Butter Rum Cartoon

Butter Rum Cartoon
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Sunday, February 10, 2013

NONCONFORMITY


Being a preacher's kid, I was already branded as different. Because their dads cussed and drank and ran down Christians, bullies would see me as Christianity's representative and beat me up to make a statement. I resented this. And I wasn't popular in school because, being a Methodist, I never learned to dance, and never cared to drink, and so never saw the sense in going to a party. And I never got into sports, because that's what the bullies got into. Somehow they learned the rules of football, basketball and baseball, while my focus was on dodging snapping towels in the locker room. But I didn't mind my lot a bit, because I always considered it their problem, not mine. I was incredibly content and comfortable with myself. I still don't know how to play football, basketball or baseball.

While Dad unintentionally made me a nonconformist, Mom actively did, and I thank her for it. Mom was skilled at making clothes, and it was a rare occasion to get a shirt from J.C Penney's. What Mom did was have me pick out a material I liked, and she would make it into a perfectly fitting shirt. And I loved things that were different, and so picked out ostentatious designs. Out of a classroom full of kids looking like they stepped right out of a catalog, I would be the short, nerdy looking kid in the bright yellow shirt with cowboys and Indians on it. And I would be proud of it, and, other than being there, felt great.

This nonconformity, or at least the appreciation of nonconformity, has stuck with me all my life, giving me a great independence of thought and action. While other kids were writing and passing notes, I'd be reading the Iliad and the Odyssey. While they collected D.C. and Marvel comic books, I collected Dell and Gold Key. While they turned out for mainstream sports, I played squareball with my few good friends or tetherball with my brother or chess with my dad. While they joined the F.F.A., I bought a pet tarantula. While they try their iniquitous best not to have more than two kids, I happily raise six. While they get divorces, I remain faithfully and happily married. And while they text, I write the Butter Rum Cartoon.

You could always recognize me by the shirt.


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3 comments:

  1. Dale- you are correct! Why be a conformist? Followers are conformists, but leaders are nonconformists. Nonconformist like Edison, invent new things and promote change. Everyone should want to be himself/herself.
    Wilfredo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes! Don't ever be like the rest of the sheep!!! that's part of why I love you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, that's no fair: "Anonymous" loves me.

      Delete