One day, me and a friend were visiting the shopping centre, having a nice dose of window shopping. Casually browsing, we would glance through every shop door to see what it was like, what was going on and if there was anything of interest that we might buy.
We walked past by a nail salon. We took a glance through the wide open doors. And the first thing we both noticed was that there was a male employee, possibly not much older than ourselves, sat at the nail bar, working delicately on a female customer’s nails.
“Was that a guy working in there?” my friend asked. “That’s weird.”
She didn’t know at the time but at that exact point, when she spoke out those words, I had a completely different view in my head.
“Aww how cool! There’s a guy working in there!” I thought to myself.
This complete difference in opinion had got me thinking. She thought it was weird. Why did I think it was cool?
Now I didn’t know a thing about this employee. I didn’t know if this was his full-time job, a side job, helping out a family business, nothing. All I knew was he, at that moment, was in a nail salon, quite openly working on someone’s nails – something which is considered to be quite feminine. How many men do you usually see giving manicures? It was different. And that fact alone was what I found cool. I liked that he was different.
I have an attraction towards ‘different.’ Another friend of mine once noted how I loved to use the word ‘different’ to describe things that I liked. It didn’t occur to me until he pointed it out, but he is right. One of my most common phrases must be “I like it. It’s different!”
I’ve had two ‘nature vs nurture’ theories as to why I prefer ‘different’ over the norm. The first is simply that I was just born with different tastes to most people. The same way we all have our different tastes in the kind of foods we like. It’s not really something we control.
The second theory is perhaps my school life experiences. I was not the trendiest person in school. I was also quite weird and probably lacked the usual social skills most people have at that age. But I used to try hard to fit in with everyone, by liking the same things they did, finding out what was ‘cool’ or ‘trendy’ and doing that. Somehow, it never worked out for me, I was still ousted by the ‘popular’ group for being different. However, I was lucky to be part of the supposedly ‘uncool’ circle. We were all uncool. We were all different. But we were different together and I was really happy to have friends like them. I could be myself and still be accepted.
So maybe that was what caused it? ‘Normal’ was cruel to me. ‘Different’ was kind.
I guess it was around then that I subconsciously felt drawn towards anything and everything that was slightly out of the norm. Eccentric personalities. Unusual interests. People in elaborate costumes, Final Fantasy hair and all, walking outside on their way to a Cosplay Expo (I witnessed this and thought it was amazing!). I like that they aren’t afraid to be different, unafraid of breaking away from the social norm.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s still some things which are so overwhelmingly different, it even weirds me out a little! But I try my best to not to judge too quickly. 🙂
So, to the guy in the nail salon. Thank you for being different 🙂