The Pastor and I are pretty much the same in a lot of ways. Obviously we are both highly intelligent and unbelievably attractive (just smile and nod there, people). One way that we are very different, though, is that he is highly extroverted and I am a little bit less so. For example, at a party, The Pastor will make sure to meet and hear the entire life story of every person in the room. He then spends the rest of the night making sure everyone at the party knows everyone else at the party. I will spend the entire evening in the corner petting the dog. Even if there is no dog.
At some point recently it hit me that while I had fabulous relationships with all of the dogs in the area, I should probably try a little harder with actual people. You know, all of that “love thy neighbor” crap. I call it “crap” because I don’t feel comfortable with it, but since Jesus said to do it, it’s probably pretty important.
Important enough that I decided I should probably meet some neighbors to love.
The idea of just walking into a crowded restaurant, sitting down at a random table and introducing myself to people sounded a little overwhelming, so I decided it might be best to ease into things by joining an online group. This seemed really efficient because we happen to live in the exact middle of nowhere so crowded restaurants are hard to come by.
Checking out groups from my couch in my jammies with a bowl of Lucky Charms seemed pretty easy to come by so I gave it a shot. I poured my cereal, implied that the kids might get paid to clean their rooms and started searching.
The first surprising thing was the sheer volume of online groups out there. Whatever kind of a niche you fall into; there is a group for you. This was exciting for me because even though The Pastor knows a large percentage of the seven billion people in the world, he is still somehow able to sigh, shake his head, and say “…you are truly one of a kind.”
I choose to take it as a complement.
With all these groups online, I was sure to find a group of people just like me! It was going to be awesome. We could all sit around comparing our fancy chickens and giggling about how awesome it is to be married to the most attractive pastors in the world. We could reassure each other with our stories of feeling awkward in social situations and laughing at our smart yet hysterically funny children. Yes, we would all unite together with our pans of brownies, pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and glasses of white wine and sigh about what an awesome food combination we had created.
Could there possibly be anything better than a whole group of Snarky Pastor’s Wives? I didn’t think so.
I went online and started to search.
First I looked for fancy groups. I like fancy things so this seemed like a good place to start. This was not a good place to start. I quickly discovered that I am not what the internet would consider fancy. Also, people who do fall into this mysterious “fancy” genre have absolutely no interest in chickens. I tried to explain the extreme fanciness of my chickens. I was asked to leave. “Maybe a dirty farmer group would be better for you.” They suggested. No, that would not be better for me because I am NOT a dirty farmer. I know because I googled “dirty farm girl” on the internet and it was for sure NOT anything I wanted to see. What were those fancy ladies thinking? Once again, people make absolutely no sense to me.
I decide to look harder This is where I learned that how you word things on the internet is very important. First I thought I was a “lonely girl looking for a good time”. It turns out that I am not a lonely girl looking for a good time and no one should ever google that. Also, I am not a “chunky lady looking for fun”.
After realizing that this random searching could lead to a whole lot of images that I cannot bleach from my memory I thought it might be better to add “Christian” to my searches. Naked Russian ladies tend to not use the word “Christian” so this seemed a lot safer. It was safer, but again there were about a billion choices. I am not social enough or committed enough to join a billion groups.
I got more specific.
I looked for “Christian women bloggers” and BINGO! I found a group. The group was entirely made up of Christian women who blogged. They would read each other’s blogs and discuss them. This by itself seemed pretty good but then I saw that the group was labeled “exclusive”. If there is one thing I know, it’s all the code words for fancy. “Exclusive” is absolutely a code word for fancy. Exclusive means that you have to be fancy to even join. I had hit gold. I kept reading and found out that they were exclusive to “like minded Christians only”.
Well what the heck did that mean?
I decided to check them out because if I was “like minded” this could be a lot of fun. Could you imagine being in a group with a bunch of other people who think just like you? What crazy, bizarre fun we would have!
My first clue should have been the size of the group. It was pretty large. Remember the part where The Pastor shook his head and called me “one of a kind”? Yeah, that should have tipped me off. My next clue was how many of these women had code names like Above Rubies or Prov31. Digging deeper proved that they had obviously not read my blog on Proverbs 31. The final straw was the combination of pressure and condescending comments they were doling out. No one there seemed to mind, but it felt very icky to me. I spent my entire junior high career dealing with condescending comments and pressure to be something I’m not from other girls. I’m kind of over it.
It was a little depressing realizing that I don’t fit into a group. We all seem to be programed to want to fit in, at least a little, but then I started thinking. I started thinking of all of the people who love me. I have Sweetie Pie who thinks I can do the impossible. I have Spunky and Sparky who aren’t even serial killers. I have Fancy Face who gets me laughing so hard at myself that I almost pee my pants every time we get together. I also have Lovey who supports and loves me through all of my confusing stupid life choices. There are so many more too! People who are nothing like me but still appreciate me every bit as much as I appreciate them. They don’t mind if I don’t want to talk much, or even if I am the worst at keeping in touch. These are the people I love. This is my group. We are all truly one of a kind, as different as night and day. We don’t vote the same. Our families don’t look the same. Our children, for those who have any, are not educated the same. There is some recognition that we are all “truly one of a kind” and this is how we can relate.
So maybe socializing is easier than I thought. I just need to make sure that I am socializing with the group of random people who bring out the best in me, and hopefully I can bring out something beautiful in them. The fancy ladies (who probably aren’t even fancy enough to know what a fancy chicken is) and the like minded Christians are people I can love, maybe I just need to love them from afar. The people I need to keep close, get me. Even when I just sit in the corner and pet their dog.
Maybe I will even start a group. A group for people who like to sit in corners and pet dogs. Also, everyone who loves those people. It will be totally exclusive. You can join if you want to.
If you would like to be even fancier be sure to like and share this post!
photo credit: rawdonfox <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/34739556@N04/6802867364″>Odd One Out</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>