“I run a pop culture and entertainment called That’s Normal.”
Someone usually then asks,
“Oh really? What’s the site about?”
To which I answer,
“We cover news, entertainment and fandom with an opinionated touch.”
and then the conversation usually moves on like,
“So you should really be flossing every night- you’re doing that, right?”
“Oh yeah, I TOTALLY floss every night.”
Because my dentist / friend of a friend / 2nd cousin twice removed / dad just doesn’t GET it.
But last week, after an exchange much like the one above, my esthetician said, “Oh, like “That’s Normal”, and she… TOTALLY got it.
And I realized two things:
- Some people just GET what That’s Normal, the website, is all about. It’s a phrase people say. It’s a thing people think. It just makes SENSE to them
- And then there’s everyone else.
And I bet we have readers in both camps here. We have people who have been around for FOREVER and have always known what we mean when we say “That’s Normal.” And we have new readers who never heard the origin story but, like my esthetician, just GET it. And then there are others here for the fun reads, the Outlander rants and the feminist tirades.
So let’s start at the beginning! Because it’s confusing. Unless… you just get it.
The That’s Normal Origin story
Back in the era of 2008-2010, when it was normal to daily write a blog post either starting “Dear Robert Pattinson” or “Dear Twilight” (we ran a website called Letters to Twilight or LTT), I was visit Nikki in Los Angeles, probably making her bed look like this photo:
when the That’s Normal mantra was born. We first shared the story on our LTT History Part 1 (This is a good read to REALLY understand our past!) but here it is:
I was sitting on [Nikki’s] bed, explaining a story a reader had sent to us about when she met Rob [Pattinson]. It had something to do with Rob’s reaction to our reader that was not normal. But [Nikki] heard the story, misunderstood me, got mad or jealous of this reader and said sarcastically, “What? That’s Normal” And once she finally understood what I was saying, we died of laughter- because it wasn’t normal. And the rest is history. “That’s Normal” became the mantra of all [of us]. When something isn’t normal but is done enough by us to become normal, well, then That’s Normal. It’s a lifestyle- do you live it?
And so we’ve embraced “That’s Normal” as a mantra for things that… are maybe not-quite-so-normal to others. But totally are normal.
And there’s a fine line. Is writing about Twilight daily for 4 years normal? Yes. Would it be normal if we were still doing it 10 years later? Probably not. Is writing a website with opinions on pop culture, entertainment and life normal, even on Man Candy Mondays? Yes, That’s Normal. But if it was a daily post (still) to Rob Pattinson, or one to Sam Heughan, or even you Aaron Tveit, that’s when the line would be crossed into That’s Not Normal territory.
I explained this on LTT this in a pretty hilarious post (#humble) back in 2010 if you want to check it out where I compare things that were normal (circa 2010) and NOT normal.
So today, I thought I’d update the list with a modern take on That’s Normal vs. That’s Not Normal, for those of you who need a little guide to see where YOU fall in the That’s Normal vs. That’s NOT Normal Line.
That’s Normal vs. That’s Not Normal
Still swooning whenever a new pic of Robert Pattinson surfaces: That’s Normal
Having a day go by when you forget about your fandom or signing into Instagram: That’s Normal
Having this on your Twitter Profile:
That’s NOT NORMAL (and wasn’t normal in 2010 when we first saw it)
Realizing all the meat heads around you at the gym are blasting rap and/or metal in their ears while lifting as you are gasping out loud at your favorite new true crime podcast (Empire on Blood — listen now!), your listen of choice for pumping iron: That’s Normal
Thinking that Sam Heughan actually likes it when you hump him during a con after you pay your $250 bill to get 1 prom-style picture: That’s Not Normal
Baking a standing stones cake for your Outlander-obsessed friend’s 40th birthday and tagging Sam And Cait on Instagram for Lols: That’s Normal.
Baking a standing stones cake and sending it to the set of Outlander: That’s Not Normal.
Only knowing about Discovery of Witches because the Outlander fandom told you about it: That’s Normal
Going to Comic Con to hang out with friends and catch some rays by the pool: That’s Normal
Going to Comic Con to hang out in Hall H for 8 hours all day: #NotMyCon but go get’ em! That’s Normal
Finding out where the cast of your favorite show is staying during comic con, bringing the kitchen staff a bunch of snacks to bribe your way into the hotel, spending hours waiting in the nook by the elevator to get one autograph and a chance at a blurry photo as they stare at you through the closing crack on the elevator door: That’s Not Normal.
Standing outside of the back door where actors leave a private party to get selfies: That’s Normal
Shipping 2 book characters so much that you cry when you find out one of them is dating someone else IRL: That’s Not Normal
Shipping two book characters and wearing their faces (or even the silhouettes of the actors who play them, maybe) on a T-shirt to bed: That’s Normal.
So there you have it… a quick history of That’s Normal and a guide to help you figure out if YOUR behavior qualifies for the kind of “That’s Normal” you just GET when someone in-the-know says it, or if it’s totally NOT Normal.
Still getting gooey inside over a guy who looks like he wears clothes he found in a dumpster? That’s Normal. Being known by the security team of a TV show for your past behavior, IRL or online? That’s Not Normal.
Hope that helps!