I heart unicorns

By David Crandall
Who doesn't love the magical creature known as the unicorn? Who?!

Behold this glorious beast. Love it! Love it now! (source: alana jonez)

The little boy who loved unicorns
I love unicorns. If they existed in real life, you can bet your sweet spleen that I’d do everything I could to own one. I’d want a white one with a long mane and a freakishly sharp horn. (Of course, I’d want someone else to clean up after him, especially after reading this information at the Oatmeal.)

When I was in elementary school, I would spend most of my time drawing unicorns or other fanciful creatures. I had an elaborate imagination and could picture a world where these creatures existed and I along with them.

Everyone knew that I loved unicorns.

That crap had to stop
Little boys aren’t “supposed” to fall in love with magical horses with horns on their head. Alas, it is a forbidden love.

And so, my classmates made it fairly clear that my unicorn love had to end. At the very least, it needed to be kept quiet.

I’d like to say that I put up the good fight. I’d like to say that despite years of opposition I became a unicorn aficionado, that I pioneered the way for acceptance of little boys who love unicorns.

That did not happen!

You can only take so many years of being called names before you start wondering if something is wrong with you. At that time in my life, I cared what others thought and you can bet that I cared deeply! Tragically, I cared more about what they thought than I did for those magical creatures I was drawing.

And so the unicorns had to die.

What have you let die
Hopefully you realized I’m being a bit melodramatic about the unicorns, but the fact remains I did indeed stop talking about them because of how other people responded.

Unfortunately, the unicorns have been the least of things in my life that I have dropped because of what others have said. As I look back over my life, there have been too many things that I have let others have control of. Things that made me unique.

By removing them, I started removing myself.

You are your own secret formula
Just like the recipe for Coke, you are a unique formula. No one can duplicate you or reproduce you. But if you let others dictate what you do and what you like, you start tearing that formula apart.

I’ve yet to meet one person who has not given up some part of themselves at some point in their lives because of what others have said.

We should consider that tragic!

I love unicorns again
I’m older now and I don’t care quite so much what people have to say about my obsession with unicorns. In fact, the guys that I work with find it hilarious when I go on and on about it. Not in the “you’re freaking me out” way, but in the “you say the funniest $#it way”. (That last part was a direct quote from a co-worker.)

Granted, it helps that I’m the dad to two little girls.

There are a lot of bizarre combinations to my personality:

  • I hate sports. Not a burning and consuming hate where I talk bad about them, just a hate that makes me miserable to sit through them. Sorry, sports fans. (And no, being 6’5″ does NOT mean that I’m good at basketball.)
  • I love fashion and design and did some runway modeling in my 20’s. I also love shopping. I’d rather go to the mall than endure a single minute of a football game. (Yes. For real.)
  • Yard work is another area that I will avoid like the plague. The idea of being covered in sweat and grass clippings seriously makes me want to hyperventilate. Not even the thought of a well manicured lawn is enough to make me want to step outside; I mow only to spare my wife from that chore.
  • At the same time I do love camping! The idea of sleeping in a tent outside makes me happy. The bugs and plant life there doesn’t bother me at all, unlike those in my yard back at home.
  • I desperately want a giant, red pickup truck with a 15 inch lift kit, roll bar, KC lights, and flames down the sides of it. (I do live in Texas.)
  • Oh, and I have a freakish love of all things Sanrio. (Being a dad of two little girls has most certainly come in handy on this one!)

If for one moment you think I haven’t taken my fair share of crap for that combination of interests, you are dead wrong. I can assure you that I have been called every name you can think of at some point in my life. Thankfully, as I get older I find that I don’t mind it so much. Though it might be why I have developed a bit of an aggressive personality in the “real world”.

Who cares if I want a giant pickup truck and love Hello Kitty at the same time. That stylish cat has to get around somehow!

Why it matters
I think this matters because it makes me unique. (You might argue VERY unique, but work with me here.)

My goal is to pour myself into whatever it is that I am doing. I can’t do that if I’ve let others dictate what I am. You may not think there is much benefit to me liking fashion and KC lights, but if I’m not honest with those things that are part of me, you can’t trust me for anything.

The same goes for you. You can’t be who you are meant to be while hiding those things about you that make you unique.

What you are hiding (or have hid) because of what other people have said?

  • I think this matters because it makes me unique. (You might argue VERY unique, but work with me here.)

    You can’t modify an absolute.

    Right on buddy, one of the things that makes you a great friend is your quirkiness and varied interests!

    • Ah, strict adherence to grammar was never a goal of mine. 😉

      Although, I could go for some Absolut right now!

  • eugene

    Don’t tell anyone but I like unicorns too. 🙂

    I like your insight. Very helpful.

  • joel

    david,
    i love sports (if you can get a score and win … i am in) i also do a better job at the clinque counter than most of the ladies there. you need a plum lip liner i am your man. i despise hunting. but will dive into kirklands back room to find that perfict knick knack that will look great above the office door! thanks for being heroic

    • I love it! I’m happy to see other guys willing to man up to their less than “manly” interests!

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  • I totally hear you. When I was a kid, I gave up my glasses and computers, and pretended to be stupider than I was just so that I could fit in. I eventually found my nerdy side again, and was sad for all those wasted years. You’d think I would have learned from the experience, but no! I have yet to have tried swimming again even though I posted this three months ago: http://novapages.com/ideablog/life/old-picture-new-resolve/

    • Ok, so now I need to check back on you soon to see if you’ve gone swimming, huh? Although, if your weather stays the same as yesterday, I think you’ll have a valid reason to NOT go. 😉

      I figured it was a given that giving up on the glasses and computer was something a lot of us internet peoples did. LOL

      It’s just part of our long term plan to take over the world, right?

    • The snow stuck till about noon yesterday, but today it’s
      70 degrees of awesomeness again. They’re going to pull
      the winter-roof off the city rec center’s pool this coming Monday,
      so I’m going to try to swing the cost of a summer membership 🙂

    • GO VELDA! GO VELDA! You can do it! It’s your birthday!

      Well, not the last part. 😉

  • I love it. Seriously. You have a gift for this. Very thought provoking and convicting. We have all dulled the points that stick out on ourselves to get along – and you are right – it is a terrible thing. Bravo friend!

    • Thank you for such kind words! The fact that I would be thought provoking and convicting humbles me…especially on a post titled as this one. 🙂

  • Amanda Underwood Stevens

    Now, now I understand!! I totally understand now what attracted your wife (one of my best friends growing up) to you!

    You do truly have a knack for this…keep it coming!

    • You thought it was just my good looks. Didn’t know it was unicorns, Hello Kitty, and monster trucks, did you! Ha ha

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  • OMG, a 6’5″ former model who loves unicorns [and monster trucks] and hates sports? Your wife must be in heaven. My 6’4″ son hates sports and basketball too. So proud of him.

    I know what you mean about what a good thing it is to have daughters, given your interests. My two sons were my cover for comic books, science fiction, and computer geekery. Kids are great that way.

    • To be fair, my modeling days are about 50 pounds ago. And you’ll be super happy with my guest post tomorrow on your site if you liked the unicorns and monster trucks. Can’t wait for it to go live!

      I like to think my bizarre tastes were all part of God’s plan knowing that I would have daughters. Though, I am still holding out for a son to validate that monster truck obsession!

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