Growing up there were certain statuses that must be met before a friendship could be established. Not only did we need to live in similar houses in neighboring neighborhoods, attend the same schools, attend similar churches, parents with similar paying jobs and prestige, and we must belong to a club.
There are lots of clubs. There are the country club with all the golfing, tennis, swimming, foxhunts, weekend dances, and the bar is open. There are private clubs where members are chosen to enjoy the luxury of soft leather chairs, dining rooms, rooms available for gatherings and the bar is open. There are community clubs providing assistance to the community with donations from the elite, patches and parades, presentations and recruitments to increase the fold and the bar is open.
The members of the club have to have similar haircuts, drive the same cars, dress in the latest styles, and only date the cutest girls. There are a lot of restrictions to who can belong in the club. To be a member of the club you must pay the dues.
It is easy to conform to the club mentality. As long as you follow the crowd and do as everyone else does, you can maintain your membership.
The problem is if the rules of the club do not coincide with your beliefs, there is conflict. Maybe your automobile is not as attractive to the young ladies as another’s. Perhaps your hair is combed to the left when everyone else’s is combed to the right. The drinking game required does not feel comfortable or how the lady is treated afterward.
Somehow later, I found some people who were out of the club, who didn’t follow the restrictions. They presented themselves with honesty and a comfortable attitude I had never experienced.
Sometimes it is better to not be a member of the club.