I am grateful for my oddness. That wasn’t always the case. I haven’t always known myself very well. For some of us, it takes a lifetime to figure out the intricacies of who we are, but for many years I have known I cannot listen to call-in radio programs. I’ve tried, many times, especially where I might garner some various perspectives on a subject I am curious about. But my skin begins to crawl, my breathing gets choppy, I fidget. It is a visceral reaction to whatever is at play. It sounds ridiculous even to me. As I hit the radio’s off button, I shake my head in disdain for my odd behaviour and warn myself in a fierce voice. “This isn’t over, conquering will happen!” But it won’t. If I haven’t mastered the use of the telephone in sixty-four years I doubt there is little hope for listening to call-in radio.
I also can’t listen to acceptance speeches at award shows, not that I ever watch award shows now. I’ve learned my lesson and that’s one bit of suffering I have control over. I don’t tune in and I’m just fine without having been witness to it and thankfully don’t have to watch the media ask who are you wearing, as if that has any importance in the grand scheme of things on any inch of this planet. Though given the chance I would pause and say, “Well, my underwear is from Costco, great price, and my socks are from Sport Chek because you can’t beat a good sock and …
A close cousin of call-in radio is televised debates. That dark little piece of angst has crawled out of the shadows and placed its name on my list of oddities. I’m surprised there is still space available on that list. I want to be an informed voter. I want to make a decision based on reason and vision, not based on fear and disappointment and it is important to see how things stack up when the various leaders debate. I tuned in with my notebook and sharpened pencils. I put my feet up and made myself comfortable. I had a glass of lemonade at the ready if I got parched. But I couldn’t do it. Not without sedation and then what would be the point. About forty-five seconds in the nausea began and my head started to pound. I threw my pencil at the television and then switched it off.
I then decided I would read the transcript of the debate that MACLEAN’S made available on their website. I read page after page and it read very much like a bunch of kids shouting liar, liar pants on fire or I know you are, but what am I. Did they really call that debate a success? Were there any resolutions? I see Maclean’s poll gives the win to Jagmeet Singh.
Having to listen to a debate comes with a surgeon general’s warning for me, but I can’t even begin to imagine participating in a debate. I’d have to put my finger up asking for a moment’s pause as if I might be readying for a sneeze and then I would write my answer out and re-read it and edit it and polish it and research it and check for typos and … then I could respond. Meanwhile, everyone would have gone home with me as the clear loser. So I applaud those who step up and try to be heard, even those whose politics differ from my own.
I wonder if hypnosis would explain this madness. You are getting very sleepy and will tell me why you’re such a nut when I snap my fingers. Snap.
Turns out there are no answers, no reasons. I’m just odd. The good news is, I think we’re all odd, with our very own versions. I hope there are at least three others out there like me. Four would be nice.