Thursday, April 12, 2007

Little (And Big) April Showers

Today was volunteering day. I organized a few bags of clothes in the back and moved some heavier items to the $1 winter clothes/semi-damaged items rack, giving more room to newer items. Not that we'll get to use spring and summer clothes any time soon. Mother Nature seems determined to remain in the 40s and 50s, even after this morning's huge thunderstorm.

I didn't really do anything in the afternoon. I went to counseling between 2 and 3. We discussed my possibly looking into church groups. I'm not really very religious, and I haven't had much luck with churches in the past. I did go to a Lutherian church in Wildwood for a few months, not because I'm Lutherian (for the record, I'm Protestant, but most religions are really the same to me), but because they supposedly featured sessions with younger people. I saw them once, at night, and there really weren't that many "young" people there. (And the majority were in their teens.) Every other session I went to was filled with nothing but elderly couples and mothers dragging their children. I felt left out, and between that and me being the only 20something in Wildwood who could work in the morning and not have a hangover, I ultimately stopped going.

Of course, I didn't have much luck with the singles bar scene in Wildwood, either. I tried the Shamrock Cafe, a popular singles hang-out down the street from my old apartment, but I dropped it even more quickly than I dropped church. How can you meet someone in a place that smells like rank beer, sweat, and stale smoke? Everyone is either drunk or screaming, and the men are more interested in liquor or pool than a conversation, not that you can hear yourself, anyway. I'd have one drink, then spend the rest of the night dancing with a woman or two, drinking sodas, and watching "Fraiser" re-runs and the late-night talk shows.

Story of my life. I just don't belong anywhere. I feel out of place at the Acme, where everyone is either a teenager, in college, married, retired and making a little extra money, or a single parent. I often feel out of place at Friends In Deed. I like organizing things and getting first dibs on great used stuff, but most of the volunteers are middle-aged or older. I think I've met maybe three volunteers anywhere close to my age over the past year, and most have only been there a few times. I even feel out of place in my own family. I'm the only writer. Everyone else is interested in visual art (even if they're actually good writers, like Mom and Anny). I'm the only one who isn't interested in partying, too. I know they all care about me, but I still feel like an outsider.

I've spent my whole life trying to find the one place I belong, the one place I really fit in. I never did any non-school-related activities. My sisters and I were in swimming classes when we were really little, but I never did Girl Scouts or 4-H. Anything I did in high school and college, even Lower Cape May Regional's Mentor Program, was school-related. I didn't even do a "working" college internship. I made a TV short interviewing Stockton students about the events of 9/11 instead. I really have no idea how one makes friends outside of school or work.

Sometimes, I really do wish I had that nice little posse of friends. I wish Lauren and Amanda lived here. I'd have someone who knew how to get my original Nintendo working and clean it correctly and someone who could balance my record player and make it work right for more than two or three minutes. There'd be people to cook for, to show my apartment to, to watch DVDs with, to listen to music with, to talk to, to walk in the park with. There'd be someone to come home to.

Not that I don't like my stuffed animals, but they just don't hug you back.

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