Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Extremely Fascinating Life!!!!!!!

Welcome to "ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZZZ."

Oh. Hello. Sorry. Was I sleeping?

Gosh, you should see the weather here today. Another Nor'Easter, only this time it's rain and not snow. We'll all be washed out to sea.

Think of the stormiest weather you've ever seen (rain, not snow). What do you want to do on a day like that? Stay at home and sleep, right?

See? I knew you were an intelligent reader!

Alas, my daughter The Spare had other ideas for today. But I must say that, if I had to go along with her, I was glad it was a day too horrendous outside to do anything else at all.

Spare and I attended the annual convention of our state's Children of the American Revolution societies. At this convention, Spare was sworn in to a state office.

Me, I just swore. Politely and under my breath, of course.

First of all, Spare and I were a half hour late, which was a bit embarrassing given the fact that the program listed her as leading the National Anthem. When we slunk into the banquet hall, every head turned and every eye stared. The meeting was well under way.

What followed was three hours of excruciating boredom, broken only by the ingestion of expensive but lackluster banquet food.

These shindigs are always held at posh hotels or country clubs. In this case, the latter. At least I could divert myself by staring out the window at the sheets of rain, blown vertical by 40 mile-per-hour winds.

If you've always wondered what happens when we so-called American bluebloods get together, here it is in a nutshell:

Blah blah blah blah. (bang gavel)

(repeat 55 times)

The motion to blah blah blah blah has been placed before the board. Can I get a second?


Any discussion?

It has been moved and seconded to blah blah blah blah. All in favor say "Aye."


All opposed say "Nay."


(repeat 55 times)

Hour after hour after hour of this, with reports from about 30 different people, all saying pretty much the same thing. Break for lunch, then ....

... the dreaded awards portion of the event.

Even if your local society is up for awards (which ours was), it's just magnificently stupifying to sit through dozens and dozens of citations, both individual and group in nature.

Then a half dozen or more adult Poobahs speak, mostly thanking everyone for their hard work.

Then it's pin time.

Pin time at a C.A.R. convention is worse than watching a second hand tick around a clock face for 16 hours. At the regional conventions, it can last 60 minutes. That is 60 minutes of someone at a podium reading names, one by one, of pin recipients and the donors thereof. After each recipient's name is called, some eager youngster walks up from the back of the hall, receives a pin, gets her picture taken by 15 people, and returns to the bosom of her family (usually the donors of the pin). At any given event, you could be treated to three or four dozen pin recipients. Today, blissfully, there were only about 20.

Also at C.A.R. conventions, there's the gift-giving portion of the do. This is worse than watching a slug carve a trail of slime across a paving stone. The president of the occasion (C.A.R.) gets presents. He or she opens them at the podium to show everyone what they are. Then the senior president (adult) gets presents. He or she opens them at the podium to show everyone what they are.

Who devised this torture? If they had used it in the witch-hunts, the entire population of Europe would have been burnt to a crisp.

Spare is lapping all this skull-crushing boredom up, because it's her aim to be the president of the occasion some years hence.

Can she achieve the lofty goal of being state president of the C.A.R.? What will it take?

Time and money and the ability to suffer debilitating boredom, that's what.

First of all, these statewide meetings are held wherever the senior state president lives. If this Poobah lives in, say, Princeton or Trenton, woo hoo. Only an hour's drive on the turnpike. But if that Poobah lives in Mahwah or Morristown, well. Let's just say you'd be surprised how big a little state like New Jersey can feel at times.

So ... all you recent immigrants out there ... let's repeat what you're missing by not being eligible for the Daughters of the American Revolution:

1. Nail-biting drives on the turnpike or some other congested superhighway in lousy weather.

2. The pleasure of wearing a foundation garment all day on a Saturday.

3. Meetings that make you wish you'd just run the gauntlet from Havana to Key West in a fishing boat, and

4. Overpriced food that might have been carted over from the nearest prison cafeteria.

Those of you who know me to be a logical, down-to-earth kinda gal will wonder why I would encourage my daughter to be a snob. For the answer to that you need only read a few chapters of Pride and Prejudice, right to the part where poor Charlotte marries for money. If Spare continues on this slug-slickened brick road just a few miles more, she will qualify to be presented at a debutante ball in Washington, DC. White gowns, red roses, red carpet, the works. Candidly, this debut business gets one invitations to swell bashes, especially in Maryland, where the Civil War never really ended.

Why, Anne! You say. You would set your daughter up for a wealthy spouse? Where are those solid Druid values?

Ahh. Fret not, friends. Spare has already announced that only a starving artist will do for her. She just likes the idea of being a stealth Liza Doolittle. Plus ... any chance to purchase a gooey gown and use it once sounds terrific to her. Why wait until a wedding day to plunk down wads of cash for a white dress?

Have I lowered you to bottomless depths of boredom yet? Good! Welcome to my world! Teach all week, spend Saturday watching kids get pins, starting a savings account for a white dress worn simply for irony's sake.

You can laugh or go nuts. The choice is yours.


Mr64 said...

It sounds like your meeting was a dragola. Wish you could have swam in a hugh vat of rat finks instead?

Maeve said...

I sympathize with your excruciatingly long Saturday. The order I belong to isn't DAR, but it seems the general outline of such meetings must be standard fare, because that could almost describe some of the more lengthy (and thus painful) functions I've attended.

Hope your Sunday is more relaxing :)

Lavanah said...

Well, if you and the Spare ever end up having to drive to Mahwah or Morristown, you can spend the night here, at Chez Lavanah and Frater SL. Our lineage may be questionable, but we and our Landsprites would be happy to welcome you.

Anne Johnson said...


Be careful what you offer, cuz u just might get it!

Anonymous said...

hey anne,

this is green man. what you are doing is fabulous. please keep regaling us with your marvelous metaphors and stirring similes. You spin English like a ... like a ...

I am sorry, dear, you are going to have to finish that one for me.

I hope the way you finish it has nothing to do with slime things though, that's not the direction my rootlets were moving in.

Are you aware that turkey vultures can fly underground too? I thought mayhap i should let you in on that. They are so divinely helpful to me in my work.

Anyway, just thought i'd surface for a bit and pop you out a blessing.

You bring light to the world, dear Anne, but you know that.

Did you know namaste can be rearranged to spell East Man?

Your green man from the East, the direction of Magic, in the pantheon of me,