On Weirdness

When you sign up on OkCupid (a dating app), and setup your profile, you are supposed to answer a few questions. One of the questions is : which would you rather be?

  • Normal
  • Weird

But what is the meaning of ‘weird’? When I looked up in a dictionary, it said: ‘weird (adjective): strange and different from anything natural or ordinary’. But different things are considered ‘ordinary’ in different places.

Most of you would you would agree that ‘weirdness’ is a very subjective idea. Especially, if you are in a multicultural society like India. Weirdness depends on what is generally considered normal in your society or community. A nerd would be called ‘weird’ if he enters a community of ‘chill’ dudes. Of course, a ‘chill’ dude would be called an ‘idiot’ among a group of nerds. Anyway, hang on for a few seconds.

Quite often, the word ‘weird’ and ‘interesting’ are interchangeable. And the classification changes based on ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ of a person. For example, ripped jeans would be normal for someone born after the year 2000. For a large majority of those born in 1990s, ripped jeans is definitely a weird phenomenon.

Now, pardon me if I have bored you with my epistemological analysis of ‘weirdness’. So how would I answer the question thrown at me on OkCupid? Am I normal or weird? My answer has always been ‘weird’. I say ‘always’ because I have setup the profile several times after having deleted my profile on the app.

I have always felt disconnected from most of the people around me. Some seem juvenile. Others seem dramatic. Many are cunning and deceptive, of course. I have still not met my tribe. I may never find a group where I can call others weird! Don’t blame me.

But even a guy like me would find himself in weird scenarios. People who know me would probably laugh at this story.

Sometime in 2015, I got a few messages in my Facebook inbox. Oh, yeah, people were still using Facebook quite regularly in 2015. A girl who had briefly studied in my school was the author of these ‘messages’. With great difficulty, I could recall the name, but I was unable to remember her face. You have to cut me some slack, because I had seen her last time when I was in fifth grade (almost 10 years back).

She had no profile picture. But she seemed friendly. This girl remembered tiny details about my childhood. She remembered my bus stop (apparently because she was travelling in the same bus). Now who remembers such details? In fact, I had lost touch with almost all my friends from school after Class XII. Also, I was not handsome at that point of time. My dressing sense was pathetic. So, this was quite freaky.

I was pretty curious about this girl and I wanted to see her face. As the conversation grew, she sent some suggestive messages! And she refused to upload her pic. She had presented herself as this ‘mystery girl’, if you know what I mean. So, I had to meet her to see her face. The suspense was killing me.

So, I asked her out for a movie. Surprisingly, the answer was a straightforward yes. I booked tickets. It was the first Kingsmen movie. I had already seen it once and I had loved it. So, I thought that the girl would be impressed by my taste.

We met in Orion. When I saw her, I was pretty shocked. Let’s say that I was sorta ‘thin’ and the girl was ‘plus’ size. The proportions were totally screwed (though our heights were somewhat similar).

And surprisingly, she was more chilled out than me (Obviously .. right? I am the nerd). There was no drama, nervousness or ‘weirdness’. In fact she was particularly well-behaved. Her table manners were impeccable. She did not use her phone in the middle of the movie. The mystery girl pretended as though we knew each other for a long time. I just behaved like a normal guy.

When the movie was over, she said that we should do this more often! I was not quite sure because I was working in Chennai and she was in Bengaluru. Things were going back to ‘normal’. Her ‘size’ was not a problem that could not be solved. If Adnan Sami could fix his waistline, my mystery girl could do it. In fact, this was not a bad idea at all. Finally, I had found a girl who cared for me and remembered little things from my past. We could always hang out during weekends and chill. Just when I was doing this math, things got ‘weird’ again.

The girl invented some ‘rogue’ guy who was pursuing her in college. He might have been real. I dunno. But I had to call up this guy and ‘fix’ him. First of all I was amused to know that guys pursue a girl who was as fat as her. Bengaluru must’ve had some weird idiots in 2015. Secondly, I did not consider myself as a saviour who could deal with this stuff. So, I just blocked her on Facebook and WhatsApp. It was too much for me.

When I think about it now, I feel it was some sort of a shit test. Or, the girl was just messing around with me. I can’t say. But I was really naive and simple kind of guy. I would not object if you called me a coward. In many ways, I was. My brain was filled with old school ideas of a ‘relationship’. (Guy likes girl, they get married and live happily ever after). Unlike me, the world had moved on at a very fast pace, especially Bengaluru. I was not ready for a relationship, especially one filled with drama and intrigue.

I am almost 29 now. Around six years have passed. I still classify myself as ‘weird’. And I have encountered many weird girls after this ‘mystery girl’. So, I would wholeheartedly forgive the ‘mystery girl’ for putting me through that harrowing experience.

These days, I am quite careful when I use the word ‘weird’. Nobody wants to be weird intentionally. Our ‘weird’ experiences are part of an embarrassing and difficult process of understanding how the world works. We were not taught how to react to these situations. Our parents would have never had the chance to go through such experiences. So, we have to explore, learn, adapt and tolerate ‘weirdness’ as we grow up. There is no choice. I don’t blame myself, either. What I call ‘weird’ is probably normal to someone else and vice versa.

@ Mystery Girl — if you are still stalking me on the internet, this is your cue. You would probably remember our encounter better than me. I am still available. It is hard to date in the middle of a pandemic anyway. Message me!

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