Friday, October 22, 2004

Member of the Tribe

I wasn't really in the mood to go to the first meeting of the Rabbi's Retirement Committee last night - I had to work late, I was tired, and what I wanted more than anything was to put the kids to bed, take a long hot shower, and curl up with my new library book. But in the car on the way there, I had a change of heart and actually started to like the idea of being more involved in synagogue activities. Having grown up at the shul, all through my gawky childhood and awkward adolescence, I often feel that people there still don't really see me as an adult - they either remember me from when I was a kid, or they only know me once they realize who my parents are. Working on a high-profile committee might be just the thing to change that.

So, I arrived at the meeting, helped myself to a cup of coffee, and sat down at the table. As other people came in they greeted each other warmly, then looked warily in my direction. Who is this stranger in our midst, their faces said, and why should this imposter have any say in the Rabbi's retirement party? They were all people I vaguely recognized, people whose kids were in my Hebrew School class or who were active in Hadassah with my mom. But most of them had not seen me in years and had no idea who I was. They sat down in clusters, leaving the chairs next to me conspicuously vacant. A few people whispered to one another, then glanced at me and shook their heads and shrugged their shoulders in confusion.

Finally one brave soul reached over the empty chair to offer his hand. "Hi, I'm Jim. I don't think we've met before."

"Yes," said the woman across from him. "In fact, maybe we should go around and introduce ourselves. I'm not sure I know quite everyone here," she added, looking pointedly my way.

"Sounds great!" I offered brightly. "I'm Aimless!" A dozen faces looked blankly back at me.

"Uh, Aimless E______, that is . . ."

More blank faces, knitted brows and perplexed stares. I knew there was simply no way around it.

" . . . but, you probably know me better as the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. N____________."

"Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!" came a collective sigh from the now-friendly crowd, "We knew you looked familiar!"

I then spent the rest of the evening trying fruitlessly to get a word in edgewise as the rest of the committee argued, debated, and picked apart one another's ideas for a solid two hours.

Clearly, this "establishing myself as an adult" thing might be a longer process than I thought.


Blogger justjook said...

Since when did we become adults? :P

4:47 PM  
Blogger exute said...

If being an adult is measured by being recognized at synagogue committee meetings and allowed to comment on whether to serve herring or gefilte fish at aluncheon, it won't take you nearly as long as you imagine.

You'll be asked to serve again, and again, and again, and inevitably someday will wonder who that young person is, why was she invited- she's still wet behind the ears!

7:07 AM  

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