I’m so cool, too bad I’m a loser…

That’s the first line of the Barenaked Ladies song, “Falling for the First Time.”  I’m normally not into popular music.  My iPod is filled with what Harvey Reid calls un-pop:  a mixture of classical, folk and musical soundtracks, with a few other oddities thrown in here and there.  But while working at Bath & Body Works and being forced to listen to the same annoying CD on a repeating loop every day until the next one arrived, I fell in love with “Falling for the First Time.”  The lyrics of that particular song just really struck a chord (har!) with me.  After hearing it maybe half a dozen times, I had the whole thing memorized and had worked out a harmony part for myself.  Every time it came on, I sang along, provided there were no customers in the store (which in the Logansport Mall was usually the case).  I eventually wound up buying the CD.  I just love the lyrics; they’re a perfect metaphor for how I’ve felt most of my life, which is to say out of place, out of touch, and utterly misunderstood within the realm of my peer group.  It’s a wistful song of contradictions and confusion:  of sometimes feeling helplessly out of control.  But in some strange way that’s difficult to pinpoint, it’s also a little hopeful.  Just like me.

We learned a charming little concept in 7th grade science:  “Diversity is normal.”  It’s a nice thought, and when asked, anyone would tell you they agree.  Das stimmt.  But in reality, I fear most people rarely think on such terms.  They believe they do, but they don’t.  Everyone, to some degree, has personal biases and opinions that they define as “normal.”  If you don’t conform, you’re weird.  Crazy.  Abnormal.

I bring all this up because these thoughts and feelings I’ve always mulled over to myself were prominent in my mind this past weekend.  Fabiana took a long weekend and went home.  She invited me to go, but I would’ve had to miss school for a couple of days, so I decided to wait and visit her over Christmas break.  I was so desperate for companionship after my lonely Thanksgiving that I wound up spending both Friday and Saturday night with large groups of other students.  I tried to like the smoky bars.  I tried to like the music so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think, let alone converse with anyone.  I really did try, but I just couldn’t.  The other students may well think I’m nuts (or anti-social), but I simply can’t enjoy myself in that kind of environment.  Everyone is so kind; they always make every effort to include me.  I genuinely  appreciate their thoughtfulness, but I just can’t get into it.  Every time someone invites me somewhere along those lines, I think, “How bad could it be?”  And every time, I wind up sitting quietly and miserably with my own thoughts, which are usually along the lines of “I’d so much rather be in bed with a good book right now.”  I’m just going to have to stick to quieter activities; that’s all there is to it.  Or maybe I should have my head examined.  Think any of Freud’s descendents are still practicing?


5 Responses to “I’m so cool, too bad I’m a loser…”

  1. thelmajoy Says:

    Start a book club! Or take a cooking class…try to involve yourself in activities that suit your interests. You might try approaching a bakery and tell them you will do a free apprenticeship in your spare time. Get creative! Crafts? There is absolutely no reason to sit around in a smoky bar with loud music, unless you enjoy that kind of scene. And I’ve got news for you, most of your classmates probably aren’t even aware of the “scene” or care for it too much, they are just there to drink, flirt, and meet someone. That bar is just where everyone happens to be hanging out. When I was younger I did enjoy that scene, but not so much now. There are other kind of clubs out there besides the ones your friends are going to. Jazz or piano bars, for example, are usually classier. I don’t know about Germany, but definitely in the US. You are only an outsider if you are trying to conform to things that don’t suit you.

    “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson


  2. bumble525 Says:

    Whoa. That was fast. Thanks for the lecture; I’ll bear that in mind. 🙂

  3. Mom Says:

    I could not have said it better myself. Thank you Joy, for all the ideas. Life is a gift, and how precious we are to God and to others.
    I have spent more time than I would like to remember in social situations, I did not want to be in. I found out always living, and wanting to honor God in all you do pretty much covers it. Wait upon the Lord-and be yourself. You are created as no other my dear. A most blessed child, not only to me but to God. Remember what your name means, and who’s it is that you are. Be thankful.

  4. Mom Says:

    One more thought. A loser? In who’s eyes? Misery loves company. Why all the drunkeness, and throwing away of gifts that uniquely belong to each and every one of us, some even taking it to the ultimate horror of an end, taking their own life. No, my child-you are far from a loser!

  5. bumble525 Says:

    Merciful heavens; I should have been more clear. My train of thought must have lost a car somewhere along the tracks. I don’t think I’m a loser; I never said that. That’s the contradiction of those lyrics that I like so much. Did you read them? I enjoy my hobbies and interests; I heartily believe I’m “cool,” interesting, normal, etc, and that it’s totally okay, even good, to be different and unique. I only meant it’s sometimes hard to find people who agree. My favorite line in that song (well, there are lots; one of my favorites) is “Anyone plain can be lovely.” It’s the hopeful side of the contradiction. Read the lyrics. They’re only half miserable. The other half is more positive.

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