Fitting In Is Totally Overrated

Categories: Opinion | Tags: , ,
Published on 28 Aug, 2009

I am the Queen of Not Fitting In.

I did not fit in when I was in high school because I was kinda dorky and editor of the school newspaper and didn’t play any sports and couldn’t afford Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (God, how I wanted a pair of those, or Calvin Klein, or Guess).

I didn’t fit in at college because I was still kinda dorky and was editor of the college newspaper (note to self: DO NOT EDIT NEWSPAPERS- it MAKES YOU A DORK) and didn’t rush a sorority because I thought they were clique-y and I couldn’t party because I was working 3 jobs in order to have the pleasure of remaining there.

When I started having kids 15 years ago, I welcomed a whole new level of not fitting in. I was 25, a virtual infant in the world of motherhood- and I couldn’t stand playgroups because the women talking about how their little Morgan could read at 18 months made me want to suffocate myself with a dry cleaning bag.

When we moved to a small town? You guessed it. Did not fit in. Because I was a ‘come here’ not a ‘from here,’ on my first day walking my child to school, I was told by some moms that they really were going to miss the people that used to live in my house. Nice welcome. Haven’t really fit in since.

When my second kid started playing soccer, I SO did not fit in on the soccer field because a.) I was never an athlete and couldn’t even understand what ‘offsides’ meant- one time I actually cheered my daughter on as she scored a goal for the opposing team- because like her, I couldn’t keep track of which way they were supposed to run and b.) dude? the screaming parents acting like we were watching the world championship or World Cup or Olympic or whatever soccer game? Pass the earplugs.

Just the other day on the soccer field, now that I am 40 and my youngest daughter is playing, I didn’t fit in again. Me? Sitting on folding camp chair (that has the added feature of a little thingy that lets you put your feet up) with an Evian and a sexy new More magazine reading a cool essay by Candace Bushnell. My 3 year old was beside me playing with his cars. Other moms? Either walking the trail that surrounds the field, cause they are cool and in shape like that, or hanging out cheering on their kid. The younger moms, with back tattoos, were talking about leaking breast milk. I thought: how did I get to be so old that I feel like I could be THE MOM OF THE OTHER MOMS?

And now? I am the blogger that doesn’t fit in with the Mommybloggers (except certain very, very cool ones). I spent half of yesterday being entranced by a shall we say “SOAP opera” on Twitterverse TV where in DOOCE (please genuflect and make the sign of the cross on your forehead) wrote a bunch of- let’s call them SPIRITED tweets about her washing machine not working, and soon had hundreds of thousands of her 1.4 million followers and an appliance CEO or four falling all over themselves to do her bidding. Do not get me wrong. I admire Heather Armstrong. I read her book It Sucked and Then I Cried and was very impressed by her candor and her writing style. I would happily settle for only 1.1 million followers (of @marymac- wink!) on twitter and she is the golden standard- the inventor, really, of mommyblogging. I think it’s cool that she started ‘following back’ some cool bloggers for the first time (overhead at dooce headquarters yesterday: “There are OTHER BLOGGERS?”) and every blogger out there should, well- thank dooce for being dooce, because today I believe she not only has a new washing machine, but probably a former Appliance CEO doing the laundry for her.

But in the history of (I still really feel gaggy every time I use this word) mommyblogging, there grew to be certain cliques. Apparently how long you have been blogging qualifies you for entry into *certain circles* and if you have only been blogging a year (like me, although I have been blogging since 2004, just not here at PJ&C) you are, well, a turd. Not worthy of being commented or followed back on twitter, dismissed as a mere ‘ant’ in the bigger blogging BLOGOSPHERE, and actually, at times (like when there’s a big huge twitternado) discussed in ironic hypocrisy by those who have deemed themselves head honchos of the bloggy sororities.

UGH.

I tried to fit in. I found bloggers I loved, commented away on their blogs with hopes they would come read mine one day, acted whiny and needy like a – well, I guess, a pathetic puppy. But you know what? The only people I REALLY care about ‘fitting in with’? Are my readers. I work hard, blogging three times a week. I have been a professional writer for 15 years including several as a newspaper humor columnist, so I am not exactly fresh off the java truck. From now on, I resolve to not only never grow into a holier-than-thou ‘big dog’ but also (commence echo-ey monster truck voice)

NOT. CARE. ABOUT. FITTING. IN.

There. Wow, that was refreshing. Say it with me:

I DO NOT CARE ABOUT FITTING IN.

If someone likes me, great. If they don’t, they can go play themselves (do not listen with kids nearby!) this charming little tune, my very favorite theme song in the entire universe*.

Go on, play it. Listen again. Love it. Sing along.

Who wants to start a ‘not fitting in but we still rock’ clique with me? Or would that defeat the whole point?

Happy weekend, readers. Thanks for stopping by and not fitting in with me.

* you are so welcome for introducing this magical song into your life. I have an ipod, and the only thing on it is 500 copies of this one song. I carry tiny speakers in my purse so I can hit ‘play’ and play it very low if I encounter a rude salesperson, overly enthusiastic soccer mom or um, condescending ‘big blogger.’ It’s very liberating. (Interesting historical side note: it was written about George W. Bush)

P.S. Super shout out to My Messy Paradise and her list of Top Ten Funny Chicks on the net. Being one of them is humbling and way cool.


 
 
 
 
 
 
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