My friend Eve, has been having some trouble with her neighbours over parking. And the woman, who smeared cake all over her daughter's car, told Eve that she was odd..... personally I would have thought spreading cake over a car was a bit weird, but...
So I've just spent the most delightful two days with two of the oddest women I can call my friends.
The idea that people should think that any one of the three of us was odd, was we decided a real compliment.
We revelled in being odd, it seems such a natural place for us all to be. That is, just outside the norm, whatever that is.
So the three of us have parents from different countries to the other, as in I'm half Irish and half English, and the other two were much more exotic in their parents or grandparents countries of birth.
We are all extremely well traveled, and think nothing of driving 6 hours to visit someone else, and in two of our cases to stay with people we hadn't even met!
We all have different religious backgrounds and all choose not to belong to any formal religion, but to have developed our spiritual beliefs. And our belief in humans right to believe and be who they want, without us having the right to know better than the other what is right and wrong for them.
We as woman of a certain age are no longer being part of the pressure group that says we should dye our hair, we are going grey with pride.
We all dressed differently, and rather than feeling that each should be as the other celebrated the difference, which allowed me to be the girly I am in my frocks and pretty skirts. (And then to have the piss taken out of me with love and affection as a result!)
We were, despite coming from different countries, as in, I'm from England and therefore have different political parties, all of the same belief system, in believing in a democracy and a humans right to vote for what they believe in. As long as in so doing that vote didn't subgegate another being.
We, were able to allow each other to have whatever views we had, without threat to the other, and were happy to listen to each other espouse those views as a human right and were prepared to allow the other their take on whatever subject.
In all we, as three different people from different backgrounds with very different histories and life experiences were able to learn about each other, and work through any fear and uncertainity we may have had to the stranger in our midst.
We found that despite the things that were different, we had more bonds that were in common.
Humanity, sharing, love, joy these were thinks that made our own worlds rock and they made the three of us rock together.
Fear of the unknown, fear of the difference, fear for fears sake, they were not needed.
So if we three represent oddness in our diversity of ethnic make up and religious ideology, then I'm glad to be odd.
I do not want to be someone who chooses to fear another people because it doesn't conform to some narrow view of what is right and wrong in my view, because of race, or sexuality, disability or religious persuasion.
The world we live in right now is fighting for the right to have a democracy, as in Iran. Or to be rid of a group that denies it's people the right to an education, as in the Taliban. Or denies it's inhabitants to elect who they want, as in Burma.
Or denies it's inhabitants the right to drive , vote, teach, nurse because they served goal time regardless of the crime for the rest of their lives, as in America.
Where is the democracy in that?
We have to live together on this planet, it is the only one we've got. There is no fantastic space station some of us can escape to find new worlds in. This is it, and if people aren't allowed to live without fear, or to be allowed to vote, or to have their rights to their beliefs what does that say about the rest of us?
Being open minded doesn't mean that everyone else has to be like me,( otherwise everyone will be wearing pretty frocks.) It means I respect your right to be different from me. And I would like to learn more about you, as long as you are prpared to meet me half way.
Lets hear it for oddness!!!