When I was younger and in high school and college, I used to think I was fairly cheeky and/or humorous. It wasn’t the crude or obnoxious type either1, just a little sarcastic and cynical. I just had the right crowd of friends or something, and I fit in pretty well.

That is a lot of what makes me miss my friends back in the Midwest (and a lot of that lifestyle with it). I fit in much better there. Perhaps it was just the group of people I came into graduate school with or that I got exposed to shortly after I got here, but it never quite felt like I fit in as well here. My humor certainly didn’t get the same type of response. I felt like I had to work to get a laugh out of people. It just didn’t come naturally here.

Last week or so, one of the newer graduate students in the interdisciplinary program has been around a bit more when I hang out with a couple of my friends. Upon finally paying attention at one point, she seems to get a kick out of my remarks far more than most of my friends have2. Thinking about that a little bit, she’s also from the Midwest region (just a bit further south).

It’s completely speculative at this point, but some of it may really be just regional mindsets, or some sort of bias among them. I know there are personality differences that broadly seem to change from region to region within the US. I suppose it’s entirely possible that humor types could lump in along with them.

Regardless, it was very refreshing and nostalgic to hear her enjoy that sense of wit. I know it sounds dramatic, but it gives me hope that I will run across a few more like her that I feel I could establish stronger friendships with that feel a tad more natural3.

1The lack of exposure to any television that may have been the result of this can solely be attributed to my parents. I think the raunchiest thing I ever got to see in my high school years was a Cheech and Chong film, and not even one of the worse ones.
2The ease and flow of the laughter was much like I got back in college. Most of my jokes here just get way-sided or ignored either because I try to squeeze them in and then someone else just keeps running on a funnier theme, or they just don’t provoke any response. It just doesn’t fit the discussion in their own minds, I suppose.
3More natural = less like people are sketchily avoiding me. I get this uncomfortable feeling that people don’t enjoy hanging out with me, but they just will not tell me. I often feel like (especially lately) people are hiding things from me, deliberately trying to obfuscate things. I have enough trust issues with others; the last thing I need to think is that people cannot trust me either.