Taking back the FREAKS

I think the word ‘freak’ needs a new and improved definition. It’s such a versatile term – noun, adjective, verb – that it’s usage has evolved over time to the point where all the negative connotations of it are becoming less and less. I like to think of the word ‘freak’ as a fond term of endearment. I don’t think I know anyone who is not a freak in some form or other. Normality is all so subjective, there are no set parameters on what constitutes normal, no lines set in stone, print in black and white telling us where normal ends and abnormal begins. Maybe in physiology but not in personality traits, characteristics, nature, temperament.

My Dad is a freak for routine, being perfect at his job and going to the gym. My Mum is a freak for being organised, having social gatherings and for fighting the never ending battle against germ invasion. My sister is a freak for collecting books and gymnastics. I’m a freak for several things – dog training, agility, reading, watching TV and the internet. I possibly also have my freak on for knowing what models of cars there are around me and being around technology. So when someone says to me “You’re such a freak.” I’m thinking that’s a good thing.

“Don’t freak out” is a good mantra to follow in many situations – visits to the Dentist, an unusual noise emanating from the jet engine of your international flight, finding out that you have been unwittingly recruited into demon fighting army of psychic kids or the taste of milk gone bad in your mouth.  “You are a freakishly tall person” translates to “Damn I wish I wasn’t quite as short as I am” so even when people try to use it to imply there’s something wrong with you really all they’re doing is expressing their freak envy.

So from here on in if I like something or if I’m feeling something or someone is just brilliant well I am going to appropriate the word freak and use it freely and with repetition. The kind of repetition that prompts the question “Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.” And I will simply smile the serene smile of a person who is changing the perception of a term one freakishly good situation at a time.


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