The other day I was sitting at home talking with a friend from high school who I hadn’t seen in a while.  A tweet came up on my phone which showed a Tiny House and sparked a conversation. She looked at me like I was crazy for wanting to live in a Tiny House, which I normally get that reaction, but what was interesting was what followed.  She said “that’s so weird, why can’t you be normal?”

I had a little chuckle and said this:

Well what IS normal?  Normal is to get married, have a few kids, drive a nice car, have a successful career, live comfortably and live in a nice houses don’t you agree?

She agreed and I went on.

Well let’s take a bit closer look at this; What are the implications of being normal?

  1. Getting married is great but it ends in divorce 60% of the time (average cost of $15,000).
  2. Having kids means your life isn’t about you anymore and kids are expensive, Half a Million expensive!
  3. The average cost of a car is around $30,000
  4. The average cost of a house today is around $260,000, but you will pay $800,000 through the loan
  5. For living comfortably 1 in 20 Americans have $8,000+ in credit card debt
  6. A successful career means you spend most of your time not with loved ones or doing what you love

So if I am NORMAL it means that in the end I will be done with my divorce, “own” a house and a car that I really don’t own, but will pay 4 times the original price tag for at the end of the loan.  Then to top it off I will have two kids, who I love very much, but will only get to see them for two hours, which debt collectors will be calling during, until I get them to bed and collapse myself.  All in all, I don’t get to spend time with those who I love.  I own nothing and I owe an average of 1.85 million dollars over my lifetime.

If Normal is being away from people I love and forever in debt, then I sure as hell don’t wanna be normal do you?

She looked at me as if she had suddenly seen color for the first time in her life, as if she had be seeing in black and white up to this point.

So people, the rub?  BE WEIRD!

  1. I LOVE this article!! So perfectly put. Here's to being WEIRD and loving it!!! Cheers!!!

  2. Very well-said. I wonder how many hours she'd have to work to make that $1.85mil too? That's way too many hours for me.

    • The average income for a household in 2007 was $50k – ~20% taxes and you are looking at 45 years. But that doesn't bring into account for food, medical etc. for the parents. Imagine if you child or you have a health condition, or what happens if you get sued, your identity stolen or other catastrophic event. Lets hope none of this happens, but the reality is these things do happen and its a shame.



  4. I love this post! Another toast to being weird. 🙂

  5. I’ve been reading every post on your blog and enjoying all of them, but disagree with some of the things you criticize in this post for simply being normal.

    “Well let’s take a bit closer look at this; What are the implications of being normal?

    1. Getting married is great but it ends in divorce 60% of the time (average cost of $15,000).”

    You seem to suggest that one should not get married simply for the sole reason that 60% of marriages end in divorce, so why even try? That is setting a relationship up for disaster before it even gets started.

    Why not be “weird” by taking positive steps before and after the wedding day to ensure a loving and healthy marriage.

    “2. Having kids means your life isn’t about you anymore and kids are expensive, Half a Million expensive!”

    You seem to suggest that one should not have children simply because, by your opinion, you believe they are “expensive,” so why even try?

    The primary goal of every living organism on the planet is to reproduce, to deny this fact is to deny one’s… well I’ll let you figure this one out for yourself.

    I’m not going to judge you for these two points you’ve listed, so long as you don’t judge those that consider these two points to be “normal.”

  6. I would say the key is “be constructive” adding: “You will need to be weird (as opposed to “normal”) to achieve it.

    What is normal? it seems to be “even” (in desires, procedures, goals, feelings, etc). Guess what? Life is uneven, death is even. Examples? everywhere: genetics, nutrition, hippocampus (no wonder why depression is increasingly more common in developed societies), etc.

    So… be proud to be a constructive weirdo 😉

  7. I don’t like to put words in anyone’s mouth, so forgive me if I miss the mark, but it didn’t occur to me to think you were judging anyone for their lifestyle choices, Ryan. I’m thinking you were stepping out of the lemming stampede and marveling at the program that drives it, maybe? Personally, I think the choice not to have children to be very a high-minded and responsible one. The world’s population (6.8 billion) is growing at a rate that promises a doubling by the year 2064. Also, the appeal of a close, comfortable relationship with a special person is clear, but why marriage, if no kids? Psh! I guess I’m just weird! 😉

    • Pretty close, I guess I just wanted to take a step back and look at things, see their implications, their impact. At that point we need to judge for ourselves, though admittedly the social pressures to do these very things is very very strong. Personally I don’t think these things are for me, perhaps a marriage but with a prenuptial.

  8. Wow, only someone without kids would call having kids normal. Every kid is different, every parent is different, and every lifetime bond that runs between them is chaotic and organic.
    And, frankly, not having kids is pretty normal. Being single is normal. Living in a small place, not driving, not owning a house, is normal.
    Just not on american TV.

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