Kathleen Valenti / Post

Zagging

The last time I blogged, I talked about the cost of my failure to listen to my internal voice.

The post got me thinking: Am I that weak-willed? Am I so easily swayed?

Well, yes. And no.

This exercise in self-examination inspired me to reflect on my life and actions as a whole.

The verdict: despite my tendency to ignore my voice and heed those of others, I go my own way. Do my own thing. Zag instead of zig, if you will.

zigzag

Oregon has a town named Zig Zag. Maybe Zag proper is nearby?

For instance, I’m among the minority of Americans who love black licorice.

I haven’t had a Hot Cheetos- or (conversely) Keto-induced epiphany.

I’m not sure what shows or music are in.

I rent movies from Blockbuster. My hometown has the last one in the country. Maybe even on the planet. My favorite part is the banner in the store’s window, pronouncing the best selection–among all Blockbusters, I guess? You’ve got us there, Bend Blockbuster!

I also refuse to cut my long, no-style style hair.

And I pine for the return of pantyhose, in the shade “suntan” and preferably from a plastic egg, a confession that inspires derisive snorts and looks of annoyed disbelief.

Then there’s my instinct to reject fashion for comfort, no matter how ridiculous I look.

newyears2

That’s me in the back looking, um, warm? 

This mini-maverick behavior extends, as I hinted at in my previous post, to novel-writing.

Many mysteries feature a cat or the occasional dog. Mine star a hamster.

I was instructed to never begin with a prologue. I can’t stop/won’t stop using them.

I was told that no one wanted to read about a woman in pharmaceuticals, let alone a socially awkward, perpetually messy, and roundly flawed one, and yet her imperfections are what make her perfect in my eyes.

The list goes on. And so could I.

The point is, I find myself zagging not to go against the grain, but simply because I’ve always been the kid who marched to her own glockenspiel.

I find I’m in good company.

It seems that many of us love a good zag, whether occasionally or as a matter of course. And I find this propensity for seeing the world through the lens of Different both beautiful and comforting.

So tell me, do you zag? If so, how does it affect what you do and how you feel? Please share!

As for me, I’ll continue to go my own way. Probably in pantyhose.

 

 

 

52 thoughts on “Zagging

      • Same, but I can’t quit lovin’ ’em.

        Oh, and here’s some insight into my pantyhose-loving ways:

        After college, I worked for L’Eggs-Hanes-Bali. (Evidently there wasn’t a lot of call for literary analysis with my shiny new English major.) ANYway, lots of stories from that job, including bra-fitting adventures, which make a cameo in my book 39 Winks, plus a generous “hosiery allowance” (not making this up) in which we were gifted with something like 12 pairs of pantyhose every…two months? I think? I still have a huge stash of L’Eggs eggs and Hanes. My closet is like a time machine.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. People, I do not miss pantyhose. If I’d have my druthers, I’d spend all day at home, the office, court, everywhere in sweats and a t-shirt. I’d be The Dude.

    Putting that aside, I think my big zag was moving to Alaska. I’d grown up an air force brat so I was extremely comfortable with packing up every two years and going somewhere I’d never been and had no sentimental ties to any particular place. I’d gone to law school in Sacramento when the state was in a recession, so I started looking for a new place to go during my summer vacations. One year, I drove cross country visiting friends and family, taking the southern route east, turning left at Birmingham, going north to Wisconsin, and then taking the northern routes back. Didn’t find anything that excited me. The following summer, I flew to Alaska to stay with a friend and even before the plane landed, I saw this little sparkling city tucked into a bowl and surrounded by mountains and knew I’d found home. Flew up the day after graduation in 1982 and I’ve been here ever since.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. While I don’t share your love of pantyhose because that’s just nuts, I am on the black licorice train. Everything else only makes me love you more!

    For me, I’m pretty conventional, I guess, but perhaps I just don’t recognize my, um, quirks because they seem logical and perfectly normal to me. When I was in junior high I desperately wanted to fit in, but by high school I’d abandoned all worries about what people think of me. Perhaps that’s my zag?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Awwww! Love to you, Becky!!

      I’m glad you’re on the black licorice train. We can scarf it together. And I don’t blame you for pantyhose aversion. I’m not sure I’ve met anyone else who likes hosiery. (Except maybe the Duchess? But I think that’s, like, a royal requirement or something.)

      Your abandonment of worrying what others think is totally zag-ish! It’s so liberating–and incredibly hard, I think. Brava, friend!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that there’s a town called Zigzag! I do sometimes zag, especially when it comes to writing rules, which make me NUTS. I have an occasional prologue, I use a thesaurus, and yes, sometimes even an adverb or descriptive verb. As to life, I get a lot of pleasure from the occasional zag. When I found out the comfy cotton drawstring pants I’d found at Target were actually men’s pajama bottoms, did I stop wearing them in public? Or to work? I most certainly did not!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Argh to writing rules! They drive me crazy, too, and make me want to rebel. “Oh I shouldn’t use an adverb? Just watch me willfully and colorfully do so!”

      Hooray for your comfy pants/PJs! Wear them with pride. My pants rarely have zippers. (Ditto for skirts, although they’re worn with pantyhose, natch.)

      Like

  4. Kathleen,
    I totally zag with you. People look at me like I’m nuts. I refuse to go with the flow. I zag to the extreme.
    Everyone at work just nods their head when this one guy gives orders and walks all over them. Not me! I will fight him until he retires, or he starts treating me with respect.
    I hate licorice of all flavors. I’m not even that fond of gummies.
    Spend money for a plumber? Not if I can do it myself, taking 4 times as long, but I’m doing it myself.
    I like public transportation. I adore public transportation!
    Why go visit other countries, when we have everything right here?
    I own one dress and one pair of dress shoes. That’s my maximum.
    I don’t own a brush. I don’t own makeup.
    I am my own person because of my zagging, and I feel comfortable with it. Screw anyone who doesn’t like me the way I am!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Yes to the thesaurus, yes to adverbs, yes to loose, comfy pants!

    No to panty hose. And also to makeup, dresses, skirts, and heels. Which I guess is my biggest zag–thumbing my nose at what society says is supposedly “feminine.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My entire career has been a series of zigs and zags. Between jobs, kids, marriage and not, I’m a master of zigging and zagging. When I retired, and the kids were grown, and I was able to sit down and look back, it’s all made for good fodder and my books are full of it.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. As someone who is often tempted to wear pj’s in public, I can see I’m in good company here. And personally, I think a lot of the writing “rules” are archaic. Whenever I hear “nobody wants to read about [fill in the blank],” it’s usually something I would love to read about. I’m sure I zag in other ways too. I bring my own Tupperware to restaurants. Does that count?

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I wish I could say I’m a total zagger, because it would be so much cooler, but I’m about one third zig. (Not my fault: I grew up in CT and also my mom was 100% zag.) Even when I’m zagging, people tell me I look like a zig-ger. That’s probably why my sleuths get into so much trouble.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Every time I read “zag” here I think of Zagnut candy bars. Maybe I’m just hungry. Not hungry enough to eat licorice — we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. But, you keep on zagging because it’s totally working for you! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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