You’d think I’d by now I’d be used to being the odd one out, the part of the venn diagram that doesn’t overlap. I’m the only red-head of my generation in my family, I’m aro-ace and agender, and I’m a liberal living in Texas. The problem is I feel like I’m living on the edge of the edge of all of my social groups right now.
I’m a nerd. That’s not unusual, most people seem to be one in one form or another these days, but I’m more of the “may the force be mass times acceleration” kind of nerd.
Magic the Gathering is HUGE at my work. It’s all Magic all the time. Even the supervisors play on game days when enough people are off to get together. I’ve tried, but it’s not my thing. One of my coworker’s even offered to drop 50 bucks on a starter deck for me. …Like, can’t you just give me the 50 bucks? No? Really? sigh~ Fine.
I spent half that on a travel size Mahjong set and I have to say, zero regrets. I love playing Mahjong, but I literally cannot find three other people willing to play with me because it’s “too hard” and “too confusing” for my social circle. I literally taught myself the Cantonese style in a week and I just use a scoring app because, yes, scoring can be a little confusing for beginners, but I’m not trying to be a pro or anything. I play it because I enjoy it.
A good chunk of my coworkers dress up and go to Comic-con every year. Meanwhile, I’m saving up to go to World Con once every few years (next year it’s in Dublin!). I’m less about the action and spectacle of Science Fiction movies and more about the philosophy and social issues they try and address. My coworkers watch anime; I watch cheesy Hong Kong movies. My coworkers quote classic 1980s action films. Meanwhile my Netflix que is 99% mystery films from every decade. I’m definitely a nerd, but somehow I’m not really overlapping with the rest of my local nerddom. I could try a little harder do fit in, I guess, but if I may quote a more recent movie:
“I have lived long enough to know what I like. What I dislike, I cannot abide.” –Hercule Poirot Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
There’s several LGBT folks at my work and as an aro-ace it’s really hard to fit in (again) because their usual pass time is clubing and drinking. My dad is an alcoholic so it’s a very touchy subject for me. Apparently music plays a big role in LGBT identity? Makes sense I guess, but my tastes in music are a little…odd. Mostly because a lot of popular music is about romance or some teenage angst I missed out on because I didn’t discover my orientation until I was an adult. I’m weird about music because it’s like it needs to age for a decade or two before I can really enjoy it. I casually mentioned to one of my coworkers that I was listening to an Everyly Brother’s album “because they have the best break up songs” and he looked at me kind of weird and was like, “did a dog snub you or something?” Which I guess points for acknowledging that I don’t date and stuff, but at the same time- rude, dude! It’s not like I didn’t experience a profound sense of loss after realizing that as an aromantic all chance of the fairytale romance I grew up believing in was never gonna happen and because of that Bye Bye Love really happens to resonate with me and I’m Not Angry always cheers me up because it’s so freaking ridiculous. It’s not like there’s any music specifically for aromantics and yet there’s millions of love songs, so I’m working with what I got.
It’s definitely lonely living on the fringe, but it’s tolerable for now. I don’t have an over abundance of people I truly call friends, but I don’t want nor can I to change to accommodate others. I’m hoping to at least find a compromise, but as of yet I haven’t really found anybody willing to give my interests more than a passing “gee that’s weird”. Maybe, I’m just a little too out there on fringe.