Monday, January 31, 2011


Were you popular in school?

I, most decidedly, was not ever popular.

Throughout all of junior high and much of high school, I tended to hover around the fringes of the different kids - not really getting to know many people very well. And the ones I did know - most of them - were, like me, outcasts - we pretended it was by choice.

At some point, I thought I stopped caring about fitting in. I certainly pretended not to care that the party invitations didn't come or that I didn't have the "right" clothes or the "right" hair or the "right" address. I began to do things my own way. This typically entailed Easter egg colored hair dye, piercings (before even the cheerleaders had them), and Salvation Army label clothes.

I suspect what I was really trying to do was give them a reason to ostracize me rather than wonder why I was ostracized. At least, if my hair was pink (or fire engine red, or blue), I thought I knew.

As an adult, I've never really tried much to fit in. I go to work, I come home. I don't tend to socialize with my co-workers (although there are a few with whom I most certainly would...if they asked). I go out with friends - friends whose primary groups I hover around the fringes...303, Shelter, among others. I blog...for me and for the few people who read me. But, as a rule, I don't really try to fit in anywhere.

So I don't know why it bothers me so much to look at the pictures Schmutzie posted on her blog from a blogger conference held in Nashville last weekend I didn't know about or to read entries on Uncle Typewriter and Geekin' Hard and Letters From a Small State's blogs about a silly little blog meme going around whereby bloggers get "awarded" a special "Stylish Blog" award by other bloggers.

But all of a sudden, I feel like I'm 13 again, without friends, smiling shyly, wishing people would like me. Wondering why they don't.

I look at Schmutzie's pictures of all these bloggers and I think to myself, "They all look so put together and I am so not all put together. They're all women with a purpose and I can't even manage to accessorize appropriately."

And I can't even find a niche being subversive because A) I'm not subversive and B) it's already being done

But then I have to remind myself...while I blog, I'm not a blogger. I'm not exactly one of them. I blog about Nothing. Like Seinfeld without a Thursday night line up. Real but not normal. At least, that's what Lex says.

I'm"Just Jane" my infinite wisdom. A place where I dump all the thoughts I have that don't fit in anywhere else. I guess I shouldn't expect then to fit in with anyone else.

Still...sometimes I do think it would be nice to fit in. Somewhere.


MsSparrow said...

Does anyone ever feel like they truly fit in? I think every person feels that sense of alienation, of not belonging. I also think that we do belong, maybe not to a specific scene, genre, clique or whatever word you want to use but we do belong. Your friends aka the family that you chose to surround yourself with, would certainly tell you that you belong with them. IMHO at least.

Michael said...

This was a great post, IMO. I'm not big on "themed" blogs, the ones I find the most entertaining are the ones where the bloggers just talk about stuff, maybe revealing parts of themselves along the way, and this was a beautiful example of that.

Michael said...

I forgot to mention... I don't know if you watch Parks and Recreation? There's a character on the show (Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman) and when you commented on not socializing with your co-workers it reminded me of something he said in last week's episode. It was something like, "I once worked with a guy for three years and never knew his name. He was the best co-worker I ever had."

And I think there's something wrong with a competition/recognition for most stylish blog.

Anonymous said...

You may not fit in anywhere, by you do belong. You belong to the group of misfits, who don't fit in anywhere either. The only problem with this group is that we are non-vocal, and like anti-static dryer sheets we will never cling together, but we belong none the less.

Just Jane said...

@Peej: Yeah. I belong with you, you wierdo *smile*.

@Michael: I haven't watched Parks & Recreation but clearly I ought to.

I think there's something wrong with those blog popularity contests too.

@Rick: The only thing clinging to me currently is my bathrobe...and a needy cat. And you're right.