn’t know the answer then, and I don’t know it now, but after years of denying it, I will freely admit that my desire to conform remains.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not as much of a copycat as I was at the age of 11. I won’t go out and steal a haircut style, or buy the same car as my best friend, or participate in any behavior that is reminiscent of the movie “Single White Female.” But I do always have my eyes open to lift useful makeup tips, bargain shopping tactics or child discipline tricks (because it’s all about TRICKS when dealing with kids). And I always give credit where credit is due. Lifestyle Plagiarism is bad. General Conformity is good. I see it as the grown-up equivalent to sharing notes before the exam. Someone else might have jotted something down that you missed.
In the end, there are a lot of us in this flock. Some of us are white sheep, some of us are black, some are grey and some are bald. We ARE all different, but for every difference, there is a similarity. I do not live a glamorous life and I’m not entirely sure I want to. Most of my days are predictable and slow, and I prefer that. Sure, there are times that I look at others and I wish my house were cleaner, nicer and fuller, my body leaner, taller and younger, my kids neater, calmer and polite-r, but where is the fun in that? I seek to remind myself of the nobler purpose of this lifestyle, which is to provide a safe haven for a group of people I love immensely and to turn out a couple of world citizens that will do more good than harm to their environment. It can be intensely dull, but at the same time, what is a more noble mission than to love, be loved and cultivate other humans to do the same?
So, in the meantime, I’m just going to try and keep doing what everybody else is doing, but I want to be one of the chic-est sheep in the flock. I want to share my “blue book” for the final exam of conformity and get at least a B+ in “Gettin’ Thru The Day 101.” I expect this forum to be completely random: jumping from beauty tips to household management and squeezing in a few of my personal rants. And I need something to talk about at dinner parties, too. So, round up the rest of the flock and let’s talk about what everyone else is doing! Baaaaaa!