On the Importance of Being Weird and the Super Heroes in Our Midst

Listen. There’s no way to put this gently. I’ve been around and around and around it, trying to find the better way, but the truth is, my neighbor’s a weirdo.

A weird weirdo who’s weird.

She’s nice, YES. Definitely nice. I mean, unless you get her started on politics or unequal modesty rules for girls, in which case she will take you down. But still, nice. Which is why she’s never had my children arrested for indecent exposure, no matter how many times my little guys have stood utterly nekked on the high playhouse platform overlooking her yard and waved hello. With all their body parts.

Also, she hands me wine over the back fence, so there’s very little I wouldn’t do for this woman.

But I am telling you; she is odd.

Yesterday, because it was her birthday and because she’s weird, Monica dressed up as Wonder Woman for high school pick-up, which is where I saw her and started yelling, “YES! YEEEESSSSSS! YES, YES, YES!” and clapping and woohooing and jumping up and down because I’m loud, of course, but also because – can we all just agree? – BEING WONDER WOMAN IS AWESOME. 

I forced my high schooler to take a picture of us, which she promised to do if I stopped yelling and Monica stopped high-kicking.

photo 1 (70)

So we promised, but it turns out we lied because I whooped again, like, 5 seconds later, and Monica high kicked the heck out of the Karate Kid Crane.

photo 2 (76)

But the best part came later, because of course I posted the pictures on Facebook, and of course I said, “You made my day, you weirdo.”

And Monica, because she understands that’s a compliment of the highest order as far as I’m concerned said back, “Weird is good! I love it when other adults can see my invisible jet, too!”

And you know what?

I can.

can see Monica’s invisible jet.

Her invisible super power.

Her wild and weird love of her neighbors who push the edge of wilder and weirder all the time.

Her choice to make us more important than our weeds which creep under her fence or our mess which creeps around it or our nakedness which creeps over it or our volume which is just everywhere.

Her belief that handing a glass of wine over the fence on a rough day is more important than asking why we built our playhouse RIGHT NEXT to their fence and have never managed to paint it like we promised.

Her belief that I have super powers, too, and that one of them is seeing hers and yours and all of ours.

Because, make no mistake, we are, every last one of us, wild and weird and full to the brim of super powers, whether we wear our Wonder Woman or Superman costumes in public or not.

And I know – believe me, I know – that’s hard to swallow some days. That the wild is good. That the weird is a path to freedom. That the super powers are there at all. Because everything is falling apart around us. Our lawnmowers are on fire. Our dishwashers don’t work, neither the machines nor the human kind. Our clothes are coming unraveled in public. Our relationships are strong and in shambles depending on the hour of the day. 

And the messes; the messes are just everywhere! 

And here we are, chugging away in the middle of it all, scraping dried, gummy ketchup off our cupboards, or ignoring it altogether, our capes in tatters and our super powers well masked under our secret, mundane indentities. So secret sometimes even we forget we’re super.

But we are.

We are.

We’re super because we’re chugging away in the middle of it all. And we’re super when we fall flat on our faces and can’t chug another second.

The super isn’t predicated on the doing, you see. It’s predicated on the being, and, more specifically, on being ourselves. On finding out who we are. And then living into the fiercest, truest, deepest versions of ourselves we can be, which is a mess, of course, and divine. It’s who we are. It’s what we’re here to be. Messy. And divine. And WONDERful.

And on the lookout for each other’s invisible jets.


Read more about being a super hero here:
The Evolution of My Cape

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
  1. Oh my -PLEASE make up a day where we all have to wear Wonder Woman costumes! I totally love that. She’s my new BFF and I can totally see her invisible jet! Way to rock weird and wonderful.

  2. […] On the Importance of Being Weird and the Super Heroes in Our Midst at Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids – “The super isn’t predicated on the doing, you see. It’s predicated on the being, and, more specifically, on being ourselves. On finding out who we are. And then living into the fiercest, truest, deepest versions of ourselves we can be, which is a mess, of course, and divine.” […]

  3. Oh how I wish I’d thought of doing this when my 2 sons were in high school…..it couldn’t have been any more humiliating to my eldest than when I…picked him up from middle school! With our dog! Having both a mom AND a dog was almost too much for him.
    He also threatened to murder me ( rather dramatic) if I kept making ” those nasty little sandwiches.” …. The ones he’d specifically requested. I’m happy to say that both are now terrific adults…and I get a lot of mileage out of how guilty they feel for all their shenanigans.

  4. That’s IT. I am moving to Oregon. I need neighbors like you all. My birthday is in 2 1/2 weeks. I need to look for a costume.
    This post rocks.

  5. Beth, have you seen this TED Talk? http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

    It’s so great! It’s about giving ourselves confidence through our own body language, and Wonder Woman plays a prominent role. You should watch it because it’s fascinating and encourages everyone to strike a Wonder Woman pose daily.

    1. I did watch this TED talk and immediately got the theme song from that TV show Wonder Woman on my cell phone as my ringer. It is awesome! How cool is it that when the phone beckons me it’s with –
      “Wonder Woman! All the world is waiting for you! And the wonders that you’ll do!”

  6. I am wonder women… I keep telling myself… (Not convinced yet) maybe someday! Thanks for the encouragement!

  7. I hope I am brave enough to do the same on my birthday. How AWESOME!

  8. Pretty sure I’m wishing this morning that you were both MY neighbors. Loved this. Thank you for the smiles and the laughs. I’m gonna high-kick and woohoo and whoop a little today in your honor (smile).

  9. Good for Monica! I am one that would love to be that brave and bold. I am not though so i cheer for those who are! PS Can she chat with my neighbors about the wine over the fence?

    Just keep swimming everyone 🙂

  10. I just found your blog, and I’m so glad I did. It’s been a while since I’ve laughed out loud at a blog post. So thank you so much for that!

  11. I have never typed, nor said this, in my entire life, but I’m just gonna go ahead right now… Amen, Sister! Love this one Beth! All wild and weird coming back at ya.

  12. Let Monica know I dressed up as Wonder Woman for 40th Super Hero party – I am totally weird! 🙂

    Thanks for the great read and reminder!

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