Friday, September 17, 2010

Embracing normal?

As I’ve shared before, I’ve always thought the world would be a better place if life was lived out like a musical, with people randomly breaking into song and dance throughout the day. It would absolutely improve work meetings, grocery shopping, traffic congestion, and just about every other routine that normally comes with a bit of dread. However, after seeing this article about individuals who have actually been doing something like that on the streets of downtown Minneapolis recently, I’m realizing that perhaps the boundaries of my artistic expression haven’t fully embraced this idea after all. The group of “artists” responsible for this little activity are solo dancing down the street as a way of promoting self-expression in public places. Yet, I’m pretty sure I would be a little freaked out if one of these people twirled down the street next to me.

It reminds me of sociology class when we talked about social norms and how people get uncomfortable when we don’t follow them. Like the French guy who used to work in my office and would always stand in the front of the elevator facing the back…oh how I wanted to tell him that’s not the way we ride the elevator in America. I’d have similar reactions if I saw someone walking backwards or jogging with arms flailing (a la Phoebe in a classic Friends moment). These people draw stares because, well, that’s just not how we do things.

Call me a follower if you’d like, but I can’t see myself choosing to twirl and leap down a busy city street...unless maybe it’s part of some carefully choreographed group routine or flashmob. Maybe it’s the fact that I just don’t love a lot of attention, and a gimmick like that would be sure to draw some eyes toward me. I guess I like following the norms most of the time. But you never know, one of these days I may surprise even myself and let the world know that I’m indeed not so normal after all.


  1. Yeah, I am guessing the musical numbers that might break out, say on the streets on Minneapolis or the hallways of Grace Church, may not reach the quality level of an episode of Glee. It might be, well, awful. I have heard people do karaoke, and it usually is not pretty.

  2. I love that Friends episode! (OK, I love them all)