I confess that yesterday did not go as expected.
I got a text about 1:30 yesterday afternoon from my friend Sarah. Sarah and I serve on a couple of nonprofit boards together. We get stuff done. She said she needed to ask me something in person. Since she never, ever does that, my heart just about pounded out of my chest.
My mind was racing. Had I said something inappropriate to someone? Had I screwed something up? Was I about to get bad news? Holy shit, what was it? I wanted to vomit. My heart was beating in my throat. I couldn’t think of anyone I might have offended recently. I couldn’t think of any projects that I’d flaked out on. I needed a Xanax. My eyelid was twitching.
Sarah rang my doorbell about 20 minutes later. She wasn’t alone. I could have sworn that I heard my sister’s voice before I opened the door. That was just craptastic. The last thing I wanted was for my sister to be here if Sarah had something awful to talk with me about. I mean, Mom has proof that my younger sister’s smarter than I am = we had IQ testing done when we went to boarding school 40 years ago, so it must be true – and that fact just feeds megadoses of Little Shop of Horrors-level superfood to my inferiority complex. I really didn’t want to be humiliated in front of her….stop it, Anne. Jesus!…I opened the door.
Sarah was there. Susan was there. And so was my mom. Fuck. Sarah was holding a big flower arrangement. What was THAT all about? I wanted to get rid of Mom and Susan so Sarah could talk to me about whatever it was she had texted me about. But before I could even say “come in,” all three of them shouted, in unison, “CONGRATULATIONS!”
Sarah handed me the flower arrangement. “You’ve just been elected to the Little Rock Garden Club,” she said.
Holy mother of meatballs and spaghetti sauce.
This garden club is pretty hard to get into. Like, you can’t get into it if you ask. You can’t buy your way in. There are only 70 active members, all of them female. My great-grandmother was in that club, as was my grandmother. My mom and sister are both in the club.
I don’t have a lot of friends in common with them. See, I’ve spent most of my adult life in offices and courtrooms and working long hours. I didn’t have time for book clubs, golf or tennis, coffee klatches, lunching with ladies, or dinners with friends. Even now that I’m not working anymore, I spend long hours in front of my computer and I rarely go out. When I do, it’s usually with my heathen friends, who tend to be focused on other things. I mean, I just don’t run in the same circles as these ladies. I never expected to be invited to join their club.
To get into the Little Rock Garden Club, someone unrelated to you who knows you well has to nominate you without your knowledge, then someone ELSE has to second the nomination, then a secret committee gets a chance to blackball you. And then the whole board gets a shot at saying no.
It seems that the board said yes. It seems that I did not get blackballed in committee. Apparently Sarah nominated me and another friend seconded the nomination.
I have officially arrived in society. Me. The activist. The outspoken freethinker. The agitator. The socialist. The foul-mouthed, overweight, loud, obnoxious, ultra-liberal, Charlie Brown-hating, rabble-rousing…me. I suddenly had tears in my eyes. Dear sweet baby Cthulhu, where did this gift come from?!
I know nobody gives a rat’s ass, and I know that I shouldn’t give one either, but I have felt my whole adult life that I am unworthy of being around “nice” people like the members of this club. For the last two days, my phone has been ringing with congratulations from the people I know in the club. I had no idea I knew so many of them! Maybe I do belong there after all. Maybe this will help heal my imposter syndrome, just a little.
Today, I am suddenly worthy.
I intend to enjoy the hell out of this.