I am average. On a good day, I am average. On a bad day, I am average and self-absorbed. I’m having bad days lately. I had a good day yesterday when I objectively reviewed everything I had ever done. The verdict? Average, at best. In a world of 50 billion blogs, 5 billion of which are excellent, why bother writing a blog that’s average? For other average people? Impossible. Average people are average in as many ways as there are average people. Average people are usually connected to a network or community of some kind. They have their own average friends to encourage them. An average person without a network, like myself, is only writing for myself, maybe the web designer, and a dozen acquaintances who visit my blog out of sympathy.
The fact that I now recognize my averageness is a blessing. I knew it, on some level, for a long time, but tried to keep the fact at bay for the sake of sanity. I also tried to be crazy in order to avoid being average, and I succeeded. In being crazy, that is. Now I am average and crazy. My averageness lacks the one positive: a consistent sanity based on average thoughts and average activities which comfort the mind as it contemplates life from a low rung of expectation, and allows the body to relinquish its fate to average food, average sex and and an average car. Average becomes better than good because there are more average jobs, people, vacations to choose from. Possibilities for average experiences are endless. So many choices! Whilst the special people have to settle for the best of everything. Nothing else will satisfy.
A few years ago I was below average. I was able to avoid the pain of that reality by saying I was an “artist”. Artists get away with anything because they always have excuses as to why they are considered below average in all categories: looks, style, education, financial success, healthy relationships, marketable skills, mental health. All of it. Wiped off the board. “It’s okay. You’re an artist” Why don’t they just say, “It’s okay. You’re average.” and get it over with.
I wait and whine at my fate, when all I have to do is accept the secretary job at the carpet company. (Middlebury, Vermont) My problems would be solved, tout suite. I would be a good secretary for a carpet company. I can type 60 words a minute. I have a pleasant phone manner. I can take measurements and know the difference between an Oriental rug and outdoor carpeting. I could bring donuts to work for the carpet salesmen. We could laugh about awkward installations over coffee. An hour for lunch, I could go home and walk my disabled dog. If I dressed up real pretty, I’ll bet one of the balding, paunchy salesmen would fall for me, although I am over fifty. He’d say, “Oh, that Laurel is pretty silly, but she sure can type.” He would ask me to dinner. “Meet me at the Olive Garden after work. Let’s play!”
Why not? There’s an all-you-can-eat salad bar. It’s basically the same food as anywhere else and he is the same as men everywhere else: within the average category. A big category, with endless possibilities, so there’s always the prospect of a new restaurant and a new carpet salesman.
The mistake I’ve made: not realizing the potentialities of average. The lack of envy, the offer of support and encouragement, remedial night classes, invitations to every barbecue in the neighborhood. Where to begin?