first of all, imust share with you a dream i had this morning. it was spectacular. it made me want to never wake up again. first of all, i get flying dreams occasionally, but usually they are but a little side note to the main dream. this time the flying was the main attraction. and golly gee whiz wow, it was FUN! i flew over the ocean, (and over a puzzling early morning gathering of bejewelled middle aged women in ball gowns and hairy naked middle aged men, all nursing their drinks and obvious hang-overs in a beautiful beach front mansion), i flew over rivers, i flew and flew, i practised the best ways to gain speed (breaststroke, in case you were wondering) and the best way to change direction. what i want for christmas now is some sort of personal jet propulsion system. it don't have to be purdy, it just has to work. ok? get on it!
second of all, what is the norm? i've been pondering this lately and have come up with this little thought that is hardly original but hey, it's a post-modern world, so originality is not only not required but actually thoroughly unfashionable and therefore considered rude at most happening soirees. please check your originality at the door. i just did.
so - norm. i am, for the most part (one has to work) surrounded by smart, witty, thoughtful, thinking (not the same thing at all!), aware, interesting people so my idea of the norm is somewhat skewed. of course my working hours do give me a reprieve from my little intellectual utopia, but i tend to forget about work as soon as i leave it, and i am far more likely to think about those aforementioned great people who people my life than either my patients or my peppy perky colleagues of the startlingly white socks and brilliant smiles who believe that thinking about the world, about life, about anything other than teeth or their suburban existence is a waste of time, to be faced with a great big smiley-faced "why?". ok, perhaps i am a trifle unfair to the dental profession, but i refuse to take it seriously; there are far more important things in the universe and although i think my job is important, it is not Important. and most of my colleagues do. if they think at all. (once on an office trip to anaheim for a conference i sat reading "the future of life" while everyone else read romance or fluff-fiction. when asked about my book i explained it was a great exploration of biology, botany, environmentalism etc, and was met by blank stares and, i swear to god, this question:"why are you reading it?" to which i replied in a not unsnarky tone, "because i have a brain!").
so, what am i getting at? just the fact that i harbour a strange mix of misanthropy and hopeful belief in the general goodness of human beings. all this varies depending on my hormonal fluctuations, current interpersonal entanglements, the weather, and whether i am hungry or not. right now the sun is shining, i am full of homemade leek soup, we have a new faucet nearly installed, and i think, hot-dog, life is ok. people are ok. everything is ok. (and then BBC world news comes on, and i hear a snippet of the cretinous, inbred slow speech that characterizes the leader of the free world, and it all goes down the drain).
but the point is (and you say, is there a point? could we please get to it already? for once? cause it is pretty unusual for you to have one and all. so get to it. and i say, i will, if you would kindly shut the hell up, mmkay?) the point is this - my norm is not THE norm, as mister monkey routinely reminds me when i recall, say, my highschool years and the fact that most of my friends have one or more degrees, or are successful professionals, or have finished their PhDs and are teaching in various higher learning institutions* etc. the fact that i surround myself with left-leaning, tree-hugging, peacenik, organic neo-hippies does not mean that that is the norm. and while i know that (hey, i'm in the "real world" for several hours most days) i prefer to maintain that my norm is the norm. it makes me feel better. sweet, sweet lies.
*while mr. m's highschool acquaintances are in jail, stealing cars, whoring in vancouver, stripping, dead of an overdose, or just living the kinds of lives that place entirely too much emphasis on the type of car one drives. not all of them, mind you, but if you want unbiased journalism, boy have you come to the wrong place.