Growing up, I went to church with a woman called Weird. I’m pretty sure, for a long time, I thought that was her actual name. Really, her name was Jean. But to most of us, she was just Weird.
My Dad had become close to her family a long time before I was born. Apparently, they all had nicknames for each other, and they even gave Dad one, but Weird’s was the only one that stuck long-term.
Dad liked to tell the story of how he was introduced to Weird. He was already friends with her sister, Patsy. So, one day at church, he asked Patsy why they called her Weird. “Just watch her for a while,” was Patsy’s answer.
Dad started to just watch Weird from across the room. Not in a creepy way. Just observing. She was involved in a conversation with someone else and must have noticed that she was being watched by my Dad and her sister. Without missing a beat, she began making faces at them.Patsy just looked at Dad and said, “See what I mean?”
Weird would later teach my Sunday school class when I was in high school. It generally made for a fun Sunday morning lesson. It was the kind of class where you couldn’t necessarily bet into trouble for getting the church giggles. You know the ones I’m talking about. Where you start laughing over something ridiculous and you just can’t stop. And the thought of how inappropriate your laughter is just makes your laughter worse. I take that back. I did get in trouble for that once. Or a lot of times.