There’s an episode of The Brady Bunch when Marcia becomes a high school freshman and joins every afterschool club in hopes of becoming popular. There’s the scuba club, the drama club, the ceramics club, the booster club…the list seemed endless. (This is also the episode when Peter builds a volcano on the patio and claims, “There’ll be little puffs of smoke and lava will come oozing out all over the volcano.”)
After my marriage dissolved, I felt much like Marcia did, lost, alone, a new face in a strange new land, in search of friends and popularity. So, relying on the life lessons I learned from 70’s Sherwood Schwartz sit-coms, I tried the Marcia Brady approach to gaining popularity. I joined EVERYTHING.
After one month, I learned that I hated:
Country Line Dancing
Yoga, and most especially Hot Yoga (I can sweat and fart without prompting, all on my own, thanks. And for free.)
Wine, as in Wine and Cheese
Book Clubs and reading books
Live Music of any genre
Canoeing—which is totally different from kayaking, but equally as unpleasant. When canoeing, you worry about tipping over; when kayaking, you worry about flipping over. I’ve done both and hate both.
Walking on the Beach
Bird Watching, Whale Watching, Dolphin Watching
Watching Animals in General
Astronomy—actually this activity triggered a reaction much stronger than hate—panic. After an evening of star gazing with the local Astronomy Club, I had the biggest panic attack of my life. I lay in bed, contemplating the universe and the afterlife and how very small I am and how is there infinite anything and is there God and will He remember the good me, when I was young and when I wanted to be a nun, not the bitter, bitchy red-headed me of the now? And if there really was a God, why aren’t all animals vegetarian? (I speak in earnest for every unlucky wildebeest caught while following its herd across a river and directly into the mouth of an enormous, mostly submerged crocodile. I also speak for every bunny rabbit—the designated furry pelted chew toy for all mammals, birds, and reptiles in the Northern Hemisphere.)
And, why do we fall in love only to have those people taken away from us? And why do we have to die and who was the genius who thought that up and why couldn’t it all be Benjamin Buttony, so that we get younger as we age and get better looking and have more fun??? It was a long night.
Frustrated and weary, I gave up all efforts to meet people and resigned myself to the reality that I was going to be alone for the rest of my life. I went out and got a dog, two boxes of Entenmann’s chocolate covered donuts, a book of brain teasers and bravely accepted my fate (wearing a milk moustache.)