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Odd is not really so odd

Smack dab in the middle of math homework, my first-grader had a revelation.

"I'm seven," he said, taking the numbers from his math lesson and transferring them to real-life. "And that's odd." A pause, and then, "I don't want to be odd."

I had to agree with him. No one wants to be odd.

His statement made me realize the obvious: Each of us spends half of our lives being odd. That explains a lot.

I always assumed I was alone in my oddness, but it turns out I'm in good company. It's a 50-50 predicament at any given moment. Half of us are odd. The others are not, which makes them odd in their own not-odd way. I think. Those of us who aren't odd now, will be soon. Of that I'm sure. It sort of feels cosmically right, somehow.

Because we all take our turn at being odd, it makes being odd OK - normal even. We aren't odd because we are different, slow, weird or forgetful; we are odd because it is half our lot in life. No one can be even more than 50 percent of the time. It just isn't possible. Odd is average; it is good. It is to be embraced!

Being 50 percent odd clarifies the previously unexplained vignettes in my life. Up until now, during odd moments (and there have been a few) I always thought something might be wrong with me. Now I know it's just my time to be odd.

The times when I feel fuzzy in my own skin? The days that I wake up and can't remember if it's spring or fall? The funny cowlick on the right side of my head? The moments when I look at the word "the" on a page and it looks wrong? The occasions when I go to the grocery store for toilet paper and then forget to buy it? The fact that I have only one dimple? The instances when I am in a room of friends and feel like they are strangers? All the times I called my kindergarten teacher "mom?" All the times I call my kids by the names of their siblings? The days when I just don't feel like me?

The explanation is simple: I've been in a period of odd.

What a relief to be odd! How off the hook I feel - like I could conquer the world.

It doesn't matter if I go into the kitchen and forget what I came there to get. I won't worry myself over the fact that on occasion I still dream about high school or that I sometimes I cry during commercials (but only the touching ones). I will have conversations with my dog, cat and fish and not give it a second thought. I will consider days that I forget to rinse the conditioner from my hair as mere oversights and not the least bit alarming.

All the "odd" things I used to try to hide will now be out in the open for other odd people to see and appreciate. We are odd. So what? If you aren't today; chances are you will be soon. And that's just fine, really it is.

Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and award winning freelance writer working with graphic designer Nikki Willgohs to provide writing and design and other marketing services to businesses and individuals. You can check out their Web site at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/ or e-mail Jill at pertmn@qwest.net.

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