Oh, Charleston/Isle of Palms. Gorgeous; sunny, warm and beautiful. I baked the cold winter right out of my bones, and was on my way to well-done when the vacation ended.
I hated to leave. The ocean is a bit like my own oracle of Delphi. I ask, it answers. Sometimes it tells me what I want to know, sometimes it gives me tough love, sometimes the answers are inscrutable or annoying.
The big revelation at the shrine was about mavericks. I had my own duh moment (not really an a-ha when it’s so obvious): not only have I been falling for mavericks my whole life—and I mean friends AND lovers—I’m raising two.
Merriam-Webster defines mavericks as:
1: an unbranded range animal; especially : a motherless calf KEEP READING, THIS IS NOT THE DEFINITION WE ARE CONCERNED WITH
2: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party
Not joiners, these people I adore. And as someone who does not like conflict all that much, I wonder, why do I love these people?
Here’s a (abbreviated) rogues gallery of the accused:
Best friend from childhood: Outspoken on many issues, memorably including the ridiculousness and oppression of makeup on women (huh?). Even my parents were a little scared of crossing her. Traditionally liberal, she is now married to a Navy fighter pilot, calls me a pinko, is raising hell among PTA mothers while spearheading the school garden movement in her state.
First Love: Surfer and slacker and yet, straight A student. Memorable moments are mostly not for prime-time (ahem, my parents read this). Trust me: this guy beat to his own drum.
Wife: Happiest throwing life into chaos (moving, travel). Never afraid to pin people to the wall who she feels are shirking responsibility, despite having to face them every day thereafter. Has no problem letting people know how she feels, even if she’s the only one in the room with the opinion.
And then there are the ones I didn’t pick (and they didn’t pick me either). We’re stuck with each other.
Jasper: Favorite character in Star Wars: Darth Vader. Protests vehemently against having to attend college (bank error in my favor?).
Magnolia: Would prefer to speak in symbols she makes up (difficult to follow since they change daily). Two thumbs up not enough; invents “five thumbs up,” which includes both thumbs, tongue out, and holding up fists of hair in both hands.
You may wonder why this is important. Or you stopped reading a paragraph ago. The thing is, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t love conflict. So it’s a revelation to me that for the most part (excluding my children for aforementioned reasons), I seek out these rabble rousers.
The mavericks in my life want to stand up for things that will make people roll their eyes and ask to be moved to a different table. They challenge any accepted boundary, and complicate simple relationships; they can be embarrassing, and infuriating. They tend to say or type whatever comes into their head without thinking of their audience. Ninety percent of the time they turn right when I was so hoping they’d go left. And ay, they always think they are right (a problem since I know I’M RIGHT).
Even now, I’m writing this like they make me crazy, but part of me is thinking awwww. Their conviction and passion is admirable. Their lack of interest in the norm can be addictive. The highs with them are starry.
This is the part of the post where I should come to some sort of conclusion about why I love them. Listen, I have no idea why; the oracle wasn’t that specific and I’d need another week looking out at the ocean to decipher this one. Preferably with a margarita in hand (helps me think). Clearly I’m crazy or they are. Or both?
So here’s to you, my sweet mavericks. Whatever you’re doing is apparently working for me. XO