Warren is weird, too. He sleeps in the nude but wears pajama shirts during the day, among other quirky things.
We’re okay with it, and for years we’ve been happy doing weird things without too much blowback from people around us.
- Warren ran naked into the frigid ocean while we were in Antarctica. (Sensing a theme here?)
- We bleached our hair…poorly. (We then shaved our heads to cover up the crime.)
- We took trapeze lessons (in case we ever encounter a circus with a job opening).
There are dozens more small and large bits of weird we’ve purposefully brought into our lives. And you know about the “selling everything we own to travel the world” weirdness, topped only by the “hey, why don’t we buy a house in Spain?” move.
And lately we’ve shared the arc of our entire relationship in a book, from the high of those lusty first few months together to the dangerous lows that tilted toward divorce to the rejuvenation brought by conscious coupling and our eventual trip around the world.
It’s weird sharing your personal business like that…but not for the reasons you might think.
People we don’t know read about the most intimate parts of our lives, but since we don’t know them there is no weirdness factor (well, not much, anyway). We’re on board with the book being about us but FOR them, a story of how we navigated our relationship and travels to entertain, enlighten or just show that they’re not alone in loving/hating their partners at the same time or wondering how their relationship could be different.
But people we know reading our book? Now that’s a high level of weirdness for us.
Old friends nod their heads and say, “I remember that time, but I didn’t know that was going on with you.” Newer friends say “I can’t believe that was ever true of you.” People who’ve been out of our lives for 20 years pop up on Facebook to say, “whoa, I never thought of all people your life would turn out like this!” This feedback is a lot to process because of our shared history with these acquaintances, friends and family members.
My mom says, “I’m almost done reading the book and can’t wait to talk about it!” and “Your brother’s copy hasn’t arrived yet.”
Ayiyi. I’m not sure I’m ready for that.
While there are thousands of strangers who will read this book, people we will never meet in person, there are dozens or perhaps hundreds we know who will.
- The people who saw the messiness but didn’t know the root of it.
- The people who saw the fun and love and laughter but never knew about the sorrow and mistrust and tears.
- The people who saw the reemergence but didn’t know why we retreated in the first place.
My mom. Warren’s mom. My brothers. Our old friends. Our new neighbors.
This intimate sharing of ourselves with the people we know reminds me of those first steps at vulnerability we took with each other, the early days of saying “this is broken” and “this is who I am and what I need…do you still love me?”
A favorite quote of mine comes from Chris Rock (and he attributes it to Quentin Tarantino – which makes even more sense because I like both of them so much), and it’s what I used to inspire my writing every day. I’ve probably bastardized it over the years, but it goes something like this:
If you aren’t making the people in your life a little uncomfortable, then you aren’t telling the truth.
What saved our relationship was this very quote, the telling of uncomfortable truths to each other and then doing something about them. And over the years, this attitude has allowed us to become more comfortable with what makes us weird to many other people – especially the people we know.
Besides what this has done for our relationship – building a partnership that we never dreamed possible – this embracing of the weird in the people we love has made us realize that none of us are normal. We all have weird bits, and the trick is to find the people who like our strange dance moves, eccentric clothes, odd habits, and conspiracy theories.
Because the only way you’re going to find people to love you for who you truly are is to show them what makes you tick.
Even if you look like the Village Idiot on festival day.
Tell us, what’s that one bit of weirdness you’ve finally embraced as part of your normal?
The reviews are in! Readers are loving our new book! “Powerfully written, emotionally engaging, and romantic as hell. It’ll have you cheering them on and laughing out loud.”~ NY Times Best-Selling Author Melissa Foster.