By the time I turned 40, I had amassed a lot more good books, a few more wrinkles, and more true friends. That is the nice thing about finding yourself…once you find yourself, you can find your people. Everyone needs people. Even a sporadically extroverted introvert like me.
My people tend to be a bookish sort. Full of snark and geeky cultural references tucked alongside the botanical names for certain herbs and an unapologetic appreciation for the bagpipes, my people are a motley bunch. Yet, I still delight in adding to my tribe. In fact, I seek them out.
As I gathered water bottles and hollered for my son to hurry up and grab helmet and pads for practice, I dashed back in the house to grab a book. Well, two books actually.
“Haven’t your already read Outlander like a million times?” he asked as I climbed into the car.
“Mmphm,” I snorted. “You know I have.”
“So….why are you reading it again?”
I sighed impatiently. “Some books are worth reading again. But I’m actually not re-reading it. I’m reading that other one.” I nodded my head towards the other book. My battered copy of Voyager peeked out from under the cluttered in the back seat.
“Why did you run it to get it if you aren’t going to read it?”
I shrugged. “Well, in case I run into someone that likes Outlander. Or might like Outlander.”
That’s right. Let that Fandom Flag fly high.
This is the same reason that I want to get a new phone. Well, besides the fact that my iPhone is so old that it only has 3G, there is no space left on it, and it is so slow that if I had to use it to call 911, whatever crises warranted the call would likely be over. But I digress…I want a new phone so that I have the space to get a new ringtone. The ringtone. The Skye Boat Song.
Right now, all incoming phone calls* are announced with the blaring of the Doctor Who theme song. (Which I downloaded after I realized that the magical twinkling bells of Hedwig’s Theme was not audible from the nethermost of my purse.) I briefly considered the Sherlock theme, but my inner Scotswoman wants bagpipes. So that’s that.
At first, I didn’t realize quite what I was doing. I thought I was simply surrounding myself with the things I love. Which was true, of course, but it is more than that. Like a male peacock showing off his plumage, it was all about attraction. I was trying to attract others. People like me. My people.
There is a Scottish festival coming up in a few weeks. There will be tartans, and meat pies, and bagpipes. Books of history, and uprisings, and recipes, and languages. I want to get a new license plate that proclaims my heritage. Perhaps a bumper sticker, too.
If you see me driving down the street, feel free to honk. If you see me at football practice reading, pull up a chair. We can talk Outlander, or Sherlock, or Game of Thrones, or Walking Dead, or….whatever.
Come on. Don’t be shy. There’s plenty of room in the tribe.
* This is not strictly true. I do have one other ring tone. All of my husband’s calls are proudly announced with the ear-piercing wail of a police siren, since he is…well…a police officer. This is particularly fun when I am in a crowded place and he calls, and everyone around me looks around nervously. My kids do not find this nearly as entertaining as I do.