I was talking to a friend who comes in the consignment shop where I work. She had her own business before she retired and is used to dealing with people. I mentioned to her that I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into by agreeing to be a co-chair for my women’s club. Her smile was both understanding and unsympathetic at the same time.
“I tried belonging to a women’s group years ago and I couldn’t take it,” she confided “That’s just not for me.” I guessed she couldn’t stand the nit-picking and cattiness that seem to go with the territory.
I’ve belonged to all types of groups and conducted business at many. I know men have their moments of unconstructive discussion (that’s just my politically correct phrase for the kind of empty talk that I usually describe with two initials; it makes my dad say “get out the shovel”). Sometimes I would find it easier to carry a shovel than to find the patience to sit through a women’s meeting. Here I am signing in for a year of it, and, although I’ll have more control when I’m at the helm, sorry ladies, following rules of order at most women’s meetings is not easy.
Some 25 years ago, our local Jaycee chapter merged with its affiliated women’s auxiliary when the national organization decided to allow women to join. Neither my husband nor I were in favor of the change. We knew meetings would never be the same. The way business was conducted by each group was considerably different depending on what planet you’re from (the Mars/ Venus comparison). Sure enough, membership went downhill ever after. Kiss goodbye a night to get away from the opposite sex, and on top of that, who would watch the kids when both parents met on the same night?
My colleague, now my new co-chair, laughed with me as we remembered some of the topics the Columbiana Women’s Club has spent serious time on. She informed me that we argued at length about the correct way to cut tea sandwiches (I’m sorry I missed that meeting). Not that proper tea protocol is a topic to be left unturned, but it should have been left up to a committee in the kitchen. I reminded her of the club minutes that actually noted that a light bulb had been changed