Searching for inspiration on the internet, while catching my breath after having my nose polluted by the person next to me in yoga class, I came across a site called “the experience project” with a page titled “I love how things smell“. Real quick, I don’t mind if people don’t shower, in fact I rarely shower before yoga class, but please, please, make sure you don’t smell like a 3 year old’s training underwear when going into a hot, poorly ventilated room where people exercise. We had the potential for a perfect class, slow movements with heavy meditation, perhaps I should have been able to focus on my breathing and let go of distractions, believe me, I would have welcomed a stressful thought that I couldn’t send “down the river” over what wafted from my neighbor with every down-cobra-dolphin-dog that we flowed into.

Combing through the site, I read all the typical things that people love to smell; lilacs, rain, food cooking, pine forests, babies, ocean breezes, and it got me thinking, as much as I want to hate all those smells, because everyone else likes them, I can’t help but say that they are pleasant. Now, they forgot gasoline, musty old things, and a good sweaty armpit, but mostly they pulled together the things that all people find pleasant.

What piqued my curiosity while reading through the “smells list” was how upset I became that most people love the smell of rain as much as I do – I thought that was mine. I also wanted someone to write something off the wall, like, that they longed for the smell of a chicken’s leg after being pecked on for three hours in an effort to establish order. You know, a mix of dried blood and chicken skin. I wanted something different, and I didn’t want to be the same. Why?

Let me explain, using Jane’s Addiction as an example. I was exposed to Jane’s Addiction by a “cool” older kid, there weren’t too many other 8th graders who knew who they were, at least that’s what I thought, they were mine, I was “awesomer” for introducing them to people, and it was an instant “in” when I met other kids my age who liked them too. Then, the world saw Perry with stockings over his face, and every ball park played “my bands” song when a pitcher and catcher snagged a leaper. I still love them, but you must know that I was “down” in the early days. Please understand my sarcasm, kind of sarcasm, more of poking fun at the mind of a teenager, but wait, I still have that mind at times and I want to have things for myself, I don’t want to be apart of what the masses are doing, especially, as I buy my half “v” neck t-shirts at Target while drinking a redeye from Starbucks, the redeye makes me cool – it’s not on the menu.

I want our girls to be original, I don’t want them to “follow the herd”, but what if their tastes are what “the herd” enjoys. Today, when I picked Mae up from the child watch area at the YMCA, she asked me if I knew who Hannah Montana was. “Um, kind of, do you know who she is?” She replied “Someone said she was cool.” Having this post in mind, and knowing I would have to report my reaction to you, I said “Oh, Haze are your socks on?”

My Papa Sense tells me:

It seems that people want to feel a sense of community, they want to belong to something. As much as I do, I don’t want to feel that I relate to the whole, I am dissatisfied with what popular society finds attractive – I happen to find much of it offensive. I want to discover things, not have them shown to me, I want to absorb the world, not just watch it pass by through drive-by windows.

This doesn’t mean that I want to live separate, not mingle with, or otherwise disassociate with the rest of society, but I do want to feel that I am finding my news, networks, and knowledge, rather than having them fed to me. I will not push Ms. Montana out of the house, I may not even question her adorning our daughter’s shirts (which she does not), but I will model the behavior of a seeker, and hopefully pass along a sense of being active, rather than passive, not aggressive, and always assertive in this world.

Bleh. I have poured over this for too long – what do you think?