Odd Duck

I came home today to find Lu wearing a dress with a bikini top over it and a striped visor on her head. She looked like an Alzheimer's patient on her way to a bridge game. Nini explained that it was what she'd wanted to wear. How can you argue with such a distinctive fashion sense?

I took her to a party on Friday where she acted pretty civilized — worshipfully following Jamie's nieces around, dancing and making friends. Then she discovered the dog cage...er, crate in the upstairs bedroom. She busily crawled in and out. And in and out. And in and out. She'd make a sidetrip to steal change from a dresser or strum the banjo in the corner, but she was, oddly, lured by the cage. Which made me wonder, could it be this simple? A cage?!

She's been singing weird songs, and the dressing in strange outfits, and you know, the fascination with the cage. I think maybe she is odd. I say that reverentially, if not a little fearfully. I am odd, and so is Jason, but only in the hidden, apologetic way of people who want others to like them. I was so odd as a fourth grader that I gravely told my only friend, a Vietnamese refugee named Thuy, that I was an alien, but not to worry, because I was a really nice one. She raised her hand and asked to be moved to a new chair — but she went on to be a cheerleader. I made her, really.

My oddness got better (or more discreet), and mostly I am only odd on the inside. I look for the hidden odd in other people. Odd is not be confused with eccentric or interesting (or arty or cool or affected) — those are totally at odds with odd. I could do a whole point/counterpoint list about what is and isn't odd, but it makes no sense. No one wants to be odd. You just are. Sadly.

And I think Lu might be. In which case, she will resent her parents less.