At least a week ago or so, there was an announcement posted on our local congregational website about a planning meeting for the Northwest Weekend . This event, like last year’s events and a lot of pot lucks related to volleyball practice for the event, was to be held at a particular house that is familiar to me. In fact, I told the person who was following me (who, like me, was interested in helping to plan for the adult dance, since that is one of our usual responsibilities) that I could probably drive to this house in my sleep, not that it would be safe for me to do so (whether on the way or once I arrived) and not that it would be appreciated by all the people there either. Fairly soon after I arrived, I realized two things, that this would be a teen-centered event (with a teen Bible study after a potluck and then a conversation for the teens to figure out which theme they wanted). I’m not sure whether I feel good or bad about the fact that even though this event was more or less entirely irrelevant to me, everyone sort of expected me to be there and no one seemed to think it out of place that I was there. Sometimes you just have to roll with it.
This is not to say that the evening itself was not without its pleasures–the food was good and the company was charming and the conversation was quite excellent on a variety of levels, depending on the context. One of my friends, with whom I have had fascinating conversations before , was curious about different aspects of the Bible which led to a loud and enthusiastic conversation (sorry teens!) while the teen Bible study was going on about the layers of biblical understanding and connections between different passages of the Bible, all things that I get very passionate talking about. It was nice to see the teens enjoying their Bible study as well with applying lessons from camp and getting to chat with a few of them about various matters through the course of the evening, whether it was them teasing me about being in my suit before I changed (I at least had enough sense to bring more casual clothes because I figured it would be a more casual event) or whether it was a young lady who was unaware of what her sister’s Bible and notebook looked like and asking me if I thought it was okay to eat a hamburger on a hot dog bun, to which I told her I had done it before but wasn’t sure I was the right person to ask if something was alright to do, since I tend to be a bit unconventional about such things. I even managed one comment on the theme that the teens voted in a very close vote, urging them to avoid the two unacceptable extremes of showing Islamic architecture or trying to include belly dancing and harem scenes, which would not really go over particularly well with the people who have to approve the theme. Such was the wisdom I could provide to the very thoughtful and thorough planners among our congregation’s teens. One of the young people is heading off to ABC very soon, and after I gave him a farewell hug, he said something that struck me as more than a little bit sad, hoping that I would still be around when he finished with ABC. Do I really seem like that much of a rootless wanderer? I clearly am not living life right.
I spent most of my time sitting with the adults, in particular, with the host of the house, who was rather friendly, touching my shoulder and saying that she was glad to see me. We did not end up watching any movies (as it was almost 10PM by the time I left, plenty late enough as it was, especially considering I had to guide someone to I-205 so that they could get home). I figured that was probably the safest way to keep myself out of trouble, and it seems to have worked fairly well. I got teased a bit by one of the people there about trying to find the Proverbs 31 women, since it is pretty obvious to just about everyone around that I would like to find a good wife. There were, of course, a couple of movie references we made in our conversations anyway, both movies that I have reflected upon rather seriously. Of course, as it happens, last weekend some of the people there had (like me) watched Fiddler On The Roof, so of course we were off to talk about loud debates, guys interested in girls a third their age (look what Yenta dragged in), and matchmakers for the daughters of the host of the house (as if they needed them) . Likewise, there were conversations about Hidalgo, a movie that never makes me feel entirely comfortable when I am at that particular house . Whenever I watch that movie or even think about it at that particular home, I always end up feeling as if I can identify with the protagonist a bit too well, a rootless wanderer who has a flirtatious friendship with the daughter of his host and trying to avoid getting castrated after getting caught in a compromising position–having an honest and decent personal conversation with her. Maybe we aren’t so far from Arabia in our own place and time after all. Needless to say, when I was on my way home, I felt it advisable to take the long way home, taking Scholls Ferry from US-26 for the first time ever, because I needed to ruminate. As I expected, the evening gave me a lot to think about.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: