The company that I pay a hefty portion of my salary to, to insure my auto, home, and riding lawn mower, are running a series of commercials here in our neck of the woods to salute how different people in the Pacific Northwet are. One commercial focuses on "socks and sandals guy", a reference to those who wear socks and sandals at the same time, another is about the "blue tarp camper", acknowledging the die-hard campers who are out every weekend in the outdoors, even if they sit miserably around a very sad campfire, soaked to the skin, but under a blue tarp (because that makes it worth it). The idea is to salute their customers, like myself, and that they can be as different as we are. Sure, and one day you're going to come to your senses and refund all of the money that I've paid you over the years, just to be different. I'm not holding my breath on this one.
But I digress.
This is about levels of insanity and how our early childhood shapes who we are. Because, we are all a little insane, and while the quote "In an insane world, the sane appear insane" has a measure of truth to it, the trick seems to be to keep your level of insanity at a point that is tolerable for most of the civilized world, if not your neighborhood. For instance, if you find yourself running down the street naked, yelling "I'm a hamster, I'm a hamster", you have more than likely crossed the line from mostly sane to barking lunatic. I'm not saying that it's the worst thing you could do, but, I'm not saying it isn't.
I'm not a student of the human psyche, I think that I'm more on the psycho side. For instance, I used to be a Democrat, then a Reagan Conservative and now I'm just voting for the candidate that took the better picture in the voters pamphlet. I'm also not saying it's bad to be a Democrat, it's just that the reason I was one is because of everyone crying when I was five-years old. See, here is where the insanity comes in. When I was five John F. Kennedy died. And I remember watching the funeral on TV and everyone around me was crying. Of course, at the time I had three siblings, all under the age of four, and crying was their national pastime. But I remained a loyal Democrat because of that experience. Until I was old enough to vote.
The issue of aliens has been on my mind since I was four-years old. I remember laying in my bed at night, we lived in an area south of Seattle, and watching from my bed, the different searchlights that were advertising the new mall that had been built. I didn't know they were advertising the mall when I was young, I found that out later in life. But I was afraid of the "aliens" that the searchlights were trying to find in the night sky, maybe too much Buck Rogers. I remember that my mother assured me that there was no such thing as aliens. Based on this experience with the lights, and my mother's reassuring response, I determined that my mother lied to me. Because my mother said that there were no aliens I believed her. Imagine the emotional scars that I carry now, especially when I would watch the TV commercial, put out by the government each year that said; "If you are an alien living in the United States, you are required to register with the Department of Naturalization". If, as my mother said, there were no aliens whch would the government ask them to register? I'm going with the government on this one.
I think that it's crazy to put so much love and devotion into a pet as some people do. I've tried, but the truth is that there is a certain point when the vet tells me how much it'll cost to treat "Spot", that I start weighing the cost of the treatment with the cost of putting the dog down. More than $5 difference and that little doggy "Goes to Heaven"! I've had my share of pets and I believe that they can be very smart and fun to be around. However, I tend to choose my friends using the same reasoning that I have for choosing my pets. For instance, I don't tend to create a real emotional bond with an animal that in addition to fetching the newspaper, chasing the neighborhood cats, and giving me "doggy kisses", also barks at the air and eats its own puke and poop. I feel the same way about people. My motto is: "Never Take Advice From Someone More Screwed Up Than Yourself". Which explains why I don't have a close relationship with my brothers and sisters. And to be fair to them, they don't eat their own puke and poop. Barking at the air… well, insanity runs rampant in my family tree.
Marriage is a different type of insanity. Dating is when you go out into the world and actively try to find someone that is warped enough to say "I Do", which is really saying "I'm willing to have your babies", which is supposed to indicate that you're compatible with each other, even if it means you're total opposites. And marriage might be the ultimate insanity. I now understand that my search for a wife was really about trying to find someone that wasn't like me at all, I didn't need the competition. If you marry someone just like you it's tempting to go with every fashion suggestion that the other suggests. Next thing you know, matching shirts on the Christmas card, letting her eat off of your plate, one type of ice cream in the house, and kettle corn instead of real popcorn. Marriage is God's way system of checks and balances on your life.
Disclaimer: None of the above makes any sense and any sense that it does make isn't intentional. The events described are not fictitious and, in fact, are true, and bear resemblances to people living and dead. And please, don't forget to tip your waiter.