Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts’ Club Band

Membership can be hell sometimes. There is a responsibility, a commitment to it that people seldom understand. Have you ever been denied access to someplace you are allegedly member in? Maybe you didn’t pay the bill on time, or you do not go often so you earn a penalty, or there is some trouble with a machine or whatever reason there might be. It feels strange. It is only a club, an association, a faceless hybrid thing, so why are you kind of sad? You feel you are being rejected, even if that may not necessarily be the case. It is just some paperwork, after all. The thing is, your card says you are a member, but the machine or the crabby-looking guy at the entrance says you cannot be there. Membership can get fuzzy and confusing at times.

The thing is, sometimes, you stop wanting to be a member. They tell you you have not paid the bill, or there’s some trouble with your personal information, or you have lost it due to lack of attendance, or whatever. They tell you this and you immediately want to fix it. You can’t, so you go home. Tell your wife and kids, or your friend, or your cat, about your problem. They tell you to fix it. There is no time anymore so you go to sleep, still worried about this: this is a club you’ve been in since you were a little kid and your nanny used to take you and your mom used to talk about how lucky you were to be a member. You lay your head in your pillow and start to think. Maybe you should just cancel that membership after all. You start listing all the things you don’t like about being there: the food is always bad, or the service sucks, or the grass is just not the height you like it. You have your pro and con list, you stare at it for a long time, and the cons outweigh the pros by a longshot. You don’t reckon that paying a membership, socializing with the owners, smiling pretty at the big faces is worth it anymore. It is not that they are not letting you in anymore, it is more like you’re letting yourself out.

But how do you do that? You have never done that before. How do you tell your mom that this is not what you want anymore? How do you rephrase it so that the owners, members and big faces do not think you’re an ass to not want to be in their wonderful, edgy, shiny and on top of it all, flowery, club? How do you act amongst your friends, and who are they, anyway? There are somethings you liked about that place, some acquaintances you’d like to keep, some friends you’d like to stay friends with. How do you do that, if you are not going to play squash on Sundays? That is the big question here, HOW?

 

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