I received an unusual compliment over 30 years ago:
“You’re weird! You’re not normal! I want someone normal. I want to be with someone normal.”
The speaker was Laurie, a girlfriend. Laurie was upset over my Valentine’s gift to her. Instead of the Tree of Knowledge, I gave her the Book of Knowledge along with a big red sexy apple. (The Book of Knowledge was a one-volume encyclopedia.) She was not amused.
“I wanted flowers for Valentine’s Day — something normal. A book and an apple are not normal Valentine’s gifts. You’re weird!”
Laurie dumped me. Devastation! It was the first time in my life I experienced panic attacks with the thought of being alone. I did not see her words as complimentary.
But over the years, I came to accept myself as “weird and not normal.” That makes me unique. I now wear Laurie’s words as a Badge of Honor.