Some clubs are more pleasant clubs. Like the ipod touch/iphone club. Some lady in the mall saw me playing with my touch while I waited for my father to deal with his cellphone issues, and felt compelled to strike up a conversation. "I have an iphone too!" I corrected her, told her that it's an ipod touch, but I actually like having it separate from my phone. "That way, if someone is talking to me, and I find them boring, I can play cube-runner, or Maze Finger. You can't do that if the ipod and phone are both in one device." So the two of us, total strangers, united only in our possession of touch-screen mobile devices from Apple, were suddenly deep into a conversation. We touched on the pros and cons of the iPhone versus the iPod, we discussed some of our favorite apps, and she even suggested a future career for me! (Unfortunately, no shidduch though.)
That's when I realized...purchasing one of these devices pays your entry into the club. (Albeit a steep entry fee.) It doesn't matter if you are black or white, male or female, tall or short, skinny or fat, blond or brown. All that matters is the common thread between all of you: an iObsession.
There are other clubs that people don't join willingly, and there are clubs that people don't get to resign from. Take the diabetes club. As I told a friend of mine who has diabetes, "it's not a club you sign up for. It's a club that you get drafted into." And, as far as medical science has gotten with it, there is currently no way to resign from the type-1-diabetes club.
Perhaps it is precisely because of the lengthy stay that is required in the club, or perhaps it is because of the way you get drafted, that it has such a strong club feeling. Like the other day, I was in Walmart, and the cashier had an insulin pen clipped onto the lanyard around her neck. (!) Instantly, I felt a bond with this woman. Yes, she was of a different race, and no, I couldn't pronounce her name, and I had never spoken to her before, but I felt, in a strange way like I was her sister. As she picked up the next item to scan it, and I saw her medic alert bracelet dangling from her wrist, I felt that rush again. I sat there contemplating the appropriateness of striking up a conversation about the type of insulin she uses, but just as I was gathering the courage to start, she finished ringing up my purchases, and I was ready to pay. Even as I left the store, I felt a special bond to this unknown cashier with the insulin pen.
That wasn't a solitary incident. I've seen people with insulin pumps clipped onto their belt clip, or others with a little black case that only a diabetic would recognize as one containing a glucose meter. Each time, I want to say hi, to tell them that I am also in the club. It's as if I want to stage an unofficial club meeting. I usually (ok, never) actually gather the guts to pull out my membership card, but the bond is always there.
So tonight, as I turned on the radio in the car, in an attempt to ease the three-weeks induced boredom, I heard them discussing the nominee for the supreme court: Sonya Sotomayor. In all honesty, I don't know the first thing about the woman. In general, politics don't excite me very much. But as I sat there half-listening to the commentary on her, her life, and her political career, I couldn't help but root for her. She is a fellow member of the type-1-diabetes club. No, it's not a matter of hoping she will judge in favor of diabetes treatment or research, it's simply a matter of that ever-present bond I feel with fellow clansmen.
Sonya Sotomayor did not sign up for the diabetes club, neither did I. Neither did that cashier in Walmart, neither did Nick Jonas, Jay Cutler, or any of my simple, ordinary, real-life friends who have type 1 diabetes. And by the looks of it, none of us will be giving up our slots anytime soon. And so, for now, I will just be content to know that I share a bond with all of these people.