Mikey and I decided to introduce the children to that great American classic, “The Coneheads“. Okay, that kind of came out like a pre-thought thing – it was more like he was surfing movies with Micah, they started watching it and I caught wind of it and was all, “WAAAAAIT!!! I LOVE THE CONEHEADS!!!” – I dropped the work I was doing like a hot tamale burning my fingers and ran on over to the living room.
I love me some Coneheads.
Anyway, I was thinking about it: why aren’t we more like this with anyone that is unusual to us? Like, with people with disabilities, with foreigners, with eccentric artist types? The Coneheads were so glaringly different from their neighbours and everyone around them, but did you see anyone say, ‘you can’t work here because your head looks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay different from mine?‘ or ‘you really talk differently from me, you need to go and get trained to be just like ME‘ – no, right? I mean, that’s one of the funny things about the movie – that the Coneheads just say they are from France and noone even raises an eyebrow.
So I’m just wondering why we don’t do that with one another in real life.
Because the Coneheads weren’t pushed into some stupid box and because they were who they were, everyone benefited. The workforce got a great worker, the community got a great family, the neighbours got a neighbour who could suck scum off of the parts of their mowing machine! Win-win!
If we quit pushing everyone around and shoving people who are unusual to us into a society mold of “normal”, if we just learned to appreciate and celebrate difference, we too could get people in our lives who would enrich it in ways we can’t even imagine.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.