Monday, June 13, 2011

Mummy Militant Month on Militant Ginger, Part The Second

Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote:
"Love does not consist of looking at each other, but looking together in the same direction."
I kind of feel that's why Mummy Militant and I work so well together.

Because for all our differences, there's one significant similarity we both share – uniqueness.

Okay, "uniqueness" might just be another word for "eccentricity," but you get my drift.

Mummy Militant's father describes her as "a horse of a different color" because she's always stood out from the rest of the herd.

It's not just in the way she dresses, or the music she listens to, or the books she reads. It's also in the way she acts. Mummy Militant is radically unique because she refuses to behave the way society pressures her to.

Now, I've always been a bit like that too – but unlike Mummy Militant, I can't take any credit for it.

I became the willfully eccentric individual I am today because I never fit in growing up. The combination of ginger hair and Britain's retarded attitude towards it meant that I was always the kid who stood out; and since I was never going to be part of the crowd, I never felt the pressure to fit in with it.

I know I complain about growing up ginger a lot, but perhaps it was the greatest gift I could ever have had. If I'd been born with boring old brown or black hair, perhaps I'd have ended up getting enveloped into the cult of mediocrity which seems to personify so much of British society.

But, as I said, I can't take any credit for being eccentric. It just happened to me.

Mummy Militant, on the other hand, could have fitted in with the crowd effortlessly if she'd chosen to. You look at pictures of her from high school and college and you'll see a startlingly beautiful young lady who would have made a top-tier Long Island princess if she'd chosen to. But she didn't.

Instead, she chose to take her own path in everything that she did. She dressed differently. She spoke differently. Perhaps, most noticeably of all, she behaved differently. She still does today.

She walked the difficult path of not-quite-fitting-in, even when an easier option was available to her. That shows such an incredible inner strength and personal vision that I'm quite frankly in awe of; even after eight years together.

Mummy Militant is as willfully eccentric as I am; and we're both on the outside of conformity looking in.

That's the "looking together in the same direction" that Saint-Exupery spoke of, and the reason why we work so well together. We're both on the same wavelength (and it's not the station most people are tuned into.)

But Mummy Militant's uniqueness extends far beyond mine. She humbles me every day in the steps she'll take off the beaten path.

The most notable examples of her eccentricity show themselves what she does for others.

Mummy Militant would, quite literally, give a stranger the shirt off her back. I think one of the reasons she's never quite fitted in – and why regular, mundane people sometimes treat her with suspicion – is because she's willing to perform acts of kindness and charity that make us feel bad about ourselves.

But that, from my perspective, is just more of a reason to love her.

No comments: