I love when people try to be the “regular guy.” Much of navigating the social scene in American involves tying to be this “regular guy.” Great lengths are taken to not do anything the regular guy would not do. I think the reason I get along with Europeans when I do is that they are not burdened by the incessant need to not do anything that would be “weird.” Eastern Europeans in general seem to have no sense of what is weird by American standards (I doubt, though I don’t know for sure, that they use the term in the same manner, or as frequently as Americans).
What is cool in America usually involves some kind of detachment. Passion for anything seems to be the least cool thing one could do. How this concept came about I don’t know – it surely wasn’t James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, and I hate when people even imply that. James Dean’s character in that movie, especially when considered by today’s social standards, is a freak (that’s right…watch it again).
I have known many people who this does not apply to at all (mostly people from Eddystone), but I have also known many people who truly measured their ever action, no matter how minor, against the standard of the “normal person” as defined by television mostly Gettysburg). What would the Backstreet Boys do? Or the guy on Punked? People get most of their ideas of appropriate behavior from TV, and all we get there are the short scenes of planned, written, made up, laboratory clean reality. Is that anything to base your behavior off of?
Some examples are appropriate. I wish I had written down every instance of this I have seen but most of them occurred when I was with someone I did not want to be with. If you know what I am talking about then you have probably experienced an instance where you are with someone and you say or do something and you can just see these calculations going on through the skull of the person with you. The “weird” response (sometimes a long “okaaaaay”) is usually appropriate for those people when they are not sure what to do. You can’t go wrong calling something weird or just putting it in a light that makes it seem not normal.