"Whenever I had a choice between settling or struggling, I chose B. A, of course, stood for average."Sound familiar? Turns out there's another whole set of people who view average as ideal. The thinking goes as follows: the reason certain traits become so common is that they work. The more of such traits that an individual accumulates, the more successful his/she is likely to be.
It's a fun trip as O'Keefe uncovers one criterion after another and he (and I) can't help comparing ourselves to the hypothetical average person: I live in the state where I was born; have lived in the same house for more than five years; am a high school graduate; believe in God - oops, no. I have a car, but no garage, I wear my seat belt and have a pet, but I don't live with "two to four people." And so it goes.
I may buy a copy of this book 'cause I think in twenty years it will be comical to look at things we now consider normal, or at least average: eats at MacDonalds and shops at WalMart at least once a year; lives within 100 miles of the ocean. Hmmm... Has a porch or deck and a grill; eats meat and ice cream; has a kitchen, at least one bathroom, a washer, a dryer and a dishwasher; showers and brushes teeth daily.
O'Keefe begins with a Norman Rockwell quote:
"Commonplace never became tiresome. It is we who become tired when we cease to be curious and appreciative. It is not a new scene which is needed, but a new viewpoint."Spoiler follows. O'Keefe is disappointed and edified when his quest leads to his hometown and a person he'd known in high school.