Thursday, May 08, 2008

And I Didn't Even Stay for the Glee Club Presentation

I mentioned yesterday that I attended my first Women's Club meeting. I've been thinking long and hard on what to say about, because it most definitely needs documented, but I'm conflicted. At times it was downright hilarious. The next minute it was so touching I almost cried. And then someone said something racist. I think the best way to go about it is to just start at the beginning.

It was 11:30am. I had been at the gym and was all sorts of sweaty. I was just about to jump in the shower when I decided to check my invitation. Which was typed on a typewriter, by the way. It was a good thing I did because even though I thought the fĂȘte began at 1pm, it actually started at 11:30. As in rightnow. Actually, two minutes ago. I ran upstairs, changed clothes, neatened my ponytail and ran off.

As soon as I walked in the door, I began sweating even more. There were about 30 other women there and not a single one of them would even look at me, let alone speak to me. Several tables were set with place cards, so I began looking for my name. I had RSVP'd after all. Not finding myself anywhere, I began to get flustered. Luckily a sweet woman named Julia saw me floundering and offered me a seat next to her. While Julia was probably only in her fifties, the vast majority of the other women there were in their seventies or beyond. There were two women who appeared to be in their thirties, but they were great-great-granddaughters of a founding member of the club and therefore super-snobs. So I sat with Julia and her 91 year old mother. She was very nice and helped to fill me in on some of the goings-on of the club.

Soon we were joined by several other women. While they were all polite to me, only a small few were actually nice to me. The rest talked among themselves about the following topics in order:

People with accents, and how much they hate them
Lunch, and how the portions were too large
The Jewish people who have "invaded" the neighborhood
Nursing homes

During the portion of the conversation about 'the foreigners with their accents' many of the ladies were lamenting that their hearing loss made it even more difficult to understand 'those people.' All of a sudden it was quiet. I looked up from my croissant sandwich to see several of them looking at me, waiting for a response. I mentally freaked the fuck out. I didn't want to say anything disparaging about people with accents, but I got the feeling they were trying to see where I fell on certain, erm, issues. At a loss, I blurted out, 'I know! I have hearing problems as well, and I can barely hear anyone at all!' They all looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. I said it was genetic (even though it isn't) and they all shook their head and said something to effect of, 'so sad, so young.'

After the interminable lunch portion of the program, the meeting was called to order. This was when we said the Pledge of Allegiance. And also a prayer. In a I'm-not-quite-sure-if-it's-funny-moment, the leader of the meeting had recently undergone cataract surgery and could barely read the prayer. Instead of asking someone else to read it (because that would be against the by-laws) she just took forever and kept messing up.

Finally, once the praying and pledging was over we had the ceremony to pass the torch from the old board members to the new, younger (read: in their sixties) board members. This part was actually somewhat entertaining, as the woman in charge was a real firecracker. No matter how old these broads were, they were dressed to the nines, with recent hair dos, smart suits and pearls. With some of them, you could really see the younger woman they used to be based on their outfits and accessories. It was enlightening, to say the least.

The most poignant moment of the afternoon came when they inducted the new treasurer, who was a man. It seems his wife passed away unexpectedly during her term as treasurer, and he carried out her duties for the duration. He must have done an excellent job because they decided to make him permanent treasurer, despite his obvious maleness in an all female club.

As the new board members were being introduced, the ladies who had formerly held the positions pinned corsages onto their blouses. Some of these women were in their eighties and could barely hold their water glasses, but this ceremony was important to them. It must have taken a great deal of strength but all of the retiring board members, every last one of them, pinned those carnations on with pride.

Finally, with the meeting adjourned, the glee club started setting up for their performance. Almost two hours had gone by since then, and since the youngest member of the glee club couldn't have been less than 65 I decided to leave, citing the kids as a reason. Call me skeptical, but I just wasn't sure I'd be gleeful once the performance was finished.

Luckily, I had someone at home to bring some glee into my life!

I had to show him a few times, but Sam figured out how to blow the 'santa clauses' from dandelions. Talk about fun!

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Stacy said...

What a precious picture! That is definitely a gleefull shot. :)

Well, at least you tried to see what the club was all about. I give you high marks for that!

Golightly said...

Wow, what glee.

On the other hand, Sam is a doll. I would want to escape from the retired Stepford Wives to that little cutie right away, too!

Arizaphale said...

Think how your horizons have been expanded :-)
And what a precious shot of Sam!!!