a required taste for the pretentious as all get out





smells like geek spirit
April 15, 2002, 5:15 p.m.

I've always considered myself the kind of person that fit in everywhere so I never fit in anywhere. In high school I was the varsity soccer captain, was in MOAS, was an Honor Thespian, Historian of National Honor Society, kept basketball stats, in SGA, whatever; this was great because I had a ton of stuff on my college applications; it sucked because I never fit into a tidy definition or social group of my peers. I got along famously with popular kids, jocks, freaks, nerds, theater people, etc. I had a lot of interests, so I had to be flexible in who I could be friends with at any given time. I had not only many different friends, but many different GROUPS of friends whose only common denominator was me (and most preferred to keep it that way; while they never slighted me for being "social," a lot of the people I considered friends would never want to associate with other people I considered friends). It still continues to this day where I have: High School Friends (still separated into different sects themselves: the girlies, the freaks, the acquaintances), the Towson Friends (notably theater/film types, dorm buds, and carry-overs from high school), Teacher Friends (people I work with), and the Other Friends (miscellaneous people I hang with from time to time for one reason or another).

As you can see, I've never considered anyone of any social group to be below my station, nor have I considered anyone to be above me, either. We're all just little links on a massive social chain, with kinks and clasps, and all that good stuff. Okay, so the metaphor fell flat. Oh well. The point is this: I didn't think it odd that a particularly bizarre colleague asked me to join in her "game night" at her house this past Friday. Now granted, I don't really care for this person all that much. (This may teeter on that "I don't hold anyone below me" line) her social graces are a bit on the weak side, as well as her tact. But, I had cast her in the school play, and she was making an effort, so I thought "What the heck! Sounds like fun!" I have weird friends who play things like D&D and Mordheim, and while I've never played, I know and am friends with people who enjoy these sorts of things, so why not give it go? Maybe I'd meet some men, and at the very least, meet some interesting people.

Oh boy.

So I go to game night. First, I was daunted by the specifitlessness of the directions. I got lost SEVERAL times, and that didn't improve my mood any. Apparently, there are SEVEN conduminium complexes in her neighborhood, and none of the signs were lit. Columbian roadways are labyrinths of deception and lies! Lies!

Finally, I arrived at Michelle's house. It was a beautiful evening, and I was determined to enjoy myself (even if I had a sore throat). In fact, I was feeling a little hungry. I found the patio door covered in twinkling white lights that conveyed three things: summer, party, festive! I was ready to enter.

When I got into the house, it hit me. A smell so overpowering and definite that I couldn't believe that I was actually there: B.O. Rancid. It was my classroom after 95 brats hadn't showered after weight training (again). I was undaunted; SURELY my nose was more sensitive because of the cold, right? Right?!?

Now relaying this story might seem rude and I may seem like the most ungracious guest ever. Trust me, I *DID* have a nice time, but I have to say that I was so alarmed by the accuracy of so many stereotypes that I had feverently dismissed for so long, that I was a bit disappointed in myself, God, and society for trying to make me so politically correct in my later and more socially-conscious years. (I suppose, as this story will attest, that some stereotypes exist for a reason.)

Michelle greeted me with a button that read, "Citizens of Catan: Everyone must get stone!" (Apparently it's an inside joke for the role-playing gamers. Heh heh.) I noticed that not only was I one of the skinniest people there (mind you, I'm fairly hefty, as in, Lane Bryant hefty) so this was no easy feat), but also probably the prettiest.

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