One reason I walked away from most of my "friends" is that I was never able to fully be myself without a certain amount of flack. I've always been quiet (until I get to know you), well-read, well-spoken, creative, eccentric, and intelligent. Oddly enough, I always found myself surrounded by chest-beating, beer guzzling types that have no appreciation for smart people with ambitions.
Being the quiet person with a frank expression anda good vocabulary usually got me shitty looks from girls and mockery from guys. I could drink with them, hang with them, be savy to their inside jokes, but I was never one of them. I got tired of settling, and being looked down on as "stuck-up", by some of the extended friends or friends, simply because I wasn't loud and abrassive and cruel to people who weren't "cool". I read a lot and wrote stories and had standards for my behavior, so I automatically must have thought I was better than everyone else–especially once I went to college.
I grew up and moved on, but every now and then, I look back. It's hard to make new friends in your 30s and I do look back, missing the beer-soaked sense of comradery–at least until I'm back with one of my old friends, wondering why I still put up with this nonsense, why I don't just accept my fate as someone without a place and walk away forever. She still surrounds herself with the chest-beaters and she fits in with them, even as they cast distainful looks at me without ever once saying hello. Tiresome and childish. These women are my age…
I'm pregnant, so I don't even have the beer to fool me into thinking I can or want to fit in with these people anymore. I didn't think I was better than them before, but now I do–how can I not? I'm trying and they're not…but I'm the stuck-up one. Because I'm polite,and educated, and I never say a word about their house reeking of dog piss and stale beer and dirty ashtrays…because I dared to want more and I went out and got it. And they didn't.
And I'm not sorry that my life is better than it was. I'm just sorry that some of my friends didn't follow, but chose to languish in ignorance and squalor.