Saturday, October 17, 2009

Secret Societies



As any urban dog owner will tell you, when you have a dog, a brand new societal world opens up, the subculture of other dog owners. For many years, I lived in that subculture, not only when I was walking Jake, but at other times as well. In some way I can't explain, the rhythms of my whole life aligned with those of other dog owners. I was part of dog owner society. By virtue of having Jake, I belonged.

When Jake died, that society vanished. I see people with their dogs, but it is not the same. I'm no longer one of them; a veil has dropped between myself and dog owner society. I live in a different reality now.

There are a number of societal subsets hidden beneath the veneer of Capitol Hill culture. Moms with young children have have created a very powerful society of their own. In fact they are quite organized. They call themselves "Moms on the Hill." MOTH is a formidable group you don't want to cross, a maternal mafia that kicks ass and takes names. It was MOTH that got the city of DC to investigate the lead levels in our tap water. Wow. They are powerful.

I remember when gay society was localized to specific neighborhoods, restaurants and clubs. Now that it isn't such a stigma to be gay (I credit the old TV show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy with finally bringing homosexuality into the mainstream) the substrata of gay society isn't as separate as it once was.

Here in the blog world, there are many subcultures. Knitters, cooks, poets, photographers, etc. I could go on and on and on.

I miss being part of dog owner society. That was such a nice, non-formal and friendly crowd to hang with. I miss Jake - though - on this dark gray chilly rainy morning, I must admit, I don't miss walking Jake. I really don't. My bad?

Happy Saturday, y'all.

20 comments:

ewix said...

Yes, the Dog Park is an amazing club which I really enjoy as much as B. does.
Yes, certainly there are Blogworld groups which one can flit between.
A really good place for people with niche interests ...however odd.
Have you noticed that Saturday is a slow blog day!
Happy and peaceful weekend to you!

steven said...

hi reya - i see little socieies all over: i belong to a few i guess: the biking society is made up of all sorts of little clusters - i like the one that has secret signals for when you see another cyclist out on a narsty day hunkered down and suffering the same as me. a little handwave, sometimes a peacesign and a nod means "hey isn't it great that we're both out here suffering and liking it!" i can't tell you any more of the signs and symbols reya 'cause they're secret and mysterious!

i so love the stairs.
have a sweet dc saturday - the sky is clear and blue as water here. steven

Val said...

that shooting star shot is fabulous (and apt); i always look for them and always make a wish but we seem to see more satellites zooming past...
thank you Reya for your always uplifting and stimulating, thought provoking writings xx

Rain said...

No bad! :) When it's 20 below zero, I'm not always keen on dressing the boys in their boots and winter coats, then fighting with them to go out for their walks! Getting the "token squirt" and the "you're killing me" stare....dog owners are a breed of their own! You'll always be one of our breed Reya!

lakeviewer said...

You're so right! And some of these societies let you know right away when you're not welcome.

Notice, however, that blogland is more fluid; one can go in and out of parties, events, give-aways, clubby opportunities. One can create an aura after a while that will attract like souls. I'm still trying to figure this out, btw.

Have you had a chance to pick up the Sisterhood award from my blog? It is meant for wise-strong-intelligent women like us, a very elite club, a club that can go to parties one day, write a health bill the next, work all week, and sit quietly in meditation all weekend. Ciao.

Auntie, aka Coco's Mom said...

Hello,
When I look at my very OLD dog named Pretty, I fear the inevitable...she is so frail it breaks my heart.
We also have a young minpin named Coco. She keeps us busy with her mishaps and antics.

Jake is up in Dog Heaven. Talk about Secret Societies! Woof.

David said...

Just took Honey for a walk in the cold and the wet. I actually think I like it more on these days. Probably cuz I like to suffer.

Tom said...

i'd still consider you part of the dog owner community...i encounter many dog owners downtown and on the greenway who like to stop and chat with Toby, even if they don't have their dogs along.

Lori ann said...

When I started to read this my first thought was that is how I felt when my first child was born. And then you said it, the mom's club. I've always felt a part of it, till now. Oh, I know i'm still a Mom but now i'm alone. My kids are all out on their own and although that's a great thing, I miss them so much it aches sometimes. Then, I am glad that now my time is my own. Then I feel bad about that too. I think I know just how you feel.

Barbara Martin said...

When I had dogs it tended to allow strangers to open up. And when the dogs were gone I needed to find something to fill that missing spot.

Reya, you're not bad. The circumstances have only changed, with new ones on their way.

The last photo with the pumpkins at the bottom of the stairs is superb.

Barry said...

I really hadn't thought of society being organized this way, but, of course you are right.

I'm going to have to give some thought to the various "secret societies" of which I am a member.

I am likely way behind in paying my dues.

jaclempner said...

I totally love my two dogs, but I don't love walking them in bad weather. Certainly not your bad. Understandable.

Know what you mean about subcultures in blog world (and non-blog world). I don't blog yet because I don't have time right now, but I see it here at the wool festival. Jane is a knitter, and the blog peeps she knows are knitters (spinners, etc). What amazes me are the friends she has made thru the internet. Virtual friendships have become real-life friendships of great value.

willow said...

When my kids grew up and flew the next, I felt quite a loss, not being part of that "moms" group. Blogging has helped me feel part of a society again.

The Bug said...

I don't really belong to any particular group, but I don't mind. I do tip my toe into other groups in blogs sometimes - homeschooling moms, photographers, religious folks, smart women with sassy mouths... It makes life interesting. And the cool thing about the blog world is they can't snub me.

Sometimes I think I should get a dog just so I WILL get out of the house sometimes. I'm such a slug.

Lynne said...

Reya, jaclempner left an interesting comment. I might assume they were talking about "our" Jane from Not Plain Jane? I went to the Wool Festival this weekend and Jane and I met finally in person! So wonderful to finally put my arms around her and give her a hug! Your name came up too, were your ears burning? :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Lynne, how wonderful!! I wish I could put my arms around Jane, too. My ears didn't burn but I'm so happy thinking of you two meeting at last. Yes, JA is aka Judy, a good friend of Jane's, and an FB friend of mine. Very cool!!

Steve said...

It's always interesting when I walk a dog -- a friend's dog, or maybe Dave's dogs, any dog. People are so much friendlier! They notice the dog, they may stop to pet it, they chat with me. All things that would NEVER happen if I were just walking alone. You're right that a dog opens up a whole new social world, though I don't think it's just fellow dog owners -- I think it's EVERYONE.

Great hanging with you yesterday! :)

Gary said...

When I was living in NYC and walking my dog the first few times I began to realize that there simply cannot be a quick walk. I was constantly stopped by other dog owners who seemed to have nothing better to do than stop and chat. The dogs got to know one another, I learned the dogs name (and remembered it!) but never got the owners.

Folks who did not have dogs would also stop. It was a great way to meet people and it certainly was a society I hadn't expected. These days my friend Joy is a dog walker and has the perfect disposition for greeting other dog owners/walkers. NY never seemed so friendly to me as when I was holding a leash - and I think it is a pretty friendly town to begin with.

Lynne said...

Okay, I met Judy yesterday too and the twin R's. How funny!

We were all talking about how we'd love to meet you in person, now I know that you and Judy know each too. I was wondering how she knew you!

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I've been a part of dog society for a year now, blog society for a little over three and gay society 30 or more. Having a particularly unusual dog bring you even more encounters, some odd and some who know the breed. My blog society has no single theme nor geographic center, though it seems to be much more East Coast than West Coast oriented. Even living in San Francisco, I feel less connected if at all with gay society with the passage of each year.