Friday, July 07, 2017

Alien

Hi,

A couple of weeks ago, I popped round to see my folks. They'd been away and while on holiday, it had been my mum's birthday. Now, with the kids being older and all of us being busy at the weekend, I went round on my own. Hello dutiful son points. ;-)

There was the usual chit-chat, cake, and tea business. This is Britain after all. :-) An hour in and my sister and boyfriend - neither of who I'd seen in a while - turned up to much delight. It's fine; I live away and I'm used to being in the background :-)

As she and my mum started talking about who'd said what to who, and how certain - and frankly, unimportant - news had developed, I was reminded how much I just don't give a stuff about any of that.

Now, I find people interesting. I care about what happens to friends, and through some of the stuff I do at work, and at Chams, about the feelings of those, I know only lightly. But.... as the conversation went on, I felt more out of it and frankly, alien. Is this how I was supposed to behave? The grandstanding, the gossip, the bluster, the talk about perceived snubs, etc. Not that my dad does either, bless him. Maybe I'm reading more into it than I should, and I'm more like my dad. He's a lovely fellow.

With the night drawing in and work the next day, I made my excuses, hugged and left. The drive home, as now, had me thinking on what had played out. I'd not felt like a stranger for some time, and yet, older memories resurfaced: false or true, I couldn't say. I wondered, does this make me a snob? Hint: don't answer that ;-) I'll say no, because it's not a case of looking down on them, not thinking I'm better. Judging? The content and their occasional hissing, maybe, yes.

I'm certainly not better, not by a country mile.... just, well, different. The proverbial oddball: a metalhead at the proms, or a suit at an eco-warrior meeting. Being one doesn't stop you being okay with the other. You just, well, don't always quite click.

Families eh? Who'd have 'em? :-)

Take care,
Lynn


10 comments:

  1. I so relate to this, Lynn. I do not enjoy family gatherings and try to avoid them whenever possible. Weird, eh?

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    1. Sorry to hear that, Calie. The formal gatherings can be a bit stained. But, family time with the Jones Massive and the Ever Lovely Mrs J's crew are a hoot.

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  2. I wonder to what extent this is a trans thing. For many of us we feel a great deal of empathy and show support to other trans folk. Maybe that's where our focus tends to instinctively lie rather and the affairs of other folk can seem trivial by comparison. Certainly how it feels to me at times.

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    1. "A son is a son until he finds he's trans." ;-)

      Is it a trans thing? Good question. From a point of view around interests (music, hobbies, etc) there's not much that I have in common, except having lived in the same house for 19 years. My, that makes me sound like a psychopath :-D

      Jokes aside, maybe the drive to a binary view of gender (by some) underlines our differences. I mean, suits and sports? No thanks.

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  3. I think Claire may have a good point here, especially for those of us who chose or need to remain closeted. At family gatherings there's always a part of me that feels like an outsider looking on and not completely part of what's going. I know that's not a good thing and mindfulness says you should be completely in the moment (as the jargon goes) wherever you are but I've never quite managed it.

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    1. / waves from one closet to another :-)

      Enjoying what you can is, I think, key to it. There are certain events - venue, dress, conversation, company, etc - that make it easier over others.

      Oddly, I was reading about an inclusivity policy for one large firm and a number of out employees said how much freer they felt. No more masking who they were, or watching their own behaviour and words.

      Is that part of the price for us?

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  4. It's not quite the same thing, but I remember when I was still living at home, and an old friend of mine was still living in the same city as me, the latter individual would often come around to my place to pick me up in his car if we were planning on going somewhere that night. Anyway, on more than one occasion, when he arrived, he and my mum would start talking about their respective families and all the weird and wonderful things their distant relatives had done. They were conversations from which I felt oddly excluded, which led to the uncomfortable situation of me just standing in the background, becoming bored out of my mind (the stuff they talked about wasn't terribly interesting to me), and wondering if politeness dictated I should continue to just stand there awkwardly, and pretend to care about the topic of conversation, or wander off and find something else to do. I'd invariably end up doing the latter thing, and although I feared being called out for my "rudeness", I never was, so maybe my friend and mum realized that what they were doing was a bit inappropriate.

    Talking about awkward moments in conversation, one thing I've sometimes had happen to me, and which I find incredibly rude, is I'll be having a nice conversation with someone I know at some public event, only to have them see someone else they know; say, "Oh hi!" to the newcomer; and then go off to talk to them instead, leaving me just standing there feeling like a right idiot. What the hell do you do in a situation like that?! I like to think it's just ignorance and insensitivity rather than actual malice that has them doing something like that, but it really makes me angry. Still, I worry that if I say something, I'll just be accused of overreacting. So, yeah, what do you do?

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    1. I can so relate to your story, Zosi! Maybe such folk are blogging, asking why aren't we all interested in such detail? ;-)

      When someone walks off on you, I'm reminded of that sage advice, "people = shit" by Slipknot ;-) It happened at work a few months ago with a work mate and a guy from another team. As the other chap strolled off, my mate tuned to me and just said "nob". Made me chuckle.

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  5. I feel like an alien with most people in most situations. Not sure whether that's quite the same thing though :/

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