When I was young, being part of a club or team meant acceptance and inclusion, but not so much inclusion that it was a commonplace thing. Being part of a club was a distinction for the few that were part of the club. After all, being accepted, included and distinctive is a freakin awesome thing to be, right? For me, whether it be dance, part of the McLean St gang, Girl Scouts, band (clarinet), volleyball or the first and only urban chapter of the FFA (for the uninitiated that is the Future Farmers of America and yes I did sport the blue corduroy jacket which as you can imagine was probably the most dangerous thing I could do as a fashion statement being an inner city teenager in high school) Now that all of you now know just how much of a geek I was as a kid, let’s move onto College. In college I was part of the tree hugging Natural resources major club and also in the outdoor club and then there was the get your disco queen on every night with VIP passes and dancing the hustle that clears a dancefloor club. As with any club or team there are things to learn and initiations to see if you can hack it and if you really belong. As I got older though, the clubs got less and less fun and became more and more insidious. There is information that is either not common knowledge or things that people talk about in hushed tones that is good information to know before making a decision on if you want to be part of the club or not, that in some cases I believe people hold back the information because they don’t want to let anyone know they are part of certain clubs because it’s just plain embarrassing but are very relieved when they get to say ‘Well, join the club!” Which means that they are not so alone. I distinctly remember the first time I had inclusion in one of those not so much fun clubs. I was 5 or 6 months pregnant when during a phone conversation with my cousin, who dropped a bomb on me when she talked about her Episiotomy when she recently had a baby. I said, ‘What’s an Episiotomy?’ It was a surreal moment, I remember going into a cold sweat when she responded and asking the Dr. is going to do what? Cut me where!?! When??? I won’t give you the gory details however I am sure had I known about the Episiotomy prior to getting pregnant that I would have worked even harder at not getting pregnant. Of course, I am sure all women that have had children are shaking thier heads in agreement and thinking, ‘Yup welcome to the club!’ Then more recently there was the not so much fun club of being the first owner of a brand new RV. I had done alot of investigation for the RV and what my needs were and features. Although I had run across BLOGs that recommended that you never buy a brand new RV and should get a used rig. I thought it was all about depreciation but I was to find out that the RV industry as a whole has a very big problem with thier quality control and the units are crap. So the first owner goes thru the Aggrevation of fixing everything and battening down the hatches so to speak. So when they decide the RV sucks or they want a different unit because thier wants and needs change the second owner is the benefactor of all of the burn in. Also as an industry problem the service dept are not very customer friendly. It’s a loose loose for the owners. So when the cabinet with the microwave and range hood fell of the wall while I’m driving, it usually illicits responses from other RV owners like ‘Yeah welcome to the club, let me tell you what happened to me.’ Most recently I have found yet another not so much fun club with my jeep. I love my jeep wrangler. I always envisioned myself as a jeep kind of gal and it suits me. I particularly like to social aspect of the jeep wave. You wave at other people driving in jeeps coming in the opposite direction. There is also a wave protocol to jeep waving, if you are driving topless also known as having the roof down, then you wave from the top, if you are driving without doors, you put your arm out the side to wave. If you have your doors and roof on then it’s a wave from the steering wheel. I liked that part of jeep ownership but there are other welcome to the not so fun club that jeeps have to offer. Jeeps go through a lot of oil, you really need to keep an eye on it. Secondly I’m driving down the road and I hit a small bump in the road and you feel a tremor in the steering wheel and all of a sudden the steering wheel is shimmying and the wheels feel like they are going to fall off the jeep and the whole vehicle is violently rocking back and forth. You think OMG, I’m going to die. Welcome to the jeep death wobble club! Yes it’s a thing. For your entertainment, go ahead look it up on you tube you’ll find it. Anyway welcome to the club! Fun is, well maybe not so much. Now leave a comment on a not so fun club experience of your own. I’d love to hear the stories.
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What happens when an upbeat, sociable, single, empty nester in midlife, outdoor enthusiast, critter gal, science geek, history buff, treasure hunter with an addiction to brown signs and the wanderlust, embarks on a 4 month road trip in her Chevy pickup truck, loaded with a tent, kayak, bicycle, 5 changes of clothes, her laptop, and cell phone, by herself, that essentially turned into a fulltime lifestyle?