Most people like symmetry. Balance. Things that line up together. Not me. Give me crooked any day. A crooked car would be difficult to drive. But a crooked house, as long as it had a stable foundation, would be awesome! Crooked art. Asymmetrically designed furniture. Uneven earrings. These are things worth talking about, worth noticing for their courage to be different, to push the boundaries on expectations, or in some cases, the unexpected results of life.
I’m thinking about crooked things today because a lovely woman cut and dyed my hair for a hairdressing exam and the cut came out a little uneven. The left side is longer than the right side. For days, we’ve tried to set up a time to re-do it. It hasn’t worked. Either I had sick kids, or she had sick kids. This morning, she sent me a message asking me to pop over so she could fix it. Today looks like the day we finally get a chance to sit down together and straighten out my hair, but you know, I’ve told her this whole time not to stress over it.
Why am I not leaving the house with a hat on every day, worrying when she’ll have time to make it right? Why haven’t I booked an appointment with a different hairdresser for a new style?
Because it’s really not that big of a deal. Crooked things have a special character about them, a distinct flavor you can’t find anywhere else. Think back to the various hairstyles, outfits, characters, people, or even ideas you’ve run across. The different ones stand out. The polished ones usually blend in with all the other polished, perfect people or ideas in the world. I can’t fit in with them. I’ve tried. I failed miserably. I like not worrying about it. Much easier.
Crooked things also have stronger memories. I’ve remembered Lombard Street in San Francisco, the most crooked street in the world, since the day I drove on it, my hands gripping the steering wheel so tight my knuckles looked like alabaster marbles. Just thinking about it again makes my heart start thudding. I’ll remember this haircut, too. I don’t remember all the others I’ve had. I like memories, they tell me I’ve lived life. I’ve gone out there and done things. Memories are like tiny fingerprints I’ve left on the earth, or people and events have left upon me.
But I think what I like the most about crooked things is their ability to create shared experiences. Because it requires both the creator and the receiver to interact with each other, to process the unplanned result, to discuss it, consider options, and best of all, to laugh together. I like laughing. Makes you live longer. I read it on the internet, so it must be true =).