Human nature is weird. Ever notice how we tend to only want to hang around with people like us? When you break it down to that one fact, it’s easy to see why we have things like racism and sexism – it’s not ignorance, it’s kinda like nature. I have black friends, but I don’t invite them to my house. This isn’t because I don’t like black people, I just don’t. There are those who would say this is racist. I talk to women in public, but I don’t invite them over to my house, and people don’t call me sexist. In light of the fact that I am married, people call me “smart”.
But now I’ve found I have an odd problem wherein I don’t socialize with people the way I used to. I was in an organization called the Corps of Cadets, and for a long time I tended to only hang out with a select group of 25 or so individuals, most of which were guys and almost all of which were my age. Now that College is over, we’ve all moved all over the state/world and we don’t hang out, except for when one of us gets married or more than one of us is in town, and that’s only if we know each other’s phone numbers.
So I’m here at work and I look around at the people here. Once again, I’m struck at how much of a natural priss we all are. Most of the people here are disqualified as potential hang outs for the simple reason that they’re old. Not too old, just old. The guy across the room from me is 30 years older than me, more than twice my age. If I knew someone that was 35 I would probably call them “too old”, at 55 you’re just “old”, not even in the running.
Then there are some people here that are my age, or in the general range thereof, but we don’t hang out. Why? Well, I’m married and they’re not. It’s not like High School where you’d call your friend up and hang out – now there’s laundry to do and things to take care of. When you’d hang out at your friend’s place in High School you’d pay no attention to what their parents were busy doing – now that shit is your job.
Then there’s a guy next door I’m friends with who’s just a year older than me – we send each other funny IM’s all day. He once suggested we go see a movie together and one of these days I might take him up on the idea. Besides the fact that he’s kinda hard to make plans around, there’s also the fact that while he is like me and married, he also has kids. Two of them. Younger people who aren’t married don’t want to hang out with me (I assume) because I’m married and therefore have entered a new bracket, but now there are other married people I don’t tend to want to hang out with because they have children and therefore have entered that next bracket. I guess the next bracket is to get “too old” and then “old”, followed by “elderly” and then “dead”. So what I wind up with is a series of “married couple” friends who just happen to be in the same window as me.
My Wife had a “married couple” friend that I didn’t like to hang out with for the simple reason that they were in their 30’s. I guess the main reason I didn’t like to hang out with them was that they were old and not “like us”. Then on the other side of the fence we have an “unmarried couple” friends who are not only younger than us but also an “unhappy couple” to boot, so we tend to not hang out with them either (especially since they’re “still in school” and so we don’t have that much in common anymore). And for an extra added wrinkle, since my Wife and I are a “happy married couple” we have to be careful of our “recently single friends” or “unhappily married couples”, lest we rub their nose in it.
So does this mean that we’re all naturally arrogant to other people?