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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Friday, September 02, 2005


A search for normalcy seems to be an on going affair around our house, evidently in all the wrong places. I've heard this normal condition hangs around with the crew of usual, regular and routine, but these are hard to locate as well.

In the process of racking my brain to see what I really knew about normal, it occurred to me - what do I really know about racking a brain? But that's another subject and even though digression is very normal with me, I will resist the temptation - at this time.

So what about normal? All I know for sure is that it is the name of a town in Illinois and the name of a button on my dishwasher.

Turning to my Webster's, I find it means - among other things - approximately average in things like intelligence, personality or emotional adjustment. But the problem with an average is that nearly half would be below and most of the rest above.

That would be evident with something like intelligence and could even be measured as below or above normal, but what about the personality or the emotional adjustment parts?

Personality measurement would seem to run from bright to dull, with normal somewhere in the middle. This is not seen with the eye as much as it is perceived by interaction with those on that scale. With personalities showing themselves as bright as the rising sun reflecting off new fallen snow on Christmas morning, all the way down to those as dull and dark as a dead Eastern Narrowmouth Toad.

This leaves the emotional adjustment part and how it could be accurately gauged. The word adjustment would be the key to this and brings to mind a well torqued machine. Properly torqued, it runs smoothly, but if the adjustment is too tight, friction becomes a major problem, heat builds up and much wear and tear is the result.

If torqued too loosely, the machine will start to make too much noise and raises the possibility of the whole schmear flying apart.

If one transposes this whole torque soliloquy onto the emotional adjustment arena, several parallels seem to show themselves. As a matter of fact, I think I might have a few rattles that need to be torqued a bit better.

Back to the "normal" thing - if it means an approximate average across the board, then almost all of us are not normal - since about half would be above normal and most of the other half below. Maybe there is only one normal person in the entire world right in the middle of the measurement and all the rest of us are scattered up and down the scale.

With that in mind, I find much comfort in the fact that I'm not alone in my abnormalities. In fact, I have decided not to look for, get back to, get hold of, or even concern myself as to where this illusive and elusive "normal" is - if it wants me, it can come and chase me down. ec


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