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09 May 2011 @ 01:13 pm
secret clubs  
The world is full of unspoken clubs and status groups that most people don't know exist until you suddenly find yourself in one. I've heard plenty of people talk about marriage this way, that people interact with them differently after they've gotten married. Others might be career or skills related, or social/financial status.

What are some groups that you've found yourself in, and only realizing that the group existed once you were part of it?
Tags: ,
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
Misanthropic extrovertdbang on May 9th, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
My experience is that it's more common to discover that I used to be in a club because I suddenly am not anymore.

The under-40 club, for instance, was one I didn't realize existed until I was over 40.
catcatya on May 9th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
i've been seeing that there's a "parents of teenagers" group, and a ~40-55 or so group. (i haven't really found myself falling into either of those, but i see that i will!)
catcatya on May 9th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
Single parents, ironically enough! I knew the category existed, but not so much the *group*.

jordanwillow: bsg - gaius is paying attentionjordanwillow on May 9th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Graduate of snooty, expensive, highly competitive liberal arts college -- with all the privilege that confers. I was not expecting the privilege; I wasn't expecting to find myself part of a club that so many people are excluded from. I guess I was naive.
harimad on May 9th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
Me, too. In particular I hadn't realized that nonmembers were a bit in awe (or something) till I moved to the mid-west where the club isn't recognized. When the subject of my fancy education came up, the mid-western reaction was "o how nice for you," just as if we were talking about a good haircut or a nice dinner experience.
mirandamissionista on May 9th, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
Parents. Wow, that's a club I had no idea about.
Kcatkcatalyst on May 9th, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, this was the big one for me.
Purple Vengeance Versiondr_memory on May 9th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if parenthood counts, but I have certainly been consistently surprised at how far its tentacles reach...
Jadiajadia on May 9th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
Bikers? I'm still not entirely sure what you mean I guess.

Students vs. not a student, I think, was a big transition for me.

Being seen as "young" vs "an adult", which might be similar to the "under-40" thing.

I think there's an homeowner's club too, like people look at you differently if you own vs. rent.
DancingWolfGrrldancingwolfgrrl on May 9th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
I have noticed "partnered" as a group by getting out of it.

Also, "people with direction," a group which I'm either in or not depending on how much I talk about my non-day-job activities.

I think I am just on the edge of "women who ought to have kids by now."
blk: pawblk on May 9th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
Marriage, cohabiting relationships, parents of varying ages (newborn-toddler, schooler, and teenager, I'd put vague motions for), single parents, divorced parent (eventually merges with single, but depends on the environment and the timing).

Although my experience with many of these "groups" is that it's almost equally as much that other people interact differently with them as they interact differently with other people, once they become members.
phoenixamber_phoenix on May 9th, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
white people.
(sounds obvious, but i didn't know it was obvious growing up)
(when this started i thought of myself as *out* of certain groups, then later realized it *was* a group)
(because i started that one early enough to not know it's groupitude)
(stronger connection than expected)

queer people and graduates of "x" school were clubs i knew about before going in.
phoenixamber_phoenix on May 9th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
oh, and "food industry people" is definitely different from "food people" and i kinda miss being in it. (there are also increasingly smaller groups for which niche of the food industry.)
Renata Piperlyonesse on May 9th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
the doctorate club. makes no difference in a lot of the world, but becomes appallingly obvious in academia, hospitals, alla there.
harimad on May 9th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
Clubs having to do with work. I knew the clubs existed but not how interesting they are, and how strong the insider/outsider barrier could be. Fortunately it doesn't define one so strongly that one can interact only with other club members. That would be very dull.
Rowan: Springmzrowan on May 9th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
I'm also having trouble coming up with clubs that I didn't know existed before I joined (or tried to join them) -- for instance, Burners.

Hm...ex-pats? I'd encountered the "American Ex-Pats in France" club when I lived there for a summer in college, but hadn't realized how much I'd feel a member of the "Canadian Ex-Pats in the US" club.

Definitely "intentional single mothers". I felt ridiculous for not having realized that there was a whole demographic of women going through the same process I was, with books and mailing lists and meetings and everything. Although I never really felt like a "real" member, like people who are non-monogamous but who don't identify as part of the "poly" club.
unintentional baitredheadedmuse on May 9th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
parenting, polyamory, homeownership, freelancers/writers, survivors, sexual adventurers, members of my Witchcraft tradition...

I feel like this is a fairly common experience for me, and yet I'm having trouble thinking of examples of it. That's surprising, since I know exactly what you're talking about and often have that "Aha!" moment of realizing I have something important in common with a group of people I previously did not realize existed.
David Policardpolicar on May 9th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Most of them have already been discussed, but one that continues to surprise me is the "recovery" club... not so much that it exists, but that it's as broad as it is. Stroke recovery, substance abuse recovery, traumatic event recovery, etc.: they are of course all different, but there's a common core, and I can talk about the experience of recovery with someone who is dealing with any of them and find that we share important perspectives/experiences in common.

I also had the funny experience of feeling like I didn't belong in the "brain damaged" club, because I wasn't damaged enough... I always felt like I was faking it.
Brother Claymore of Desirable Mindfulnesslifecollage on May 9th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
I also had the funny experience of feeling like I didn't belong in the "brain damaged" club, because I wasn't damaged enough... I always felt like I was faking it.

Totally get this one. For me, it's the just barely clinical mood disorders club: strong enough to have a prolonged, noticeable impact on my quality of life, manageable enough that I constantly felt like I should just get past it all. When I talk to folks who have "real"* issues like major despressive disorder and profound anxiety, I can relate and empathize but feel somehow disingenuous, all the while knowing my experience is full and valid. Ah, the brain....

* Word choice and scare quotes are chosen carefully. It's all real, to be sure.
(no subject) - harimad on May 10th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Doug Orleansdougo on May 9th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
Alcohol drinkers. Though, really, it was figuring out how clearly the club exists (and what its benefits are) that made me decide to join it, rather than finding out afterward. But the ramifications are still surprising me a little.