I am not you’re typ­i­cal “aver­age” guy, but a guy none the less.

Being a cre­ative-mind­ed indi­vid­ual, I have a lit­tle more flair and refin­ery than your aver­age beer-guz­zlin’, tool-totin’ “man­ly” man. It’s my nature, can’t be helped. It’s why I am a graph­ic design­er and not a grease-monkey.

But it puts me in a lit­tle bit of a quandary. You see, I don’t fit in. (For those of you who know me, you know this is very true.)

Being an indi­vid­ual of the more emotional/creative side of the brain and not the logical/analytical side of the brain, I am not into cars, sports, fish­ing or, God-for­bid, hunt­ing. When sur­round­ed by oth­er “aver­age” men, I have very lit­tle to talk about.

When guys start talk­ing about car­bu­re­tors, first downs, the newest lure, or how to clean a fish, I have noth­ing to con­tribute. Even with some of the more “geeky” men, I still have no idea what they are talk­ing about when they talk about “over clock­ing”, square roots, or I/O switch­es. Hell, even the gamer guys, when they start talk­ing about DPS, tank­ing, hit, crits and kills (see, were back to the hunt­ing thing again) I got noth­ing; or at the very least, very lit­tle. I just nod my head like I under­stand, while my eyes glaze over.

Now, if they were to talk about hue, sat­u­ra­tion, tonal con­trol, Bezi­er, lay­er comps, or even PMS*, I would have lots to say. But those guys are few and far between. [*PMS stands for Pan­tone Match­ing Sys­tem in the design world, a stan­dard for col­or matching.]

It doesn’t help either, that my life has giv­en me expe­ri­ence in more “female-dom­i­nat­ed” past-times (I was nev­er close with my father—who was a mechan­ic and truck driver—I always hung out with my mom and sister).

When it comes to crafts and projects of the kind that I find inter­est­ing, you prob­a­bly wouldn’t be sur­prised to know that I can cro­chet, back­stitch, hot glue, decoupage, Appliqué, sew, bar­gain shop and scrap­book with the best of them.

This doesn’t always help me when thrust into a group set­ting. In a sit­u­a­tion like that, I usu­al­ly tend to hang­ing out with the ladies of the group (if there are any), because I can keep up when they talk about a whip­stitch, dou­bles, frost­ing (the hair and cake kind), 30% off, emboss­ing, stamp­ing and scraping.

But, I don’t always fit in there either.

Most women that don’t know me, if I try and con­tribute, I am usu­al­ly looked at as an out­sider. I can see the thought go through their head, won­der­ing why I am there. They are nev­er too sure of me. Some­times I am even rebuffed with­out giv­en the chance, almost like I shouldn’t know any bet­ter. Not to men­tion the men in the group see me over by the ladies and write me off as gay, some of the ladies even have that thought. My out­go­ing flam­boy­an­cy and knowl­edge of fab­rics and hair prod­uct por­trays me as some­thing I am not.

So you see my prob­lem. I end up being the ‘odd-per­son-out’. I don’t under­stand the men, and the women don’t under­stand me.

Peo­ple often won­der why I am a ‘side­lin­er’ at par­ties, why I sit off by myself with my iPhone and just observe, or stick like glue to my wife. What else can I do? I have tried just “hang­ing out” with the guys. But hon­est­ly, I can only take so much spit­tin and ball-scratchin.

Now, I have been for­tu­nate of late with being blessed with male friends who under­stand when I am hang­ing out with their wives instead of play­ing rock band with them, and gal friends who total­ly accept me as their shop­ping bud­dy, or craft con­nois­seur. One of them even calls me out when I for­get to use my “girl brain” when we are talk­ing about cer­tain things (e.g., while help­ing anoth­er friend of ours plan their wedding.)

I want to thank them. I great­ly appre­ci­ate them for get­ting to know me and accept­ing me for who I am and not writ­ing me off when they met me. I appre­ci­ate it.

[I don’t know where I was going with this. I was try­ing to write the scrap­book­ing post above and this was to be an intro, but it turned out too long, so it became its own post, but then I couldn’t fig­ure out a way to end it…]

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