Jason, the week or so before I left kept telling me to "find my people." Like, to go to Burning Man and find my... tribe. Or something. My collection of people where I just felt like I clicked.
I'd had a couple of experiences with him that summer where I'd found myself drawn to someone or just noticing something about them (a tattoo, or, in one case a Burning Man specific joke on their hat) and upon asking them if they were Burners, I felt like I was immediately with good people.
I think maybe he thought I'd go to Burning Man and be surrounded by tens of thousands of these people I'd just click with and feel at home with. I was fairly certain, knowing myself and knowing what it's like there, that this wouldn't happen. But what I woke up knowing on Tuesday morning, and what I wrote about in my journal for the first two pages of "Tuesday" was that I definitely knew who weren't my people. And what I wrote at the time, although it pains me to re-print it here, is that the ones who weren't my people were the ones I don't like.
It's hard for me to admit I don't like someone. Or someones. Something in me feels obliged to love everyone. Or that I should like everyone. Just because they do something I don't like or act or behave a way I don't like, I still feel like I should... like them. Cut them slack. Accept them as flawed human beings.
But at this point, after two days of grump, I didn't care. I did. Not. Like. Them.
Here's what I wrote:
I think the first couple of days were for me to see who weren't my people - the ones I don't like
- the ones concerned with being young and beautiful and drunk and pretty
- the frat boys, the 20 somethings, the sparkle ponies and fucking hippies
the ones who care too much
which sucks, because I care. I do, I care about how I look, how I fit in, how I'm perceived ... do they like me?
I hate the frat boys and female equivalents and I feel them on each side - taking drugs, being drunk - fuck that shit.
SEE?????? The guys wake up their buddy with "Logan... you fuck the girl?" FUCK THAT SHIT!!!
He took mushrooms, cocaine, ketamine, ecstasy... WHY???
I remember writing this and being ragingly angry. There was more to their conversation and I heard it all. The "teasing" of the friend for not having sex with the girl. "Too many drugs? Couldn't get it up?" And I had to stop myself from marching over there and yelling at them to show some respect and that women were not there for fucking and using. And the drugs. I've never been a fan of drug culture, or drinking culture for that matter, but neither am I saying I'm entirely innocent (I was young once too, after all) but I do not understand why you would take a massive mix of chemicals like this young "man" apparently did. I do not want someone to explain it to me either, I just hate the fact that some people come to Burning Man to do masses of drugs. I hate it.
And I hate that some people, and I'm sorry, it's mainly younger people seem to think of this whole thing as this massive party where you get free drugs and can have sex with any gorgeous person you see.
The societal background that goes with this is something I will not even begin to talk about as it is something that either enrages me or upsets me and I don't feel like there's much me blogging about it will do....
But I really felt like I knew who at Burning Man were not "my people". Or to put it in a slightly less angry way... I knew who were the people I did not feel connected to.
The people who were really concerned with being good looking. The people who were overly concerned with how they were dressed... how their outfit was... their hair... their makeup... how good they could look... for show.
Did I want to look good for show? Not really. I wanted to feel like I didn't look unattractive, like I felt last year. I wanted to feel comfortable, but I did not want to be walking down the street and having men drooling. I did not want people to stop and exclaim at how gorgeous I was, and I feel like for a fair number of the twenty something crowd... this is what it's all about. I know, many of the photos you see of Burning Man include gorgeous, sexy, scantily clad women, and I know sometimes it's hard not to be influenced by what you see and what's shown by the media when you're young. (And possibly for some when you're older, but I do feel that with age does come wisdom, and with that, the ability to decide to not give a shit about what you're "supposed" to do/be/act/look like that is more of a concern when you're a teen or a twenty.)
For me, I take it as offensive when the reason someone is coming to Burning Man is to get wasted and/or to be/do sexy chicks.
It's so much more than that. Or it should be.
I was frustrated to be surrounded by these "frat boys" as my neighbours. These clearly first timers who seemed to not have an understanding of WHY Burning Man.
They just wanted to party.
They were very very very much not my people.
And to be honest, even if I'd been their age... even if I'd been going to the same college or University as them, they would still not have been my people.
My University didn't have fraternities or sororities, but I've never been attracted to the "let's get drunk and party" guys.
Which is ironic, because I've always enjoyed me a good house party, and I've always enjoyed getting drunk and partying. But I'd be the one hanging in the corner on the couch with the surfers, the stoners, the musicians, the D and D players, the artists and the interesting people, not with the ones who were mannning the keg.
To be honest, I don't even know how to play beer pong.
But I do play a mean game of caps.
(And my game of darts (I actually used to carry my own set in my purse) gets really good a beer and a half in, and then gets bad again a beer and a half later.)