The freaks on the pier at Venice Beach were a sight to behold.
My son was particularly impressed and repulsed all at the same time.
Flyers were being passed out by dispensaries shouting, “The Doctor is in!” (Try explaining that doozy to your kid.) Bums in wheelchairs were holding signs that said, “Shitty advice for $1.00.” Hip-Hop artists were giving out “free” CD’s (for a small donation of $10) trying to make it big. Dread-locked hippies were riding unicycles playing the guitar expecting their next meal. Humans wearing silver unitards and paint pretending to be statues were drawing admiring crowds expecting tips in exchange for their mad skills.
The freaks were concentrated in one area and it seemed a bit much for my innocent little boy.
When we got back from our trip tonight, though, the first and only thing he wanted to share with Devon, Felipe and the girls was how awesome that part of our vacation was.
I was pleased, obviously. He’s kind of a poster child for the perfect straight-A athletic son, and he needs to be exposed to what’s out there in this interesting world.
Our kids have been living their own interesting life. In a way, we live and breathe freakishness.
This also pleases me.
What is normal, anyway? I used to think the “Leave It To Beaver” life was normal, but who am I kidding in this day and age? My kids have two daddies and one mommy. They think that’s pretty normal. Thank God. Otherwise, they’d be cowering in shame from their peers.
Divorce is pretty damn normal these days. I don’t claim to be happy about this trend. Divorce can mess with the most sane people and kids that I know. It pretty much sucks, actually.
But when you accept what is and move forward with a new norm, your life can still be interesting, enlightening and fulfilling. In fact, maybe more so. It’s getting to the acceptance part that’s tough.
Maybe you feel like a freak among the normal right now. It is normal to feel this way.
You’re not alone. Just remember that.
I’m a fan of comparing yourself to someone or something else at times. It just might make you feel better. I don’t mean go and judge someone’s life maliciously so you can feel better because of his or her plight. But if you look around just a little bit, you’ll find that things could be worse. Or maybe, just maybe, you should be thankful for the situation that you do have.
If you’re ever in doubt of this, head down to Venice Beach. Find the girl with the box over her head with the words sloppily written in sharpie: “Bet you can’t hit me with a quarter!” She’s all smiling and shit, happy to be getting money with her free costume and making a killing because of her freak status among the freaks.
You’ll feel great hitting someone with a quarter and will walk away thinking you just might not have it so tough.
Blessings from One Freak to Another, Emily