Saturday, May 26, 2012

The 'In' Crowd

Those of you who know me and those not new to reading "Just Blowing Smoke" have heard me talk about the fact that for many years, I basically lived out of a suitcase.  This is not because I was homeless (though it sometimes seemed that way), but because my job simply required it of me.  I've traveled to almost all of those in the Continental United States (though somehow my travels fall well short of the 57 States that the President visited during his first campaign).  I have also been to most of the Provinces in Canada (Beauty eh...), Mexico, a couple of interesting spots in South America, a few of the Scandinavian countries, and of course the ancestral home of the Higgins (O'hUig'in) clan in Ireland.

While having been in a number of places over the years however, I've never exactly been in what you would call the 'In Crowd'.  I fear that my own shyness and social awkwardness, coupled with an discomfort with crowds that's been increasing over the years, would appear to leave me little or no opportunity to gain entrance to such a social stratification.  There are other places that I've never been in (and some that I have), that I thought might be worth sharing however. 

I've never been in Cahoots for example. Apparently, it's someplace you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone else and traveling companions are in short supply these days.  I've likewise seen in Justice, but can't say that I've actually been there.  From what I'm given to understand, it's everything that it's cracked up to be (unfortunately), which hardly make it worth any effort to get there.

I've also never really been in Cognito, though I've tried often enough. I hear no one recognizes you there, which at times sounds like an immense blessing; though I suppose it could get annoying when none of the bartenders know what to serve you for a refill.   

Early in my life, I was often in Experienced, though after a while its simple charms paled for me. Sometimes now I'm in Effective, and I seem to journey there more often since I changed careers (and have gotten older, of course)I have even been told that I have occasionally managed to be in Ept if not crossing over the border to find myself in Competent; but normally look around and find myself merely in Capable, (though only temporarily) and therefore choose not to believe in crossing borders that I never noticed.  I have even been told a few rare occasions that I was in Valuable; but know this not to be the case, as everyone knows that when you're in Valuable, that you get a job that's personally fulfilling and pays you a lot of money besides. 

I have also been given to understand that I have from time to time been in Sane, something that I find far more easily believable. While never having admitted to it, I can tell you that I know that it doesn't have an airport; and that you have to be driven there. It's easy enough to believe that I've made any number of trips there however, thanks to family, friends, former bosses, and a never-ending stream of politicians who seem to take a particular delight in transporting me and other ordinary people there. 

I have also been in Doubt on a number of occasions. It's a sad place to go and often difficult to leave once you discover you're there, so I try not to visit there any more than I have to.  I'm careful about being sad, having heard that it can leave you In Consolable; a destination that does not appear on my travel agenda, now or in the future.

I grudgingly admit, to having been in Flexible from time to time; but only when it seemed very important to me to stand firmly in place (often for reasons I barely understood)I would like some day to go to Conclusions, and while everyone tells me that it's a pretty easy place to get to (you just jump), my early training in logic and reason seem to keep me from the journey.  Besides, my interest in any form of such strenuous physical activity these days is not what it once was.

One of the exciting places that I usually find myself is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get, as coffee simply isn't getting the job done any more.  Fortunately for me, the same bosses, jobs, and politicians seem to have no trouble getting me there as often as I would like. (OK, more than I really care for.) 

I have been told that as I continue to age, it's likely that I will someday be in Continent.  I've been unable to find it on a map, and can only assume that it's someplace like Florida that involves blue hair, white shoes, and retirement. While I understand that it's just an age thing, if it's OK with everyone, I will hold off (pun intended) on this journey for as long as I can.

In spite of all the places that I've been however, I still find myself feeling like I'm in Complete (perhaps much like this list); though I suppose that this only proves that with life, it's the journey and not the destination that counts. I often wonder with all the places I've been and all I still want to get to, if I shouldn't be renewing my Passport to have enough room for all the border-crossing stamps.  It wouldn't do to run out of spaces or let the damn thing unknowingly expire, which would leave me in Eligible instead of where I'm trying to get to.

It's been a while since I really traveled, and perhaps a little time on the road would broaden my horizons and help me to feel that I'm not spending far too these days on the border of in Adequate.  On the other hand, there's little doubt that no matter where I journey to or eventually find myself, it won't really matter.  Try as I might, I fear I will in the end remain outside of the 'In' Crowd .

In the spirit of full disclosure (or blame), I must give full credit for the subject of this post to an email sent to me by my sister, Kathy Richardson.  While I did not plagiarize it directly, I did manage to creatively pilfer a couple of the terms, as well as the general concept.   Quite frankly, the material so struck me that I couldn't help but use it as the basis for expansion and further twisting.  

Besides, my Irish Twin is about to experience that dreaded time of the year more commonly known as a Birthday, which will place her for a month and a half at the same level of decrepitude as this humble scribbler.  Oh sure, getting the Senior discount at the local grocery store takes away some part of the sting, but after calling me 'old' for the last 10-1/2 months, she now finds herself stuck with the very number she so insulted me with.  Perhaps pointing this out to the few twisted souls who read this efforts will in some way recompense her for the abuse I have suffered, and for bringing this material to me.

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