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CALL ME MADAM
14 March 2006
I'm in the middle of planning a huge reunion.
It's not "huge" because it involves hundreds of people, it's "huge" because it involves many gatherings with small groups of people over several different encounters.
My friend Lynn is coming to town for a conference. The conference is in San Francisco next weekend and she will be flying in on Thursday, staying with us for several days and then she and I will go to San Francisco for her conference.
(Poor me. I have to stay at the Hyatt Hotel overlooking the Bay Bridge, courtesy of the company that is paying her expenses, while she's off at meetings.)
I met Lynn when I was working for an ob/gyn office here in town. Lynn was/is a midwife (she now works managing a gynecology office, and occasionally getting the opportunity to deliver a baby). We were a great office. There were the usual share of problems, of course, but the thing that I loved was that we did a lot of socializing. The last close friendships that I made in this town were through that office, and it saddens me that over the years we have drifted apart to where I no longer see anybody from the office any more.
Lynn and I were the unofficial social directors. Actually she was the social director, but she asked for my help, and we worked well together We organized the entertainment for office parties (see the movie of the day today) and I count as some of my most fun days the parties that this office had....and perhaps even more fun was all the planning that she and I did to get ready for them--like the year that we gave out "golden speculum" awards. I spent hours spray painting plastic speculums gold, sprinkling them with gold glitter, and mounting them in wooden bases while Lynn worked on the awards themselves and writing the "speeches" that went along with awarding them.
Things began to change when the private office became part of a medical group, when the doctors no longer made all the decisions, but had to defer to the higher-ups of an HMO.
The changes were subtle at first, but the longer it went on the more joy went out of the office atmosphere. And then people began to leave, partly because of better offers, partly because of the tension that became part and parcel of working in the office.
Some people who left were kind of forced out, leaving them with such a bad taste in their mouths that they wanted nothing to do with the office again (I was one of those people--there were others). There was one ugly divorce.
But everybody loves Lynn and so everybody wants to see her and trying to plan a way for her to see everyone, while at the same time keeping in mind who is OK to spend a few hours socially with whom, is tricky.
As it looks like now, we will have dinner with one partner in the ugly divorce and the new spouse one night. We'll get together with one person who has very bad feelings about leaving the office and probably doesn't want to join in group socialization on another night. There will be another small get together for 3 of us on a third night, this more because we were a threesome when Lynn lived here and we hope to get together for some private "girl talk" to get caught up. The woman involved is not very good about working at keeping a friendship going -- whether long-distance with Lynn, or close-up, with me -- so we have a lot of ground to cover.
And then, I'll host a big lunch for most of the people who still get along, whether they have seen much of each other in the past few years or not. I was going to arrange for us all to meet at a restaurant, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I just invite people to come here, we can have a more relaxing time (well, except for all that cleaning and cooking and agonizing over the messy house part for me, though I find I worry about the "messy house" less as the years pass.)
If I'm successful, Lynn will be able to see almost everybody that she wants to see in the short time she's here. I will consider my job a huge success if I'm able to pull that off.
In the meantime, I'm trying to get caught up on the psychiatrist's work, and make sure that I have enough toxic sprays around here, because Lynn is one of those people who "doesn't do spiders." We have no toxins, but I suspect that the house is really going to be spider free by Sunday.
Shopping list for
this week: pesticides, lime-away, white wine and Cheez-Its. That ought to get
us through to Sunday just fine.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Photo by Peggy