Last week I posted pictures from a singles activity in Detroit, and said I’d have more to write about it later. But aside from the musical chairs game at dinner, it wasn’t as traumatic as I thought it would be. About every 5 minutes during dinner, this girl would get up and ask a question. If you could answer yes, you had to leave your table (with food and drink in tow) and find a new place to sit. Some of the questions were a little ridiculous (Can you say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious backwards?); some were revealing (Have you read all seven Harry Potter books in the past four months?); and some were obvious (Are you wearing the color blue?). To me it felt like speed dating incognito, but whatever. I did make pleasant conversation with those around me.
I went with three amazingly fun people, so it really wasn’t that bad of a time–even the dance part, for which we stayed an hour. They just played lousy music, in my opinion. When no one started dancing like mad at the first strains of “I Will Follow” by U2, I knew I was with the wrong age group. At any rate, my friend Sarah recently posted about a singles activity, and as a sign of solidarity, I dug up this gem from last October. Enjoy. All events are true, and all happened to me. This is from an email I sent to my friend Debbie:
“After I picked up my registration materials, I was directed to the chapel, where we were to sit quietly and listen to the music they had playing. A girl sat next to me, and we talked a little bit, trying to figure out what was going on. We realized they were taking people out of the chapel one by one, and figured out we were in for some type of object lesson/icebreaker fiesta.
My turn finally came, and as soon as I was out of the chapel, I saw two guys with bedsheets made to look like robes. One of them spoke and said, “Hello, I am Peter, this is James, and John is over there on his cell phone.” I kid you not. John was text messaging, not even part of the ambiance. Peter gives me this schpeel about how yay! you get to go to earth! be good, choose the right, yada yada yada, and sent me into THE PITCH DARK OVERFLOW AREA and told me to walk carefully as there were obstacles. Whatever. I made it through the darkness without tripping over a box, and was directed to the “creation”, where they had the gym all decked out with the different stages of creation and when I exited the gym, ta-da! I was born and “assigned” to a family. But before I was put into a family, there was a waiting room, and guess what movie they had playing?
I kid you not, Saturday’s Warrior (which I thought wasn’t allowed to be shown in meetinghouses) was on, and a girl in the room was reciting EVERY line and EVERY song. After 30 minutes of that painful experience, we were finally put into our family. The family was okay…we competed against another family in scripture chase (which I rocked), family feud, and a relay race, and as I was running back to my team, I tripped over the long skirt I had to put on (as part of the relay–getting ready for church) and did a total face plant/skid halfway back. Dignity? What’s that?
Finally, they sequestered us in another part of the gym (there was a divider from the creation thingie), fed us the most disgusting pizza I’ve ever tasted in my life (so I only ate the crust) and had us listen to a live fiddling band. Now, you know I like bluegrass (or maybe you didn’t but you do now) so I really didn’t mind it at first. It was a big group…14 fiddles, 2 cellos, a string bass, an electric bass, a mandolin, a couple of guitars and drums. Oh, and the fiddlers all doubled as cloggers, so there was clogging. Fun! And Celtic Rock music! Funner! But after 45 minutes, 14 fiddles start to fall out of tune and sound like dying cats. Or cats being beaten to death.
When the fiddlers were over, they started the dance, and the two people I had been talking to and sitting with found their friends, left me sitting by myself, and I couldn’t take the social anxiety, so I left. I found my hotel, grabbed some dinner, watched TV, slept in, and drove back to Bowling Green.”
About 8 years ago, my favorite Institute teacher of all time told me that perhaps being single would be my “trial of Abraham.” I can remember thinking how true that felt, and I was only 26 then. Yeah, pretty sure by now I know that being single is my trial of Abraham…but it could be worse, so I try not to complain.
Singles activities are just like first dates. If you have a great time, it’s a success! If it’s excruciatingly painful, then you eventually get to tell someone a great story about it, thus making it a success! How’s that for making lemonade from lemons?