Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I thought I got over this a long time ago...

Prolific, procrastinating posts. (Look! It's a P day!)

As I (actually!) vacuumed up a few dust bunnies, I was thinking. Musing. And not just about how disgusting this part of the house had gotten. I was thinking about all deep and meaningful stuff like how peer pressure was affecting me in my mid-forties for god's sake.

Earlier I'd been on the phone to a friend. I suppose you'd call her a friend. We're connected by the netball committee, tennis team, and a lot of gasbagging on the phone, as she seems to bring out the gasbag in me - which is probaby a bit of a worry. And we were talking about some netball issues, and #2's netball rep team issues - including a newly scheduled 'team sleepover' - and particular 'other children' issues.

Aforementioned sleepover is at the home of rep team manager and parent of child in team who *thinks* she is the coach (you know the sort - loud, opinionated, bossy...) - so that is another reason I'm not happy about the sleepover. As if this child needs another reason to think she is king of the castle. (Seriously, on Sunday at the carnival I had to walk away before I said *something* about the way she was carrying on.) Their older daughter has played rep with my other daughter for 3 years (in with the larger local netball association), and she now makes it blatantly obvious that she doesn't like Caitlin - doesn't really talk to her, even when we give her a lift, and chums it up with most of the other girls in the team in that cliquey kind of way you see teenage girls do.

I commented that this other family had really gone out of their way to cultivate the friendships of the other players and their parents. ie. to me it was a blatant and deliberate exercise resulting in what appears to me anyway, to be this really almost sickening fake matey thing. (I have a bit of an aversion to fakeness.)

And my friend said something like "Ah well, you're a bit of a loner really".


I said, "Well, yes and no. I guess I don't set out to *make* friendships; if I click, I click. If I don't I don't." Thinking, well, I don't try to manufacture them.

But it bothered me, as you can imagine. Am I really a loner? A hermit? Am I that anti-social?

Maybe I am. But is that bad, or just fact? It's not that I don't ever want to socialise. But I would have a better time if I invited just one family round, say for a meal or something, rather than having a huge big gathering, party style. I like small groups, I guess.

And it suddenly struck me that I'd done this before - and I'd finally got over that peer pressure of trying to fit in and do what everyone else does, with the party party stuff ... And now here I am 20 years later doing the angst thing about it again, I suppose because now it involves my kids. So much for being comfortable in my own skin.

It still doesn't give me the answer of what to do about this wretched 'team sleepover'. I don't see the point in it, and I am cranky that I will probably be pressured into it because I won't want to make a pariah out of my daughter. I can't see what it will achieve in the way of helping the team do better - in fact all it will achieve is one very tired girl who hasn't had enough sleep. I have no objection to her having to sleep away somewhere as a means to an end, and it's not like we are that *weird* that she hasn't done enough of that that she won't handle sleeping in a motel room with two or three others in the team at State Age.

I just don't get it, but I suppose, as I discovered earlier in my life, I don't really fit the norm. The hardest thing is to know how to deal with it all in respect of the kids.

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I have the same problem. It takes me ages to make a friend.
you get some people who need to be part of a group and who thrive on it.

then you get some people (like me and from the sounds of it maybe you too) who don't feel that need, we chat if there's someone to chat to but don't crave it. i often go without seeing or talking to my local friends for weeks.

when my little one was a baby, i really tried to get involved in the whole mother's group thing but found at the end of the day it just wasn't for me. I won't ignore anyone from the group if I pass them at the shops and say hi but I don't actively seek out their company.

different strokes for different folks

as for the sleepover thing... haven't dealt with one of those yet. i guess even if the point of it was lost on me but my daughter wanted to go and her safety and wellbeing were not an issue then i'd let her.
Tracey OMG, what is going on here...I read your words and think I have just looked into the mirror, seriously. I hate FAKE too. I might consider myself more of a loner type, but would be affronted if another person considered me so. I am quite social in the presence of those whose company I enjoy. Maybe you could say that to your insensitive acquaintence ;)
Fear the loner. Seems to be part of our school system. Stephen was what I would call a solitary child. Happy playing alone or interacting one on one. They wanted him to participate in groups. He hated it.

Made me think that we might be forgetting how to be in a quiet space by ourselves, forgetting that we don't need a large group to validate us, forgetting that a few true friendships are more important than all the back slapping crowds.

I think I managed to teach him that it's the quality not the quantity that counts.

I value my friends because they are special.

I let your daughter decide about the sleepover. Let it be about the kids not the adults.
I have a feeling that people who habituate the web communities often have similar psychological makeups. Good in a way, because we are not all that thick on the ground and are able to communicate with like-minded people. To operate in successfully in the community it is often necessary to hide our true, quiet and often introverted selves from others. I've got better at it over the years, being a mum means that you often have to interact with people you probably would prefer to stay away from. Think of all the fetes worse than death I've been involved in through the years, and all the time wasting committees!
I agree with E...the sleepover is a girl thing, let your daughter decide about it.
It's not just chance that everyone of us is a reader and a writer (or we wouldn't be here).
A whole community of misfits, happily fitting in!
I'm equally comfortable around groups as well as spending time on my own. I have, however, noticed that if I'm in a large group where I only know a couple of people, I'll tend to be very quiet and listen in on everyone else, making short comments and not being my usual effusive (effluent?) self. I guess I like to just guage people for a while before I decide how to treat them. I've found that I like people until they give me reason not like them, sort of an instictual glass half-full attitude to meeting people.

Of course if I'm drunk as a skunk I'm loud and amusing slurry one.

Also T, do you ever worry any of the netball people read your blog?
[working backwards!]

Jebus! - yes, I probably should be more careful, however seeing that none of the people around the netball scene here would even know what a blog was, I figure I am fairly safe. Should quit the bitching a bit though.. don't want to get the social equivalent of being 'dooced'. Part of me doesn't give a stuff though, because I'm still cheesed off from what was said to me at a meeting in January.

I do approach meeting people in a similar way - ie. I expect to like people until they give me a reason not to. Sometimes that might happen pretty quickly - other times their true colours take longer to come out. And I'd like to think that I truly do accept people as they are. We can't all be the same.

Re letting my daughter decide? Well, that's ok in theory, but like any kid, she would want to do anything that everyone else was doing. Like a sheep. I remember agonising on the LT bulletin board one time about letting her go to a party sleepover when she was only about 9 - and one of the young QLD girls (maybe Ziva) gave me the best advice ever, and that was that I would be a better role model to her by, if I was truly uncomfortable with the situation, showing her that it's ok to say no to something despite the fact that everyone else is doing it.

My issue with this sleepover is not the adults. It's the daughter in the team - her house. Bossy little shit, basically, so I don't like the idea of her running the show from her house. Which she will do. And just my whole attitude to the sleepover party syndrome.

MsFits! We are the MsFits!

strauss, you hit the nail on the head.. yes I was a bit taken aback.Yes, I am quite social in the presence of those whose company I enjoy! Spot on!

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