Last Sunday I had the misfortune of attending an informal dinner party with the women from my antenatal group. I wasn't looking forward to it, but there was a promise of good curry and unfettered conversations about toddlers. It's hard to believe, but I'm up for any extended talk of children, particularly my own. My colleagues have to suffer through my occasional forays into, "Guess what P did today!" territory, so to be in a circle of women whose children I've known since birth for a few hours didn't seem like it would be too painful. Oh, to have a modicum of foresight...
There were 5 other women there, most of whom I like, but on a purely superficial basis. I was good friends with one of the women until I went back to work, but the chasm between my new full-time working life and her (very) part-time working life was apparently too vast. We made very awkward, first date kind of conversation Sunday night. She pretended to notice my weight loss - "You've lost your belly, and you can tell in your bum too!" - which is a complete load of bollocks considering I have a flat ass, not a fat one. I gain weight in my face, stomach, thighs, boobs, pretty much everywhere but my ass. It was all so forced, so trite, something to be said by the mother you pass as you're both dropping your kids off at school, not the woman who helped you through the roughest periods of early parenthood.
The night was miserable not just from the perspective of this lost friendship, but it made me realise why I have so few friends here. It has nothing to do with any great international divide; I'm just not made for idle middle class chit chat. I was sitting at the head of the table, silently soaking in all of the irrelevance - talk of curtains, stain removal, Asian cookery classes. None of that is me. I don't imagine it will ever be.
I want another tattoo (I only have one - not particularly bad ass, I know), I swear sometimes, I listen to loud, obnoxious music, I watch TV, I like to go to movies, I read, I write nonsense here, I lean pretty far to the left, I like to read, I like to talk about art and social issues. My free time is far too precious to me to spend it talking about curtain mold. That shit is BORING. When we get together I feel like they are the adults discussing proper grown-up issues, and I'm the bored teenager slumped in my chair, twisting my gum with my fingers and rolling my eyes skyward at each reference to an issue of suburban drudgery.
I seem to think that bloggers, at least the ones I read, are these wonderful, mythical beasts who somehow manage to avoid turning into suburban parenting bores. I think of them when I'm spending an evening with listless dullards making polite conversation for hours on end, wishing I was in their company talking of interesting things, ie, not mold spores.
So do us fascinating, multi-faceted women exist outside of blogging? If we do, where are we hiding? I live in one of the most densely populated cities in this country, yet the cool women are noticeably absent. Am I too picky? Perhaps I am, and I should instead focus on assembling a cadre of only mildly-boring folk. I think there might be a lot of that ilk to chose from.
I once thought that a place like that big blogging conference whose name I shall not mention lest I betray some kind of anti-slagging-off clause in my advertising contract would be a near-orgasmic experience, dripping in delightful bloggers. I would fall in love, and want to live in an all BlogHer (there, I said it) Xanadu. However, it now just seems to me to be a place where some go to be fawned over, and for others it's a place to fawn. All that ass-kissing, all the high school drama, it just makes me itch and get all stabby. The blogging world is perhaps less boring in parts, but I'm not keen on the politics either.
Based on last week's experience, I have been inspired to sequester myself in our flat until the cool people come and wrench me out. Be forewarned, I'm out the first time someone talks about the best way to get wax crayon residue off the radiator.
Pimp spot: New post on StK. Go forth and comment.