Tuesday, June 06, 2006

We'll Be Gathering In Conference Room B At 9 AM To Discuss This Post. I Suggest You Attend.

The thing about it is, I can't stand a meeting.

Oh, I'm a nice enough person. And in regular, day-to-day life, you would probably describe me as friendly. Warm. Engaging, even. I like to smile at strangers, and ask them about the babies they're pushing in strollers, and aside from a child's birthday party, I'm comfortable in most social situations.

But put me in a meeting? For over 30 minutes? And I'll go all cuckoo on you. I'm not kidding.

When I was in high school I regarded classes I didn't enjoy with much the same fondness that I now reserve for meetings, and as a result I always had what I like to call an Alternate Activity. I don't think I walked in a single class during my junior and senior years of high school without a copy of People magazine, or the latest Danielle Steele novel, or at the very least a lengthy note from Merritt or Liz about their latest boy troubles. It was really my first foray into my beloved pasttime of multi-tasking, and I spent many hours learning about "science" and "math" while simultaneously reading in-depth feature articles on Bruce Willis or the phenomenon that was "St. Elmo's Fire."

In college technology was a little more advanced, and I'll never forget a glorious summer semester where I was constantly accompanied by Daphne's GameBoy, or as I like to call it, Oh Blessed Alternate Activity. That GameBoy - Tetris, in particular - got me through a class so boring I can't even recall its name, but I do know that I had the whole I'm-attentively-listening-really-I-am-just-ignore-the-fact-that-my-thumbs-are-moving-furiously-behind-my-textbook thing DOWN. And I made an A. So no harm, no foul.

Now that I'm older, I'm amazed by how frequently people voluntarily put themselves in classroom-like settings by requesting to meet. It seems to me - though I'm certainly no expert - that in these days of email and voice mail and conference calls and whatnot, it is perfectly feasible that people should never. have. to. meet. again. Yet it seems like once a week I get a call or an email saying, "Hey, let's meet about such and such!" as if the act of meeting is a present, a gift to be treasured, and I'm just thinking, "I wonder if Daph still has that GameBoy."

Today I had a meeting at church about what I'm jokingly referring to as this Sunday's Plattabration (although someone else laughingly suggested Plattstock, which I adored...and David and I have decided that our new pastor's column in the weekly bulletin should be called Plattitudes, because clearly, CLEARLY we have way too much time on our hands). ANYWAY, we met to discuss all the details for what is going to be a really fun, special night at our church, and as meetings go, it was pretty painless. Enjoyable, even.

But, like clockwork, about 30 minutes in - though I loved every single person in the meeting with all my heart, though I was actually interested in the subject matter at hand - I started to get what I call "the fidgets." And at that point I wished - no, I LONGED - for an Alternate Activity, for a magazine or a GameBoy or a coloring book, for crying out loud. I couldn't help but laugh at myself, because there I sat, well into my 30's, a wife and mama now, still responding to A Controlled Group Setting with an almost palpable need to occupy my mind with something else, to pass someone a note, to doodle my name and David's name connected by lots of girly hearts. I was 16 years old all over again. Only 16 year olds probably should not be responsible for organizing the distribution of pork products with appropriate side dishes to large crowds of people at church functions. But I digress.

David knows my tendency to "zone out" so well that when I told him that our friend Kevin was also in the meeting, he paused for a second and then said, "Oh no. You two didn't get in trouble, did you?"

And the 16 year old in me was all, "Um, like, OF COURSE NOT. GAH!"

But truth be told, we did roll our eyes at each other a few times.

I'm, like, SO grown up now. Totally.


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