I feel like I’m one of those people that never quite “fit the mold,” you know? I’ve always been far too conventional to be considered “weird,” and far too “weird,” to be considered conventional. In grade school, I hung out with the “in” crowd, despite the fact that I enjoyed wearing sequined jackets and battery-lit sweatshirts to class. In high school, I split my time between hanging with ambitious AP students and gothy, artsy kids who ate their lunch in the photo development room (which unfortunately made every lunch taste like photo development chemicals). As an art student at college, I became a hermit and didn’t hang out much with anyone but my own shadow, my art projects, and the teachers I adored (ok, maybe that qualifies me as a bit odd, but it was only for a brief period of time).
As an adult, and certainly as a mommy, I have found myself teetering far more on the conventional side of life than the unconventional. There is hardly any aspect of my world that I could reasonably label as strange or extraordinary. I get up, I kiss my husband, I get dressed, I feed and dress myself and my beautiful daughter (in not-so-extraordinary clothing), I take her to daycare, I go to work, I come home, I kiss my husband, I feed Em dinner, I eat dinner, I kiss my husband, and I go to sleep. I’m kind of hoping to find a way to make room for my creative, somewhat zany self to re-immerge, but with baby number two on the way, I think it will be a few years before I find the time and space to do so. I do TRY to make my ordinary life, and motherhood, as magical as possible, but sometimes that is FAR FAR easier said than done.
The lack of “crazy” in my life has, I believe, led to my recent semi-obsession with odd-ball female television characters. I actually don’t watch much television, but I’ve realized that almost all of the shows I DO watch have a female character who is a little off the charts. For now, my weirdo self lives vicariously through these three quirky television characters that I am totally over-the-moon about:
· Zooey Deschanel as The New Girl. This is the NO BRAINER, of course. “Jess” is the quintessential quirky cute girl. Her wardrobe is retro quirky. She shuns social norms in a naïve, child-like and oh-so-charming way. She breaks out into song and/or dance with frequency, shares A LOT of information with her friends and boyfriends (a la a five year old child, in that weirdly brutal, honest, and unself-conscious way), and doesn’t seem to have any awareness that she is one of the most beautiful people on the face of this earth. Loving “Jess” is easy. It’s almost too easy. Watching “Jess” and her crazy ways is like eating a delicious cupcake. You know it’s going to be good, and it is ALWAYS good. Because it’s a cupcake!
· Ellie Kemper as “Erin” on The Office. I love this character. On the surface, she seems kinda witless and super naïve, but she is really QUITE smart and tuned-in. She also is just so incredibly strange, and makes an art form out of inappropriate office behavior. I must confess, I am new to The Office. I actually haven’t watched MOST of the seasons (mostly because I had so loved the British version with Ricky Gervais, and couldn’t see HOW the Americanized version would ever be any good), but am now thinking about joining Netflix for the sole purpose of renting the past seasons. I know that Erin only joined the show during Season Five, and am wondering if it is even worth it for me to watch episodes that pre-date her arrival, because to me she is such a HUGE part of the show’s funny.
· Merritt Wever as “Zoey” on Nurse Jackie. Ok, so I MAY have cried with joy the other night, when at the end of this season’s Episode 5, Zoey did this fantastically amazing and dorky dance when she found out Nurse Jackie would be cooking Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes for her for dinner. I love happy dances, especially when they are done by adults, and especially when they are super duper dorky. “Jess” of The New Girl also recently did a super dorky happy dance when she found out that Nick would be staying on in the apartment as her fourth roommate (after threatening to move in with his on-again, off-again girlfriend). But I have to say, the dance that “Zoey” did was much better. It was sheer, unadulterated, pancake-induced happiness.
So there you have it.. I love me some awkward ladies. Do you have suggestions for other odd-ball women I should be watching? Maybe some lesser-known weirdos that take unconventionality to a whole new level? If so, please share!