Re: "weirdos"
From: Judy Baxter (
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 15:31:00 -0700 (MST)
On Sat, 12 Feb 2000, Sharon Villines wrote:
> The behaviors people usually consider "weird" are used to avoid personal
> responsibility or to control everyone around them. When they don't work,
> hese  people drift away after a few meetings.

My question would be, what are people's concerns, fears, about "weird" people.  
I think the above paragraph is at least part of it.  Plus I think people fear
that if the group looks "weird", non-mainstream, whatever, it will be hard to
attract a mix of people.

As to Matt's concerns, 
(My responses are indented)

1) I'm a computer geek.  I have a routed DSL connection at home with a
5-bit subnet.  I think discussions of the Sapir-Worf hypothesis and how
it applies to computer languages are absolutely facinating.  I have a copy
of the O'Reilly book on Lego Mindstorms on my bookshelf.
    I don't know a lot of that technical stuff, tho I have an ancient degree in
    Computer Science, but I suspect a couple of my neighbors would be
    interested.  Dunno.
2) I want to build airplanes.  I've found that a number of white-collar
types don't want to work with their hands.  For me, a top-notch workshop
is a requirement and I would love to share it with others who restore
antique cars, build furniture, etc.
    We have a fine shop and a bunch of shop fanatics (not me).

3) I ride a motorcycle and have been mistaken for a bad-ass biker.
        doesn't seem that weird to me.
4) I do amateur radio, so an absolute prohibition on external antennas
would be a problem for me.  I'm probably better socialized than many ham
radio operators, but that's not saying much.
     again, we have a bunch of small "TV/cable whatever," Dishes, I don't
    really know how to describe them.
5) I'm Pagan.  Groups (not just cohousing groups) that open their meetings
with a very Christian prayer make me uncomfortable.  I don't mind a group
celebrating various religious holidays, I just don't want to have problems
observing my holidays.  I've also run into the problem of people assuming
I'm Christian and getting upset when they discover my beliefs.  I don't
proseletyze and I'm very low-key about it, but I'm probably more religious
than the average American.
        again, we have a huge range of religion.

6) I'm middle-aged, heterosexual and single with no children.  I'm not
quite sure how I managed to never get married, but it puts me in a very
small class of men and, again, it makes some people uncomfortable when
they try to catagorize me.
    can't see a problem here

7) I serious dislike the current American model of "you live in the
suburbs and drive into the factory in the city to work".  I'm very
interested in a mixed residential/commercial development.  This has rather
horrified some of the cohousing folks I've spoken with.
    operative word seems to be "some" - and I'm not clear what you mean, mixed
    residential/commercial - if that means businesses as part of coho,my guess
    is that it adds complexity.

    So, Some reactions, for what it is worth.
    And every group is different (duh!) as well as having much in common with
    other cohousing groups.


Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community,(MoCoCo) Twin Cities Area, Mpls.,MN
-- e-mail:      baxter [at]
15 homes - 7 new townhomes plus 
        8 coop apartments       in the Mansion (a rehab Georgian building)
(built as a retirement home in 1924 -) which also serves as our Common House
Two (3 BR +) townhomes  for sale - see our web page
 Voice Mail for Monterey Cohousing - 612-930-7554
 web page: 

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