Peculiar is an odd word. Just look at the way it’s spelled. It is also a perfect fit for some of the most interesting individuals in our lives. We celebrate them each January 10 on Peculiar People Day.
The unique spirits we salute on this date might live next door. You can’t miss the neighbor with rainbow-colored hair and a bright smile. Perhaps you know someone who’s immersed in cosplay. We definitely admire Steampunk devotees for their dedication to detail.
Peculiar people make us smile, and they sometimes make history. Consider the brave women who proudly claimed themselves to be suffragettes in the early 20th century. What was perceived back then as unladylike behavior struck many of their peers as very unusual.
Some of our most prolific authors did and do work outside the norm. Victor Hugo preferred to write in the nude. Yes, Quasimodo sprang to life from the creative mind of a man wearing no clothes. Stephen King casts spells on us with stories and books written out in longhand with his beloved Waterman fountain pen.
Does it seem odd that a favorite relative prefers to communicate by snail mail instead of email? When someone downsizes all the way down to a tiny house, does that strike you as off the grid? Are you comfortable accepting an ovo-vegetarian’s invitation to a home-cooked meal?
The answers to these semi-profound questions depend on your point of view. What might strike you as strange can seem perfectly normal to someone else. Now, turn that thought around. We can all seem eccentric when viewed through the sharply focused lens of someone else’s standards.
Each one of us brings a unique angle to the collective table. That is what makes the world so wonderfully diverse. On this unusual day, let’s all be proud of the peculiarities that form our singular identities.
As we celebrate Peculiar People Day, let us embrace those who are different as we celebrate our own individuality. Take a look in the mirror. Give your special self two thumbs-up and take a bow. Today belongs to you, too.