Abnormal is the New Normal

Posted · 26 Comments

In the world of hand modeling, there’s a chasm of coolness between the Fashion and Commercial hand jobs. Since my versatile hands are able to swing both ways, I work in both markets.

Recently, I shot with Colin Farrell for Esquire Magazine, and the next day I was wiping up a mess of meatballs for a Bounty commercial. Hum, what’s cooler? Fondling a hot Hollywood hunk as he kindly refers to you as “love” in a gentle Irish accent…?

…or sopping up Tang spills to demonstrate paper towel absorbency with the quicker-picker-upper?

When I was young, I wanted so badly to be cool, which to me meant: living a straight life.

The straight life was just so…appropriate. Remember, I lived in an environment some parents wouldn’t allow their kids to visit. I don’t know why? Except for the naked people on drugs dancing around, massaging each other and eating bark – we were perfectly normal!

Above all else, I just wanted to be normal. Forget popularity, for surely my lack of style and low self-esteem made me a poor candidate.

I was so envious of the straight Izod-shirt-wearing kids, eating their ‘cadavers’ and other hot-ticket item at lunch: Yoplait, fruit rolls ups, string cheese…sandwiches. (we were on a no-grain diet way before gluten-free was the rage).

Day after day, I watched my peers eat, drooling as I bit into yet another homegrown Graventstein apple (I quickly realized spirulina balls and scrambled tempeh were cause for ridicule). Hoping to convince them I too was cool, I’d open my basket (I didn’t have a lunch box), roll my eyes in frustration, and exclaim, “Mom forgot to put the bologna and Fritos in there AGAIN!”

Oddly however, as un-cool as I was, and jealous of other kids, there was a small part of me that felt strangely better-than, like I was one of the enlightened ones.

Sometimes I’d think quietly to myself, “I bet they can’t keep their balance in Warrior-3 – especially after a hit of Maui Wowie. And I bet their liver could use a psyllium purge.”

But most of the time, I felt left out and longed to belong to a group of people. I always had camaraderie with the outcasts: the chubby kids, the Mexicans…the boys who loved musical theater.

Yet, even the outcasts seemed to fit in somewhere. There was no category for me, other than “odd”.

For years, I sought to find my tribe…

I hoped being Black would become The New Black.

One night, while strolling down Santa Monica Boulevard with some friends…


I tried to convince a straight couple ( “straight” as in conventional sexual orientation), that my name was Ernesto, and I had “the operation” in Seattle.

After the confused couple stared blankly, the man moved in closer, caressed my shoulder and whispered, “Well, you look grrreat.”

The older I got, the less obsessed I was with fitting in and being “normal”, and the more I wanted to stand out and be “special”.

So I turned into a poser

At last, I became the straight mom I always wanted!

Only to realize I’d rather be a childless hot mama with a gay lover named Bruno…

Soon I began to hang out at the Playboy Mansion with the “cool” crowd. But after a few conversations with Tammy, Bambi, Cindy and Barbie, I could’ve put a bullet in my head to stop the insipid noise.

According to most norms and my previous definition of a cool person, I’m still NOT cutting the cake…

I belch like a pirate; I have a cat psychic; I talk in gibberish; I’m on a ton of supplements; I can be terribly moody (or as some say, “too intense”); I like kale; I still believe in fairies; I still believe in the basic goodness in people (while I also assume the worst); there are days I’m convinced I need a brow-lift; I’m un-present; extremely sensitive; self obsessed; beating myself up one moment, and thinking I’m brilliant the next; I’m a neurotic mess of contradicting parts: one weird bitch with a big heart, hoping to find some peace on Saturn, and bring my small part to the world…

The times I feel the coolest are the times I’m simply being me…without apology.

I guess we’re all abnormal to someone.

My current favorite anthem is from the great yet never normal, Lady Gaga. So I leave you today with fists pumping, while jumping and singing aloud: “I’m beautiful in my way, Cause God makes no mistakes, I’m on the right track baby, I was born this waaay!”

26 Responses to "Abnormal is the New Normal"
  1. Michele says:

    And I think that's what makes you a pretty fabulous person to spend an evening talking to across a table of Italian food and oddly mixed drinks that I will probably never have the "pleasure" of enjoying again.

    (hey wait, I know more then one of those blondes)

  2. Chris says:

    Love this baby…

    Love you, all of you, every which way. And so happy you were born this way.

  3. Kel says:

    I am figuring out that it is the people who were awkward and really took a beating from other kids growing up for being different are the ones who are now the most creative, innovative, and talented in this world. I'm hoping that is my success in the end,too, because I must admit I wasn't the coolest kid in the class either.

    Just be yourself, because that's the best version of you there is!

    P.S. Fingers through Colin Ferrell's hair (as he was saying my name in his super hot accent) most definitely beats the meatball paper towel clean up!

  4. Comedy Karma says:

    My favorite post so far!!!! I loooove it!! Thank God you're not "normal"! This is beautiful and so are you…you werdo.

  5. Adele Uddo says:

    Chele I look forward to more Italian food and goji-wolfberry-Ninja margaritas SOON.

    You're a good man YS 🙂

    And Kel, I love how you just redeemed my childhood nerdiness forever!

  6. Adele Uddo says:

    CK, it takes one weirdo to appreciate another. Damn I love you.

  7. Lynn Zavaro says:

    OH My GOD! I loved this blog! I laughed out loud, dropped my jaw, rolled my eyes in hysteria and marveled at your creativity – you are one talented abnormal bitch! Love you!!

  8. judealexander13 says:

    I came to this blog from a link Lynn Zavaro put on twitter…love it…So Much Truth! Pictures and commentary all very entertaining. Thanks Adele.

  9. Adele Uddo says:

    Haha Lynn! You make me laugh out loud too 🙂

    Jude, thank you so much for tuning in and for the wonderful words!

  10. Anonymous says:

    i am speechless! between the photos and the hilarious dialogue, i was both laughing and crying. underneath the humor, i could feel the pain and memories and related them to my own life in a huge way. thank you adele for sharing your innermost feelings, thoughts and vulnerability. it always helps to let it out and your way of doing that is just amazing!

  11. burkawaverly says:

    If someone did not see an actual photo of you , one would think you were about 89 years old. Already, at such a young age you have done and learned so much about life – and finding the humor in it! Your candid views on life are what makes you so interesting – and funny as HELL.
    Keep them coming – I need a HAND JOB fix often!!

  12. Adele Uddo says:

    Anon, I love the laughing/crying response! Once in a while my body can't decide and wavers cathartically and uncontrollably between the two 🙂

    Burka, you didn't know I was 89? Hot damn that last face lift was effective.

  13. Anna says:

    Hello, do you know in which issue of ESQUIRE will be this photoshoot? August maybe?

    Greetings. 🙂

  14. Adele Uddo says:

    Hi Anna, I believe it's October and I'm under the impression it'll be featured in the UK.
    Greeting to you 🙂

  15. Mindschmootz says:

    Wasn't it the brilliant John Hughes who not only served us Breakfast, but also the realization that "normal" is the most difficult, if not impossible, status to attain?

    I tell teenagers all the time that it does get better in that they will find they are not alone…they never were. Adult-life "normal" is just a bunch of princesses, sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebys, and dickheads getting along.

  16. Randi says:

    As you were desperately trying to lead the straight, black life, I was futily attempting to be the crooked outlaws my sisters had been when we were growing up.

    Sadly, skipping Hebrew school was my idea of being a rebel.

    As I grow up, though, I gratefully realize it's foolish to define and confine ourselves by the lines of our own skin.

    No, judge me by the company I choose to keep, such as yourself, my partner, my friends and the strangers who are seven levels deep and who continue to dig for more than just "normal."

  17. Dawn says:

    I love you Delly….

    Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they're not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
    Steve Jobs
    US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 – )

  18. Kris says:

    Ahh, the more I read your posts, the happier I become. It is so funny how hard we all tried to do the same thing when we were young – fit in! We all had something that said fitting in was the most important thing. Well, of course it would have felt good to not be ridiculed or singled out when we were kids, but damn it, I'm so happy I don't fit in. I remember going back to my 10 year high school reunion and thinking, "Thank God I'm not any of these people." I was all of a sudden the popular one, because every one of those people that I went to hight school with were exactly like everyone else I went to high school with. It was like their star faded about 14 minutes after they turned their tassle on graduation Saturday. And little did I realize that mine was only beginning to ascend.
    Sure, the ride isn't always on a paved road and sometimes the wheels come off the car, but I would rather be skidding sideways through a glorious, exciting, one-of-a-kind life with passion and determination than living the life that i was so enamored by in high school.
    I need no reminder as to why we are friends.

  19. Adele Uddo says:

    It's obvious many of us felt like outsiders when we were young -Unfortunately none of us were hanging in a gang with Matt Dillon.

    Here's to all of my fabulous, colorful and Abnormal friends!! I've found my Tribe.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I so love this. You are definitely my favourite blogger.

    Your Aussie friend 🙂

  21. Adele Uddo says:

    You’ve made my morning Mate! Thank you so kindly 🙂

  22. Sundevilgrl says:

    Uuuummm…I LOVE how you listed all the "simply you" items. Each one made me laugh out loud because I have some of them I have too, others I wish I had, and all of them are why I adore you! 🙂

  23. Monica says:

    Adele, this post has resonated with me so loudly, down to my core. I laughed so hard when I saw you in the first photo as the “New Black”. It hit my funny bone, maybe because I can identify with “the underdogs” of this world due to my personal suffering, and similar yet different experiences than yours. Your post has reassured me that the grass is not always greener on the other side and what seems like the worst thing in our lives usually defines us and builds strong character. Only through darkness can light come in. As a child, I prayed for more liberal parents as you had, especially a less strict father, but the opposite or extreme end is just a hard to deal with. There must be a balance and we both were missing it. The Playboy Mansion piece was just as fummy, you are way too smart to act like a dumb bimbo or “Bambi” for longer than 48 hours. What makes you/us so unique, though, are those exact experiences. Forget “Normal”- who cares about people who pretend to be perfect and what they think. Yawn, that’s so boring and unrealistic. I understand and share your passion for life, I ask you to please not ever lose that, sometimes moody, personality of yours. At least you are alive and kicking. You were so ahead of your time in the 70’s , eating kale and spirulina. Dr, Oz just recently incorporated that line of thinking. What made you odd then has come back full circle (Karma) and made you so cool, open minded and lastly so much more compassionate today. You, my dear, are “The enlightened one” 😉 Congrats, my smart one, due to your resilience and bravery (plus the help of a few mentors) YOU have brought all your dreams into fruition. What a wonderful woman you have become, I am so proud of you and am deeply inspired by you. Can’t wait to keep reading your blogs…I see a short story or an autobiography on the NY Times best sellers in your future. Yours truly, soul sister. xoxo

    • Adele says:

      So true Monica that through the dark we often find the light. More and more I’m convinced that they go hand in hand – I can’t seem to have one without the other, and therefore it’s taught me to appreciate the value of ‘darkness’. I LOVE that you found this piece entertaining and funny. It was a lot of fun to write and remains one of my favs. Thank you again for your generous heart and support! What a wonderful way to start my day 🙂 Hope you have a beautiful one yourself sista! xo

  24. Hi Adele, I loved your work on Burn Notice you were very good. Now I have to say you are definitely a unique individual especially if you had aspirations of being Black one day. Hey, I have no problems welcoming you into our tribe. I had no idea you had some many talents. I’m sure you have plenty of interesting tales to share about what it’s like to be an actress in Hollywood.

    • Adele says:

      Hello Louis! Thanks for chiming in and welcoming me to your colorful Club 😉 I hope to reunite with Sam one of these days. Please keep in touch and have a great new year!

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