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"Us" and "Them"?


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Do you ever feel like there is "us", the quiet ones who think they are geeks, hopeless nerds, people who don't know what a party is let alone ever got invited to one, and then there is THEM, the Popular Crowd, the cheerleaders and basketball players, the people who are beautiful and run the show? I'm 27 and still feel this divide, depsite being married-divorced-pretty-not unpopular. Will it always be with us?

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Good news:

This is one of those questions, like "Do I look stupid when I am dancing," to which the answer probably is "Yes, but it truly doesn't matter" -- and for me, the realization for both was sudden. 

It was worse when I was 27, when people seemed less certain of their identities and spent more time jockeying to be Cool People.  Now the Cool People channel their energies toward things (like school fundraisers) that I don't want to do anyway, and their clannishness seems to arise not from any negative opinion of outsiders, but just from really liking each other, which is sort of sweet in a parochial way.

And, to some extent, time homogenizes the geeks and the cheerleaders -- with taxes and children and mortgages and backaches, we have more in common.

C.S. Lewis has the best essay on this phenomenon, called "The Inner Ring," in which he argues that cliqueishness is a sad temptation because there's always a cooler clique, like rings of the onion -- so the cliquish can never be happy.  It's not just spite ... I was struck to see how, in politics/government, there are infinitely subtle gradations of coolness.

sg

uncool

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So true- what CS Lewis said about cliques being like onions-

At 27 I can say I haven't encountered the clique behavior like I did in high school. It is great news that it will go away further! I say FUCK YOU to school fundraisers, as the public should pony up money and not me, and for private schools, why should you pay over the tuition cost?!

rant and rant....

I just have to rant about snobs. That's all.

loon ;)

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Do you ever feel like there is "us", the quiet ones who think they are geeks, hopeless nerds, people who don't know what a party is let alone ever got invited to one, and then there is THEM, the Popular Crowd, the cheerleaders and basketball players, the people who are beautiful and run the show? I'm 27 and still feel this divide, depsite being married-divorced-pretty-not unpopular. Will it always be with us?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Word up on that, sistah.  Or something like that.  Too many years of having picked up both the Southern US and African-American dialects.

Who am I to say, I was never popular.  Well except the four years I was in a school system in Indiana where nobody'd ever seen a non-white person.  There I was either everybody's friend or in the condition of "I'm gonna fucking lynch your ugly brown ass, motherfucking n*gger".  It was a love-hate relationship.

But it was always important for me to find a clique of dorks/geeks/nerds/etc. to hang out with.  Had no problem with that later in HS or throughout college.  Err... and the college I went to in Ohio (Loon-A-Tik, you know full well which one this is, you told me you're starting your N.Doc. there!), was 75% male, majority science and engineering majors.  Well, at the time it was, now the place seems to be crawling with evil psychology, sociology, management, and English majors. =P (Fine fine, for several decades, perhaps the nation's top social psychologist, Dr. Roy Baumeister, performed prolific research and taught there.  My interests were more in bio/genetic psychology and public health psychology, so I'd never seen the guy.)  Anyways, almost everybody I ran into was a fellow dork/nerd/geek/Aspie/loner/etc.  I was taught how to build a computer and how to solve multivariable calculus there... by friends!!! And as the icing on the cake, several alumni of the place who I'm also friends with have settled in the Baltimore/DC area, and they all fit that category to some extent, so I've got a lot of similar friends.

The take home lesson is to find loners just like yourself who find a lot of solace in having just a couple of friends around.  You could end up best friends and gain a lot of mutual support (without all that committment of a romantic relationship).  It's helped me.  I wouldn't be in Baltimore still despite my unemployment if that weren't the case; I'd have moved to Georgia two months ago, where my uncle in Augusta had offered me a fairly nice job (though remember that he's married to Dr. Tomasina Cruise). 

And, I have no idea whether or not I'm attractive with the girls.  I seem to be pointed at, ogled at, and asked out by the under-17 high schooler population.  That's a problem when they're at that age where they find nothing wrong in squeezing some seemingly random guy's ass.  And it's even MORE of a problem when you're 22 (probably has to do with the fact I look about 16... either that, or they're all after the Mr. Robinson sugar daddy kind of guy... and that's not me, I'm broke and out of a job!). I guess I'm pretty much an outcast, then, with the girls I could legally... uh... do things... with. =P  Haven't been asked out or even attracted the attention of any girl about my age since I was about 18 or 19.  So sorry, no advice in that department.

I don't know either, maybe I'll always be like this.  It's especially my Aspieness that makes me lose friends on occasion... they realize I'm silent except for the subjects I like, in which case I go off rambling until they nearly have to physically force me to change subjects.  This unnerves the hell out of them.  On some occasions, I realize that I'm alienating potential friends and shut up (even offering an apology for talking too much).  That almost always works, but sometimes that mechanism doesn't kick in for me.  There are legions of folks who at first find me the most charming (call it the BPII/BPD in me) guy in the world, then soon find me an annoying pain in the ass.

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Heya Loon,

Well, from the ripe old age of 32.

;)

Until now, and even now.

In my small town, I was Aspie/schizoid (still working on that; botom line is, as a small child I preferred a book to the kids at recess).

Plus I had the top marks.

No friends all the way from JK to OAC (Grade 13).

My parents always said I would find friends in university, but I found one, in second year, then DH.

Still not fitting in.

But over time, I care less and less.

If those people don't like me for *me,* fuck'm.

That's therapy, but I only believe it for 1-2 minutes (like, right now :) ) every few days.

Plus, I've entered a field in which I do well, and in which being honest serves me well.  My patients (most of them) are either happy with my help or are unhappy, but might benefit anyway.

That said, I get scary-anxious (crap, I miss Bailey's) at DH's company's social functions, and weddings and funerals.  B/c I'm weird, and I'm smart enough to know I'm weird.

You and I will be okay.

Being weird is okay.

Adults can be like high school students.  People are idiots.

My 6yo neice loves me, chases me; she's weird too, but brilliant and beautiful.  I might be the only one who gets her.

Maybe my weirdness will help her to be okay.

--ncc--

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