Thursday, January 31, 2008

Members Only

Back in December there was a knock on my door on a random Saturday afternoon. It was a man inviting me to a local Christmas party up the street at The Woman's Club of Town-Where-I-Live. It was a charitable event, so they were collecting toys for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I figured why not make an appearance? I could meet some neighbors and maybe a sick tot would enjoy a brand new MagnaDoodle. Plus the Women's Club is literally within walking distance of my house.

SOB was working but my parents were in town so they stayed with Sam and Lucy while I checked out the soirée. The first thing I realized was that I was under dressed big time. Everyone was in suits and fancy dresses. I was in jeans (my nice ones) and a cool shirt. Since I hadn't received an invitation, I hadn't been informed of the dress code, and random door knocker made it sound like a casual affair. Since I hadn't planned to stay long, I wasn't too upset.

At least, not yet.

Soon the man who invited me came over to say hello and introduce me to a few other attendees. After some pleasantries, he asked about why we moved to the neighborhood. I mentioned that I had gone to college at the nearby large Catholic university, and both men I was speaking with noticeably brightened. They were both alumni of the same university, which was nice.
It was then that things got ugly.

They confided that they invited me because they assumed we were Christian, since we had such a lovely lights display. Then they started asking about my neighbors. Namely, they wanted to know if they were Jewish. These men firmly believed that the 'Jewish element' was ruining the neighborhood because they were not, on the whole, a civic-minded people.

I didn't know what to say. On one side our neighbors are orthodox, and on the other side the husband is an atheist and the wife is Jewish. And we like them both. A lot. Have I mentioned the bakery lately?

After they finished quizzing me on the religious affiliations of everyone on our block, they implored me to join the Woman's Club. All of the members are in their 70's, and the club is likely going to die with them unless some younger people join. At first I balked at the idea of joining a club with such a heinous agenda.

But after thinking about things for a few weeks, I had a change of heart. If it's true that the ladies of the club are knocking on death's door, then maybe by joining now I can start rebuilding the organization with more tolerant women. We plan on staying in this neighborhood for a good long while and so it behooves me to try and improve it as much as possible. So maybe the best thing I can do is get inside and work from there.

Which is why today I mailed off my application. Wish me luck!

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Mrs. Chicken said...

Isn't it amazing how these clubs operate? Good on you for bucking the system from inside!

super des said...

Bring it down from the inside!
Can you invite your Jewish neighbors to join?

Amy Jo said...

I hope I can invite anyone in the neighborhood. Once I get in, I'll get the details...

Arizaphale said...

Good for you!! Some people give Christians a bad name. btw...hilarious that the lovely light display = Christian!!!!!! Most people who do light displays here are resoundingly secular.