Alas, income-wise I don't stand out (my less than 50k salary is public record) but as "we are the 99%" took off last fall, I felt compelled to point out just how much I don't fit in, despite being of unextraordinary financial means. Not many other women wear size 11 narrow shoes (nobody at all wears size 10 1/2 narrow shoes, because they just don't make them). Less than 1% of the US population has a research based doctorate. I found statistical data for height of US women, and I am considerably taller than the 95th percentile (although, if my calculations of the standard deviation are correct, I don't quite make the 99th percentile). I'm pretty sure that being a) annoyed that I can no longer look at a table of percentiles and immediately know the standard deviation b) aware that I once could, and c) willing to look up standard deviations of normal distributions just to write a blog post, makes me part of a small exclusive group.
I had forgotten about this desire to accentuate my statistical abnormalities (not to mention my abnormal fondness for statistics) until I was wanting a way to frame a way to blog post about Aster. Aster, you see, is not quite normal. Aster was a teething prodigy, with 16 teeth at 16 months (his father is still trying to do the stats on that, but none of the stated "normal" ranges give any hints about the variance). Unlike his brother, Aster could not walk at 13 months, but at that time started knee walking, which he did until after he was 18 months old (he started walking on his feet three days before his 18 month appointment, which happened when he was 18 months and 2 weeks, for the record). Aster had red hair in his infancy (like his father and less than 1% of the world's population) and is super-blond now (apparently like his mother when she was 2, along with about 2% of the world's population). Aster's Mom was bitten by a black widow when he was in utero (happens to 3 women per 400,000 US pregnancies each year, if my assumptions are correct). And Aster doesn't use his right hand much or pick up his right foot when he walks, leading to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, which happens to 2 in 1000 kids born in the US.
The hard-to-grasp concept about statistics is that the unlikely is not unlikely, if you pool all of the unlikely events. And factors are not independent. And people do sort themselves into groups.
Far more than 1% of my friends have doctorates. The Mister is not the first redhead I've kissed, and I've not kissed 100 people. I have a dear friend who is blond, has cerebral palsy and has a doctorate. Yep, she's one in a million, (well, technically 4 in 10 million, based on the above stats) but she exists.
None the less, as I try to sort out what, if anything, this practically means for my jolly, inquisitive, son, I have found in immensely helpful to find CHASA, the Children's Hemiplegia and Stroke Association and their fabulous support network. One of the CHASA blog posts, coupled with a photo of a beautiful smiley blond, seems like it could have been written by the me of the future, and it is highly recommended reading for, well, for anyone, but particularly for my mothers and anyone wondering what it is I am wondering about these days.
And the picture of my family, it's just thrown in to remind you that none of them is normal, but they are mine, and I love them.