I have been thinking for about a week what on earth a clique is. It is one of those words you hear used enough that I am not sure if anyone ever stops to really think about what the definition is. When the time comes that you hear through the "grapevine" that someone is accusing you of having a clique it is probably a good idea to educate yourself on what it is so that if you are running one you are at least doing it right. I would feel so bad if I had a clique and I was doing it wrong. I would definitely want my clique to be the best clique in at least New England if not in the USA, oh heck why not try to have the best clique in the world?
So lets figure this out shall we? A clique is a group...wait not just, "a group" an, "exclusive" group and the people in this group share things like:
patterns of behavior
Cliques tend to form within a larger group where the opportunities to interact are great. Cliques are often associated with children and teenagers. But apparently adults can have them too. One of the definitions I found said that, "A clique is more than three people who hang out together and are always seen having fun. They normally go to events that the "alpha leader" ( in this case the alpha leader's name is Jennifer :) holds. They go to the same school, they go shopping and they are always together." Whew..."always" is a lot. So if you are a grown up and you actually have a clique how would another grown up know that you are "always" together with your other 2 clique members? Whew...that would require a lot of time and research....maybe even some stalking :)
So for my research on cliques I googled, "What is a clique?" Then I clicked on and read the first ten results that my best friend google gave me. By the way google has been invited to be in my clique. I know it, sadly, can not go shopping with me but it is very fun to hang out with and often has my same views :) so I invited it to be a part of my clique.
My first step in figuring out if I indeed have a clique was that I started thinking about what my philosophies are on "inviting." I confess I do think about my inviting very carefully. It is never random. And I have different kinds of inviting. Did you have any idea it could be so complicated to have a clique?
The first kind of inviting I do is dinner. We have dinner guests twice a month. Some months it is more, some months it is less. It depends on a lot of things. Usually, if we have new people in our ward at church my first priority is inviting them and then I add on 2 other families to that particular dinner party. Are we a clique? Well it usually is three or more people and we usually have fun. So I guess it could be. Sometimes though I just want to, "let my hair down" and invite people that know me well so that I do not have to worry about the menu or cleaning the house as much as I do when I have new people over. That is where the word exclusive may come in. But do I always have to have someone new for fear of possibly being accused of having a clique?
The second type of inviting I do involves the two events that I have yearly. One is our Easter Egg Hunt. Much to my husbands chagrin this event is huge and I invite at least 12 families. Some years more some years less. I hate to leave anyone out of this one but because of space and money I explain to the people I invite that they might notice that one year they will get invited and one year they won't and I apologize up front for that. I even make sure I invite Republicans, Independents, and Democrats just to make sure these do not end up to "clique-y." :) The other yearly event is my ornament exchange that I have at Christmas time. I invite everyone to that. I am eternally sad if I hear that I unintentionally missed inviting someone to the ornament exchange no mater what your views are I do want you to come :) I find it difficult to find how these two events could fall in the "Jenn Baird has a clique" category. I will work on that though. Maybe I could find some time to figure out how much money everyone makes and alter my invite lists a little so that I could be a consistent clique owner :)
Other chances that I would have to invite would be if our family is going somewhere like New York City, Boston, the beach, or hiking and want to invite friends. I rarely can stand to have fun alone. For this situation you would most likely have to have kids my kids ages and your family would have to fit in my 15 passenger van with us and you would have to like us. If I know you don't like me and if I know you would have to dream up an excuse not to come with us I won't dream of making you suffer and I won't invite you. So if two families with some of the same views, purposes and patterns of behavior are traveling in a 15 passenger van together it most probably is a clique.
Other inviting would be to a movie, or shopping, or whatever. These are awfully random. I sometimes invite lots of people to these events and sometimes I don't. And...gasp...sometimes other people actually invite me.
So if you are pretty sure I have a clique. So sure that you like to talk about it around town. Then I would love to help you out. Let's get some poster board and you can make a graph. Across the top could be names of potential members of my clique and you could put marks next to their names when I go places with them. Let's say that 10 marks would mean they are definitely part of the clique. Of course that would require you to know whether I invited them or they invited me but that is a small unimportant detail. And it would also require you to be stalking my house so you would know for sure how often I go places. Remember part of the clique definition was the word "always." Whew, "always" is a lot. I guess if you are currently in my clique we better step up how frequently we hang out. I would hate to not be doing this clique thing right.
Yes, I am using humor to deal with my grumpiness and pain over being accused but if you are an alpha leader of a reputable clique that is okay...according to google....who is hopefully a member of my clique :)