I almost bought the hummus. I was on my way to a picnic to say goodbye to an awesome girl who was going to Africa to end poverty. But I did some thinking. She is white and educated, so it’s a guarantee that her friends are also white and educated. That means it’s a 100% certainty that someone else will bring hummus. I settled on the pumpkin butter, something that filled the picnic-goers with surprise and pleasure.
Most of the people in the picnic have traveled and done volunteer work. They were all hyper-educated and were vegan, vegetarian, or flex-vegetarian. The snacks they brought were natural, organic, free-range, low sodium, trans-fat free, and without preservatives. I’m pretty sure each one donated to the Obama campaign and owned several Apple computer products. One guy had a American Apparel drooping v-neck shirt on. They almost creamed themselves when they saw I had a cheap disposable camera I called my “art project.”
Now there’s nothing wrong with them and they were all very interesting people, but they belong to a group that can be easily—and comically—pegged. When you belong to a group, that group owns you. You will dictate your life based on keeping up with them. You will always evaluate your life based on what others in the group are doing. Yet people feel that if they don’t belong to something they are nothing. They can’t make decisions because they want to do what is perceived as acceptable or cool.
I find it more interesting to dip my wick in many groups, committed to no lifestyle but the one I make for myself, a mix and match that fits my hopefully unique personality. There is no style like the one I create on my own… until I step in a foreign hostel and notice all the other guys are long-haired bearded hippies who dabble in art or writing, distrusting authority and committed to living a frugal lifestyle. Pure coincidence.
Turns out two other people brought hummus.