No, for real, this actually happened to me.
In February of 2007, I decided to drive through the parts of the United States I had largely not visited before. My trek would take me from New Jersey to Arizona and back, crossing 16 states over the course of three weeks.
Epic road trip! Me, my less than six-month old Honda Fit, a Garmin GPS, and the open road. Along the way I visited each state for at least a short time, and stayed in some hotels and with friends who lived along the path of my trek.
In New Mexico, I spent a couple nights with a friend in Albuquerque. I decided to venture up to Taos and Santa Fe.
I spent a pleasant afternoon walking around and exploring Santa Fe. It was a really likeable, artsy city. I looked at the architecture, walked into some shops here and there, and generally explored.
I love people watching. Among the many people walking around, I noticed a guy who looked quite a bit like the actor Orlando Jones. He was also walking around, but he had a camera on a tripod and was stopping to take photos here and there.
At some pome point during my explorations of Santa Fe, I saw this man purposefully strolling directly towards me. Curious, I waited, and as he reached me, he extended his hand.
Sure, this is super random, but I see no reason not to shake this man’s hand.
As we shake hands he says to me, “I just had to tell you, you’re an odd looking fellow.”
The handshake ended and he walked away. I stood there a moment, too surprised to properly respond.
What was that all about?
I am not making this up. No shit, this random stranger actually said those words to me. I don’t think I will ever forget.
I mean, I accept that my appearance may not be entirely normal, per se. I am 5’6” (silence, friends who might argue this is not true. It’s right there on my driver’s license, ok?) but am also heavyset, frequently weighing between 200 and 240 pounds. However, I carry all of my excess weight in my gut.
I often joke that I am in shape, because pear is totally a shape, right?
So there I was, watching not-Orlando Jones walk away, at a loss for words. Who says that to someone randomly, anyhow?
Let’s face it, this is funny. And absurd. How often do we stop and recognize that vast swaths of our lives are actually pretty absurd?
This is something I am working on holding onto more. Life is totally, completely, utterly ridiculous. Incredible, terrible, bizarre, amazing, horrifying, and surreal things are likely going to happen.
You know why?
Because that is life. Shit happens, and you either grow or shrink from the experience of it.
I personally prefer to grow. How about you?
My point here is that it never hurts to embrace the oddities of life. First, life is just way too short to take seriously. And second, why would you want to be serious all the time? Life is an adventure, and laughter is a reward.
The next time you are feeling out-of-sorts, or otherwise down, seek out a good memory. Play a funny cat video on YouTube. Read something that makes you laugh.
Or you can always approach some random stranger, and tell them that they are odd looking.