Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fitting In

I am still sick, so if this post sucks, bite me. A good friend used to say "bite me" all of the time – it was so annoying. I was tempted to bite her. But I didn't. The nun in me trying to get out; compassionate, reserved, forgiving.

One of my favorite people in blogdom is Georgia Peach. She recently had a contest, where she asked several multiple choice questions about herself. Well, actually a lot of questions – ten or so. They were thoughtful questions, and a bunch of us tried answering them. I ended up "winning" the contest – but Ms. Peach will not have to generate a Form 1099-G (IRS form for gambling income and other winnings). I won a bunch of yummy half-nekkid men. Sort of cramps the nun style, but let's face it, I am no nun. I love Ms. Peach, not in a "covering her privates with Saran Wrap" sort of way, but in a sister sort of way – she reminds me of me when I was younger. And I think I had a bit of an advantage – I am her. Not really. I have read her blog since she started.

She got me to thinking. She placed an Enya song on her site – because she knows I like Enya. And Enya is not her cup of tea. She said that Enya and Stevie Nicks sort of hurt her brain. She actually said, "my head is still spinning from my attempt to listen to Enya and Stevie Nicks......whoo." I get that was when listening to rap. It is so complicated music to me – when you look at the words, it is poetry. And then there is a complicated beat, and all of a sudden, my head is spinning, and I really don't get the full meaning of the song. Some of the songs I like immediately, but I can't really truly appreciate all of the nuances of the music. My ears are not trained to distinguish the differences.

And then my mind started drifting to differences between cultures. You see, I am white, and although I have several black friends, I don't fit into their culture. Don't get me wrong, we are good friends, but I have completely different experiences – and I cannot claim to be part of this culture. It reminds me of a discussion I had many years ago. A black friend explained it this way. When she enters a room and she sees someone else who is black, she breaths a little easier. Even if she does not know the person, there is some sort of connection. I don't know if this feeling is universal – probably not, as nothing seems to be universal. But I have heard similar things from Jewish friends.

And, you see, I am white. And I don't have that feeling. I see another white person and I don't really think anything. I am not more comforted. I don't feel connected. And as strange as it sounds, I sort of feel cheated. I mean, had I been brought up in an Italian family (a la ~Deb), maybe I would feel some sort of connection with other Italians. Who knows, perhaps Video X feels the same way about hashers. I don't know.

I want to belong to a group – but I am white. I know there have historically been disadvantages from being in certain minority groups. But being white, I don't really belong to a group, not in the way described. Part of the reason I like reading others' blogs is that I get to know a bit more about others. People from other cultures, people from other nations, people from other sexual orientations. It might not be obvious from my posts, but people fascinate me. Not in a scientific and test tube way, but in a relationship, awe-inspiring sort of way.


babyG said...

good post! My 15 year old Daughter said she wished she was in the band so she was part of a group.

My group is prior service(Army)and Airborn. I love my group, it is like a very big family

Edge said...

Ya, I believe we all just want to be around people we are like or share something with. I like being around the people I went to high school and college with and former work associates. Red, yellow, black, white, doesn't matter, as long as I can share a commonality with them.

Hope you feel better. I've been down with the K.R.U.P.E. too.


Amber said...

You DO belong to a group! A blogger group! We love you and if you walked into a room with us, you would feel right at home. Promise.

Prata said...

At times, I suppose having a group is good. I want to belong to a group in some ways. I want to be around people that can understand me and my experiences and say, "Yeah, I've been there. This is what I did." But I'm not.

I work just fine on my own, I've always been alone and I think I like it that. I've never had any other experience to compare too; however, I'm sure belonging to a group would be nice.

Sometimes I want to just fit in. Being me means I don't fit in. I always thought pure breds had it easier. You know where you can draw a conncetion from because it's right there. When I was a child, I did all individual things. I ran track (I was forced to run relays). I played the flute (and was then forced to join the marching band). In the instances I was forced to do things with others that didn't know me, didn't understand me and frankly weren't trusting of me because of my ethnicity and origin of neighborhood; I still managed to be quite alone.

Today, I view all people as just people; however I still feel trapped in constructs not of my design. I feel reluctant to open up to others because I feel I'm so alien to them.

thebillofbrothers said...

My group is my family - 15 of us including our parents, siblings and our children. We're as close as they come and there's no end in sight.

I know someone who has had family not talk to each other for years due to an argument... who does that? Not us. It's hard to become a part of the family but even harder getting out - kinda like the mob - lol.

As we grow older and have children, we're noticing our children forming bonds (hopefully of the same strength) with their siblings and cousins.

It's so special to watch those relationships forming - I think you would enjoy it.

Trojan said...

Very interesting and thought inducing post...We all want to belong to some sort of group or feel appreciated and accepted. I'm Jewish but since I don't practice, meeting another Jewish person doesn't make me breathe easier..but meeting another hasher does. Maybe it's the slighty sick and perveted thoughts that run around in my head on a daily basis..but birds of a feather do flock together.Instantly, even if I don't know this hasher..I feel like I do and know we have something in common...

Mike said...

This is one of the reasons I like get to meet fascinating people and different writing styles.

Leesa said...

babyg: Thanks for your service to our contry!

jef: still ache. Good points.

amber: thanks, sweetie.

prata: you are indeed a unique individual. But some/most groups are not homogeneous.

bill: yeah, having a close family can be a wonderful thing.

trojan: I saw you on Video X's comments. Both hashers! I couldn't run two miles if my butt was on fire.

mike: and sometimes you marry them.

Grant said...

Most people think being white precludes them from grouping, but it's not so. In my case I am British, German, Irish, French, and Cherokee, so I've got plenty of cultures from which to choose. I also belong to the group "Psychotic American." :)

KyuBall said...

I used to live in Hawaii...and before you start pitying my for the trails of my life, being white in Hawaii meant that I was part of a minority. Yet, even when I saw another white person, I didn't feel relieved or as if I could walk up to that person and instantly bond.

It ain't easy being a white man, living in a white man's, or something like that.

Monica said...

I know what you're saying, I waited for years to belong to a group....and figured motherhood was my ticket into some golden's not....then I thought that having them in school would give me and instant camraderie with other didn't. I think that's why women form book clubs and church groups and sewing circles....and why they sell things in home based businesses, and join weight watchers and such....we need an excuse to get together and bond. Women are tribal---we like to have other women near us and with us doing the same things we do....we want that sense of community. Modern society and technology has made us too self sufucent....we don't need anyone to live our lives, so we don't get to have anyone to live them with.

It's kind-of sad.

nosthegametoo said...

I think this is why people become more active in their choosen religious communities as they get older; to find a community home.

It is a wonderful experience to have a strong sense of belonging to a cultural group, but there are so many other ways to identify with the world around us.

One great thing about getting more familiar with the world: as we get older, we have the ability to choose how to identify ourselves, regardless of where others think we "should" be.

Wonderful post to read.

Prata said...

I certainly don't think everyone needs a communcal experience. People are of course social creatures, but being social and _needing_ a group are not the same thing. As people we depend upon society (on the large scale) for survival as we know it today. We do not however, depend upon society for our happiness.

As for me, I'm perfectly happy being alone and not bothered. That's because in essence I'm not really alone. I have people in countries some people have never read or heard about that allow me to broaden my horizons.

In "normal" society, you know where you interact with people face to face (without a webcam) there are all these race issues and cultural issues.

Who here has read the Hacker's Manifesto? If you haven't perhaps you should.

Let me quote:

"We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals."

And this is why I am not trying to find new groups to hang out with. lol

Video X said...

man alive. i had such a good comment earlier. but now i'm grumpy...funny topic for today now that my comments have erupted into racist bullshit make me throw up crap.

anyway...originally i can remember wanting to start out with ...i love this post.

the rest is gone from me.

~Deb said...

Leesa---you are so opened-minded---that you would fit into any group. I admire that most about you. You're intelligent, your writing is sexy and quick-witted, and you can talk about politics/religion and sensitive subjects without ever offending someone.

That's what you call true talented. You never try to be 'overheard' as some people (not mentioning names) apparently do--to the point of--STFU! (heeheee)

You're wonderful, and I KNOW if I ever saw you in a room, I would breathe easier.

wallycrawler said...

I'm scared shitless of groups . Groups of people most of the time cause conflicts with other groups of people . That's how wars start . Fuck dat !

Leesa said...

grant: When I think of white groups, the KKK comes to mind. Very sad.

kyuball: living on a tropical island must have been rough.

monica: good points.

nosthegametwo: I think a strong family is probably the best sort of group to be in.

prata: I understand. Who is the quote from?

VX: I blame it on the change in weather!

~deb: I think you see more qualities in me than I see in myself. Not sure what STFU means.

wally: groups can also help one another.

Prata said...

STFU means Shut The Fuck UP lol

The quote is from The Hacker's Manifesto (The Hacker Manifesto), it was written by TheMentor.

LocuTus of Borg said...

Yea I feel definitely in the minority these days, but trying to speak Spanish kinda helps me fit in South Florida ;).

I like Enya - have all of her CDs haha.

Blue said...

I love your blog - just found it in roundabout way.

This sums up my feeling - only mine is more feeling that I never fit in. I love blogdom for the same reasons - finding out about people.

I'll be back :-)

Leesa said...

prata: I feel so out-of-touch.

borg: Not sure I have all of Enya's CDs. I knew someone who would like an artist and buy the US and imports. Some bootleg copies as well. A bit over the edge.

bluebot: welcome!