Everybody wants to belong.
It doesn’t matter what the club is about – people just want to be included so they can feel that they are a part of something. Some clubs exist because they include you for something you may not have wanted to happen - except that life delt you a curve ball.
I could say that along with my grandson, Adam, we are both in the broken femur club since we have both been unfortunate enough to have snapped that particular bone. Adam, now five years old, is an over achiever in the broken bone club having broken his femur bone twice, the first time when he was a two-year-old and again eleven months later as a three-year-old. Adam and his siblings have been living with us for the past few months as they wait for their home in Lewiston to close.
Adams favorite thing to do is jump off the bunk bed. From our family room directly below his bedroom it sounds as though a herd of buffalo has landed. This racket makes me cringe every time I hear it, knowing that twice before he has broken the leg he lands on. His orthopedic doctor has cleared him for whatever physical activity he wants to engage in, but we always worry about him breaking it for a third time. Two summers in a body cast are plenty for a lifetime.
Another grandson, Ethan, is also living with us. Just the other day I heard him singing a tune I had never heard before. It was a song I won’t pretend to be able to recite but it was about the Covid-19 virus which he and his grandmother have contracted. For Ethan, now eleven-years-old, having contracted and lived through the Covid curse gives him membership in a club no adult would aspire to. Ethan can’t wait to get back to school so he can inform all his friends of his encounter with Covid-19.
When we were living in Northern California some years ago our realtor was telling us about the various high school boundaries that would impact where our children would go to school. One of the high schools went so far as to have an organized and school sanctioned BMW club, made up of kids whose parents saw the need to buy their children a BMW automobile that they could drive to school. We scratched that school off our list right away. Puberty is difficult enough on its own so the last thing a teenager needs is to feel that they need to have a BMW automobile in order to fit in.
I attended Logan High School where I was a member of the Solitary Men’s Club. I can’t remember if this was an official school organization – I doubt that it was – but to be a member there were a few specific rules you had to follow. The most important rule was that you could not be going steady with a girl and remain a member in good standing. This meant expanding your dating pool and lowered the chance of getting too serious with any one girl. In a recent conversation with a classmate I discovered that the two-date rule was one of the most widely ignored by every guy in the Solitary Men’s Club. Still, it was nice to belong.
One final club that a few of us belonged to was the muscle car club, which to be a member required you to have a 1960s or 70s muscle car. We had pretty lax rules and each of the guys involved had different passions about their specific hot rod. I was partial to Dodge because I drove a 1970 Dodge Challenger. Other guys loved Oldsmobiles and several had Chevy Camaros and we even had a friend driving a Nova. We even allowed a kid driving a Ford Pinto to join us but that was only because he was our friend. My best friend, John, drove a Ford Maverick that he inherited from his grandfather. It was anything but cool, but I wasn’t about to leave him out, either.
We all took turns dragging Logan’s Main Street in our “cool cars” and when it was John’s turn to drive he borrowed his dad’s ten-wheeled flat bed semi. Rather than burn fuel dragging Main Street we would park it along the main drag and we would all line up along the bed, giving us a perfect view of everybody else that was out on the town that evening. It was a great way to meet girls but the cops would shut us down every time saying it was too much of a distraction. They were right.
Life’s journey is always made less burdensome when you are part of the club, whichever one that might be.