I sometimes get the feeling, whether it is right or wrong is another matter, that I simply don’t fit in. It’s not that anyone has said anything, or that they are likely too, but just a feeling. It comes from looking around me and seeing what other people, other women my age do.
There is the band of young mothers who, having managed to bag themselves a security blanket rather than an education, set out to repopulate the world as quickly as they can. They can be seen wandering about town during the day, their children wrapped up firmly and deposited in all sorts of pushchairs, a cell phone clasped to their ear, a cigarette in their mouth.
There are the small groups of loud, often offensive, women who know everything, do everything and never seem to remember what they know or have done after a night out on the town. They’re more the text messaging types, getting their cells out at every opportunity, talking – loudly – about who did this, when and where, and sending each other messages on the move.
They are also interchangeable. If the one hadn’t hooked up so young she’d probably be with the loud set, the other may well join the pram-pushers if her night out takes a wrong turn.
There are the loners, the darkly dressed women aspiring to a Gothic image with their dyed black hair enhanced by a stream of red. Although, not exactly loners in that they hang out mainly with men of a similar persuasion, either Gothic or tending towards heavy metal. Loners in that, for some reason, there is often only one of them to three or four men in any group.
First of all, I don’t want to be in either of these groups. I’m not sure that I really want to be in any group as such, although many people will automatically assign me here or there at will, according to how they see me. I can’t imagine myself fitting in at all. I love literature, classical music and a glass of good wine. I enjoy pleasant, civilized company where conversations are held with the person next to you, and not the people three tables away across a crowded room. I seem to always have a book close to hand, a notebook for making notes or communicating. I’ll probably never be seen with a beer bottle in my hand, or sending text messages to someone who has only just walked away, or lighting another cigarette as the last one still burns on the ground, where it has been discarded. I can remember what happened the night before, at the party I went to, who I spoke too and how I got home. I enjoy taking photographs with a camera, rather than snaps with my cell. I share things which make me, and hopefully the person receiving, think; things which aren’t likely to be forgotten over a period of mere seconds.
When I look at these groups of people I often wonder what has happened to all those who went through High School with me back in the States. Are they split into similar groups? Are they living the life – the American Dream or whatever – they imagined a few years ago? Is one of them, perhaps, thinking the same thoughts as she sits in front of a computer and prepares for the coming week at college?
To be honest, I don’t feel that I am an outsider. To be an outsider you need to be rejected by one or other of the groups which, for some reason, you wish to join. That isn’t the case with me. Different, perhaps, or most certainly, and that is a good thing.
Love & Kisses, Viki.