Square peg in a vast land of round holes

I was talking to a friend earlier. It wasn't a new topic for us, it comes up time to time. This whole idea of how to meet people - not any people but your people. We've both bumped around a bit, her returning to a familiar place whereas I tend to keep going to the unknown.

You try to meet new people and it's not really that difficult to meet them. It just hardly ever gels into anything more than an acquaintanceship. You don't tend to fit the life definitions that other people have for themselves and their friends. You suck at small talk. You have a hard time connecting. You don't have the same common ground that other people have. It's not that the interests and the commonalities are so different, it's just yours always seem to be slightly skewed. You tend to prefer to sit back from the crowd, you like to observe, you're a little shy. But when you participate you often do so with gusto, in a way that confuses people. They start to assume that when you're quiet it's because you don't like them, or you're in a bad mood, that you're a bitch. Truth is, sometimes you're just quiet.

You don't watch television or many movies. Well, that's probably a bit of an exaggeration. You don't watch popular television shows or much of anything regularly. Not because they are bad or you're elitist. It's because you get distracted by things and you don't like to plan you night around a tv schedule. You don't have a PVR/Tivo/whatever because you don't want to spend more money to watch television you already pay for. The television is actually on quite a bit but it's a lot of daytime reruns or Food Network reruns that is largely ignored and mostly on for background noicse. You don't watch movies that often because you're moody and lazy and don't see a whole lot on Blockbuster's shelves that you actually want to pay money to watch.

You read books but you don't often read the things that make the bestsellers list or that is the new hottest book in the literary fiction crowd. A lot of conversations die when people hear that you haven't read a book that they think is the greatest ever (*coughDanBrowncough*). It depends on what is on your shelf and what you're in the mood for, which more often than not is not what the person in the seat next to you cares to read or hear about. You're not the book club type.

You're a woman of a certain age, married, yet not a mom nor do you plan to become one. And you don't hate children, which is what a lot of people assume. You actually quite like babies. You're just not good with children and you're not comfortable with them. (There are, of course, exceptions to the rule.) Most women you know are moms, or want to be moms and well, it's just another way that you don't "fit".

You're not career-driven, which is apparently what you should be since you're not a mother and don't plan to be one. You're also not a student, though many people mistake you for one.

You're girly enough in some ways and don't care in others.  You don't want to go shopping. You generally hate shopping. You also don't want to talk hair and makeup though sometimes can fall into a great conversation about shoes.

You hate clubs and like pubs, but would prefer to go in the afternoon or early evening and be back home and most likely in bed by 10pm.

You're actually in bed by 10pm most nights. Because you like it.

You knit but you're not a particularly good or frequent knitter. You don't play cards or video games. You don't do sports and do not go outside in the winter if you can at all help it.

You don't do many of the things that people do to socialize and when you do you don't have that same common ground as many of them because of all of the above and more.

The internet helps. You can pick and choose what you want to talk about, what you want to read about and how you interact with people. You can pick how and when you want to interact. You can be chatty and bubbly here, snarky there, lurk quietly over there. It makes your people easier to find, but your people rarely live close by.

Sometimes it's easier than others. Sometimes it's damned hard to be doing this all over again in another new place, especially when you live with someone who has lived here pretty much their entire life. Sometimes the stark differences in your experience and theirs in the same city is hard to handle. You don't regret the choices that got you here and you don't regret being here but it's not always easy. It's hard to be the person that stays at home, that doesn't have people to call for a coffee date. When you don't possess the easy grace of making friends, it's not as simple as meeting people. And it's not that you dislike anyone that you meet, you just don't fit.

On a good day you tell yourself that you are simply 32 flavours and then some. On a good day you can flit from group to group, not really belonging but ok with it. Some days it's enough just to be there. And it's true, some days it is enough.

On other days it's a different reality that comes crashing down. Some days it hits you that you are on the periphery, that you don't really belong. Some days you have stripes when you should have spots. Some days you get tired of people trying to shove you into places they think you should fit. Some days you desperately wish you fit into any of those places.

Some days you are just a square peg in a vast land of round holes. And while people assume you are looking for a square hole they are wrong - you're just looking for the other square pegs.