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RESPONSIBILITY IS OVERRATED
25 August 2006
It occurred to me around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday night that sometimes I am too responsible (not often--but it does happen!)
I've been nominally on the staff of the SPCA Newsletter ever since I became involved with the SPCA. In fact, my involvement with the newsletter predates puppies.
Someone asked me if I was interested, and since I somehow always get involved with the newsletter for any organization I join, I figured why fight it? Might as well say yes at the outset.
My involvement is very minimal. The process has been in place a long time, the editor is organized and efficient and has her way of doing things. I recognize the syndrome. She is me 20 years ago. She also does a great job.
So my part has been writing a few very brief articles, and working with a committee which gets the thing into final format, ready to go to the printer.
The finalization involves a big meeting, with some 8 people, all of whom sit around with rough draft copies of the newsletter and discuss every comma, every period, every sentence in great detail until the thing is finally in a form that everybody can agree on. This takes place over a dinner somewhere and, in truth, my whole reason for being there is going out to dinner and not having to cook.
This is an organization of perfectionists and I appreciate the care taken with the newsletter, but I am from the "slap it out in a hurry" school of publication because most of the time I've been the only person in whatever organization I was working for, who was interested or who cared. So this agonizing over every single little thing does occasionally drive me nuts, though I enjoy the camaraderie, which makes up for the agonizingly slow process.
So, I was looking forward to tonight's meeting because we were getting together at Dos Coyotes, one of my favorite eateries. I could have my favorite burrito, some corn chips and an assortment of salsas, I'd put up with the harrangue over style, and I'd get a chance to chit chat with some fun people. In the meantime, Walt would be at home fending for himself, cleaning out all the leftovers from the refrigerator.
But then Jeri called. She and Phil, had been in SF last night for the IPO show where the band performed (Walt went; I had to review a show, so was unable to go) and they decided that they would ride back here with Ned and Marta, who would drop Jeri off at our house so she could spend some quality time with us before returning home next week. She said they would get here around dinner time.
This meant that (a) I would have to cook dinner before I went to my meeting after all, and (b) I would miss out on that family chit chat.
It was the worst of all possible worlds. I would still have to cook a dinner I wouldn't get to eat, I would still have to go to the boring meeting, and I wouldn't have a chance to visit with Jeri. What bad timing.
So I sat here and fretted and stewed for the afternoon, thinking about the meeting, trying to decide what I could whip up for dinner before I left to go out to dinner and suddenly the radical notion occurred to me:
I didn't really have to go to the meeting!
I'm not the editor. I have one TINY little article. There will be more than enough people to go over all six pages with a fine tooth comb. Why am I passing up the opportunity to visit with Jeri, whom we see so seldom in a year, to go to a meeting I didn't really want to go to in the first place??
Maybe "24" is having an effect on me. Today I watched Jack Bauer kill his friend in order to save the world from a nasty virus. I saw the president of the U.S. lie to the police to get his wife off the hook for murder.
Everybody is doing it. Everybody is compromising their principles for the greater good.
So I sent off an e-mail saying I would not, after all, be at the meeting. I was irresponsible...and didn't even think twice about it. We had a lovely evening with Jeri and she and I sat up watching Fried Green Tomatoes, newly arrived from Netflix (which, in case you can't figure it out, signals that I have finally finished Season 3 of 24. But never fear, Season 4 DVDs should start arriving next week.)
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