You Make Me Want To Be A Better Man…

ladycigar

If there can be that many different looking vaginas making the world go ’round…then there are at least that many different personalities that make this world a better place.

We ALL see the world differently, based on how our minds and emotions process it. Wouldn’t it be fun to give yourself a shot at looking through someone else’s glasses for a change?

Segway into my post for the week!

quirk·y
/ˈkwərkē/quirky1
adjective
adjective: quirky; comparative adjective: quirkier; superlative adjective: quirkiest
1.characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits.
“Now that’s a quirky kid.”
synonyms:
eccentric, idiosyncratic, unconventional, unorthodox, unusual, strange, bizarre, peculiar, odd, outlandish, zany

Don’t the words above describe people that you’re either friends with or would love to be friends with?

quirky5Who wants conventional?

I LOVE quirky people: big ones, small ones, short ones, tall ones…(a little Suess-ism)

My nephew, Ryan, is one of my favorite quirky kids. Now, seriously…my sister, Karin, her husband ‘Iggy’ (don’t ask), and Ryan’s sister Megan need a medal and huge hot fudge sundaes with marshmallows AND extra sprinkles because Ryan is UNconvential to the max.

prudeRyan recently charged $46,000 to an online train store in Jersey for all the latest trains he admired in a new DVD he got for Christmas. He acted out a great scene in Land Before Time where Little Foot and Cera jump off a cliff into a river…my sister’s toilet bowl, hence the $1000 plumber’s bill. Ryan stole the basket of biscuits off a neighboring restaurant table while he screamed ‘Weed Rat! Weed Rat’ at the top of his lungs when his mother’s shish-kabobs were delivered.

He pulled ALL the wallpaper off the wall in his hotel room at the Fort Will Henry Hotel in Lake George (hey…it was peeling), took out the Walmart cashier (security and the fire dept showed up) because the cashier took his DVD out of his hands for a price check. He ran away from the local Little League to illegally enter a private residence (we have no idea who the man was) to settle in and watch a few videos he brought with him (our whole town was on lock down for this one).  This was right after he ran in circles around a nice man with only one leg screaming ‘No leg! No leg!” and kept pulling up his shortened pant leg to see where the heck it went.

turkey neckBut that wasn’t the worst…by no means…At the grocery store, while Ryan ‘sat’ in the cart waiting to check out he began to flick the excess, drooping skin on the neck of the elderly man behind him, back and forth, back and forth.  The man was my sister’s high school english teacher.

Ryan LOVES Sesame Street…He has about 175 video tapes and 2000 figurines (yes…we find the old ones on ebay) and DVDs. And he has every one memorized. He recently got to go to the Elmo on Sesame Street Live show and had a great time screaming and jumping up and down, up and down…and that was during the quiet parts.

Karin and Iggy smile and venture on, giving the urchin his baths, helping him dress and brush his teeth. They comb his hair, pick out his clothes then it’s off to school, an hour away, on his little, short bus.

Ryan is nineteen years old and is 6′ 3″ and weighs 200 lbs.

(Just picture the other parents at the Sesame Street Show this past summer.)

ryanRyan has Autism. He eats only pizza for breakfast lunch and dinner(taste/texture sensitivity), he is very picky about his clothing (touch sensitivity) he often wears headphones in public (noise sensitivity), does not interact with others unless he needs something. His language is limited to meeting his needs, he is easily frustrated and often acts out because of his difficulty understanding his frustrations, and he has little interest in the outside world (social isolation). His family, his awesome respite worker, George and his school are his lifeline to the outside world. Left to his own devices he would disintegrate into a world of videos where he gets the ‘stimulation’ he requires to cope in this ‘abrasive’ world.

He ‘sees’ the world differently and processes external stimulus differently than we do.

Ryan is a gift to our family. Do we sometimes we find ourselves grieving for him? Absolutely, but really we are grieving for ourselves and what we expect for his life. He is one of the cooliest, funniest, happiest kids I know! He lives life in the moment, doing what he wants to when he wants to. His only disapointment is when we try to squeeze him into society’s expectations. He is the ultimate ‘ID’-man. No ego or super-ego cross checking his thoughts or actions. Ryan will never drive, or go to college, or go out on a date, or get married or have children. He will always live my sister and her husband and then with me and Mr. M if anything (God-forbid) were to happen to them.

As my sister says, “Having Ryan is like buying a ticket to go to France, but landing in Holland. It’s not bad, just different.

Ryan is one of those quirky kids and our family has learned more by watching him manuever the world than we could in any classroom in history.

He is truly NECESSARY, a symbiotic entity in this world.

As are all of the awesome quirky, unconventional, strange, bizarre, odd people in this world.

vintport2Come on…you know them…the ones who go through moods like they do potato chips, the ones who would save their dog in a fire before their husband, the ones who take their shoes off at the door, washes them at the sink, packs the toes with the original stuffing and stretcher rod, then returns them to the original box in her closet (yeah…she’s mine…I love this woman to hell and back and wouldn’t trade her for seventy boxes of Milky Ways).

The ones who can’t drive over bridges, the ones who drink too much, gamble too much, church too much or love too much. The ones who are emotionally limited, the ones who are intellectually limited, the ones who are physically limited, and yeah…the ones who are common sense limited. Those people who on first glance we’d say….hmmmmm…..where is the value? But there IS value, there IS something to be experienced, something to be learned, something to be gained…something to be changed by, if you’d only take a minute to learn about them and take a look at the world through their glasses.

jerrymaguire

Jerry Maguire; “You make me want to be a better man.”

They make me want to be a better man!(or woman)

I usually end up with friends (the ones who tolerate me) that ALL make me a better person. Most of them are quirky little shits (Misty, Renee, Rachael, V, Susannah, Kym and Alison!) that challenge my boundaries everyday. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Loving and accepting and truly seeing the value in the ‘non-conventional’ is what makes us GROW. We have something to learn from everyone on the fae of this earth.

What ARE we gonna do when Human Genetic Engineering (a process by which scientists and medical professionals alter the genetic makeup, or DNA, in a living human cell to fix defective genes that cause diseases and other genetic complications) becomes the next “Anal Bleaching” fad?  Designer babies, it’s on the horizon people!

Would you ever design your own child?

Who’s on your Jerry Maguire roster?   Who makes you a better person?

What quirkisms are in your personality that make you … YOU?

It is Autism Awareness Month!asd

Historically ‘Quirky’ individuals with characteristics of Autism:

  • Henry Cavendish
  • Emily Dickenson
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • James Joyce
  • Michaelangelo
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Isaac Newton
  • Albert Einstein

These great minds were joined later by great minds such as:

  • Andy Warhol
  • Dan Akroyd
  • Tim Burton
  • Daryll Hannah
  • Dan Harmon (creator of the show Community)
  • James Durbin (American Idol)
  • Temple Grandin (revolutionary in the field of Agriculture and Animal Sciences)

PS!! Don’t forget to read our LitSwagger Pick The Siren by Tiffany Reisz. We will be discussing at the end of February…Talk about a QUIRKY gal!!!!

Comments

  1. Reading this I smiled, I laughed, and I teared up. And when I finished I thought… How insightful you are, Josie. Ryan is lucky to have you and your family in his life. And you are lucky to have him! Who makes me a better person? My hubby because he puts up with my quirkiness and still loves me! Great post! Love ya!!!

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Awww..love you too, Renee!! Im so glad I made you laugh and cry! This crazy world of ours is an awesome place. And how much fun is it that we just LOVE to write about it! Go Mr. Renee!!!

    • I agree, Renee! Josie’s family IS lucky to have such an insightful, sensitive and fun-loving woman to call their own. We’re lucky too because we’re family by choice. :)

  2. Ah Josie,
    Great post! One of my bffs has twin autistic boys, I think they are 11 now. They are extraordinary. My jaw dropped over the $45,000 purchase–I hope they got it canceled, yikes. I love the question would you ever design your own kids! Truth: before I had my own, probably. I find that so sad now, that I have three totally different ,lottery winners on my hands. I wouldn’t change a hair on their head, seriously. Great post!

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Thanks Susannah! WOW…twins! That must be a busy household! Yes…the $$ was recouped, thank goodness. Its not the first time. And if there is something he is forbidden from on the internet? He WILL find it…either in French, or Russian…he is becoming quite fluent in foriegn languages! But only as they refer to videos. So cool…
      Designer kids? What a moral fight this is going to be! I’d never design my kids…Im a believer in what is meant to be is meant to be! Sometimes for reasons we might never understand.
      Have a great night!

  3. I can’t quite wrap my head around designing your own children because one of the most fun things ever is watching your child develop…seeing who they’re turning out to be. I hope I’m not alive when this comes into practice. Seriously.

    And quirkiness. What an interesting, thoughtful topic. What are my quirks? That’s a hard question to answer for oneself because they’re just part of one’s norm. I think some people would be surprised to know that there are a lot of times I really like to be alone. I’m very social, but I have a very strong need to have my personal space, too. I also don’t like public sleeping situations – which is (one of the reasons) why I would have a very hard time in the military. Just me and my man, thank you very much.

    Oh, just thought of another quirk – two actually, both relating to me being a total chicken shit.

    1.) sometimes at night when I turn the lights off downstairs, I run up the stairs because I can’t get my rational brain to overrule my primordial brain which tells me there might be something that comes out of the dark to eat me.

    2.) Sometimes, if my husband is already in bed asleep before me, if I’ve turned off the lights before getting into bed, I take a run and jump into bed so nothing grabs my ankles.

    TMI? Sometimes having a writer’s imagination sucks. Just sayin’ LOL

    • Your “quirks” made me laugh, Misty! Mostly because I’ve been known to check behind the shower curtain before I pee…you know, because of monsters and stuff. ;)

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Oh Mist, I am sooo with you on the running up the stairs! Especially if the stairs have no boards on the risers and the boogieman can reach out and grab your feet!
      And no matter how fast you run…you almost feel them grab you! The imagination is powerful!
      I have a hard time sleeping in….*gulp*…hotels…Never go barefoot, dont let anything touch the bed cover, bring my own sheets AND pillows….UGHH…just freaks me out cause you know darn well those maids leave a clean lookiing bed be!
      Designer kid? No way. I love my fruitcakes… and you!!!

  4. Such an amazing post, Josi! Ryan sounds like a remarkable young man. Just goes to show that all of us could stand to have a little more tolerance for others. Not because that person may have Autism, but because we are individuals, each with our own quirks and limitations.

    My biggest quirk? Hmm…probably my dislike of crowds. I don’t like shopping at malls because of the sheer number of people in them at any given time, and I will go out of my way to avoid restaurants at their busier hours.

  5. Josie Matthews says:

    OOOh! Crowds…thats a biggee for alot of people. And with the state of our country’s foriegn affairs, its gettin’ bigger everyday. Sometimes when Im in a crowded place like at a concert or something, I marvel at how easy it would be for someone to wreak some nasty damage all in one place. Spooky…and so trustworthy of the rest of us! Sad that our world has come to this.
    Keep on quirkin’! <3

  6. Wow, Josie. What a powerful topic. Like Renee, you had me laughing and tearing up too. I think your family is amazing for seeing Ryan as a blessing :)

    Honestly, the glasses I’d love most to view the world through are my children’s, because they are so pure. They don’t see skin color, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, mental or physical limitations, etc. They see same or different, but not good or bad. Could you imagine the world if we all saw each other that way? Okay, I’m going to stop myself before I segue into my “world peace” speech. LOL

    Oh, and I’d never engineer my kids. I don’t want that kind of control over another human being’s fate. Reminds me too much of the movie Gattaca.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Rach, your kids have that beautiful outlook of the world because of you and your hubby! Way to go! I see so many kids at the elementary level who have very judgemental attitudes and you know they haven’t seen enough of the world to develop those attitudes themselves. Children truly learn what they live.

  7. LOVE THIS POST! I actually have a designer child Josie. My daughter was adopted, born at 27 wks. The doctor tried to warn us, “she will most likely be blind, she has no indications of hearing, she has CP, and she will probably face heart surgery at least once.” we didn’t care. The moment we heard about her, she was ours…she was perfect. We weren’t desperate for a child, we had a biological son who was almost 10, but she was the right person to add joy to our lives. Today she is 9. She wears glasses, hears way-too good, and her heart healed itself. Her CP is mild by CP standards and she has Asbergers. Every day she cracks me up, she selfless gives to everyone and she is the first to offer emotional support to anyone in need. She was designed especially for us–and it doesn’t get any better than that!

    • Josie Matthews says:

      Kym, I just love this story! How special you guys are and how lucky to be given the chance to share a life and a world with such an amazing, strong little girl! How cool is that! Isn’t it so cool to see how people with “disabilities” have these abilities that many of us don’t? So… Who really has the “disability”? And what IS to be considered a “disability”? Things that make you hmmmm….. Hugs to you!

  8. I loved your post and I love Ryan. My youngest granddaughter was born with her right arm ending an inch below her elbow joint. Early sonograms showed she had both hands, but at some point uterine bands formed and, as Lauren moved in the uterus, the band around her arm slowly twisted, amputating it. There were other complications she outgrew.

    Only having one hand is no problem for her. She dances, swims, works the computer and is a fabulous singer. It is we adults who have the problem, for we want to coddle…and she wants to do for herself. She does, however, have an active imagination and regales her class with stories…like her mother’s pregnancy (not true) or her father’s sky diving exploits (he’s afraid of heights).

    I love quirky people and the spice they bring to our lives. Think how boring our world would be if everyone were alike? Awesome post, darlin’. Hugs.

    • Josie Matthews says:

      V! I truly believe we are all “disabled” (I really hate that word….”different from each other” is more appropriate) in some way! Most of the population just doesnt see it that way! Society has created ‘norms’ over the centuries to overcome fears and create an ‘order’ to the world. We do have majorities…but does that mean that minority populations weren’t intended to be ‘normal’. We could really come up with an awesome book delving into this!!! hmmm historical, paranormal, contemp insights….Love u!!!

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