Monday, June 8, 2009

The Collins Clique, where everyone is welcome...

"The Collins Clique"... it's pretty ironic that this is the name of my blog and you too would think it was funny if you were inside Mike and I's heads. You see, it was sort of an inside joke when it was named. We have always abhorred the idea of cliques. Personally, I have always felt they were childish... immature... so High School! Maybe it is because of my ever increasing age but they just seem so silly to me! Why would you limit yourself to just a few certain friendships? There are so many absolutely wonderful, totally cool people out there. I would never want to limit what I could learn or how much fun I could have. :)

I remember certain cliques in my high school. The self proclaimed popular kids who either accepted you or tormented you. I was very blessed never to be tormented, but I knew kids that were and I saw some of the damage that was caused to their self esteem through the cliques cruelty. :( Mean nicknames that stuck with them through high school, reputations that never left them though never true to start with, practical jokes that were only funny to the offenders and beautiful girls who never saw themselves as such because of snide comments and remarks.

Cliques are not always deliberately formed. Sometimes they are habit, sometimes just the safe thing to do. In my previous ward, (of which I was a member from the age of 11 to just two years ago), we had a large overturn of military families. Because we were so close to Walter Reed Army Medical Center many families moved in and out ever year (serving in our area 1-3 years before they were reassigned.) Very early in my marriage there was a time that several Army families that moved in together over the summer. The wives became very close and had their own so called "clique" which got together to do all sorts of things quite frequently. There were some sisters in our ward who felt they were excluded from this group because they weren't doctors wives. They were bitter towards this group of friends because they felt that the women thought they were better than them. I have to say that I never felt that way. I actually, (though probably mostly because of my Relief Society calling), put forth an effort to get to know these women and found out quickly that this was simply a group of several women who moved in to a new place and found easy, instant friendship with other women who were in the same situation as them. No one was meant to feel excluded or inferior. I enjoyed my friendship with these women who accepted me (even though my husband was not a doctor, lol), and I got to know and love their children too, many of whom I taught piano to.

During the past few weeks, three separate women in our current ward have mentioned the clique factor and their genuine efforts to make friends with women who are either insanely oblivious or so caught up with their own friends that they ignored/passed up the opportunity. I hope for the sake of all the women involved that it was obliviousness because knowing these three amazing women as I do, I would say that the other women have definitely missed an incredible opportunity.

Perhaps I have a heart of stone because I have never been offended that I wasn't invited to something. Maybe it is because in our former ward there were not many couples our age and we became sort of self sufficient in providing our own entertainment. In our current ward we have both served in the youth program pretty much since we moved here which means frankly that there are still a lot of people we really don't know! Additionally, we are actually within the minority of couples who don't have kids in primary. (I think we may actually be one of the 10 oldest couples if you can believe that!) It's all A-OK with me, but I know that not all women are as "cold-hearted" as me.

It can be hard not to hurt peoples feelings when it comes to activities and social events. I am not naive enough to think it is possible to include every woman in every event that you host... but I will definitely be more aware of sisters that don't feel included. I also will tell you right now that if you ever want to come hang out, you are always more than welcome. I know we don't have little kids, but we love them! We have a enclosed trampoline and a b-ball hoop that we are happy to share. I am also not opposed to some one letting me know that they heard I had people over for smores or a BBQ and to give them a call next time we do it. Or if you see people at my house and you want to come join the fun... come on over. More than anything, I don't want anyone to ever think that I am deliberately excluding them from what they think may be my "clique". So if you are feeling alone, left out, or just want to hang... come on over to the "Collins Clique"... where seriously, everyone is welcome! :)

7 comments:

Joni said...

You are so sweet, we would love to hang out with you guys sometime. We too are open to getting together with anyone anytime. We seriously don't do much with anyone which surprises people. We aren't very good at planning get togethers but we should considering how much fun they can be.

Higleys said...

I like your post. As an old friend I know I appreciated that y'all included me. I had everything different from you but you didn't use as a reason to exclude me. Y'all even went to the cheap movies so I could go (99 cent flower avenue, funny times)

MaryBeth said...

Flower Avenue is freaking scary. I totally remember counting out my pennies to go to the moveis, lol!

And for the record, I'm taking you up on your offer. We'll be up in Utah over Thanksgiving and I totally expect a party in my honor with the entire Joyce clan. I'm just smiling and giddy thinking about it :)

R Clan said...

We kinda slacked off on our Sunday Sweet day. We need to do that again. It was fun having people over. We got to know people a little better that way. So, the plan should be you are in charge of smores night and we'll be in charge of treat night. lol There all the same but what the heck! :)

Denise said...

Oh, the Flower Theater. I saw Sleeping With the Enemy there at least 6 times. (Don't judge me.)

If more people would stop feeling left out the world would be a happier place. I used to feel that way and I still wouldn't say that I don't envy being in a place where I have known everyone for a million years, but it's worth a try to include everyone even if they aren't receptive.

Tammy said...

oh the days of the .99 cent theater!! I remember going to Riverdale to see Predator! (Riverdale was actually more upscale than my neighborhood on OTIS St. so I wasn't worried)..but people actually started a fire in the theater and we had to clear out while they put it out and then we went back in. When the movie was over the van had been broken into..just another day in the life....

I have to say, about cliques, that I live in my own little world where there are no cliques and "people are people" ..Until your blog that word was almost non existant in my life! ( thanks Petra!) ...I think that was one of the blessings of being in a monority growing up...I didn't belong to any clique, so I belonged to every clique! sure I was a floater member at best, but the benefits of floater membership are pretty cool...it gives you the oppurtunity to meet so many people throughout my life...it has made for a much richer life experience for me anyway....I am going to pick on my guy for a minute...he has permanant membership status in a clique..and that has it's benefits as well...that hasn't limited his life experience, it has only added to it...actually, come to think of it, is it a clique if no one wants in?? ok, then maybe he isn't in a clique...

Alison said...

I will have to come over next time I am in Utah. We miss you in MD.