Inspired by the Potshot comment thread
Which came first, the bachelorhood or the strangeness?
I mean, let’s face it. Some of those really old, single people really are a bit strange. And I can’t help but wonder – are they strange because they’re single, or single because they’re strange?
Someone once suggested that if you don’t have a spouse to keep bonking you back in line every time you veer from the path of normal, you just keep sliding off sideways until you tip over the deep end. That’s a very scary thought. I mean, I know I’m only 21 (though 22 is creeping up fast), but I’m a bit precocious in certain areas. And when it comes to being strange, I’m sure I’ve got an unusual amount of natural talent. Could I be slowly oozing across the border of sanity and into the murky territory beyond?
I ask only because last week I had to visit Touro again to re-file my graduation forms, the originals having been lost somewhere. I was wearing pretty normal (for me) clothes for a typical non-work day – a long skirt, a polo shirt, because of the rain hiking boots, and a corduroy jacket. But even as I hopped down the three steps to the front door, I felt a bit like the crazy man in the plaid pants who chases children from his front lawn with a baseball bat. Everyone was wearing ballet flats, short pleated skirts, and sweaters, all, of course, in black. My skirt was black, but that was about it. Unless you want to count my socks and the ankle padding they put on the boots. I didn’t have the baseball bat, but I didn’t need it. Nobody was coming near my lawn. They just looked me up and down warily and sidled away slowly.
I guess you don’t need to be married if you have friends around to bash you over the head when you do something totally weird. If any of my friends were still in Touro, they’d probably tell me off for showing up dressed like a Martian. But my friends are married or engaged and in other schools doing other things and with more on their mind than what Bad4 is wearing on Avenue J. That’s why I need to get married. So someone will be concerned about such things.
The worrying part was that I didn’t really care. It could be a sign of a growing anti-social attitude. Why, just last week I told an acquaintance that if she intended to try to socialize with me when I was studying for finals she should expect to have her head coughed up as a hairball the next day. What’s next? Probably glaring at happy children on the bus and making obnoxious remarks about the people in front of me at the cash register line. I’m even beginning to wonder what we did with our baseball bat. The real wooden one. I bet it would make a pleasant “thunk” upon connecting with a squealy childish rump.
It’s because of a maybe-growing intolerance for stuff. There was the scantron test I took last week. I filled in all the bubbles evenly and exactly, not going over the lines or missing a spot. If I did, I erased around the edges to make it just perfect. In high school I used to try to see how lightly I could fill them in, or I’d doodle shapes in and around them and basically disobey all the guidelines. What happened to me?
I could probably say it was just a really boring test, but coupled with the fact that I’ve begun lining my shoes up neatly, I think it might herald something more serious. Oh granted, there are advantages to lining up your shoes – for example, always knowing where they are when you need them. They also give the room a tidier appearance. But why suddenly be bothered about such stuff now? Doubtless I’m growing inflexible in my old age. Perhaps it’s an obsessive compulsion growing. I might become a neat freak perfectionist type. I might become intolerant of messiness or disorder. This time next year I might be walking up to strange men in the street and straightening their ties!
That’s it – I need to get married. Soon.