Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gravitating towards the Mean

You know, I remember college and grading on the curve. Not sure I understood it completely, but the gist is that in any given population, most people tend towards the mean (C average), and there are a few outliers on both tails (As and Fs). Now I think in college the curve was a bit forced – I think there were more Bs than Cs.

You know, in life, people tend towards the mean. After school, most people work for a living. My goal was to be a trophy wife, but sadly, I did not achieve that endeavor. I mean, I could give great head (a prerequisite), but alas, I did not find the billionaire husband. Drats.

Being a trophy wife, if you are looking at income or comfort level, would have placed me squarely in the right-side tail of the bell curve.1

But I was thinking about it the other day – thinking about not wanting to be "normal" because normal sort of sucks.

Normal sort of sucks economically.
Normal people have about $8,000 in credit card debt, owe pretty much the entire mortgage on their homes, live paycheck to paycheck, owe several thousands of dollars on their cars, and have student loans that are, well, huge. Being smack-dab in the middle of normal does not look like a lot of fun. And I am not talking about wealth-building or having crap. I am more worried about not worrying constantly about money. That sucks, and life is too short to have it suck.

Normal sort of sucks socially.
Normal people watch 8 hours of television per day.2 Normal people rarely hike, bike or swim. Normal people watch the ball drop on New Year's Eve, rather than being somewhere crowded and dancing one's ass off. Or spending the evening just reading a good book – doing something that most people aren't doing. Normal people read two books per year. Normal people (52% of the population) get divorced. Normal people who remain married don't seem to be able to sustain a very healthy marriage (myself included).

Normal sort of sucks physically.
Normal people gain 1 to 2 pounds of weight per year (over ten years, yikes, that is a lot of weight). Normal people can't run a mile once they hit the big 3-0, and although they may have a gym membership, they do not actively attend. Normal people can't climb stairs without feeling winded, can't touch their toes or don't like their figure.

You know, I don't want to be normal. I want to live an extraordinary life. I want to be more than normal. Normal people don't write books, and I desperately want to be abnormal. I want to write a book. And you know, more and more, I think the difference between being normal and being extraordinary is in setting goals. Simple, really, and that is the difference between being in the middle of the curve and being on the far right side of the curve. And it took me thirty some-odd years to figure this out. Holy crap, and I normal.

1Giving good tail to be on the right-side tail. Actually, I have heard trophy wives have to be presentable, look down their noses at others and eat salads at every meal. Clearly, that is not what I would have liked, even if it meant country clubs, high teas and theatre every Saturday evening.

2Okay, all of these numbers are made up. Not that they are completely made up. I heard something in the past, but I am too lazy to actually look them up, though Google would probably help me out.


RWA said...

Please take this as a compliment - but based solely on this blog and the wonderful writing that you share here, I can't imagine you falling into the "normal" category at all.

Keep your goal of not being normal.

QUASAR9 said...

Leesa, life is a Pyramid

There are a few at the top who have multimillion dollar incomes, and trophy wives who become well paid PR agents for art galleries, or charity dinners.
You know trophy wives who are not just dumb blondes - but who have maids to look after the kids (even mexican surrogate mothers if need be) - so that they can exercise their career and their law or business or whatever degree.

Then there are high paid career people who strive after the dream the above 'live' -

Then there are those lower down, playing catch up. It's no longer a matter of how large your home is - but how much your mortgage is. Which do you prefer 200 square metres of living space and a garden at least an acre long - or a shoebox 'worth' a million dollars, with a mortgage to match.

Then of course there are those who are caught below, never quite out of debt - always owing more than they can repay - hoping one day it'll all go away.

And one should never forget, that as in every pyramid - it is the bulk at the bottom, that is supporting the top - it is the bulk at the bottom in debt to the few at the top.

The Men (and women) who never did a day work in their life - because the interest or dividend on their shares pays more than you'll ever earn - and the value of their home increases everyday by more than their mortgage (supposing they even needed a mortgage to start with). These will have the nerve to look down their nose, and tell those below to work & borrow more.

Increasingly more and more in the uk are now forced to purchasing a home in equity share schemes. Yep, you never actually own the home - because you pay a mortgage on half, and rent the other half from a Housing Association.

But fear not, you'll home should go up in value, so you should still make on your share of the shoebox home, and so the dream goes on. Except with the other pressures and demands from life, no matter how much you dream, the dream becomes more distant.

But hey - who said life was fair, or society was becoming more equittable - no not even for those from B+ never mind those from B or C+
As for those from C down, well
You can always dream
Maybe one day your boat will come in or maybe you'll win the lottery

Leesa said...

rwa: I strive to be different. Thanks for the compliment.

quasar: I see the world completely differently than you see the world. As long as I don't owe anybody anything and I have enough food on the table, life is good. I don't need to get in debt to feel better about me. I don't need a big house. I just don't.

kathi said...

Darlin', you had me. I believed all of it, but am glad to know they're made up. I'll tell you right now, there is no way I could flat out run a solid mile without stopping. Not a fact, I'd probably look for a good hotel along the way and make it a two day ordeal. :)

Ian Lidster said...

Oh, you are too a trophy at many levels, including in the wife category in the 'important' realms.
And you are a trophy with your wisdom, wit, blog, attractiveness, candor, and so on.
And you will write a book, and I will read it, and I'll say "I know her -- sort of."


Leesa said...

kathi: they may be made up for the blog entry, but I think they are close to reality.

ian: the term "trophy wife" though seems to link me to a possession, and I would never want to marry someone who saw me that way. And I can be a pain in the ass at times.

Matthew J. said...

Screw being normal. Normal is boring.