In Search of Normality

I’m really trying to get back into the habit of blogging, rather than just constantly posting videos of the games I am playing. Although I enjoy the latter, I really do enjoy blogging and need to make time in order to achieve this. As for content/topics, well I do like to blog about the games I play, from a newbie perspective of course, but I also like to post blogs about my life in general. These are probably the ones which I enjoy writing the most, but are the least viewed and interacted with. I can accept that since, quoting that famous ABBA song – “I’m nothing special, in fact I’m a bit of a bore!”

As you might be aware I am a person of routines and this usually extends to my blog posts as I maintain a constant structure. I am going to, and this is meant to be good for me, try to write less in this structure since many times I put off writing a blog post mainly because I can’t think of three things to put in it. So be prepared – I’m throwing everything to the wind here and just writing! – Heaven help us! (waits for the world to end…..)

I was busy at work when one of my students said something to me. At the moment I was taken back about the comment, but as I have thought about it more and more, I do think that there was probably some truth in the comment. What was is? Well quite simple – why can’t I be more normal…

Before you all suddenly break away from your coffee or other favourite beverage and start typing in the comments that there is no such thing as normality, I would like you to pause for a minute, if you are a quick reader, and just read the rest of this post before getting a-typing. I don’t think the comment was meant to be detrimental in any sense of the word, it is just that I don’t have much going for me which allows me to fit in with the rest of the world. I have already mentioned my love of routine and aversion to germs but it doesn’t end there. I have a variety of dietary requirements (being vegetarian/vegan), I have the complete absence of alcohol in my life and even range of medical issues from trigeminal neuralgia to IBS. I do don’t like being touched or people close to me – that’s physical proximity – and have never been on a date. I have the unnerving habit of not engaging my verbal filter before asking questions and struggle with most social situations. It would appear that rather than having a small amount of abnormalities I have been given a whole sack load.

After the comment had been made, I was walking home thinking what can I change in order to be more ‘normal’ or not to appear so different. As I went shopping this weekend, I looked at a can of fish and tried to disconnect the animal within thinking I could just by it and eat it and leave my vegetarian roots and become something which ‘fits in more’. Then I could go frolicking at the weekends, enjoying long social dinners without having to consider in great depth about what I could eat from the menu. Although I wouldn’t venture down the route of drinking milk – the outcome is not worth even thinking about! – I could actually do my shopping at another time, or sit at another table in Costa or even, gasp shock horror, change my drink – maybe even put a drop of syrup in it! Drinking alcohol might get me invited to the pub more and I would be able to regale people with my stories of drunken ventures or even look embarassed as images of the previous night out were shared across Facebook. I decided that working on the social interaction might be an easy one to start with so, in an attempt to gain a more social interaction – I actually sent out a number of Facebook messages via the messenger application to try and chat with people – I guess people are busy – or my messenger isn’t working. No replies yet.

You might still have your fingers hovering over the keys awaiting to type a response to this post about being myself and not bothering what other people think but just hold off for a few more minutes, I’ve nearly finished. I do wonder whether my list of ‘differences’ are actually causing more. I wonder whether I am self perpetuating them as, in an attempt to become accepted, I am actually creating more so that people think ‘wow’ how interesting that person is. I am, as I’ve said before, T-Total – but I also decided some years ago to not have alcohol even in sauces and cakes. I’m not sure why, apart from being completely T-total, but I do think decisions like these add to my abnormality and yet, I don’t think I can go backwards on the decision – just like I can’t disconnect that image of that animal when I see a tray of meat.

The initial comment – “Why can’t you be more normal?” was probably very true. I’m not normal at all – I don’t conform into any peg hole, indeed I’m not even a square peg trying to force my way into the round hole of society – I’m more a pentagonal prism trying to slide into not only a square hole which is several sizes too small. I’m wondering whether I should try to relax a bit, let go of some of my ‘constraints’ and actually try and fit in more. Maybe then I will be more acceptable for society, social groups and life in general. But, as easy as that sounds – it is not and maybe I will just have to remain slightly abnormal for a little while longer…

If you are interested – and I have no idea why you would be – about my weird life, then you can read about other aspects by following these links – Sleeping, food, drinking and anxiety.

2 comments for “Let Me In! – Simon’s Cat – YouTube

  1. February 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Would be cool to play an one off, one of the dungeon crawls you made! Maybe the 8 level one!!!

  2. March 21, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I miss those early days so much. The current state of rpg’s , the rpg xubculture if you like, doesn’t feel like it did back then. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    I was introduced to Advanced D&D 1st Edition, by my sisters boyfriend (the BEST boyfriend of the many she had IMHO..), who showed me S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module after discovering I enjoyed computer based adventure games, I was hooked immediately and it wasn’t too long before I was hanging around the local game shop, Games Gallery, from which I was invited to join in a game run by the assistant manager, who was to become my long and good friend Steve, who was coincidentally, the reason I got to work at the local branch of Games Workshop for a time. Working there, in those days, before it became a Warhammer only shop, was amazing. It was the proverbial kid in the sweet shop!. Staff discount made it even sweeter – 50% off GW’s own products, and 25% off everything else. We also ran a great rpg club, with about 60-80 members at its peak.
    I was always the GM for my main group as no one else had the time it took to prepare a game properly, though after a few changes to the group, and people from the club popping up, I eventually got to play. Games by a company called Fantasy Games Unlimited (FGU) were very popular in all of my groups. FGU sold games such as Bushido, Aftermath,Space Opera, Chivalry & Sorcery, Freedom Fighters, and Bunnies & Burrows, but there were many many more games, by many different companies, covering all sorts of genres – and I still have them all. Many were, as was the style back then, table and chart and rule HEAVY. We loved that. Comparing themto the current crop of “rules lite” systems, I would certainly go back to the old games instead. We played these games sometimes 5 days a week, as for a time we were all unemployed. It was all we did.
    I often spent days creating scenarios, making maps, creating player characters as well as npc’s. I found it quite therapeutic, as is miniature painting – thousands of the little buggers packed away testify to the time I spent doing it. My “toy soldiers” as my brother in law calls them…
    I used to get quite attached to my favourite characters, and whilst one or two died over the decades, most did not.
    For almost all of my characters I would go overboard by most people’s standards. I like to have an image for my characters, whether a photo or artwork. Sometimes I will see an image and that is the base for the whole character, built around the image.
    I always believed as a player, that giving the GM a detailed background, list of goals, motivations, friends, contacts and enemies, will help the GM bring my character into the game more, by using some of what I have given him in the game. As a GM I like to see what players come up with for their characters, and will often use it in the game. It involves the player more, makes the game more personal if part of the game is suddenly about them, and it can help the players become more invested in their characters.
    For myself, I would often map out the characters home, create a family tree, siblings, etc.
    For our Star Trek RPG (by FASA Corp), I created the whole crew of a 500+ personnel star ship… All as detailed player characters. Unnecessary and a bit OTT I know, but it helped bring every department on the ship alive, every member of the landing party was a person not simply a red shirt.

    I am often bemused whilst watching streams when I see the gm of a streamed game pull some “new” idea out of his box of tricks, and the players are like “wow!”, “that’s original”, “I would never have thought of doing it that way!”, knowing we did it 30-40 years ago.

    The games my most recent group and I played/ran, were very detailed games with a lot of depth. Quite dark games too, mature themed, and often very emotional and intense. Having played with the same people for nigh on 20 years, you create a bond, a closeness and familiarity that allows you to communicate in a way you couldn’t, with people you don’t know very well.
    I have been brought to tears several times in recent years during the last (decade long) game we played ,as some scenes were simply too emotional or powerful, overwhelming (GM was a bastard – but an EXCELLENT GM).

    Sadly the group folded, but the GM offered to keep the game going for just me, which he did for a few years, which to be honest I really needed, as it helped me through a bad depression at that time).
    Over the years I have experienced a lot of things because of rpg’s, and made some great friends, too. I have a lot to be grateful for, regarding rpg’s. I was discussing with my brother in law, my collection of rpg’s and miniatures. When he realised how much they are worth, (some regularly sell for £100’s!) he always tells me to sell sell sell. He doesn’t grasp what they mean to me .
    Yet I won’t. Part of me hopes and prays that I will get a local group together (even some of the old group!) and start using them again. But aside from that, as my memory fails, little by little each year, these boxes and books and miniatures on the shelves are my constant reminders of happy and sad and exciting moments, and great fun, and more importantly, great friends.

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