When I got to work on Monday, the first thing a coworker asked me was, “How did the game treat you last night?”
I almost responded, “Really well! After we killed the mind controlling plant, we finally had enough XP to level up! I can’t wait–I’ve got my eye on some new spells for my elf.” And then I realized she wasn’t asking how my bimonthly Dungeons and Dragons game went. She was talking about that football game.
By the time I got words out of my mouth, I replied, “Oh, I don’t football.” As a matter of fact, I don’t even know who played in the Super Bowl this year. I certainly can’t tell you who won.
I really should be a football fan. I grew up with parents who watched the Cowboys like a religion. I know many of the rules and can follow a game easily. My fiance played football in high school, although that was long before I knew him. I drive regularly on Tom Landry Freeway, passing a giant picture of the legendary coach as I exit. I live two miles from the Cowboys stadium.
In Texas, home of “America’s Team,” it seems like everyone loves football. A local grocery store chain gives you 10% on Game Days if you wear your jersey. I once worked for said grocery store. I bought a jersey to wear. You know why? I didn’t have to tuck in my shirt on jersey days.
For awhile, I pretended to like football. I knew enough to fake my way through conversations. It helped me feel like I fit in. And in your early twenties, all you try to do is fit in. If I fit in with enough people, I’ll figure out where I belong, right?
Wrong. In the last year or two, I’ve started realizing that trying to fit in is a huge waste of energy I just don’t have. I don’t want to be invited to a Super Bowl party anymore just to feel social. I don’t want to go to Happy Hour with people who have no shared interests. I don’t want friendships that are based on shallow things with shallow people.
I don’t have to fit in everywhere, even if I do live in Texas. I realize I don’t fit a mold, and that’s okay. Sundays are for gaming, yes. But your game and my game may be different. I might have been one of five people at work who didn’t watch the Super Bowl, and I’m fine with that now. I’m done trying to fit in. I fit where it matters.