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Hosting for Carina Magyar

  • The Velveeta Room 521 East 6th Street Austin, TX, 78701 United States (map)

"I almost bought a bracelet that said Define "Normal" because I didn't see the quotation marks around "Normal" and what could have been a life-defining sentiment was turned into a newspaper comic strip punchline. Quotation marks suck, sometimes.

(You can buy tickets to this show here:

Anyway, I was at the park with my kids (those kids, up there, in the photo, which is by the lovely An Indoor Lady, incidentally) when I realized that you either define normal or normal defines you. Every child starts out ignorant of normal, then goes through a phase when they're desperate to fit the definition of what normal seems like, then show up in adulthood with everyone asking them what makes them so special. It's a pain.

So the other reason I didn't buy the bracelet is because I noticed all the related items were born-again Christian themed, and suddenly I got prickly that I was almost duped into somehow wearing a crypto-Christian flag of whatever they define as "normal" and sending stupidly mixed signals to everybody.

(I'm very excited to be headling the Velv this weekend. Please come!)

There's a constant struggle to be accepted for who we are. Some people look around, figure out what everyone else seems to be doing, and plug themselves into that. The nice thing with that approach is you can kind of stop thinking.

Other people look around and do the opposite of what's going on, trying to use individuality as a flag to force acceptance. I'm special! I'm unique! You have to love me for me because I'm me! The nice thing with that approach is you can kind of stop empathizing.

I'm smack in the middle. I was raised, and comforted by, the notion that we are all the same as long as you act the same. But I've also always had this contrarian streak, this need to be different. And then I unplugged myself from the comfort of the gender binary, which led to a wellspring of inner peace, but immensely complicated the whole "fitting in versus standing out" dance I had calibrated.

(Arielle Norman, a tremendous comic and generous friend, will be hosting all weekend.)

Some days, I try to fit in with people who don't fit in, which leads me to some pretty strange corners of the online jewelry shopping experience. Other days, I try to fade into the background completely unnoticed, and then at night, like an irrepressible geyser, I erupt in front of strangers.

I don't really know what my daughters will think of me and all these wobby contradictions, all these difficult cakes I bake myself into. I do know they love me, and I love them, and we make each other laugh. That's what I think about when people say nasty things about me, or my body, or my life. Those people can invest in the idea of someone else's "normal," spoken in quotation marks and said with a nervous chuckle. Me and my family, we define it ourselves.

Friday at 9pm (followed by The Banter Show), then Saturday at 9pm and 11pm. It will be funny. I think. I mean, define "funny.""  - Carina Magyar

Earlier Event: October 12
Later Event: October 13
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