Social Status.

I was attending a small get together at a neighbour’s place the other day and was quite uncomfortable with the, what to me appeared to be, very artificial gaiety. I was also the only male not imbibing and that too had caused a bit of merriment among the others, but that is something that I am quite used to handling now after eleven years of abstinence.
I was just quietly sitting and observing all that was going on around me and nursing a lemonade when a young man decided to join me and came over to sit next to me. I had been briefly introduced to him at the bar as an old time resident of our neighbourhood and he to me as a newcomer immediate neighbour to our host.
The young man, asked me how long I had been living in the neighbourhood and was quite taken back when I told him that it was twenty years since I had moved in there. We talked about the old days when the locality was a newly developing suburb and the problems we had.
After that topic was over, he wanted to know what I did and I told him that I was a retired hippy. After laughing about it he wanted to know the meaning of the word hippy and I enlightened him. I asked him what he did, and he replied that he was in the Information Technology industry and was a Manger of a team of programmers. I expressed my admiration for his achievement and was looking for a way to get out of the intrusion and go for dinner when he asked me again as to what I did. I told him that before I retired, I was a traveling salesman selling textile accessories. He was quite taken aback and said that from the way I spoke he had thought that I would have been somebody in Senior Management or Civil Service. I just laughed and said that I was just a nobody who had had the benefit of good schooling and a reading habit.
I got out of my predicament with that inspired answer as the young man decided that I was not interesting enough to make acquaintance with and excused himself and moved off to meet other better prospects. I heaved a sigh of relief and went to the buffet table.
Lesson learnt, I think that henceforth if such occasions arose again, I shall introduce myself as a retired Head Clerk or something like that to avoid status conscious page three types from straining themselves to position me in our highly status conscious society.
Do such things happen to you?

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