Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Living on the Edge

Ever since I can remember having friends, I have noticed that I am always at least a little on the fringe, as far as cliques and groups go. You know that inner circle of popular kids that pops up in every class or workplace no matter how old you are? I'm never in it.

At camp, in school, I talked to the other kids, but I could always kind of tell that my presence was more tolerated than invited. Play dates and parties would happen and I'd hear about it later... My disappointment was my fault - instead of just enjoying the friendships I had, I would try to penetrate the "in" crowd. How dumb was that? 

You'd think that growing up would sort of even things out, but there are still cliques among grownups... At places where I have worked, among the other moms at Bill's school...  It no longer makes me miserable, but because of my past history with this kind of thing, I still find myself feeling a little disappointed. My husband thinks it's hilarious and teases me about it - which is exactly the right thing for him to do. I mean, it IS funny that someone my age would even think about stuff like this. 

I am pretty sure that it's not even intentional - the way cliques are formed and people are marginalized. It may just be a sort of organic thing. I mean, not everyone is going to be liked by everyone. People gravitate towards certain people. I accept now, at nearly 50, that I'm just not that kind of person that is appealing to everyone... I'm more of an acquired taste. I'm always just a bit too weird, too talkative, too nerdy, too Christian, not Christian enough... 

Fortunately for me, I have always had wonderful, very close friends in MY inner circle who actually like me and enjoy my weirdness: My brothers and sisters. I mean they have to accept me, but I will go out on a limb and say that they actually like me... Suzanne, my friend from home and college who still knows how to make me laugh... Lydia, my cousin and college roommate... Alecia, who really put up with a lot from me... Grace, who I met in a self-help group at church - and to whom I am so close that people sometimes suspect we're a couple... and most of all, my awesome husband, Tom, who loves me just as I am... and may be even weirder than me... These are the kinds of friends you keep forever, and I intend to - if they'll have me, that is....

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