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Maybe, just maybe, I'm a little bit off

June 28, 2013

I was talking to my grandma the other day at our weekly lunch appointment, and through our conversation — and not because she came out and said it — I realized that I might be a little bit off.

I don't think I'm full-on crazy or anything (but then again, who does, right?), but it started to dawn on me that maybe, just maybe, I'm a little bit off.

What made me realize it was that I was describing something that I thought was a common experience among all of humanity, and she didn't seem to share the same sentiment with me.

Here's what made me realize that I might be a little bit left of right: I don't like to go into a store just to buy toilet paper.

Maybe it's just me, but it feels really awkward to me to just walk into a store, head to the toiletries aisle, grab a big ol' package of TP and head to the checkout.

Now, if I'm grocery shopping and have a cart full of items and it's just a throw-in, I have no qualms about purchasing it, but for some reason, it makes me feel a little bit disgusting to just walk in and buy the TP.

I'm not sure why, but it just feels embarrassing. There's no logical explanation for the way that I feel, and that's exactly why it got me thinking that I might not be "normal."

There are other things, too. Things that I always thought were pretty normal have often turned out to be things where it was "just me."

Now, when I was a kid, I had a little bit of an excessive-compulsive streak. It wasn't full-blown OCD or anything, but I had a saying: "Keep it even, keep it fair."

If I picked something up with one hand,

I picked it up with the other hand, too, just for good measure. If one nostril was running and I had to wipe it, I wiped the other one just for good measure.

I liked to keep it even and fair.

That streak is still a part of me, as I still like things to be even and balanced.

Turns out, it comes in handy when I'm designing pages and need to have an eye for whether it'll look OK in print or not.

Maybe it's just me, but my least favorite carnival ride is the musical swings.

Our reporter Larry recently wrote about carnival memories of the Gravitron, and with the Firemen's Old Home Week Celebration taking place this weekend in town, some not-so-familiar rides — at least to the Old Home Week — have made their way into Barclay Square.

In my driving by, I haven't seen any of the rides that would fit the description of the swings.

But if they do have such a ride at any carnival, you can bet I'll be walking the other way.

Not a whole lot of people have horror stories with the swings.

They're safe for all ages and not that rocky of a ride.

But let me tell you this: If you ride them repeatedly for a long enough period of time, you'll be telling the same scary story about losing your stromboli.

It's not a pretty thing, and maybe it's just me, but I'll be avoiding the musical swings.

In fact, just hearing the music coming out of those old speaker boxes takes me back to that terrible night at the Reynoldsville Homecoming — oh, and did I mention I was 16? Isn't that embarrassing?!

And maybe it's just me — and this one's a bit more on the serious side — but if I forget to open my blinds and look outside in the morning, I am completely unaware of the on-goings of the outside world.

Lots of folks have lots of ways to plug into what's going on in the outside world: TV, Internet, etc.

Sometimes, Facebook or other social media sites clue me in, but mostly, I'm just clueless.

On Thursday, I awoke a bit later than usual due to some sleeping problems the night before.

I knew I'd have to go in to work a bit early with it being our busy day, so I figured I'd watch a movie on Netflix before going in and relax until lunchtime.

So, after my movie was over and I'd fixed up a little something to snack on, I logged on to the computer and happened to see one random post on Facebook talking about flooding.

I know, as the editor of the newspaper, some folks expect that I know about these things before they even happen.

But, I was clueless to the whole situation.

I knew it was supposed to rain overnight, but I didn't even hear it raining because I was sleeping with the fan on. So, I had no idea the direness of the situation.

Fortunately for all of us, there are many others who were much more in-tune with what was going on in the world around them who responded — from firefighters and other emergency staff to the downright good citizens of our area — and helped make the most out of a very scary, very rough situation.

My hats off to all of you who had any part.

So, I suppose I've always known that I was a little bit off. But at a young age, I started to realize that wasn't such a bad thing.

We all have quirks.

I'm sure that I'm not the only person in the world who doesn't like to have only toilet paper on his grocery list, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who isn't fond of the musical swings.

But it is possible that I'm the only person in the world who can say both are true.

And maybe I'm not the only person who forgets that there's a world outside his house's walls sometimes, but I'm sure glad there are plenty of people who voluntarily carry around pagers to remind them of the world going on out there and to help keep people safe when they need it most.

When we sit down to think about it like I did at that kitchen table with my grandma last week, we probably all start to feel like we're a little bit off.

And maybe it's just me... but I think that's alright.

Zak Lantz is the Editor of The Spirit, and though he's a little bit off, he'd still like to thank you for reading.

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