Groups and sub-groups fascinate me. First of all, there is no group of people that can’t be broken up into multiple sub-groups. Second, no one is so unique that they can’t find a group of people like them.
Let’s hit the first point: every group of people has sub-groups.
You all know this: think about where you work. You probably all have similar training, work in a similar environment, doing similar things, but you are not “the same” as these people. Your background, experiences, and personal interests make you different. Someone walking in to your workplace might just see “a group of engineers,” or “a room full of teachers” but you know that isn’t true.
As an ASL Interpreter, I have Deaf people who I count among my friends. If you’ve only “met a Deaf person once,” you will assume all deaf people are just like the person you met. I can tell you without question, that is not so. Deaf people are just like people who are not Deaf, that is, different from one another. In my group of Deaf friends, one is a knitter, like me. One speaks on his cell phone, but doesn’t text; all of my other Deaf friends text me. One is a stay-at-home mom who is an avid reader. One loves music and dancing. (For those people who are confused right now, being Deaf doesn’t mean you hear nothing, it means you have a hearing loss.) The only thing these friends have in common is that they are unique.
We all want to be unique. Unique is good. Unique is special. Our fingerprints are all different. Our DNA is ours and ours alone. There is a point, however, when unique becomes, well… weird. You wouldn’t want to be the only person in the world, for example, who liked eating chocolate covered pretzels. First of all, they’d be very hard to find. People would ridicule you for making them yourself to satisfy the craving. And, if every time someone tried your delicacy they got sick, you’d start wondering just how “unique” you are.
Which brings me to my second point: no one is so unique that they can’t find a group of people like them.
For better or worse (and I’m definitely a “better” believer), the Internet has made the world smaller. There may only be a few people who share your interest in antique cars, whale bone corsets and macrame, but rest assured someone likes these things as much as you do.
I’m a member of a website called Ravelry, which I’ve talked about before. I describe it as Facebook for Knitters, but it’s really much more. On Ravelry, you can join various groups of people who share your interests. I belong to a Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup group. The House Cup group is run as a School. We’ve broken the year into 3 terms (3 months, break, 3 months, break, 3 months, break). Everyone is sorted into a house (just like the original books) and each term there are classes with a “homework assignment.” You craft an item for the class to win points for your House (I’m a proud Badger of Hufflepuff in my 5th term.) Each house has it’s own separate forum where we can chat online and cheer each other on. You post pictures of your project to prove you’ve finished your “homework” and … okay, some of you are reading this thinking, “Okay, THAT is weird.” Well, the HPKCHC has over three thousand members. I may be weird, but I’m in good company. And they really ARE good company. Besides chat & encouragement, I received many birthday wishes online last month and two of my Hufflepuff classmates sent me snail mail cards with gifts!
These people are great and I feel lucky to have found them. They are my sub-group. Maybe even my sub-sub-group. And it’s nice to know I’m not alone.
Just for fun, I recommend you check out the website 10 of the Weirdest Hobbies (http://www.oddee.com/item_97171.aspx). Even though one of them is knitting related (no, I’ve never knit one of those), my favorite is number 8: Grooming Dogs.