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“There’s Naught So Queer As Folk” October 7, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People, Spirit & Ego.

Wikipedia ~ Solar System (in Public Domain)

My Great Aunt Edie, born and raised in Scotland, rarely criticised people for acting in ways that she couldn’t fathom or understand.

Instead, she would say, with a slight smile at the corner of her mouth, “There’s naught so queer as folk.”

Today, I echo her sentiments.

Ego is a funny thing.

Ego wants to be right.  Ego wants to be right at all costs, even at the expense of our happiness.

Ego doesn’t want the foundation of its beliefs to be shaken by differing opinions offered up by others.

When someone expresses an opinion counter to Ego’s view of the world, Ego feels threatened.  In response to the perceived threat:

Hobbes* It resists.
* It bullies.
* It retaliates.
* It “unfriends” the offender.
* It withdraws support.

I knew that not everyone who knew “Andi” would agree with my opinion that she hadn’t died in a car crash on Monday because she’d never existed at all.

A  few people who “knew” her said they had sensed a fictional tapestry being woven, rather than a real life being lived.   Nothing definitive, though.

In writing the post, I thought maybe someone who knew her might come forward with evidence that Andi had existed as more than a fictional character in an artfully woven tale ~ that someone would refute my speculation by saying, “I met her.”   “I had lunch with her.”  “We went rock climbing together.”

No one has.

A few offered counter speculation that she MIGHT actually have lived and died.  But, thus far, no one seems to have met her outside the realms of the cyberworld.

Did she exist?

Maybe.  Maybe not.

I wondered.  I searched a bit.  Others did too.  Nothing “concrete” surfaced pointing to an answer one way or another.

I can live with uncertainty.  We must.  Life is uncertain.

Much of what we think we know about others is incorrect ~ even those we meet and greet in the “real world.”  We have as many reputations as acquaintances and NONE is accurate.

How many times have family, friends, and neighbors (when faced with evidence of a “secret life” or wrongdoing by  someone they thought they knew) scratched their heads and said, “I never would have suspected”?

If people can live secret lives in broad daylight . . . how much easier is it to create a fabricated life in the shadows of cyberspace?

We generally only know as much about others as they are willing to reveal.

But Ego wants certainty.

So Ego accepts what it wants and rejects the rest.  It weaves its own story line to fill in gaps.  It fantasizes.  It creates.  It imagines that it knows more than it does.  And once Ego has created its perspective on things, it views its view of the world as the right view of the world.

When Ego’s largely self-created but steadfast beliefs are countered, even by speculation, it rears up.  It snorts.  It paws the ground.  It urges the “enemy” to change its tune.  It rallies the troops.  It gathers a posse.  It insists that the opposition withdraw.

“Take that back!”  

And . . . if we don’t?

Well, here, I’ll just echo Edie’s sentiments:  “There’s naught so queer as folk.”

Quote:  He who trims himself to suit everyone else will soon whittle himself away. ~ Raymond Hull

No rules.  Just write.

What about you?

When you disagree, do you state your truth calmly and clearly and let others accept or reject it?  Or do you pepper your position with strident comments like, “I’m RIGHT”  or “You’re WRONG!”?

Is it easy for you to agree to disagree?

Related posts:  Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies * The 2011 Sexiest Blog Award * I Am Truly Humbled * Taking the Bait . . . Hook, Line, and Sinker * Disintegrating Facts * Aah . . . That’s Better! * Why? There’s Naught So Queer As Folk (Pocket Perspectives) * The Secret Lives of Wives (Life in the Boomer Lane)


1. Pocket Perspectives - October 7, 2011

“There’s naught so queer as folks”….I could have saved myself many years of bewilderment about why people do what they do if I had heard that bit of wisdom! And your question….I often step out of the way instead of disagreeing…but I’m trying to learn to “speak my truth calmly and clearly”….that’s a great phrase of wisdom, too.

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

When we see our opinions as “our truth” rather than “the truth,” Ego’s cage is not quite so easily rattled when faced with someone else’s “truth.” It’s nothing to get hung about.

People are silly rabbits. They invest so much energy in getting angry over “nothing.” What if they put that time and energy to better use? How much would they achieve?

2. Christine Grote - October 7, 2011

It depends how passionate I am about the subject,and whether I believe an injustice is being perpetrated.

And just for the record, I am a living, breathing human being. Put me in your “for real” list.

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

You seem very real to me ~ I’ve seen your gardens, your puppy, your office, your book, your writing files, your son’s gallery showing, your run in with a rattlesnake at the beach, etc.

I often say “I disagree.” I try to refrain from saying, “You’re WRONG!” (But it slips out from time to time . . . especially when faced with perceived injustice). 😉

3. Andra Watkins - October 7, 2011

I learn more about myself and about life when people disagree with me. Living would be a bore if everyone were just like me. So, I state things clearly and calmly and listen when people disagree. I may not see things their way, but life is more colorful somehow.

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

Thanks, Andra. Like you, I don’t mind people disagreeing with me. It’s usually a learning experience . . . about me, about them, or about life in general. That said, I don’t like it when people SCREAM at me or say, “I’m RIGHT!” or “You’re WRONG!” And I detest bullies.

I am rather like Elizabeth Bennet in that respect: “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ~ Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, ch. 31

If someone wants to counter “my truth” with “their truth” . . . I’m all ears. If they just want me to SHUT UP to protect their fragile Egos, I’m less inclined to comply with their wishes.

4. suzicate - October 7, 2011

Great Aunt Edie was a gem! Love the old sayings that surface very now and then. And how fitting it is!

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

She was a DELIGHT! You know that friend/old neighbor of yours (the amaretto, laundry, laughter, and pizza gal) ~ that was Edie.

5. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - October 7, 2011

You know I read that post yesterday and was just too flummoxed to comment. I sort of still am. Although, I did want to tell you I’m a bull fighter and expert scuba diver. You can google it! OK, I let my bull fighting certification lapse… isn’t this the subject of a country song?

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

You are THE MOST TALENTED MAN I’ve ever NOT met . . . gardening, bull fighting, cooking, scuba diving, whiskey tasting, canning, etc.

And you’re funny. Way too funny for a country music song. 😆

6. nuvofelt - October 7, 2011

In the NE of England they would say ‘There’s nowt so queer as folk’, in fact, every area of the UK has a slightly different version of this saying. It’s just so true.

I admit to being strange! I have many foibles that even my DH doesn’t understand. However, I avoid contention if I possible can. Well, almost always anyway.

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

That’s what PiP said yesterday. I googled this spelling to make sure that I wasn’t being “queer” about it. 😀

We are here to be UNIQUE individuals, but we are socialized to CONFORM to the expectations of others. Why? Because it’s easier to herd sheep when they are homogenized. B~A~A! We are urged to “get in line” and “stay in line” by all the border collies nipping at our heels. We are threatened and bullied and ostracized when we step out of line and refuse to “play by the rules.”

Cliques form and say, “You’re NOT like US!” . . . as if that was a BAD thing. 😆

7. souldipper - October 7, 2011

I enjoy strange, eccentric and humorously unpredictable people – unless they are out to intentionally hurt or deceive (same thing) any other living creature. Aunt Edie’s quote from her region in “The Old Country” captures it all and helps blow it off so folk can get on with life.

One of the reasons life is never dull on my island is because we even have “aginers” against the “aginers” – which encompasses those who dare sit on the overburdened fence!

I’ve learned to pick my battles. When a matter is of small import to me, I am like Aunt Edie and “live and let live.”

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

Like you, I am more often amused than angered by “strange, eccentric, and humorously unpredictable people.”

I find it relatively easy to shrug off their censure and get on with life. And, you’re right, it makes life just a little less dull. 😀

8. kateshrewsday - October 7, 2011

I’m inclined to agree with your analysis of the situation. People have all sorts of reasons for doing things, not all of which I understand. Humans always have been strange, and long after we’re gone they always will be.

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

True, dat. We are a strange breed, indeed.

9. bluebee - October 7, 2011

My sentiments echo Andra’s – how else do we learn from others unless we listen and respond calmly?

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

I agree. But some people are too focused on maintaining their existing view of the world to really open their eyes and ears.

We all lose when we refuse to keep an open mind about opinions and viewpoints that differ from our own.

10. Patricia - October 7, 2011

I like to talk with people who have different thoughts and opinions.

For example, I like to talk about religion and faith and beliefs. I always learn something. Sometimes discussion makes my thoughts more solid and firm and sometimes it makes them waver and I have to re-evaluate and sometimes I change my mind completely.

But I have found not everyone can talk about these subjects without becoming, shall we say, overwrought. I have learned that for some folks there is no agreeing to disagree. That’s when I just shut up and go home.

I listen to you, you listen to me, maybe we will find the way to world peace, or a really good deli.

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

Well put, Patricia. We are NOT our thoughts . . . our thoughts are not us.

When someone disagrees with our current view of the world, we need not become strident and overwrought. We can hear them out and say, “I disagree.” Or “Hmm . . . you’ve got a point.” Or “I hadn’t considered that before.”

Instead, some people (because they are unwilling or unable to accept a perspective offered from a different vantage point), get very hot under the collar. They stick their fingers in their ears and over their eyes while screaming, “BE QUIET. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT!”

Now . . . about that really good deli . . . 😀

11. Pocket Perspectives - October 7, 2011

okay….here you go… 😉 http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com/other/why-theres-naught-so-queer-as-folk/ Your quote is a good addition to that page… (I’d ask a question about whether it’s okay to add a link…but since I’m speaking my own truth….guess I won’t even ask…. 🙂 )

nrhatch - October 7, 2011

I love this! The complexity is mind boggling.

Oft times we cannae e’en understand ourselves . . . much less our fellow travelers. Acceptance is the key. 😀

I’m elevating your link to the post. It’s a perfect pairing.

12. jannatwrites - October 8, 2011

When I disagree, I stomp my feet and verbally beat my ‘opponent’ into submission, of course. Isn’t this how conflict is handled? 😉 Seriously, I don’t like conflict and unless I’m passionate about the topic, I’ll often shrug it off.

This ‘Andi’ thing is curious. This person certainly created some buzz for herself! This is another reminder that we really don’t know who we’re dealing with online. The lines between fantasy and reality are often blurred – if there is a line at all.

P.S. – I am real. Honestly, if I was going to play someone online I would’ve picked a cutesy name. Not ‘Jannatwrites’. *yawn*. I’d be adventurous and fearless.

nrhatch - October 8, 2011

Exactly . . . stomp, beat, repeat. 😀

As I just mentioned on your last comment:

I think that I have figured out Andi’s secret identiy. I’m still putting the pieces together . . . but I believe I know which writer from WEbook created her character.

Stay tuned! The plot thickens!

And I know that you are real . . . it’s just “caricaturistic characters” that reek of fiction.

13. johnell74 - October 8, 2011

Nancy, what a great post. very perceptive.
My grandmother was a Yorkshire woman, and she had two sayings
The first was the same as Edie’s and the second was:-
“All the world’s daft except thee and me – and even thee’s a bit daft”
Wonderful spirit, which we must try to emulate, from these sage old folks.

nrhatch - October 8, 2011

Yes . . . thanks, John! She used the “daft” quote too! Sage old folk relying on ancient celtic wisdome.

“Do what you will an harm none.”

14. Tilly Bud - October 8, 2011

Here in the North West (south of Scotland but still oop north) we say ‘There’s nowt so queer as folk.’

nrhatch - October 8, 2011

There are definite spelling differences between the two, eh? I did google the title on this because PiP spelled it “nowt” also.

15. crumbl - October 8, 2011

Me, I love confrontation for its own sake, just to stimulate a dialogue; however, I’ll also take either side of the issue regardless of my personal beliefs, just to “stir the pot”. Sometimes, interesting revelations result.

Conversely, those who are intractablely sententious, I tend to ignore. They have no interest in any opinion or belief but their own and wish only to proselytize.

I agree, Nancy, “There’s nawt so queer as folk”, and I frequently shake my head. I firmly believe too that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I equally firmly believe they’re entitled to keep it to themselves.

Oh, and there is one person to whom I answer for my actions and who has any hope of influencing them. Anyone else trying to dictate my life to me gets very short shrift if not told outright what they can do with their opinion.

nrhatch - October 8, 2011

Oh, a pot stirrer, eh? A bit like John’s grandfather in A Hard Day’s Night?

Like you, I don’t listen for long to people who are prone to saying things like, “You have to do X.”

No. No, I do NOT.
I don’t need anyone’s permission to live my life.

Thanks, Crumbl!

16. Team Oyeniyi - October 11, 2011

I love a good debate, but equally I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion – within reason. There are certain opinions I won’t tolerate in my circle. Racism and sexism being two “opinions” I won’t tolerate.

Like your dislike of “You have to do X”, I have a dislike of “You have to understand”. No, I don’t have to understand at all, especially if I happen to understand that person’s “understanding” is completely warped! 😀

nrhatch - October 11, 2011

Well put, Robyn. When I shared my suspicions about Andi with those who “knew” her on WEbook, most agreed that something had never been quite real about her . . . but the rest told me to SHUT UP! They put their hands in their ears and insisted that Andi existed because . . . they had e-mailed each other! A lot.

Getting an e-mail just means that somewhere in space, a monkey is sitting at a keyboard. 😆

Team Oyeniyi - October 11, 2011

I’m all for removing anonymity on the net, although I appreciate that it has uses when fighting a dictatorship ( for example) or outing corruption or a company behaving unethically (whistleblowing).

Catch-22 really, but I do think there is far too much pretence happening – look at dating sites as one example!

nrhatch - October 11, 2011

As long as we remain mindful that the “Andi’s” of the world may not be real . . . our interactions are not hurting us.

But when we get too caught up in the lives of people we’ve never met (characters in books, roles in TV, or fellow bloggers whose tales don’t ring true), we benefit from taking a step backwards to assess whether our heartstrings are being manipulated by a puppeteer.

17. theonlycin - October 24, 2011

Okay, time to ‘fess up … I am a pole dancer in real life …

nrhatch - October 24, 2011

You made me LAUGH! 🙄

18. Feel Free To Disagree | Spirit Lights The Way - January 7, 2014

[…] Related post:  “There’s Naught So Queer As Folk” […]

19. The Strangest Things are People | Honestly Me - June 3, 2015

[…] nowt so queer as folk.” Having said all this, I’ve just read a lovely article (There’s nowt so queer as folk) about how to deal with this (and it’s not confrontation) – rise above it, shrug your […]

nrhatch - June 3, 2015

Good post/rant.

You ask, “what is it that makes them so secure in themselves to feel like they have the right to make other people feel bad about themselves?”

I reply, “what is it that makes them so insecure in themselves that they want to make other people feel bad?”

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