Category Archives: Cliques
Posted by Trees Without Roots
When did Alabama swallow me whole?
This apartment, this city, this state- the whole region, actually, has gripped it’s pearly little teeth right into the nape of my neck, and refuses to let go of me. The grip of this culture, or lack there of, is astonishing. It’s binding and painfully sticky. While I was raised in The South, my upbringing was nothing like this. Be warned – The State of Alabama will suck every ounce of individuality and free-thinking you have straight from your eyeballs and wash it down with a side of sweet tea.
I was transplanted here when I was 16, uprooted from the artsy Lowcountry town in which I was raised and loved. I was brought kicking and screaming to this God Forsaken place. The day before we left, it was Prom Night and also my 16th birthday. My mother had told me that the following day I would be moving to Alabama. I decided two things at that moment – 1. I wasn’t moving to “Good Ol’ Alabammy”, and 2. I was going to drink as much cheap vodka as I could get my 16 year old hands on and never go home again. As it played out, my mother found me, her bumbling, pirate-drunk daughter, disheveled in a puke-stained sequined blue ball gown with a Misfits hoodie, draped over a park bench by the fountain downtown. Despite my protest, despite my ingenious plan, I found myself headed to Alabama in the 100 degree heat, no AC in the car, puking and crying and sweltering as she drove me straight to Hell.
At the age of 18, I packed up everything that I could jam into a suitcase and booked it on a Greyhound back “home” only to have my loving family “rescue” me from the city and from my wild ways and bring me back. Again at the age of 20, I married and booked it 1000 miles away to Boston, only to wind up divorced a year and a half later, heading back down South, this time with a new baby in tow. 25, same story, this time I fled to the Southern most point between The Gulf and The Caribbean. After a nightmarish 6 years of my life, I once again packed up my beat-up old Saturn with anything that would fit, told my significant other that I was going to Publix for mac and cheese, and fled 600 miles North again, back to the place I’d tried so desperately to escape.
So here I am again, 5 years later. I haven’t tried to escape. This time I decided to try to make it work. I’ve attempted to establish some sort of amicability between Alabama and myself. The problem is, I don’t belong here. I don’t fit in. I feel like an awkward teenager in a High School gymnasium. There are cliques and groups and certain ways about this place, even at 35 years old. Conform or be shunned.
Now this is not to say that I have not made a single friend since being here. I have. I am thankful for the select few that seem to get me, the ones who could care less if I’m wearing a Chevron printed top with stylish Greek sandals or what church I go to. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people I’ve come to know here do, in fact, want to know what church I attend. Why am I not married? How could you have anything other than church plans on Sunday? It’s absurd that I may not be Southern Baptist. Perhaps I find that quoting scripture on Birthday Cards is revolting. Perhaps that I don’t find swirlydoodles with scripture on t-shirts painted with flipflops to be high-fashion. Perhaps I don’t enjoy sitting around quoting the Bible whilst judging others and gossiping about who is doing what and how they’re just not “True Christians”. Perhaps I find monogramming everything you fucking own absolutely hideous and ridiculous. I know what belongs to me, thanks. I don’t have to have my initials printed on my handbag to know that it is mine.
Perhaps I have no desire to wear a sundress and cowgirl boots when I’ve never even touched a horse or a pony or a cow or any other farm animal in my stinking life. Perhaps, just perhaps, I think that dressing your little boys in scary Exorcism gowns and having his picture taken (to further scar him as an adult) is absolutely insane. Perhaps I don’t want to dress my child in a Jon-Jon with his initials sewed in turquoise blue lettering and have a tea party for his 1st birthday. I don’t want to be a part of these retarded traditions. I don’t want to put on pearls and pretend to like it. I don’t want to take a bunch of screaming asshole kids from Youth Group to Kids Night at Chick-fil-a. I’m not baking you a fucking cake and I don’t want any of you to come to my house. Like ever. I have no desire to fit into this group of dickhead women nor will I ever put on the false pretenses that I do. I find these people highly revolting, and if I could punch every single one of them in their squeeky little hearts, I would without hesitation.
Everything is temporary anyway.
When the streets are wet —
The color slip into the sky.
But I don’t know why that means you and I are
– that means you and….
I quit — I give up.
Nothin’s good enough for anybody else it seems.
But I quit. I give up.
Nothing’s good enough for anybody else it seems.
And being alone
Is the best way to be.
When I’m by myself it’s
The best way to be.
When I’m all alone it’s
The best way to be.
When I’m by myself
Nobody else can say…
Me, I’m a part of your circle of friends
And we notice you don’t come around.
I’m not saying that I don’t want a great group of friends and that I don’t want to fit in and “belong” so to speak, but I just can’t seem to find anyone to relate to here.
So, what to do?
My family tells me, “The reason you’re lost is because you haven’t found God.” “You’re pessimistic.” “You need to find a good group of church friends and you will find happiness”.
No. I’m lonely not because I’m a bad person, but because I can’t relate to these people or my surroundings. I’m lonely because no one thinks I’m funny except for me. I’m lonely because I laugh when the jerk-off waitress at the Catfish restaurant slips and busts her ass after rolling her eyes at me for asking a simple question. I’m lonely because when I talk about visiting other parts of the country I’m not referring to Georgia or Pensacola. I’m lonely because I think that the majority of the women that I’ve met thus far are so different from me and I am totally uninterested in anything they find appealing. I’d rather be lonely than spend my time pretending to like and care about things that I could care less about.
Cause you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable,
And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table.
No one can find the rewind button, boys,
So cradle your head in your hands,
And breathe… just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe
There’s a light at each end of this tunnel,
You shout ’cause you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out
And these mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again
If you’d only try turning around.
Tags: affirmation, alabama, antisocial, artsy, castaway, Charleston, church, circle of friends, friends, friendships, hypocrites, i don't fit in, lonely, lonely life, loner, monogram, oddball, relationships, SC, self worth, skeptic, social, socialite, south carolina, southern, style, sweet tea, talk, tea, transplant, unsouthern, women