Tuesday, April 3, 2012

No Way Are We Answering This!

Greetings Readers,
Today you all get first crack at the Conundrum of the Day!  It's a fun one, but we refuse to answer it. 

We just don't want to.
And no one can make us.
At least not today.
So there.

Dear MikChiks--
 There's a condition sometimes diagnosed in school-aged children called ODD--no, the kids aren't odd; the initials stand for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The initials are funny, but the disorder isn't. These kids are hard-wired to resist everything they're told to do.

I think that maybe I have some form of ODD, maybe a new condition called adult-onset ODD, because I was an extremely compliant and obedient child. But now that I'm a grown-up, I find myself constantly rebelling against...well, everything.

Here's a timely example (It would have been timely had we posted it when it arrived!)—just one tiny illustration of my orneryness. St. Patrick's Day is coming up, and I won't be wearing green. Ask me why. Okay, I'll tell you.

1. We're not in Ireland, and I'm not Irish. I have nothing against the Irish, but it just doesn't make sense to me. Do we celebrate St. Bartholomew's Day (Armenia)? St. Mark's Day (Egypt)? St. Lawrence's Day (Sri Lanka)? No? I rest my case.

2. Beer tastes horrid. Green beer? Horrid-er.

3. If everyone is doing something (i.e., wearing green), I want no part of it. But just to be extra oppositional--I'll wear green the day after St. Patrick's Day. So everyone knows I have green clothing, and I could have worn it, but chose not to.

Like I said--I'm like this all the time, not just for St. Patrick's Day. And because I'm so resistant to peer pressure, to authority, to anything done in groups, people think I'm less nice than I really am. I don't like being ODD--I'd love to be a joiner, a conformer, a sweetheart. But even just thinking about, say, re-posting a Facebook status, produces an actual physical reaction in me--I think my blood pressure just skyrocketed as I typed those words.

How can I become less ODD? Should I even try?

I will probably resist your advice.

Sincerely, ODDball.

So there you have it!

What say the Wise and Un-resistant Readers?
Maddie and Lisa
P.S. And don't go sending us any conundrums! 
(unless you really want to)


  1. I think it is our human nature to go against authority. I mean really, all through history we have people who went against what people told them either they couldn't do or should not do. If they had complied we wouldn't have a lot of the inventions in our world today. :) It is MY nature to go against things too...as long as no one gets hurt either physically or verbally...I am for individuality! :)

  2. I fail to see a problem with this, in general. Individuality is manifested in many ways, and a refusal to go along with the crowd can be a good thing, particularly if the crowd is doing something pointless, stupid, boring, or dangerous. My statements, though, must be taken with a grain of salt because I was the compliant child who discovered that as an adult I quite like being ornery. I do not attend Town Hall meetings at work, for example.

    That being said, if your attitude is turning people off of you or really not letting the real you shine through, you probably ought to re-examine ways to connect with people that doesn't necessitate kowtowing to peer pressure or other forces. I have a great friend who is ferocious and a little scary (actually, I have more than one friend like this) but who is NOT afraid of saying 'I love you' and being perfectly genuine in whatever she does. Just because she's not reposting some glurge on FB or gushing over rainbows and such does not mean she's not a good person or a grand friend. She just is who she is.

    Oh, and try saying 'yes' every one in a while. It can be surprisingly fun to just allow the flow to take you along. Hard to do, so pick your times well, but I suspect the reward will be worth it. Being agreeable from time to time doesn't rob you of who you are, it just makes your contrary nature a little more quirky.

  3. I know this one. You spend 20 years doing what you're told, 'being a good girl' and squelching your own opinions and desires in order to serve the 'other-sourced' values of compliance and cooperation. Now, the 'other-source' is gone, and you want to do whatever you want, when you want and how you want, no matter what anyone says. So There! trouble is...we went from one side of the spectrum to the other extreme side. The total rebellion is a symptom of me, me, me without generosity and with arrogance. Not to be harsh, but it's now become a dishonesty to yourself. You rebel just for the sake of rebelling...for the attention. Time to seek the middle ground. Using your example of reposting on FB...be honest. Do you really like the post? Do you think it would help or entertain one or several of your friends? NOT reposting just for the sake of it is simply holding back everything in your possession from everyone in your circles. If you really, really like it...what harm in sharing? Re-examine what is uniique about your interests and skills...what honestly makes you tick. Bring that to the forefront to get the attention. If you can't think of anything...then find an interest to learn that no one else you know, does or knows...a craft, a language, there's always SOME weird (different) thing out there waiting for us to dive into. Rebelling as a knee-jerk reaction is the easy way out---stop and think about what you are resisting, and move on from that point.

  4. I don't think what you're describing is ODD. Children with ODD resist authority. If you had ODD, you'd be going around breaking laws and fighting against anyone who had "rightful" authority over you--just to show you could resist. Not wanting to participate in St. Patrick's Day just shows that you've given the holiday some thought and decided it isn't meaningful to you. It's more like resisting peer pressure, the peer in this case being society in general. That's not ODD. It's exercising the ability to think things through and make socially and legally acceptable decisions for yourself. If you've always been compliant just to be compliant and get along, perhaps you're just now realizing you have the grown-up freedom to make your own decisions now--and you're liking that freedom, so you're exercising it. The next step is to realize you also have the choice to comply and can do so freely when you want to get along with others--as a gift to others if you want to give it--so long as you're still not breaking any laws or going against someone (like God) who has rightful authority over you.

  5. My dad refused to wear green every year all my life on St Patrick's Day. why? Because we aren't Catholic. The protestant Irish (which he was both) wore orange. My dad had a bright orange shirt he wore every year in his own quirky rebellion. As a kid, I wore both. One to honor my protestant Irish background and the other simply to avoid being pinched.

    On another note...Dad had the habit of wearing the exact same shirt every four years for his driver's license picture. My dad was an oddball, no doubt about it.

  6. Rebellious Robyn here.... your letter resonates deep in my heart, but I have always been a rebel. Not ODD but I can be a non-conformist.

    Take something from each of the comments given so far... all have good advice. or don't take it.

    do it because you want to, not because we tell you to. :)

  7. ODD is so sad to see in children and can make for a totally dysfunctional life. Yet, the dear writer is not dysfunctional--rather he/she is making choices that do not disrupt life or break rules. His choice of terminology and attempt to be funny is rather sad.

  8. So you're "different." I like different, and if you aren't "mean," I see no problem here, ODD or not!

  9. Hey ODDball, may I recommend that you read Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend? It might help you feel more confident in your personality and in your excellent ability to set boundaries.