Thursday, November 12, 2015

"My mother's family hadn't been ethnic in hundreds, possibly thousands of years."

I found this quote on page 3 of the introduction of a Grove Press book by Holly Hughes called Clit Notes:
"I remember my parents telling the doctors they worried that the way I spoke made me look "ethnic."

And, of course, we weren't.  My mother's family hadn't been ethnic in hundreds, possibly thousands of years.  My father had a few drops of ethnic in him, but he had learned to dress so no one could guess he or anyone he ever met was the least bit ethnic."

She was nine, and after the specialists make her walk around the office naked for an hour, there's a conference.
"The doctors encouraged us to look on the bright side.  Why dwell on the fact that I was not and would never be normal when I could still have a perfectly normal life?  My parents should realize how common my problem was.  The doctors assured them that even if I was abnormal, at least I wasn't unusual, and they went on to add we would be surprised to know how many people were not normal but appeared to be, because they had chosen to have completely normal lives."
I think this is noteworthy, but I'm not sure I can articulate why.  Probably because being 'normal' is an obsession and so many people successfully pass.  What would happen if people didn't think they'd have to be 'normal' and could express themselves as they felt, naturally?  Maybe this helps explain those folks who try to force everyone to fit their definition of 'normal.' 

And if more people read books or watched movies by and about 'abnormal' people, maybe they'd be more understanding.  Maybe they'd feel free to acknowledge their own peculiarities.  Maybe they'd drink less, take fewer drugs, be happier.

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