Always the Outsider

I can fit into a lot of places. Even places I’d rather not belong. It’s my nature–or more correctly, a learned behavior I’ve carried with me since childhood. My ex-husband used to accuse me of being insincere, and I would argue that I was simply adaptable. To this day, I stand by adaptable.

On Saturday, Chesaning held its annual car show. My husband’s friend and his wife always host a party afterwards; Jim and I have never missed one of Darren’s car club parties. Women/wives/girlfriends don’t usually show up–the party isn’t any more than a bunch of dudes standing around, drinking beer and talking shop. I fit right in, having been raised in a garage by a father who rebuilds cars, and has won several trophies. I’m always the cool chick at the shindig because little is lost on me. I’m one of the dudes, and I’m fucking hilarious. Plus, Jim and I are best friends; if I’m not welcome, he’s not fucking going either.

This year, for some reason, the wives of the car club decided that Darren’s party needed food, and well…the wives. So, there was a pot luck of unoriginal cold pasta dishes, grilled meats, loud ass kids, and giggling women with French manicures dressed in designer “mom” clothes standing around drinking sweet fruity rum drinks, and bitching about how much time their men spend on pampering their classic cars.

I was invited into this clique of car wives, and being the outsider, I flipped on the adaptability switch. I was the DD, so I had to do SOMETHING to occupy my time. I cracked jokes, and I was polite. But then, one woman said, “Didn’t I see you in the paper? You published a book, didn’t you?”

“Yes.” And I proceeded to answer questions. “What’s your book about?” “Why did you write a book?” “Did you go to college?” “Do you need a degree to publish books?”

I answered them all happily, but then it came…the question I could not answer politely. “Don’t you just love 50 Shades of Grey?”

“I’m a snob when it comes to books,” I said. “I’ve read excerpts, and in my opinion, a fifth grader could produce a more interesting narrative. By the way, did you know 50 Shades began as Twilight fan fiction? Ridiculous.”

And one by one, these women turned on me. I LOVE romance novels. Blah, blah, blah, Harlequin; blah, blah, Meredith So-and-So. (Gag me with a spoon.) I never pay more than 1.99 for an Amazon book. Nora Roberts, blah, blah. Have you read Something-something Cave Bears??? It’s the best romance series I’ve ever read. (Kill me now.) Who is Sylvia Plath? She was insane, wasn’t she? Science-fiction? Who even wants to try to understand that crap? Anything over two hundred pages is like–ugh! I have a short attention span, you know–because I’m raising kids. Who has that kind of time? I like brainless romance. Romance is life. There’s no romance in your book? (Fuck. You.) Like, what’s it even about? Maybe I’ll look it up. (Don’t do me any favors.) It’s really cool though, you wrote a book. My kids are getting older, and I have more free time. I should write a book. Since you don’t need a degree. (Fucking try it, bitch.)

It drives me crazy that people think writing is easy peasy. No. I work every day. Writers work, every fucking day. We bleed our truths, difficult as they are to spill. My mother thinks my job is easy. She thinks I just sit down at my computer, and like magic, words erupt from my fingertips. Even dime-a-dozen romance writers have to work.

So anyway, I didn’t feel friendship vibes with these women. I tried to be polite, until I couldn’t be anything but honest. Because even though I’m adaptable, honesty is trump. For me, at least. But my real problem with these people wasn’t about literature, or writing. It was about drunk driving. They were fucking wasted, as were their husbands; and all night I thought, you motherfuckers are going to pack up your kids and drive home. I’m not at all good with driving drunk, especially with kids in the vehicle. That’s why when they asked if I wanted to play a drinking card game with them, I reminded them of the importance of a DD. Which further put them off me. And I don’t give a fuck. It’s not I walk around handing out friendship applications, ffs.

What really upsets me is that I try hard every day not to judge others. It doesn’t give me a high to be critical. In fact, it makes me sad. That is saying A LOT, given that judging others comes as easily to me as breathing. I know it’s not right; but I AM critical of others for various reasons, especially when it comes to parenting–driving drunk with children. AND when it comes to people who think I don’t do anything really productive–playing on the computer. Writing novels isn’t easy. 

I realize this post is all over the place.

What I’m trying to say is that I even though I can fit in anywhere, it is with great effort. And often, the effort isn’t worth being dishonest. It isn’t worth keeping my mouth shut. I used to be able to fake it without thinking. Maybe that’s why my ex-husband said I was insincere–because I faked my way through situations so cleanly. Now, I’m in touch with myself in a way I’ve never been before, and I quite honestly, I don’t care about appearances. I’m me. Take it or leave it. I’m no longer married to man who cares about how other view me. I’m married to a man who loves me for who I am, and whose family thinks I’m pretty cool, too. With Jim, and his family, I don’t have to pretend to be the perfect Catholic. I don’t have to be subservient–in fact, in Jim’s family, that is frowned upon!

Wow. Now this blog has gone way off point. I’m rambling. But whatever. It’s MY blog. I can do whatever the fuck I want.

And the title: Always the Outsider…with Jim, I’m never an outsider.

I wish everyone in the world could have a partner in life that is as amazing as Jim. I only wish I had him, or someone like him in my life when I was growing up.

Jim makes my imperfections feel forgivable. Even when I’m busting on rich housewives who like shitty romance, and drink like fish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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43 thoughts on “Always the Outsider

  1. I empathise…I am a outsider (I live in my own head too much) but I am very adaptable and can schmooze and be sociable though when I do I often wonder why I bother… fifty shades is appalling and there are far better examples written by women back in the day… and people and they disdain for others. Keep on keeping on Kindra

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unlike yourself, Kindra, I’ve never been good at adapting to social situations. I’m just… awkward. And then I’m trying to get along with people who push that ‘awkward’ button so that all I want to do is fling faeces and run outside like a monkey. It’s maddening! I don’t know how you do it! 😛

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  3. I’ve had a rough morning at work, just got in and read this. Great stuff.
    I can literally see that look on you face – all adaptive civility draining into pallor as these patronising geese gaggled.
    It damn well cheered me up. What a bunch of irresponsible illiterate ingrates. ‘dont you need a degree?’ fuck off!
    None writers really have no fucking clue what it takes, or what it takes out of you…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Haha! Don’t make my laugh the wrong way, but I just love your confidence. I rather be nice than honest, but not because it is right or something, but that’s the way I’m and if you like being honest more than being nice, then that should be the way you should be. It was refreshing and delightful to see how confident and happy you are about jim, I’m happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ugh, I hated it when I was stuck in a car with my drunken father. I learned how to drive when I was 14, just so I could be the DD when he decided it was time to go home. So, I definitely agree with you that those idiotic parents need a reality check. But as soon as I saw they brought up 50 Shades… I busted out laughing. How many times has that damn book been brought up in “polite conversation” because I’m a writer? I absolutely hate it. I can’t hide my disdain for long, and then when people ask about my fiction, they compare it to that series. I write urban fantasy romance, not erotica. And it sure as hell isn’t easy. You’ve got that right. Anyone can write a fanfiction with horrid depictions of BDSM and pass it off to bored housewives. I’d rather be an outsider and write my own way than to cater to an audience of women with no concept of what it takes to be writers. And that includes everything that made me into a writer. 💖

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  6. Kindra, sorry to hear you had an awful evening. But glad you have found someone who appreciates your qualities for who you are. It’s probably because I’m a perpetual outsider, but being in such a position often gives you great opportunities to observe from the fringes. And then write about it. Look at this way, you probably just met a few potential future characters for your next book. After all, they do say: never upset a writer. 😉

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  7. Oh my fucking god! I want to punch everysingleone of those bitches in their ignorant faces (and you know I only pretend to be badass), because I hate that you had to endure that shit. That narrative is all too familiar to me and I often feel like my face doesn’t fit anywhere. It fits with you though…and always has.

    [Shit. I’m still seething].

    Go Jim! So happy you have him.

    I’ve known you a long time Kindra. I am so damned happy that I know you. Those idiots. Pah! ❤

    “Greasers will still be greasers and Socs will still be Socs. Sometimes I think it’s the ones in the middle that are really the lucky stiffs.

    Stay gold, Ponyboy”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jesus fucking Christ, I love you, Allane! You know me, and you “get” me. Aside from Jim and Nicole, you are the only one in my life who knows me wholly. You know where I live and breathe. And you are my best friend. P.S. Stay gold, Ponyboy has be rolling! I fucking love Step-Brothers!

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  8. Kindra, I am also blessed to have an amazing husband. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary on a road trip–the first vacation we’ve had alone for a long time. We have both felt like outsiders in the school parent circle. But this trip has reaffirmed that good things happen to good people. Strangers have taken notice of our kindness and genuine natures. We have made a positive difference just by being us.

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  9. I love this! I usually feel much more comfortable with male friends. I think it has something to do with the judgement part of things. I try really hard not to judge or make assumptions and do my best to adapt to different situations… I think I’m an authentic person and I can’t get over all the fake bull shit. It’s such a turn off. I’ll take my few female friends and my amazing hubs and hopefully some new female friends who are real will come along. And, yeah, drunk driving, especially with kids, that deserves some judgement. You are a super star! ❤

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    • I normally don’t get on well with women simply because the ones I come across don’t understand me and the life I’ve lived. Plus, I have little patience. I am used to physical work–or at least I was before arthritis and Fibromyalgia. I’ve always like “male” hobbies. That is not to say I’ve always been turned off my female shit. I like make-up and hair. I like to dress pretty when the occasion calls for it. I’m not pretentious. I don’t go to the salon. I’ve never been the “bored” housewife. I’ve never driven drunk with my daughter in the car. I grew up with parents who drove drunk, or high. I didn’t die, thankfully. But in this day and age. I don’t understand people who drive intoxicated with their kids in the car. Or at all. I lose all respect for a person, male or female, when I learn they drive drunk or high. My dad smokes weed every day. That is his choice, and I do respect his freedom. But even as an adult, I wouldn’t ride in car with him if he’s smoked, though he is “experienced.” Anyway, I appreciate your comment. Thank you, Lovely Lady! ❤

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      • You pretty much just described me, lol! i think it has a lot to do with people not understanding me and where I’m at in my life. I also have limited physical abilities due to RA, but before that it was all typical “male’ kinds of things that I liked to do. I tried once to get a couple of woman who I knew road bikes to go mountain biking with me. It never happened and I went with my son. When the friends saw the pics of this epic downhill 6 hr ride, they were glad they didn’t go.To me, it was a blast! I have one good female friend who gets me and also isn’t into drinking or smoking weed, which all my other female ‘friends’ are (I am not, I don’t even drink or smoke anyway). I get ya, lovely lady!! ❤

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        • Before Fibromyalgia and arthritis (I sound like an advert, lol) I was super active, too. I did “man’s” work, and was into cool shit, like fishing, camping, etc. I’ve never had a ton of female friends. I totally dig what you’re saying, about how people don’t understand you and where you are in life. ❤

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          • “And now, thanks to XYZ drug, I’m pain free and can’t stop smiling!” Lol… jk 😉 I know exactly what you mean. I preferred chopping firewood and hauling dirt around to going to the gym. That’s partly why I started blogging. My body won’t allow me to do most of the things I enjoy and I needed to find something fulfilling to occupy my time. Cheers to strong women who know what’s important and how to be real and true! I’m so glad to know you ❤

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          • I’m glad to know you, too.

            It really is a kick to one’s self-esteem when they can’t make their bodies cooperate anymore. I went through a period of mourning when I had to quit my job, and I lost the ability to keep up with house work. Even grocery shopping. Writing and human connection–finding friendships with people like you–have saved me in a sense. Thank you for your friendship.

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          • So true! I’m still grieving… I was just approved for disability last week and it makes me kind of sad. I’m wondering, did you lose any friends once you became unable to work/got sick? I was surprised at a few that I thought were real friends that I also worked with. It was a double whammy, losing the social connections through just being at work and then losing those friends that I thought were more than just “work friends.” I’ve definitely enjoyed the new friendships and connections I’ve made here. I wish we all lived near each other. I thank you for your friendship too ❤

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          • I did experience a fizzling out of friendships. I think my friends grew tired of my excuses–why I couldn’t make it to lunch, or happy hour. Why I couldn’t go for bike rides, or long walks. I’ve made peace with the situation though, regarding these friendships. More than anything, it was the feeling that I had nothing to offer anymore that burned in the pit of me. I still feel useless some days. My husband works ten hours a day, and has to come home and mow lawn, etc. But he is good to me, and mostly, life is good. ❤

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          • Yes, sounds like my life! The part about feeling useless and trying to find some kind of purpose is so hard. I’m lucky in that my husband has his own business and is home a lot so I at least have him to keep me company and he has time to do those household chores. Even then, I feel bad that he has to do everything! And yes, mostly life is good, I need to remember that! Thanks love ❤

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