Since Christmas, I have been a member of a privileged group. In fact, I am a club member. But don’t let that fool you. It was through the generosity of my daughter and son-in-law that I am a member. It didn’t require anything special on my part to gain membership. In terms of “Who’s Who” in the world of movers and shakers, you won’t find me on any list. In fact, when it comes to moving and shaking, I generally get off to a very slow start. That is particularly true if I’ve been riding in a car for two or three hours.
Oftentimes, I have to stretch and it may take me a second of two to begin moving after I climb out of my car. However, once I get going, most people can’t keep up with my pace. Very often if we are walking together, the say I need to slow down. I figure at my age, if I slow down I might not get started up again, so once I’m moving I generally put one foot in front of the other as quickly as I can. “Catch me if you can?” is the inaudible marching orders sounding inside my head. It is really hard to break that regimen.
Speaking of clubs, you could truthfully point out that I do not belong to a prestigious country club, even though I live in the country. I sometimes even boast that I live in a gated community, but we’re the only home you’ll find after you press the button and drive through the open gate. There is nothing particularly prestigious about that.
I am also not a member of a yacht club, golf club, tennis club, trap and skeet group or croquet club. When I was in Florida three weeks ago, I saw a large group of people gathering outside a building. I figured they were club members of some sort. They were all dressed in white clothing and it looked like they were all carrying croquet mallets. The lush green lawn was on the other side of the waterway from where I was standing and it looked carefully manicured. It was mid-afternoon. I watched in silence for a few minutes and then thought to myself: “Oh Dear God, Please don’t ever let me succumb to thinking that could be fun.”
I don’t remember how old my grandpa was when he retired, but following retirement he created a croquet court on the lot adjacent to his home. It, too, was fenced, but it wasn’t inside the yard fence that surrounded his home. I can’t remember what time of day the group gathered, but the other men grandpa’s age that were also retired came by daily to play croquet.
I don’t remember that as kids we had many opportunities to play while we were visiting grandpa, but I do recall that at some point in my childhood, my parents bought a croquet set. My mother was kind of a social butterfly and she orchestrated croquet for both adults and kids in our neighborhood.
Mr. Voss, a retired man who was a widower, lived directly across the street from our house. His small house set back from the street, so he had a very large front lawn. He willingly offered his lawn for croquet. It was an ideal setting.
I had forgotten all of that until I saw the group of people my age all dressed in white clothes and carrying croquet mallets. The sight of them playing croquet was the catalyst for taking me back in time.
I don’t see myself joining another club. Like I said, I am currently a club member. My daughter and son-in-law made that possible. As a gift, they signed me up and my membership is sound. I figure belonging to one club is good enough.
Last night the General attempted to lure me into joining another club. I should have seen it coming. There were warning signs along the way, but I was totally oblivious. I say this tongue-in-cheek, but it’s true. The General tried to butter me up at dinner. Actually, that isn’t true. It was the reverse of that. There was no butter involved and she wanted me to give it up forever. The conversation started with the General saying of herself: “I need to lose some weight”. There was a pause when she looked at me and said: “Do you mind if I start cooking differently?” The question was strategic in her line of thinking. She was laying the ground work. The dye was cast. I just didn’t have the wisdom to see it coming.
For one thing, the General doesn’t need to lose any weight. She works out with a personal trainer three times a week and goes to Yoga on Saturdays. No wonder she often says she doesn’t know how she ever found time to work. She couldn’t have worked and carried the pace she now carries. She doesn’t need to lose weight. She looks great. I’m the one that looks like the Goodyear Blimp.
Later she walked into my office and said: “What would you think if…” She was calm and coy. She smiled and alluringly said it was something we could do together. She then blurted out something about the start of a six-week fast track exercise program. Would I like to join? It would be a lot of fun. It is something we could do together. We’d both be better. She was beginning to sound like Bob Barker on the Price Is Right: “Come on down!”
Speaking of “the price is right”, I choked when I heard the cost. The General was talking about 90 mph when she articulated the price so I wouldn’t immediately focus on the need for us to get a second mortgage on the house to afford the membership. She said it like it was nothing.
I wanted to ask the question: “Do you think we’re in high cotton?” In case you’re not familiar, the term “high cotton” or “tall cotton” originates from the rural farming community in the antebellum (pre-Civil War) South when “high cotton” meant that the crops were good and the prices, were, too. The term has generalized to mean one is doing well or is successful.
That question reminded me of the club. I am an official member of the sock of the month club. The nice thing about the experience is that the socks only have to tangentially match whatever color of slacks I’m wearing. How’s that for coloring outside the lines? I guess you could say I’m in high cotton. Maybe I need to rethink the six weeks boot camp experience. My socks would look better if I looked better.
All My Best!
Apple Computer, Inc.
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