On the Importance of Being Weird and the Super Heroes in Our Midst

Apr 9 2014

Listen. There’s no way to put this gently. I’ve been around and around and around it, trying to find the better way, but the truth is, my neighbor’s a weirdo.

A weird weirdo who’s weird.

She’s nice, YES. Definitely nice. I mean, unless you get her started on politics or unequal modesty rules for girls, in which case she will take you down. But still, nice. Which is why she’s never had my children arrested for indecent exposure, no matter how many times my little guys have stood utterly nekked on the high playhouse platform overlooking her yard and waved hello. With all their body parts.

Also, she hands me wine over the back fence, so there’s very little I wouldn’t do for this woman.

But I am telling you; she is odd.

Yesterday, because it was her birthday and because she’s weird, Monica dressed up as Wonder Woman for high school pick-up, which is where I saw her and started yelling, “YES! YEEEESSSSSS! YES, YES, YES!” and clapping and woohooing and jumping up and down because I’m loud, of course, but also because – can we all just agree? – BEING WONDER WOMAN IS AWESOME. 

I forced my high schooler to take a picture of us, which she promised to do if I stopped yelling and Monica stopped high-kicking.

photo 1 (70)

So we promised, but it turns out we lied because I whooped again, like, 5 seconds later, and Monica high kicked the heck out of the Karate Kid Crane.

photo 2 (76)

But the best part came later, because of course I posted the pictures on Facebook, and of course I said, “You made my day, you weirdo.”

And Monica, because she understands that’s a compliment of the highest order as far as I’m concerned said back, “Weird is good! I love it when other adults can see my invisible jet, too!”

And you know what?

I can.

can see Monica’s invisible jet.

Her invisible super power.

Her wild and weird love of her neighbors who push the edge of wilder and weirder all the time.

Her choice to make us more important than our weeds which creep under her fence or our mess which creeps around it or our nakedness which creeps over it or our volume which is just everywhere.

Her belief that handing a glass of wine over the fence on a rough day is more important than asking why we built our playhouse RIGHT NEXT to their fence and have never managed to paint it like we promised.

Her belief that I have super powers, too, and that one of them is seeing hers and yours and all of ours.

Because, make no mistake, we are, every last one of us, wild and weird and full to the brim of super powers, whether we wear our Wonder Woman or Superman costumes in public or not.

And I know – believe me, I know – that’s hard to swallow some days. That the wild is good. That the weird is a path to freedom. That the super powers are there at all. Because everything is falling apart around us. Our lawnmowers are on fire. Our dishwashers don’t work, neither the machines nor the human kind. Our clothes are coming unraveled in public. Our relationships are strong and in shambles depending on the hour of the day. 

And the messes; the messes are just everywhere! 

And here we are, chugging away in the middle of it all, scraping dried, gummy ketchup off our cupboards, or ignoring it altogether, our capes in tatters and our super powers well masked under our secret, mundane indentities. So secret sometimes even we forget we’re super.

But we are.

We are.

We’re super because we’re chugging away in the middle of it all. And we’re super when we fall flat on our faces and can’t chug another second.

The super isn’t predicated on the doing, you see. It’s predicated on the being, and, more specifically, on being ourselves. On finding out who we are. And then living into the fiercest, truest, deepest versions of ourselves we can be, which is a mess, of course, and divine. It’s who we are. It’s what we’re here to be. Messy. And divine. And WONDERful.

And on the lookout for each other’s invisible jets.


Read more about being a super hero here:
The Evolution of My Cape