I don’t try to live by it: it kind of just happens. My life motto is, “Don’t feed the ducks. Bloodthirsty little beasts.” Obviously, this is a recent actual quote because I didn’t read The Clockwork Angel until last month or something. But I’ve had this idea for a while, and it was actually kind of confirmed for me when I read Fear Has a Name a few month ago. You can read what I said about that aspect of it more in depth here, but the gist of it was, when only one person in your life is kind to you, you develop a loyalty to that person.
I have a theory that everyone attracts a particular kind of person. Like, my mom attracts needy people because she’s kind and she listens. I have a friend who attracts really persistent nerds. I’m not sure what it is about me, but I attract mentally ill people. I guess I’m nice and I listen. Even though I hate talking to people, I’m really polite, so people who are oblivious of societal norms tend to take it the wrong way. You know, just because I say hi doesn’t mean ______ .
And that’s kind of sad. I think it implies that, at best, everyone kind of ignores people who are on the fringes of normalcy. But who defines what is normal or socially acceptable? There’s a lot of things that are socially acceptable that I don’t participate in. Does that put me on the fringe of normalcy? I heard somewhere that everyone thinks they’re reasonable, middle-of-the-road people. We think everyone has standards similar to ours. Is that why we’re so shocked when people do stuff we think is rude or invasive?
Even when you realize that everyone is unique and has different standards because hey, maybe they grew up in a different country, sometimes it can still be shocking that their standards are so completely different from yours. Especially if you’re interested in similar things or involved in similar groups. And then you’re kind of left like, “What? You don’t think so too?”
I know personally that the fringe of social normalcy is a lonely place. Maybe I’m a snob for picking my friends, for being careful about who I let into my life. But now I’ve realized that about myself, I’ve kind of embraced it. Even though I know it’s (sort of) wrong, I’d rather not feed the ducks and live a private life.