Cupid walks into a bar…
I am not a natural joiner. If a picture really is worth a thousand words….. feast your eyes on my inner turmoil. I’m not even sure if it was a “nature” or “nurture” thing. Clubs, workplaces, institutions and many “hoods” (like motherhood, wedded bliss – hood.) rejected me. On my own, I have rejected political parties in favor of being resolutely “independent”.
Here’s the irony. I love people. I have a lot of friends. But things that even my friends belong to, have always produced a healthy skepticism in me .
I do belong to a church. And I have always belonged to a circle at the church. I adore these ladies. They are so much like my mother. They nurture just like Elizabeth. They are so wise. I needed them. But we are almost a generation apart. Which suited my needs at the time. But in the last few years there has been a real “craving” to be with people my own age who are similarly situated with similar issues.
I joined another circle. For a non-joiner this was almost comical that I belong to two circles within the same church. I even found myself saying “yes” to hosting said circle. I love Cupid and Valentines Day. What was wrong with me? I panicked. I purchased five bottles of wine for the occasion until my good friend (who had persuaded me to join her circle) said “oh no,Leslie we only serve wine when hosting a meal”. I put the bottles back in the pantry and panicked some more. What other faux pas would I commit?
My silver was tarnished; I stared at my Bama’s China (my beloved grandmother); I inspected my aunt Mary’s China and I froze. Everything seemed wrong. OFF. Bama didn’t have a cream and sugar. Aunt Mary didn’t have a creamer. I was just a disaster. This does not happen in any Edith Wharton novel. I was beyond Lily Bart. Except in her last days of destitution. I heard Elizabeth’s voice “Mary Leslie, five bottles of wine for about 10 women? You’re hosting a church circle… Not a Kardashian bachelor party. You should use your nice China”. I looked around. Took a deep breath and said “No, my every day will do. Besides IT goes in the dishwasher. And I don’t see any staff around. Do you?” When Elizabeth did not answer I took that as a sign. But I still proceeded with caution.
Instead of St. John, these women showed up in Lululemon. They loved the candy that I put in the epergne and the festive Valentine Petit Fours. But then I heard THE voice. No, I’m not talking Adam Levine. Or even my dead mother. Geez, the Almighty.
“You know Leslie they came for ME not you”. “Just how long have you been sitting there?” “Long enough to think that maybe you should give up swearing for Lent”. You’ve got me hosting a circle don’t push your luck. There it was. I was much more myself with HIM than with a group of women.
We are so hard on ourselves. We are hard on our appearances. People that REALLY care about us have their arms outstretched welcoming us, not shaking a judging finger at us.
So while I may still be a little leery of groups in general I am becoming a little less reluctant. But that doesn’t mean I’m completely reformed. If you look too eager and are coming my way because you think I am perfect for a committee you may want to go the other way. Because I just might. And if Cupid approaches me in a bar with his bow and arrow I just might duck.