I went to my ‘other’ book club last night. Now I know it was for the last time. It only started recently and I wanted to support a new local venture. The person running it is friendly and warm, but some of the others……
Well they weren’t there at the first couple of meetings – and now neither are the people who were there then. Is this cause and effect? Probably. The book discussion was fine, if you can allow for the one person who isn’t really any good at listening who interrupts others to say something either that has already been said ( and in a better way) or has got the wrong end of the stick, or is just completely off topic. But because this is a civilised society and we are all ‘nice ‘ people, we bear with these foibles.
But then, the discussion turns seriously middle-class about houses and I keep quiet. No good, I am outed as an ‘incomer’and patronised accordingly. ‘And how long have you been here?’ I am asked. Feels always like a trick question, careful how you answer so’s not to give offence. Twelve years I reply. ‘Oh twelve years! Well I’ve never seen you’ – I could say the same but don’t. A friend joins in, ‘No, me neither’ and I am left feeling guilty for my invisibility to people I haven’t met? a few more impertinent questions, not asked out of interest but out of nosieness and some rancour at my ‘sneaky’ behaviour, living here in plain sight but not being seen by everyone- the cheek. Me with my mainland ways…..
In the end, provoked, I respond with ‘I am sorry I haven’t made an impression in my twelve years here’, shortly afterwards I make my excuses and leave. I will not subject myself to that petty thoughtless spitefulness again. I don’t need it.