The newsroom was bustling one day when an average looking man walked in and asked if we purchased photos from the public.
Someone pointed him to the editor, who asked how she could help him.
“I have a picture of Bigfoot,” he said.
My back was turned on the conversation, but I covered my mouth as I desperately tried to choke the laughter back down. My colleague glared at me as tears threatened to spill out of my eyes.
The man patiently explained to our editor how he found Bigfoot, and that he thought it was something we might be interested in. The photo was on his cell phone, a blur of green and brown, and didn’t look like much.
Our editor told him the photo wasn’t large enough to publish in the paper, so she’d have to say no. The man understood, politely said thank you and walked away.
Then the other day another person walked in, wanted to see our editor. Tall socks, shorty-shorts, a fitted t-shirt, long white hair and a pink baseball cap could only mean one thing: A cross-dressing man. And a war veteran, at that.
He walked by and a sour stink lingered in the air. His legs were crossed, his hands perched on his knees as he relentlessly ranted to my editor about one veteran issue or another.
My editor tried to satisfy his concerns without success, and eventually ushered him out of her office and on his way.
I have to admit I got a lot of amusement over observing these two men. Neither of them seemed to be aware that they were socially awkward or “unacceptable.”
But then I thought, do I push those boundaries? The answer is probably yes. Sometimes I pick wedgies at inappropriate times. I’ve been known to ask strangers to hold their babies. And I awkwardly cough when I’m nervous. Who am I to judge weird?
What are your Bigfoot photos or cross-dressing moments? How do you push social standards and expectations? How do you define “normal”? How do you define “weird”?