This week's topic will be so-called "normalcy". What is it? Who defines it? Is anything ever truly "normal"?
Okay, let's start with the first question. What exactly is "normal"? (Actually, there's a town called Normal, IL, population 35,672. But I digress...) Back to dictionary.com again! Their first definition is "conforming to the standard or the common type". Obviously, that "type" depends on what you're describing as "normal", like a "normal" life, "normal" personality, "normal" blog (something we can be safe from--thank you, Reogan), etc.
But who decides what is "standard" or "common"? Common is a little easier to define; it's basically what occurs often. For example, a "normal" day for my dog is to eat, sleep, bark at cars and birds, and stare at moving shadows. He does these things a lot, so that is what "normal" or common is for him.
However, what about more obscure things, like personalities or attitudes? Obviously, there may be some things that aren't considered "normal" anywhere, such as "secretly hiding 17 cashews in the chest hair of Burt Reynolds, then attempting to retrieve each nut via a custom-built Dirt Devil or similar hand-held suction device" (courtesy of The History Channel's quiz, "How Weird Are You?"). I highly doubt there is a culture out there that would think of that as "normal" behavior. But what about something a little less extreme? We all have our own little idiosyncrasies--be it writing poetry about the undead, singing show tunes in different languages, getting excited when a new Bruce Willis movie comes out... whatever. Does that necessarily make us weird?
(The fact that I have confessed my strangeness to various people has no bearing on this at all. Probably.)