I’m going to a party tonight. The only reason I got invited is because of Miss Mary. I don’t get asked out much at all these days. More often than not, I’m just “Mary’s husband,” or possibly “Mr. B.” I’m okay with that.
With old acquaintances disappeared, I realize it’s probably as good a time as any to add some new names to my black book of contacts. Yeah, let’s make that a goal for the fall and winter—meeting some new people.
Meeting new people inevitably means getting the “what do you do?” treatment. It’s that age-old question all Americans have been socialized to ask. Work and job type still serve as a kind of societal litmus test. Or maybe, it’s just that way with people over a certain age. Do millennials care about anything other than their smartphones and Tinder-type apps? Oh, right—Tinder is so yesterday with these whiz kids and hooking up.
Given my residency in free agent nation, I’m no longer able to blurt out the standard one, or two-word response when queried, like “doctor, lawyer, salesman, or roofer.” Actually, I don’t think there’ll be many roofers at this party, but I could be wrong.
Writer might work as a response—it’s what I do part of the time these days. It’s also the descriptor most amenable to me. But, it’s only one of many things I’m about in my current career configuration.
Freelancer works for a general category. However, I think it’s too ambiguous for anyone still employed in a traditional, 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, with six weeks of vacation time, type of job.
One thing is certain, my hats are many and varied. I could say what I do requires a diverse and variable skillset. Since diversity is a word that gets bandied about in multiple contexts—plus, it’s so chic in a PC kind of way—I think I’ll work that angle a bit and see how it goes.
Of course, getting past employment is merely hurdle #1. What happens when politics, or other subjects are broached?