In the past few weeks I've been back in touch with some old friends. Maybe it's some sort of mercury retrograde thing. What always strikes me when I get back in touch with friends after years of no contact is how I still feel really comfortable communicating with them and how little seems to have changed between us. What also strikes me is how the people I have maintained these friendships with over the years, or in some cases decades, is how weird they all are. Not "his hobby is collecting antique sex toys" kind of weird, but "he has a reputation for freaking people out" kind of weird. Case in point number one is my old karate head master. I admit the guy is, in a way, off his rocker and is always willing to put his students in situations that will threaten their physical safety and emotional comfort zones , but I've never met anyone with more drive and confidence. He also has a great sense of humor. It also never bothered me that he likes to go around looking like a Japanese hybrid of Elvis and some sort of mafia figure and believes in his heart that he can be the next big thing in martial arts on a scale with Bruce Lee. I've never seen him back down from anything in fear or trepidation. I learned about testing and respecting my limits in his classes and in dealing with him in helping out with the dojo. He may have a flashy facade but when it comes to intent he is as straight an arrow as you'll ever find.
Last night I called and talked with a friend of mine from Colorado who is a musician and recording engineer and producer. He was a friend of my boyfriend's when I was in college. Me and the boyfriend didn't stay together but Bob and I stayed friends anyway. I never really understood why so many people seemed intimidated by him. Sure, he has little tolerance for idiots but there's nothing wrong with that. He is talented as hell musically and it wasn't until years later that I realized how much I learned from him about music and how to really listen to it.
My oldest, weirdest and best friend is Heidi. We became friends in the third grade and sometimes years and years go by between contact, but we're always the same. She ended up the way my mom probably wanted her girls to end up. She is married, with three kids and is a stay at home mom. She is still also the funniest, wackiest person I know. The last time I spoke with her it dawned on me why maybe my perception that I am really very normal is not quite the same as the perception of others around me. (In other words, I get called weird a lot.) All my life Heidi has been my standard of weird versus normal and most of the time I'm not quite as out there as she is. Thus, I am normal.
If the old "birds of a feather flock together" saying is true, I'm proud of the company I keep.