I don't particularly "tribe" well.
I mean, I knew it. But I don't think I realized how much until relatively recently.
(I'm going to include an uncharacteristically rude disclaimer here. If in reading you're spurred to respond with a whatabout, a whatif, a you need to realize, or, gods help you, a don't you want to, scroll on past and take it elsewhere. My boundaries have gained a few reactive layers recently. And while I'm not unwilling to tell people I like to do something anatomically uncomfortable, I'd rather not make it a habit. Cheers.)
I think I started noticing from all the tribing going on, as fast and furious as the events that keep on shocking this particular episode of 2020. The fast and furious cries for allegiance, changing by the hour and contradicting each other by the minute.
Declare your allegiance here,
show your support there,
shut up and let other voices speak,
why aren't you talking?
We judge you for that.
Oh, yeah, and that too.
(It's the "silence means consent" banner waving that really gives me the willies. Seriously, have you lot stopped for one minute to think about how rapey you sound? Creepy. And that's even if the phrase wasn't bullshit back when Cromwell used it to railroad More all the way to the gallows and still bullshit today. Creepy bullshit.)
I'm bad enough at tribing when the rules are clear and consistent, or try to be. Too neutral good. Too chaotic to go for loyalty over honor, too lawful to break taboos for the hell of it.
I didn't manage it in the Corps. I was nobody's idea of a stellar Marine, had some espirit de corps issues, and was too stubborn to hide it. Without picking at too many scars, let's just say I wound up in an armory for reasons.
I still couldn't tell you why I extended my contract three months to go to Afghanistan when I firmly planned to finish my first enlistment and leave. Maybe it was the bonus money, maybe a workup and deployment sounded better than whatever bullshit work details I'd be doing with the sick, lame, and lazy at Lejeune, maybe I wanted to go with a handful of people I'd dropped to the fleet with one more time. But even earning bloodstripes and tangling with genius was too little, too late.
I convinced myself it was for the best. Especially a few years later, when better Marines than me were shown the door in the post-Iraq drawdowns.
Then there was the theater, and I've already gone on about how that pile of good intentions and youthful energy turned into fair-weather friends and the resume of a minor Batman villain.
I get along with individuals, couples, small groups just fine. But any group too big to sit at the same table at Denny's finds a common cause and I start scanning for the exits.
Twice bitten and tribeless. When the tribes are demanding more every day. To their detriment, I think. Nobody else seems to bother stopping to think about it.
"Why aren't you declaring?! People like you would've turned in Anne Frank!"
"Riiiight. Because Miep, Kraler, and Koophuis shouted what they were doing to the crowd from their front doorstep every fucking night. Keep rolling with that."
I've always hated exclusivity. I was always the big guy. But I was also the big, awkward, quiet kid. If I wasn't being left out, I knew some poor fucker that was. Often, THE poor fucker that was. To this day, VIP sections make me uncomfortable. Even if I'm there on business and don't know anyone else, I can almost feel some poor bastard being left out.
A silly worry, maybe. Especially with so many more out there with much more to worry about. But it's an honest one. And if nothing else, this past week has been about fear. About worry. About anger. About frustration. About being worn the fuck out. About hope.
Not what anyone wants to hear nowadays, I know. But the 72hr rule isn't much help when things are still going on over a week later.
Take care of yourselves out there.