Birdie had always wanted to be eccentric. Just a little eccentric. Not so much that her children would start looking into elder care, but enough to be interesting. The kind of eccentricity that sent the message–“I’m not in a rut. I don’t follow the crowd unless I like where the crowd is headed. And what’s more, I may not do what the crowd does once we get there. Probably won’t, as a matter of fact.”
Birdie felt she had the soul of an eccentric, but what was the point of being an eccentric if no one noticed? Just thinking like one didn’t always get you the kind of attention that a sincere eccentric wanted. You had to look like one so people would see you. Then if you were actually doing or saying something eccentric, it wouldn’t be wasted. Birdie knew for a fact that you could be eccentric all day long, and if nobody knew about it, you might just as well be normal, average, commonplace, humdrum. Sort of like that tree that fell in the forest when no one was there to hear it. What difference did it make whether it made any noise or not?
“What could she do,” Birdie thought, “to stake her claim to eccentricity?” People, in general, were doing such crazy things, that it was hard for an eccentric who was just starting out to make any real, visible mark. Furthermore, it was a fine line to walk. She didn’t want to be pointed at–just noticed with a bit of positive interest. Maybe even avoided by those whom she wished to be avoided by.
Not having had much practice at being overtly eccentric, she wanted a baby-steps approach because she feared things could go terribly wrong. You could inadvertently cross a line and be labeled a “nut”.
A parrot on her shoulder? A jeweled eye patch? No, that seemed more like a pirate, although, pirates were decidedly eccentric. A silver handled walking stick? A t-shirt that said “I’m eccentric”?