Thursday, March 27, 2008

Square Pegs

I've had something on my mind for a couple of weeks now; something that has really been bothering me. I just haven't been able to formulate it into any type of coherent post. It appears, however, that the geekiness of yesterday's post brought the issue to the surface. So, I'm going to try to explain what has been bothering me so much lately. With a little help from some 1980s pop culture. Anyone else remember this?

Ah, Square Pegs. What a great show. Patty was always my favorite. What can I say, I guess I've always been a SJP fan. If you remember, Square Pegs centered around Patty and Lauren, two geeky girls trying to make it into the inner circle at Weemawee High School. You couldn't help but love Patty and Lauren, and in my opinion, they were much cooler than Muffy. But, Patty and Lauren never quite became part of the popular clique. Primarily because they were different than Muffy and her friends.

Now, I don't know about you, but my high school was pretty similar to Weemawee. I went to high school with 2500 other teenagers, and almost everyone was segregated into some kind of group. But, what struck me recently was that not much has changed. Although many years have gone by since most of us were in high school, cliques are alive and kicking. For the most part, we become friends with people who are just like us, and we, either consciously or unconsciously, reject people who we perceive to be different.

I mean, take a look around. We segregate ourselves along lines of race, class, and gender all the time. Now, I recognize that is generalization, and PTL, I know there are exceptions to it, but you can't dispute that the vast majority of the time, it is true. And, even after we get ourselves into these groups, we segregate further. Married vs. single. Children vs. no children. Work at home women vs. work outside the home women. "Liberals" vs. "conservatives." I could go on, and on, and on. And, dare I say it, but my experience has been that women in the church are worse offenders than those outside the church. We have even more "classifications" than women outside the church. Baptist v. Lutheran. Church vs. unchurched upbringings. We make all kinds of judgments based upon whether or not a person has had the same life experiences as we have had. Again, I realize that this is a generalization, but nevertheless, it has been my experience.

Now, don't get me wrong. I realize that it is important to have friends who are in the same life stage that you are in, or friends who are going through similar trials or issues. But, with that said, I think we horribly short change ourselves if those are the only friends we have. We can learn so much from others, even those who have had completely different life experiences than we have had. Perhaps, we can even learn more from those who are different from us.

I speak only for myself when I say that I don't want all my friends to be carbon copies of me. I can already be so self-absorbed that I make myself sick. I certainly don't need any additional encouragement to be more wrapped up in me. I want friends of all shapes and sizes, from all different backgrounds, walks of life, and places. I want friends who are wonderfully different from me. And, the more the merrier. Who can have too many friends?

Maybe that's why I didn't care for high school. I don't care for cliques. In fact, I don't care much for classifications in general. I guess I am my own square peg. I could never understand why the tuba player couldn't hang out with the quarterback, or what was "wrong" with the hippie girl on the debate team. If only their peg boards would have been equipped to handle different shapes and sizes of pegs, I think they would have liked each other. Especially, the hippie girl on the debate team. I'm sure she was pretty cool. *wink*. After all, I read somewhere that geek is the new cool. And, all I have to say, is it is about time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Despite being the right age, I completely missed this show in its day. I'm sure it was good though. Heather has excellent taste.