An Evening in Suitland

Saturday I slipped on a tux for about the fourth time in my life and went to my little cousin’s wedding. It turned out a visit to another world, or at least an alien subculture: corporate suit land. Everybody was a lawyer or a businessperson with a lot more money than I’ll ever have, and I found it really hard to connect to people. Their holiday pastimes, the inflection of their speech, even the hairstyles were unfamiliar. It suddenly became clear to me how tightly defined my own social circle actually is in terms of interests and occupations.

So I decided to take a look at who my people are. They’ve all finished their studies and started careers years ago. How do my closest friends make their bread?

There’s an academic philosopher, two archaeologists, an acoustics engineer, an architect, an electronics engineer, a geologist, a government emergencies manager, a journalist, a mathematician, a physiotherapist, a science writer, a security guard, two small-business-people, four software engineers and two teachers. And looking at my journalist wife’s closest friends, there’s a journalist, a lawyer, a museum administrator, a psychologist…

I guess what happened Saturday was that I was momentarily lifted out of my middle-class academic pond and dropped into an upper-class business-orientated swimming pool. Everybody was very friendly, but I’m afraid we looked at each other with a certain mutual incomprehension.

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  1. #1 paddy
    May 17, 2007

    Shit man, that’s a lot of friends/close acquaintances…

    In my circle we have: a technology investor, several engineers, a theatre manager, a freelance translator, a couple of researchers, a few teachers and a whole bunch of computer dudes. But it’s true – it’s scary what other worlds are out there, and what odd people inhabit them.

  2. #2 Martin R
    May 17, 2007

    Sounds like your guys are actually about as many as mine. But anyway: remember, I still live where I grew up. For instance, I still see this one guy whom I made friends with in 1982.

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