Yours truly, doing the all but forgotten 'First Day of Spring Dance' on our patio, March 2012.
My wife, the Grand Duchess, and I often have heated discussions about my personality, habits, interests, and world view. Most recently, she implored me to attend a non-mandatory reception for faculty and staff at our university early next week to show that I am capable of being a "normal person." Her exact words.
She has also, at different times in the past, used the term 'eccentric' to describe your truly. Imagine my pleasure and surprise, then, when I unearthed the online presence of The Eccentric Club, which indeed confirms my wife's accusations, specifically the following language from their "Are you an eccentric?" page. To wit, an eccentric is described as:
- strongly motivated by curiosity;
- idealistic; he wants to make the world a better place and the people in it happier;
- happily obsessed with one or more hobbyhorses (usually, five or six);
- aware from early childhood that he is different;
- opinionated and outspoken; convinced that he is right and that the rest of the world is out of step;
- noncompetitive, not in need of reassurance or reinforcement from society;
- unusual in his eating habits and living arrangements;
- not particularly interested in the opinions or company of other people, except in order to persuade them to his - the correct - point of view;
- possessed of a mischievous sense of humour;
- usually the eldest or an only child; and
- a bad speller*.
The first five characteristics listed here are the most important and apply to virtually every eccentric.
Nonconformity is, of course, the principal defining trait of the breed..."
(Dr D.Weeks, J.James "Eccentrics: A Study of Sanity and Strangeness", 1995)
Well, not that I ever really minded my wife's assessment, but I've decided that with the approach of my 46th birthday in early November, and being at approximately the half-way point of my life, simply to roll with the punches and embrace my eccentricities. In other words. . . Hello! My name is Stokes, I'm an eccentric, and the possibility that I might be weird no longer bothers me. I like to play with toy soldiers and dress nicely even though most places no longer require it. There now. That didn't hurt, did it? We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.