|Just a "normal" day on the slopes for Dan and Tami, two teens with physical disabilities.|
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Normal...Defined? | Read All About It
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Normal. We wonder what it means, because it's one of those words you hear all the time in a million different ways.
"I'm a basket case before a big test. Is that normal?"
So we at In the Mix set out to examine the "official" definitions of the word. Here's what our pals at Merriam-Webster English Dictionary say:
Well, first of all, let's politely ignore Definition #1. None of us are in the mood for a geometry lesson.
How about Definition #2? If we want to consider ourselves normal, they're telling us we have to fit in with a "norm, rule, or principle", or a "type, standard, or regular pattern." Well, all that is pretty relative, isn't it? If a guy decides that his ideal lifestyle is to sleep in a mud hut in his parents' backyard and sing "Oops, I Did It Again" all day long, he's set up some rules for himself. He's created a standard, a regular pattern.
Say he lives next door to a girl who goes to his school. She sleeps in a bed in her bedroom inside the house, and hates Britney Spears. She definitely does NOT fit in with his rules, his standard, his regular pattern. According to him, she is not normal. It doesn't matter that most of the people at his school do not live in a mud hut or belt out Britney all day long. We're looking at the world from his point-of-view.
Okay, look at definition #3, telling us that "normal" refers to something that is "occurring naturally". That makes some sense. Snow occurs naturally in winter in Wisconsin, so you if you live in Wisconsin, you are not shocked and horrified to see snow. You consider it "normal". Snow does not happen naturally in Hawaii, so if you're in Honolulu and suddenly get hit with a blizzard, it's safe to say that would be a totally abnormal event...and everyone would be freaking out.
You know what else happens naturally? Us. We're born how we're born, whether it's with a disability or with impossibly frizzy hair. We are who we are, because of our personalities or our ethnic backgrounds or our sexual orientation or our wacky families.
Normal. You have to define it for yourself, just like everything else in life.