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Does anyone else feel "different" from the other homeschoolers in your area?


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I'm not sure exactly how to phrase this, but does anyone else feel "different" from the other homeschoolers you've met in your area?

 

We have always homeschooled (ds is now almost 12, so it has been a while,) yet in all these years, we haven't really clicked with many of the other hsers in our area. I'm not saying they weren't nice, because most of them were very pleasant. I'm talking about real friendships.

 

Here's an example of what I mean: I know a few hs moms who are truly nice people, but if I want to hang around with them, I have to do things their way, and they never want to do anything I want to do. For instance, I'd like to go out for lunch or coffee or just to stroll around a mall with them from time to time, but they won't go. They don't eat out, don't like to shop, and don't drink coffee. I have said we could go wherever they wanted to go, but they don't believe in spending money on frivolous things like eating out, and even if I offer to pay, they make excuses not to go.

 

I have to tell you that I don't particularly enjoy helping them weed a garden or hang around chatting while they feed the chickens, but I smile and do it and I don't complain. I don't think it would kill them to get out of the house every now and then, but I guess it's not my place to judge them.

 

Another group of hsers I know is, again, a lovely group of women, but they are so incredibly Christian and church-oriented, that I don't really fit in with them, either. They all have lots of kids, which I think is very cool, but they clearly aren't comfortable with me having just one ds by choice. (I probably would have fared better if I'd lied and said I had some sort of medical reason why I was unable to give birth again, but I didn't want to do that, because it doesn't exactly seem like an honest way to start a new friendship.) At least those moms will go out for coffee, but most of the conversation revolves around how I should go to their church, which is uncomfortable for me. I'm fine with their religious beliefs, but it gets a little old for me when it's part of every single topic of conversation, so I don't fit in very well.

 

I truly wish I lived in a place where there were tons of homeschoolers, so I could meet more different kinds of families, and my ds and I would have a better chance of making some friends. Where we are now, although there are homeschoolers in the general area, there are very few activities, and most of the families we know don't have kids anywhere near my ds's age.

 

I don't really know what my point is here, but I guess I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who feels this way. I'm not particularly lonely or anything like that, but it would be nice to be friends with some other homeschoolers, so my ds could have friends and I would have some moms to do things with.

 

Sorry if I sound whiny.

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Yes, I kinda feel like an outsider in our hs'ing community still. It's hard to make friends.. Not because they're not nice or that I don't share their faith but mostly because I'm OLD! LOL Those who are my age and I'd like to be friends with are at a totally different place in their lives.. They have teenagers and h.s. curriculum and I have a second grader, a 3 yr old and one on the way.. Those with kids my kids' age are a decade younger and seem like in a totally different world.

 

I'd love to go to coffee sometime:D

 

ETA: And I'm with you that it's awkward to have a small family when all the hs'ers I know have 6+!

Edited by tomandlorih
ETA: more agreement with OP=D
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I relate to these posts. We're odd too. I'm an older parent, one child, and while we are christian, we're not their type of christian.

 

If you lived near me, I'd go walk the mall or get a coffee. You might have to buy as I'm broke right now, but sure I'm up for a get together.

 

In our previous town most of my friends were writers and in their 20s. I'm 44. They were fun, I have a goofy sense of humor that doesn't always fit in with more stoic crowds.

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I guess I'm lucky. There's a large homeschooling population in my area (Southern Indiana) and it's made up of all types.

 

ETA: I do think the conservative Christian sect makes up the majority here but I don't find most to be uninterested in leaving the house and things like that. I wouldn't even call the majority ultra-conservative.

Edited by Trresh
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A lot of the groups in my area are established (read clique-ish). It's hard to be the outsider and find a way in. I have met another family that is like-minded and it's wonderful! Our husbands even get along. The only thing that's not perfect is that my youngest is the same age as her oldest. So we have 2 kids on either side that don't get much play time. It's so wonderful to have a mom to talk with though.

I have a hard time because homeschool groups here tend to be very religiously based (we're not) or unschoolers (we're classical). Hang in there, Cat. Someone is out there. Whine away. It's gets really, really lonely sometimes.

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I have lots of friends, but feel like I'm missing out on having a BFF. Plus, I do feel different b/c of the way I homeschool and our financial situation. I'm old (49), but have an 8 year old. We do well financially, but many of my friends are like yours and can't spend $$. And I hear you on the religion thing (I'm Catholic, but when I hang out w/my non-Catholic, Christian friends, sometimes there is something else there/not there).

 

And then there are the moms that I hit it off best, but I don't care for their children, or my children don't care for their children.

 

Ugh.

Laura

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Where I live it's either the pot smoking hippies or the hardline conservative Christians. Not much in between (except us :001_smile:). It's been difficult, and can get lonely. I have more in common with the Christians than the hippies but not enough to really meld with them and their families. It doesn't help that I'm a shy person to begin with.

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I have only met one homeschooling mother out here and she was crazy. :tongue_smilie: I still have not met any other homeschoolers. It's like they lock them in the house while school is in session and then release them when school gets out. I am really lonely without any homeschoolers around that are easily found. Whenever I turn in my paper at the beginning of the school year, the pile is huge but where oh where are the homeschoolers hiding?

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I feel like I am not their "flavor" of Christian. I am a Christian and I love the Lord as much as the next person, but I don't want everyone to do things just like me because that would be BORING! I miss home where I have friends I can talk to and just be me.

Edited by Josie
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Where I live it's either the pot smoking hippies or the hardline conservative Christians. Not much in between (except us :001_smile:). It's been difficult, and can get lonely. I have more in common with the Christians than the hippies but not enough to really meld with them and their families. It doesn't help that I'm a shy person to begin with.

 

Do you live where I live?

 

I can very much relate to feeling "different" and being lonely. I have been a member of the local homeschool group for 2 years now, and I don't know if I will join next year. I usually feel more lonely after attending a monthly meeting or going on a field trip than I did before. We are also the only homeschooling family at our church.

 

It does help to know I am not the only one that feels this way.

:grouphug:

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It's hard to make friends.. Not because they're not nice or that I don't share their faith but mostly because I'm OLD!

 

I'm an older parent, one child, and while we are christian, we're not their type of christian.

 

I'm old (49), but have an 8 year old.

 

Maybe there is something to the age thing. I'm 48 and my ds is 11, and most of the other moms with kids near my son's age are much younger than I am.

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I understand. I'd love to have a homeschooling friend who loves Sephora. We could get a coffee and talk curriculum while saying "Is this gold shadow too metallic?"

:D

 

It's a dream of mine, too.

 

I'd even be very happy with one who buys the beauty TSVs on QVC. :001_smile:

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Oh, you come whine with me; it took me four years to find anyone to even have a conversation with.

 

And now-finally, I find one! 1!

 

And we'll be moving in like three weeks to God knows where.

 

Hang in there Cat. I know what you mean. Totally.

 

It's lonely.

 

Thanks! I'm sorry you have to move when you've finally found someone. I hope your new area will have lots of homeschoolers for you to be friends with.

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I'm not sure exactly how to phrase this, but does anyone else feel "different" from the other homeschoolers you've met in your area?

 

We have always homeschooled (ds is now almost 12, so it has been a while,) yet in all these years, we haven't really clicked with many of the other hsers in our area. I'm not saying they weren't nice, because most of them were very pleasant. I'm talking about real friendships.

 

Here's an example of what I mean: I know a few hs moms who are truly nice people, but if I want to hang around with them, I have to do things their way, and they never want to do anything I want to do. For instance, I'd like to go out for lunch or coffee or just to stroll around a mall with them from time to time, but they won't go. They don't eat out, don't like to shop, and don't drink coffee. I have said we could go wherever they wanted to go, but they don't believe in spending money on frivolous things like eating out, and even if I offer to pay, they make excuses not to go.

 

I have to tell you that I don't particularly enjoy helping them weed a garden or hang around chatting while they feed the chickens, but I smile and do it and I don't complain. I don't think it would kill them to get out of the house every now and then, but I guess it's not my place to judge them.

 

Another group of hsers I know is, again, a lovely group of women, but they are so incredibly Christian and church-oriented, that I don't really fit in with them, either. They all have lots of kids, which I think is very cool, but they clearly aren't comfortable with me having just one ds by choice. (I probably would have fared better if I'd lied and said I had some sort of medical reason why I was unable to give birth again, but I didn't want to do that, because it doesn't exactly seem like an honest way to start a new friendship.) At least those moms will go out for coffee, but most of the conversation revolves around how I should go to their church, which is uncomfortable for me. I'm fine with their religious beliefs, but it gets a little old for me when it's part of every single topic of conversation, so I don't fit in very well.

 

I truly wish I lived in a place where there were tons of homeschoolers, so I could meet more different kinds of families, and my ds and I would have a better chance of making some friends. Where we are now, although there are homeschoolers in the general area, there are very few activities, and most of the families we know don't have kids anywhere near my ds's age.

 

I don't really know what my point is here, but I guess I'm just wondering if I'm the only one who feels this way. I'm not particularly lonely or anything like that, but it would be nice to be friends with some other homeschoolers, so my ds could have friends and I would have some moms to do things with.

 

Sorry if I sound whiny.

 

I just have to ask one question: Who are you, and how did you get inside my head? Okay, that's two questions, but wow! I could have written your post word for word, except that I have a dd, not a ds. You are NOT alone!

 

I wish you were my neighbor! I'd be happy to go for coffee, or just hang about and chat!

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I have been a member of the local homeschool group for 2 years now, and I don't know if I will join next year.

 

We tried a co-op -- very nice people, but too religious and the kids all knew each other from church and we weren't part of that church, so the kids were already in their own little cliques. Plus, my mom was very ill at the time and I was uncomfortable leaving her alone for so many hours at a time, so we dropped out for a combination of reasons. (I would recommend the group to someone else, but it wasn't right for us.)

 

We tried a few different groups, and again, the people were pleasant enough, but the kids weren't even close in age to my ds, so we reached a point where it wasn't worth attending the activities, especially since every event was at least 45 minutes away from our home. I would have been glad to do the driving if ds loved it, but the few kids who were close in age to my ds rarely showed up at any of the events, and my ds didn't really click with either of them; it was more a matter of the kids being similar in age, but not having anything else in common, if you know what I mean.

 

It's hard. Sometimes I want to give up on trying to meet people, but my ds really needs friends.

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I have sometimes wondered how isolated hs'ing SAHDs might feel. If it is lonely for any one of us, how much moreso for them?

 

OP, I hope you find some muffin & coffee buddies!

 

Thanks, Mirth! I know what you mean about the dads. I remember there was one dad in a group we met with a few times, and I think he was very uncomfortable because a few of the moms kept flirting with him, even after he kept talking about how great his wife was. :glare:

 

We knew another dad who shared the homeschooling duties with his wife and attended a few events, and he was exempt from the flirting because she was usually with him. ;)

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It's hard. Sometimes I want to give up on trying to meet people, but my ds really needs friends.

 

What about looking outside of the homeschooling community?

 

I don't really click with most of the homeschoolers in our area either. My two best friends don't homeschool (we bonded over similar backgrounds/careers and politics). My extended social circle does include a few homeschooling moms who also feel like they don't fit in - our kids aren't the best fit, so we just meet on a regular basis for a fun mom's night out.

 

What are your DS's interests? Can you involve him in some classes/groups where he might have better luck meeting and making friends?

 

Are there Meetup groups in your area ( http://www.meetup.com )? I've met tons of great people through various Meetup groups I've been a member of over the years. Probably more of a venue for you to meet people (rather than your DS), but there are lots of family-oriented groups as well.

 

:grouphug:

Edited by Dandelion
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I don't fit in, either. Try being a divorced Christian who works outside the home. I either get looks of sympathy or looks of disdain from the Perky Perfect Parents. Once, after a homeschool music class concert, everyone met at a local ice cream place and all the wonderful, perfect Christian mommies started talking about going to see a movie together. Then they all stopped and looked at me, like "oops, we forgot she's here" and shifted in their seats. Rude cows. :glare:

 

I understand. I'd love to have a homeschooling friend who loves Sephora. We could get a coffee and talk curriculum while saying "Is this gold shadow too metallic?"

:D

 

Oh my heavens, where do you live? Sephora is my mothership and love a good cafe misto and some curriculum talk, as long as you don't care that I'm divorced.

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I feel your pain. I once made a bitter post about this subject although mine was not as nice as yours, lol. I'm not the right flavor of Christian. I myself like nice vacations or mission trips, both, not one or the other. I like to dress up and go to a nice concert, I like to go see Slash or Third Day. I am just unwilling to pigeon hole myself to make friends.

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I will go out for coffee with you! I still have some $$ on my Starbucks gift card! :D

 

Seriously, I have never seen so many hsers in my life as here in NC. All sorts. Uber conservative with no TVs and skirt wearers, to completely secular.

 

Dawn

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If you lived nearby, I'd go for coffee!

 

I know a pretty good number of homeschoolers, there are a lot in our area, but haven't really clicked with any of them. They're nice, don't get me wrong....but they're either too, I don't know, crunchy granola....or the other end, way to fundamental Christan, trying to convert me, a Catholic who they don't consider a "real" Christian (oy!). I'm also from the East Coast, which I'm sure doesn't help much - I've heard a number of times, "you're not from around here, are you?"!!! Um, no. The last "you're not from around here are you" was when a few moms invited us to a drum circle - I had no idea what the heck it was, so asked and they were shocked I had no idea. We don't have drum circles in NY!!! I still don't know what the heck it is!

 

But as a pp said, looking outside the homeschool circle can be a great way to meet people you do have more in common with! DH and I have been here for six years and really only have clicked with maybe four couples.....and they're all from the East Coast and they're great fun to hang out with - somehow we find each other and they all have the same compliant about clicking with others around here - maybe we had kool-aid spiked as kids? Who knows?

 

I've also started to get together with moms and their kids from DS's cub scout den too and a couple of families from one homeschool program we do. DH also has friends he's made from various things he does around town related to business.

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The last "you're not from around here are you" was when a few moms invited us to a drum circle - I had no idea what the heck it was, so asked and they were shocked I had no idea. We don't have drum circles in NY!!! I still don't know what the heck it is!

 

If you find out, let me know. ;)

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I don't fit in, either. Try being a divorced Christian who works outside the home. I either get looks of sympathy or looks of disdain from the Perky Perfect Parents.

 

Wow. Divorced and you have a job. You're practically SATAN. ;) :D

 

There was a divorced woman at one of the homeschool meetings I went to, back when ds was 4 or 5, and it felt like the other women were circling the wagons, because obviously she was going to try to lure them over to the Dark Side, and would probably try to steal their husbands, as well. I still remember that she and her dd (who was much older than my ds) left early, and the women were gossiping about her in what I'll just say was a very un-Christianlike manner. :glare:

 

I didn't go back to that group again. The divorced woman probably didn't, either. It was a small group that prided themselves on being devout Christians, so maybe they didn't approve of divorce, but I didn't think it was very Christian to judge the poor woman before they even got to know her.

 

I have to admit that I sort of wondered if they said anything about me after I left. :tongue_smilie:

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I remember feeling that way, too. We're in a very small community, and although our homeschool group had about 15 families in it, I often felt very different. They were all -- every one of them -- the nicest people ever. And, we are very committed, faithful Christians just as they are. However, we were the only ones who believed in the Old Earth theory, used secular science books, read Harry Potter, enjoyed espressos, and all in all lived a more adventurous life! So, I didn't really felt like I could completely open up with anyone at first. Eventually we did meet one family whose children matched up really well with all of ours, and we ended up doing everything together -- from cross country skiing to home-made circuses (unicycling, juggling, tightropes, etc.). We had a lot of fun and could laugh about how different we were. :)

 

Hang in there, there is probably one family out there like yours!

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What about looking outside of the homeschooling community?
What are your DS's interests? Can you involve him in some classes/groups where he might have better luck meeting and making friends?

 

I think I may have him talked into trying some kind of martial arts lessons, but other than that, I haven't found too many other activities he's interested in. He's not into sports, either.

 

Are there Meetup groups in your area ( http://www.meetup.com )?

 

 

I don't know -- I'll definitely check it out, though. I have heard of it, but have never looked into it. Thanks!

 

Thanks for all of your suggestions -- I really appreciate them! :001_smile:

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They were all -- every one of them -- the nicest people ever.

 

That's the way it is with many of the homeschoolers I've met in my area. I have nothing negative to say about them, except that I wish a few of them liked to do some of the things I like to do.

 

Hang in there, there is probably one family out there like yours!

 

Thanks! :001_smile: We are reaching the point where we're ready to move somewhere that has a larger population of homeschoolers. We've been talking about making a big change for years, but we've never actually done it. We're in a position where we could move anywhere, and although that sounds like incredible freedom, it opens up way too many possibilities, so it becomes overwhelming. It also doesn't help that I tend to research everything to death, yet never make a decision.

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Oh boy, am I different from the homeschoolers here. We have a slew of Gothardites....of which I an waaaay not....and on the other side we have dance naked through the woods unschoolers, of which I couldn't possibly fit in with. Add to that, I am a work-at home mom, and that puts me in another complete category. I get really lonely sometimes...then I come here, where there is diversity, intelligent conversation and for the most part graciousness on the part of the posters, even those who disagree and willing to be kind and open to hearing another view which differs from their own.

 

After almost 17 years of homeschooling, I have come to the conclusion that I am just not going to fit into the molds around here, and I am ok with that. Funny thing is, most of my friends are public school teachers, who are very supportive of our decision to homeschool and very impressed with the result in our older children.

 

Faithe

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I do, probably because the other homeschoolers seem to all know each other and they're very cliquey. Once I thought I'd made a friend, but she ditched me and I've never quite understood why.

 

:grouphug: well, I think you are really sweet and intelligent from your posts. I would love to be your friend.

Faithe

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They're nice, don't get me wrong....but they're either too, I don't know, crunchy granola....or the other end, way to fundamental Christan, trying to convert me, a Catholic who they don't consider a "real" Christian (oy!). I'm also from the East Coast, which I'm sure doesn't help much - I've heard a number of times, "you're not from around here, are you?"!!! Um, no. The last "you're not from around here are you" was when a few moms invited us to a drum circle - I had no idea what the heck it was, so asked and they were shocked I had no idea. We don't have drum circles in NY!!! I still don't know what the heck it is!

 

I have to ask - did you move to California? LOL You are describing what it is like around here.

 

Drum circle here is down at the park in a center and the kids all drum. I think it is called the World Beat Center? There is actually more than one location I think, though we have never tried it. My kids don't sit still even for drumming, at least a couple of them.

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I don't fit in, either. Try being a divorced Christian who works outside the home. I either get looks of sympathy or looks of disdain from the Perky Perfect Parents. Once, after a homeschool music class concert, everyone met at a local ice cream place and all the wonderful, perfect Christian mommies started talking about going to see a movie together. Then they all stopped and looked at me, like "oops, we forgot she's here" and shifted in their seats. Rude cows. :glare:

 

 

 

Oh my heavens, where do you live? Sephora is my mothership and love a good cafe misto and some curriculum talk, as long as you don't care that I'm divorced.

 

 

YAY for the mothership!!:party:

 

I can overlook your divorce if you can be okay with me being Muslim and having blue hair. :D

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I have to ask - did you move to California? LOL You are describing what it is like around here.

 

Drum circle here is down at the park in a center and the kids all drum. I think it is called the World Beat Center? There is actually more than one location I think, though we have never tried it. My kids don't sit still even for drumming, at least a couple of them.

 

That's what I was wondering too!

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Yes! That's a big reason we've decided to only homeschool through elementary school. Our middle school is actually good and I feel dds will have more opportunities there. It saddens me but I just don't fit in with any homeschool group we've tried here and since we're newbies to the area/state we just feel left out a lot.

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If you find out, let me know. ;)

 

 

Been to a drum circle. In NORTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA. Great fun actually. Mostly adults here, but some kids running around the periphery. I've been told there is even some sort of camp around here that does clothing-optional drum circles.......

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I've been told there is even some sort of camp around here that does clothing-optional drum circles.......

 

I could probably live without attending one of those. I firmly believe that the vast majority of people look their best when their clothes are on. :001_smile:

 

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. (Do you have pictures??? :drool5:)

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Wow. Divorced and you have a job. You're practically SATAN. ;) :D

 

Tell me about it! Mwahahahahaha!

 

There was a divorced woman at one of the homeschool meetings I went to, back when ds was 4 or 5, and it felt like the other women were circling the wagons, because obviously she was going to try to lure them over to the Dark Side, and would probably try to steal their husbands, as well. I still remember that she and her dd (who was much older than my ds) left early, and the women were gossiping about her in what I'll just say was a very un-Christianlike manner. :glare:

 

I didn't go back to that group again. The divorced woman probably didn't, either. It was a small group that prided themselves on being devout Christians, so maybe they didn't approve of divorce, but I didn't think it was very Christian to judge the poor woman before they even got to know her.

 

I have to admit that I sort of wondered if they said anything about me after I left. :tongue_smilie:

 

Yeah, I don't join the "groups". We go to music class because my dd loves the teacher and likes to sing. We go to co-op because dd needs some experience learning from someone else. But, I usually sit by myself and read, or there are a couple other ladies I'll chat with. Overall, I find myself wanting to thunk people on the head most of the time. In fact, I have a good friend who has an adult daughter who had a baby out of wedlock (whispering and looking about nervously). Well, someone in the co-op told her 12 year old daughter that they can't join the co-op because of that! I told the co-op chair and she about went through the roof and said that was absolutely untrue and they could join. But my friend wouldn't tell me who said it (she knows me well. See comment about Satan) but it really hurt her 12 year old's feelings. I'd love to know who said it to her. It was probably someone on my "to be thunked" list. :glare:

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