Last Sunday I had a massage. Actually, my wife and I both had massages. We both needed them.
The masseuse, “Heather,” works in Idaho from May until October. She makes ok money while kneading out the work, life, relationship, money, travel, family, friend, expectations, anxiety, uncertainty, Universal Nausea from her clients. Late in October she heads to Utah and works at Solitude. Or Brighton. Or Park City. She prefers Solitude. Even though she makes much better money at Park City she says it’s full of assholes. And she skis.
I asked her what she does in Utah. Funny how quickly that question drifts towards work as we get older. “So what do you do” when you’re 25 is a much different question than when you’re 43. For “grown-ups” it’s is another beat down way of asking “So how do you make money?” And pray to god it’s not doing something you love or fills your soul with light and energy because that crap is totally unfair.
She works at the rental shop in Solitude. Waxing skis. She waits tables in the cafeteria. She is a “concierge” on the hill. And, if things get tight, she will find a spa to work at. One that helps her pay for a season’s pass. She explained her situation further…
“I have a friend in New Orleans who will hook me up with a place to stay off Bourbon Street.”
“A guy I work with at Solitude let’s me help out as a river guide in Colorado in the summer.”
“The rental ski manager in Brighton let’s me make a bow and arrow out of a cross country ski, some rope, and a pole”
“My friends in Utah and I drill holes in skis and glue shot glasses in to them”
“Two buddies in Jackson Hole show me where to huck myself off of in pow days…”
“If I’m short on cash I can always guide zip-line tours in Montana”
“I always ski for free in Park City when I bring the lift guys ‘cookies’…”
Face down, having my anxiety kneaded out of me I started to think about the things she was saying and the adventures included in each comment. I never heard her say “Candy Crush” or “ReTweet.” She didn’t say a thing about her “brand” or her influence. Not a word about a poke, a like, a favorite, a share…not a word.
“I’ve done a really good job of networking” she said. And I couldn’t, cannot, disagree. Person to person. Face to face. Peer to peer. Living breathing awesome friend to living breathing awesome friend. Adventure to adventure. I could not, and cannot, disagree. The coolest social networks are off the grid. All the way. SkyNet can’t touch them. If a Twitter connection sends me a ski with shot glasses glued to it then I might change my mind. Until then I think the masseuse is on to something…