Monday, November 17, 2008

Awkward begets AWKWARD!

A couple weeks ago, I got an email from my college alumni association, the 'singles' division:

Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

with guest speaker (name deleted)

Time: 6 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008
Location: (Location deleted)

SALA will provide the meat, potatoes, rolls and drink.

Bring salads or vegetables and desserts for potluck.

  • Last names beginning A-M desserts
  • Last names beginning N-Z salads or vegetables
  • (Please bring enough for 12 people)

Cost per person: $5 PLUS your potluck dish.

Register online at (website deleted) by Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 5 p.m. to assist us in purchasing the food.

Usually I delete emails like that, but I gave this one a second glance... Ok, so I'm thinking, "Hey, what a great way to meet people who are in the same stage of life I am!" I invited my friend Melinda, and we got kind of excited at the prospect of this new group of people and opportunities.

So last Thursday,I made my potluck side dish and we trudged through the rain to the alumni building. We got there right about 6:00...and we started looking around...everyone was probably in their forties or older. Wait a minute? Yeah, we were starting to get anxious...we were obviously the youngest people in the room--by a long shot. I figured the youngsters would start showing up, but after ten loooooong minutes, no such luck. More old people showed up, though.

The people who approached us must have seen that we were the anomaly. One lady came up and introduced herself and then proceeded to try to sell us some book on 'born again' experiences. "If people tell me they don't have any money, I just tell them 'You just keep this copy and read it.'" Melinda was so gracious to her, but we were both just taken aback. We did not come to be bombarded with cringe-worthy conversations like this! Another lady came up and asked where on campus we worked. "Ummm....well, we don't work on campus...." (Looking at each other with a look that says, 'Were we supposed to work on campus?!'). The woman running the event came over and in a saccharine tone asked us how we were. People kept saying stuff like, "Oh, is this your first event like this?" Yes, and my last, too!

After weighing our options, and while everyone's attention was diverted to waiting in line for the food, we decided that our $5 was not worth the awkwardidity that was occurring at that dinner. We tossed out the possibility that the speaker might be really great...and then we decided that we didn't care how great he was. We cut our losses and sneaked out the back door.

What can we learn from this experience, ladies and gentlemen? First off, figure out if you're truly the intended demographic for an event like this. You might walk in there and discover that everyone is twice your age and closer to retirement than to their college years. How did I end up on this emailing list?! Secondly, no matter how awkward something is, don't be afraid to just chalk it up to a funny mistake and laugh about it. As weirded out as we were, Melinda and I laughed a lot about it as we relayed the experience to our other friends.


Blogger LindsayKeller said...

Thank goodness you didn't go it alone! I seem to get into awkward situations all by myself. That is a good question---how DID you get on their list?

November 17, 2008 at 8:55 PM

Blogger Adrianne Miller said...

Hahha I forgot to ask you how this went. Now I know.

November 18, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Blogger Aaron and Devony said...

At least you invited a friend! So much worse on your own. I would go back to your previous habit of deleting said emails... :)

November 18, 2008 at 11:05 PM

Blogger Stephanie said...

Haha, this is hilarious! :) I can totally see the looks on your faces with the born-again book lady. Oh wow... I'm glad you girls just chalked it up to a funny experience and LEFT! Hey, the next time we have an activity for our YOUNG alumni association (graduated 10 years or less), I'll be sure to invite you along ;)

November 20, 2008 at 8:51 AM


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