Friday, April 13, 2007
Some time ago, a friend of mine and I began having what we have dubbed, "man-bag club" meetings. We're both 30/40 something males. We're neat, stylish, educated, well traveled and have well paying jobs. We also like carrying a man-bag, you know for your ipod, books, moleskin journal, sunglasses, etc. We also happen to be married (no, not to eachother) but rather than play golf or go fishing to get out of the house and talk (read-compare notes), we go to a coffee shop near by, have a latte, share an oatmeal cookie and hang for an hour or so.
These conversations usually seem to revolve around 3 main topics: 1. what are we doing with our lives, 2. guy stuff (use your imagination) 3. our wives. By the time an hour has gone by, as if by clockwork, one of the wives calls and asks us to bring them home a latte on our way back home. We read that as 'hurry up and quit bitching about us and come home!'.
Another topic that seems to be an underlying theme is the idea of a "plan B". Maybe we've watched the Bourne Identity movies too many times, but the idea of having some back-up plan, some extra cash, a different passport and keys to a flat in Paris all stashed in some Swiss account (the #s of which are mysteriously tattooed on your wrist), when the proverbial "shit goes down", sounds like something that would just be good to have. You know, just in case.
Naturally, we dont plan on leaving our wives and starting over again (although that sounds appealing too from time to time when the shit goes down at home). What we've done though is sort of get at the heart of what "plan B" really means. That we've determined, is personal empowerment and control of your destiny. We've turned "plan B" into a lifestyle or at least a solid mindset.
Now, the reasoning is this. By convincing yourself that at any given moment, if "the shit goes down", whether during a crap period at work, during a fight at home or whenever something gets you down, you could comfortably say "fuck this!", split and start over. Just having that ace in your back pocket can really change how you think about things. You can be more of a risk taker, you can say or ask that one thing you may have been afraid to. You have empowered yourself to be right or wrong, or just be. Be yourself and let yourself out. It's kind of like in that movie Office Space when the main character stopped caring about consequences at work and just did his thing, he was immediately crowned the guy that was "a real straight shooter with upper-management written all over him!". It works.
Actually, what makes you think that this in fact isn't my secret identity?