Love is Weird

Memorial Day is special for Tricia and me. Thirty years ago, we stood atop a nearby mountain and she decided to partner-up with me. The next day she moved in. That is how a hippie and ex-college professor began life anew together. Isn’t love weird?

In some ways we are like oil and water. Tricia needs adventures; I am world-weary. She has a vast array of friends; I’m a loner. She never worries about money; I’m a tightwad. She plants flowers; I pull weeds. She is happy, happy, happy; I am too serious. She never ages; I, well, I just am. Isn’t love weird?

Our mutual weirdness is held together by a common philosophy: we revere life. People are hell-bent on erecting fences, and we are heaven-bent on tearing them down. People like to complain about life, and we love to celebrate it. People keep an arms distance from nature, and we live in a tiny glass house smack in the middle of woods and gardens. People over-consume; we religiously recycle. People grumpily awake growling “Good God, morning;” we cheerfully arise singing “Good God, morning!” People are dragged through the day by their hair; we float carefree like a UFO.

I didn’t know that our individual weirdnesses could make our mutual weirdness so lovingly weird. But weird attracts weird in uniquely weird ways. For example, our hauntingly beautiful, artistic, funny, talented daughter (did you expect anything else from a doting father?) is crazily weird — she prepares mouth-watering tofu, dyes her hair a different color every week, wears only vintage clothes, and is self-employed as a “garden nanny.” Our three affectionate cats are plainly weird — old Frisco is obsessed with every visitor’s forefinger, demure Mariah’s black-and-white markings look like she’s wearing a tuxedo, and young vociferous Quincy keeps asking why there isn’t mouse-flavored cat food. Even our 25-year old garden statue of Saint Francis is weird — his upper torso is a pit stop for lientery birds (we caution to look but don’t touch!).

Over 90% of the U.S. Population have cellphones. We don’t. Most have cable. We don’t. Most have an average credit card debt of around $4,000. Not us. What about a high-definition TV? Not on our radar yet. Do we tweet? No, we’re lousy at birdcalls. Now, isn’t all that downright weird? You’d think we live under a rock. But we’re happy and content in a weird sort of organically compatible way.

Over the years we have developed a mutual weirdness to our humor, a result of keen observations about life. For example, we are amused that the forefinger is the world’s most perfect invention for one’s nostril. Or that there is no synonym for thesaurus. We think it’s masterfully cruel (and funny) that the word “lisp” has an “s” in it. We wonder why there’s never any guilty bystanders. And does anybody know what is the speed of dark? Don’t get me going!

We live only 6 miles and fifteen minutes out of town: you climb over a thousand feet in elevation driving south, west, south, briefly east, then north, west, south then north again (a couple dozens curves in all), then you come to a rural fire station in the middle of a forest (don’t worry, you’re almost there) before reaching our driveway taking you another thousand feet to the house. Now isn’t that simple? But no; most of our friends never visit — they complain that we live half way to San Francisco. How weird can we be?

Yes, love is weird. But to honor and respect your partner’s weirdness makes for mutual bed partners. Tricia sleeps on her right side, I on my left. She snores, I listen. She wears a sleep mask, I think its cute. She hates being woken early with sweet nothings in her ear, I don’t mind rejection. I wouldn’t have our weird love any other way.

If you want to find a mate for your unique variety of weirdness, here’s seven tips:

  1. Everyday you must see your partner as the most beautiful or handsomely weirdest thing you have ever laid eyes upon.
  2. You have to believe that it is absolutely weird that they see anything in you at all.
  3. You have to accept that uniting weirdnesses has an accumulative effect — your offspring will always be gorgeously weird, your mother-in-law will always be unexplainably weird, and most of your friends will accept your weirdness and never say it to your face.
  4. Most of the time you will deny your weirdness, but that’s only because you’re not objective.
  5. Its not that love is weird — that’s a myth. Life is weird, and that’s a truism we can all agree to.
  6. Being weird has its ups and downs, exhilaration and disappointment — get over it.
  7. Finally, being weird (and human) is simply God trying on skin. Don’t spoil His or Her sincere attempt at vanity. It won’t win you points in Heaven.

That should do it. This essay’s a wrap. Don’t blame me for your weirdness.

Trust me, however, that somewhere out there some weird energy is afoot and feeling lonely. And like cosmic attraction, the two of you (if you haven’t already met) are destined to fall down the same black hole together, metaphorically speaking. And when that happens it will not be about falling in love at all. It will be about rising up with all the passion and potential of a galactic supernova (to use another cosmic metaphor). And when you collapse into each other’s arms at night before drifting off to sleep, trust me, your last thoughts will always be: “Wow, this is so weird.”

Enjoy the love. You both deserve it.

For more inspiration about peace, sanctuary, and spirit, please visit our website:

About C. Forrest McDowell, PhD

I am blessed to be a co-steward for over 30 years of the beautiful 22-acre Cortesia Sanctuary outside Eugene, Oregon, with my partner, Tricia Clark-McDowell. My lifelong interests in wellness care, psychology, nature, music composition & performance, writing, and meditation fuel my celebration for life. My form of service is founded upon the elemental practice of kindness and reverence for life. Of course, to understand the value of deep respect for life, we also have to accept irreverence as part of human nature and to know that it can be very disruptive and destructive to peace, safety, beauty, joy and love.
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