The strange thing is that no matter how many times I encountered this guy who worked in the same department as me, he would jump back as though I had just asked to sleep with his dead grandmother. In truth, all I would say on each encounter is: “Hello, *Henry.” Socially awkward much?
Although I do try to stem evil thoughts when I encounter strange behaviour by asking the internal question which always gets me looking at things differently. The question is: “What else could this mean?” For I have come to realise that strange behaviour we think has everything to do with us can often have nothing to do with us. Even when people are outwardly rude, 99% of the time I do get a good response when I counter that rudeness with: “Did you mean to be offensive/hurtful, because I just took what you said/did quite badly?” People are often shocked their words or deeds were interpreted negatively. “Oh, God, no, I didn’t mean it in that way,” is often the response. Not always, but often enough to make asking the question worthwhile rather than hitting someone with an unripe mango.
Then there’s behaviour we can’t fathom because it is not within our experience. The woman for instance who chooses to live on the streets near where I live and who, apparently, has a home bought and paid for that she could move back into any day. What’s up with that? Like I said, I don’t know.
We also encounter people who dress non-main stream. Some I’m guessing for the attention and perhaps the only way some people can hope to be noticed. That said, it could also be people liking to be different for its own sake or purely for their own pleasure. Again, “dressing strangely” may have nothing to do with wanting attention or anything else from us. (I’m staring hard now at the man who routinely wears a tutu, flip-flops and a jacket and tie on my weekday commute.)
A neighbour also admitted once to acting very strangely come full moon. And sure enough, on our way back from a dinner party, this person was dancing around their garden half naked in wild abandonment howling at the moon. (Come to find out a a shopping bag of marijuana might have had some part to play in this strangeness!)
But then let’s look at our own strange behaviours. Mine would include having the heating on max, all the windows open and three fans running. I know.
I will also rarely close a door or activate a light switch with my left hand. This I think is a throw-over from my childhood, where my father equated same with some sort of devil worship. Uh huh, strange, although generations have interpreted passages from the bible in their own strange and unique way and it will always be thus. Just look at the years of killing fields in the name of religion.
But what about you? What strange predilections do you have or have experienced, and how do you typically react? Have a think as it is this week’s writing prompt:
As always, our prompts are yours to take in any direction you wish – yes, even a strange one!
Have a great writing week.