February 1, 2007

Aloof

Posted in Past, Present, The WTF at 12:24 pm by Dagny Taggart

So I found out today that one of the sweetest, most genuine acquaintances I have, has been forced into early retirement with respect to participation in this medium.  Having been there myself, I fully understand her decision.  Having truly enjoyed reading what she had to say, I’m acutely disappointed.  Having formed such a high opinion of her from relatively limited interaction, I want to hunt down the party(ies) responsible and perform a Miss Piggy karate chop on said collective.

I have to say, though, that this scenario reminds me of why I was actually glad not to have jumped into a group when I got to law school.  It makes me appreciate the way my life was in middle and high school, even though I didn’t at the time.  Hindsight, 20/20, blah blah blah.

This may come as a shock, but I wasn’t exactly popular.  After the jolly rancher incident, I was relegated to the sidelines, where I happily hung out with two close friends, and spent the rest of my time reading.  That circle expanded by approximately one person per year in seventh and eighth grades, and by ninth grade I was on the fringes of a “group” that encompassed too many personalities to be considered a clique.  It also encompassed people who all knew, for an equally wide variety of reasons, what it was like to be rejected en masse.  Maybe that’s why we avoided the drama and infighting that seemed to plague the other tiers of the social order.

My college years centered around a largely static group of people – guys in a certain fraternity, and the women who dated them.  During that time period, my relationship was one of the most tumultuous, and everyone studiously avoided actually taking sides by hiding behind obvious explanations for their behavior – dues-paying-member trumped all.  It was easy enough to understand – it wasn’t about me, except for the part where none of those connections were enough to trump the combination of friendship on both sides PLUS financial ties of the brotherhood, and the oaths taken as a result. 

Law school was therefore a different animal for me.  I was there to become a lawyer.  I had friends outside of law school, so I didn’t try to ingratiate myself into a particular group.  I wasn’t ever super close to anyone, kept most of my thoughts to myself.  It worked well.  I can see why Switzerland maintains its famous neutrality.

Another advantage, however, is that I’ve rarely been the target of personal attacks.  In those rare instances where I found out that things had been said about me, I also discovered that the rumors hadn’t lasted for long.  I considered the source, and opted not to care. 

For those people who, by virtue of their popularity, don’t have this option, I offer these words of wisdom from the Sorkin brainchild:

“If they’re shooting at you, you know you’re doing something right.”

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