“The Normal Bar”: So-Called Normalcy Among “Happy Couples”

The title of the new book The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples and What They Reveal About Creating a New Normal in Your Relationship uses the word twice, so I guess the authors—wellness entrepreneur Chrisanna Northrup and sociologists Pepper Schwartz and James Witte—like the concept more than I do.

From the book description: “Much more than a peek behind the relationship curtain, The Normal Bar offers readers an array of prescriptive tools that will help them establish a ‘new normal.’ Mindful of what keeps couples stuck in ruts, the book’s authors suggest practical and life-changing ways to break cycles of disappointment and frustration.”

That’s four times of the use of “normal” in three consecutive sentences. Not within normal limits, if you ask me.

Albert Camus said, “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
This 1900’s philosopher is saying, in other words, that trying too hard to be normal can be exhausting.  (Which might be okay if you can take a nap afterward.)

Most of us, though, do want to know at times–in a non-energy-draining kind of way—what’s normal. Am I normal? Is this normal? Is that normal? It seems it’s actually normal to wonder what’s normal.

Me, I often prefer “common.” As in Yes, that thing you do or feel or think is pretty common.

Or “healthy.” Such and such behavior is healthy, such and such not so much.

I mean, do we even know what’s “normal” much of the time? And do you really want to be normal? Are you normal? What do you like about being (or feeling) normal?

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