okay, so, weirdest thing.
I was sitting in my english class the other day, we were doing some kind of seminar thing and sitting in chair circles talking about this horrible book by William Faulkner called Light in August (if you haven’t read it, don’t).
I suddenly looked down… and noticed that out of the seven girls in the circle, five of them were wearing the exact same shoes. they were sandals, with these round sort of designs, and the only difference between the five pairs of shoes was a very slight color difference. I’m talking, they were silver, gold, bronze, copper, and another silver.
I just wanted to ask them if it was planned, but I thought they might take offense at my pointing out just how identical everyone looks these days and how unoriginal they all are. so I didn’t say anything, but I swear I spent half the time staring at their matching shoes.
and as I sat there contemplating this somewhat stunning and irritating example of how homogenous people in our American society have become, I realized just how out of place I was. here I was, sitting in this classroom full of preppy AP girls, suddenly realizing that next to all of them, in their cute pastel colors and sandals and short skirts, I looked like a squid trying to fit in with a crowd of dolphins.
but does it really matter? I’ve never been like all those preppy kids and frankly, I very rarely make friends in my AP classes, only acquaintances. what does that mean? does that mean that I am out of place and shouldn’t be there? maybe. but I think it means that all these intelligent, high-class, typically white advanced students are far more society driven than internally driven. that our youth are becoming homogenized, and that now the person who stands out is the social outcast. we don’t fit in with their rules for what they believe people should be, and that makes us different and strange. people usually have a hard time accepting things they don’t understand, and the class “loner” is no exception. I’m not what they expect me to be. I break their schemas for AP students, but I break their schemas for an oddball or a slouch with my intelligence.
people don’t generally take well to their schemas being defied. we struggle to place the stand-outs in a category, generally because they don’t fit into any. people treat you differently if you don’t fit in somewhere. this has always been a problem of mine, and the only solution is to find and befriend others with the same problem. so my friend group has always been the (generally) social awkward, not-what-people-expect, outcasts that find our peace and solace among each other.
the fact that I am content with this outcome does not change the fact that I am frequently disappointed in the rest of my society.
the shoes in english class were just an example that stood out to me.