I have a very good friend who used to bail out on virtually ALL social occasions. She couldn't explain why, and those of us in her circle of friends just gradually came to accept that Kay was a flake. Kay didn't see it that way--she found social gatherings uncomfortable and anything more than two or three people was reason to not show up.
I didn't understand it, but looking at her career, it made sense--she spent all day working as a counselor in mental health and juvenile delinquency settings, and the idea of using her leisure time to navigate through the pitfalls of social gatherings with friends, strangers, friends-of-friends and sometimes relatives was probably unappealing.
I don't have her excuse. I'm two-for-two, having missed the JBlogger Convention because of work (training day--not negotiable) and today missed the JBlogger Picnic which I've been looking forward to for a week.
Unlike Kay, I actually LIKE meeting people, and friends of friends (we'll leave relatives out of it for now, with the exception of my sister-in-law and my cousins, who are gems)and listening to other people's take on things--whether or not I agree with them.
But I got up early (0530) to get started early on work, and skipped the gym so I'd be done by 3pm, all with the intention of swinging over to Gan Sacher with my family in tow to meet with bloggers I already know and hopefully bloggers I haven't met yet.
"You guys ready?" I called, shutting down the laptop.
"Do I HAVE to go?" grumbled the teen. "I REALLY don't want to do this."
"I have a headache," the Husband muttered from the couch.
"Oh, c'mon, I've been looking forward to this all week," I remonstrated. "The weather is great, there's a sukkah, we'll stop and get burgers or a felafal so you don't have to prep or pack."
Mike rolled his eyes at me. "This is not something I really want to do...I'll go if you insist because you're my wife, but I'd rather do a lot of other things."
"I don't want to go...." the Kid announced for about the 17th time [yes, I heard you already...]
"But it's Sukkot, and I thought it would be fun to go out and do something together as a family---I want to go, but I don't want to go by myself while you guys just hang out at home...what do YOU want to do?" I asked.
"I dunno." "I dunno."
"Look, I've been glued to a computer screen for eight hours, unmoving. My eyes hurt. My muscles hurt. My back hurts. I need to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND DO SOMETHING!!" I explained as rationally as possible.
"Well, I understand that," my husband conceded. "What do YOU want to do, other than go hang out with a bunch of people I've never met and wouldn't have a clue how to talk to?"
"Why not? They're olim, like us, and Jewish, like us.....you don't have to talk about writing and blogs. Talk about life." I amended cheerily.
He sank lower in the couch. "I really do have a headache. I don't feel like being social."
We finally agreed on the (ugh) Mall -- I could use my gift card to buy books at Steimatzky's, Josh could go look for a new computer game he wants, pick up some decorations for the sukkah, and we could all sit and have a chat over iced coffees...as a family. Something we don't do often enough any more. School, work, the rush of life going by....
It was fun. Then we came home, made dinner and ate in the sukkah, and my back didn't hurt, my eyes didn't hurt and Mike's headache had gone....
So I'm sorry for acting like my flaky friend, and I realize this is the SECOND Jblogger event I've missed...but shalom bayit was important today.