Shortly before the pandemic began 2 years ago this month, I was at a social function with Z-D. It was for his work.
I was seated next to a 70-something woman, a delightfully chatty child-free extrovert, who was [and I hope still is] the wife of a man who used to work with Z-D.
Thanks to many social business events we’d endured together I knew this pleasant woman as a casual acquaintance so this was good. From previous conversations with her I knew she was a Joiner with a capital ‘J’.
To wit, over the years she’d told me that she was in a garden club, a book club or two, a dog breed club, a bicycling group, a music guild, a Bible study group, a travel club, and she was a member of a country club.
She went on a *sisters only* cruise every year and hosted parties for her nieces who were involved in multi-level marketing schemes. She always had a family Thanksgiving dinner at her house. Plus at one point she had worked full-time and socialized with her workmates, seemingly every weekend.
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We had a lovely time chatting, which is to say I mostly listened and she mostly talked.
As we were getting ready to leave, perhaps sensing this would be the last time we’d see each other [and it was], she leaned over to me and said in a confidential tone: “I’m independent. I need for you to know that.”
NEED for me TO KNOW?
I had zero idea what she was getting at and because of the circumstances I didn’t get the opportunity to ask her any, shall we say, clarifying follow-up questions.
Over these last two years I’ve thought about that comment often and have talked with friends in real life about what it could mean. Without context it can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Here is what we’ve come up with:
- I’m independent because I have money of my own.
- I’m independent because I am free to choose which groups I join.
- I’m independent because I don’t have children.
- I’m independent because I’m retired and so is my husband.
- I’m independent because I grew up as a second-wave feminist.
- I’m independent because I haven’t declared myself to be aligned with a particular political party.
- I’m independent because the church I go to is outside the mainstream, not part of an established protestant denomination.
So what say you, my gentle readers?
Do you consider yourself to be independent? And if you do, what does that mean to you? Also, do you need people to know you’re independent?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. This can be an interesting conversation.
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