This is so typical of me. I dress to impress. I am at a conference at which (I think) I know no one. I look — for me — glamorous. I am wearing … wait for it … heels! My clothes match just right (not too much). I got my hair cut wicked short and wicked cute and even my toenails are properly coiffed.
Yet, I am hold up in my lodge room (my roomie is not here, yet, thank the lord!), seething at the height of introverted essence. My bowels are being unfriendly. My new dress has busted a seam. My outfit outshines everyone I have seen here, so I’m pretty sure they all hate me. Which is just fine, because I’m pretty sure I hate all of them…
By “them” I do not specifically mean the unruly lot of Unitarian Universalist Buddhists who have gathered in this rural retreat center owned by some very hospitable Jews (each room has a mazzuzah at its entrance — which reminds me, I should tell you the story of our Jewish hotel in Havana someday). By “them” I mean all of humanity.
I have entered my misanthropic phase, which comes at the start of every new experience. If it were kinder, a Buddhist might call it Beginner’s Mind. I’m pretty sure a psychotherapist would call it a defense mechanism, but since either one belongs to the above-named category of humanity, I fail to see their point.
If I didn’t drive seven hours to get here, I’d be inclined to get right back in that car. Instead, I will extricate myself from the room at the appointed time (and not a minute earlier), and will attach myself to someone who is friends of friends on Facebook or looks like they despise me just a little bit less than every one else in the room. Since there are no pets or children here, I cannot do what I typically do at social events: flirt with babies, lavishly pet dogs.
So I will do the next best thing: offer to help. These torturous social scenes are always much more manageable when I have a role or task. Otherwise, I am a big lump of loser attempting to convey ministerial potential. And even though I’m not seeing the MFC for several years, I think this might still be counted against me.
Stay tuned for the next posting in which I either meet my new best friend, propose to the long-sought-after perfect spiritual director, or have had such authentic spiritual insight that I have achieved nirvana (do you think the MFC will count that in my favor?)