by Ruth Wilkinson (circa 2008)
We found out tonight at Dinner that [our project] had been “announced from the pulpit” at a local church. Which — once I’d clarified that it was announced and not denounced — is very cool. It’s created some interest in people who attend that church, which I’ve always pigeonholed as very conservative. So, with my stereotype in mind, I’m wondering what they’ll think of the whole thing.
One of the team is going to organize a meeting at her house for those church-folks who are interested so we can give them an idea of what ‘we do’.
I’m tempted to tell horror stories and see if it scares them off. But I won’t.
But I will say this:
• If you can’t sit down for dinner with 30 people, without having someone say the blessing,
• If you can’t share a meal with someone who may or not be drunk,
• Someone who may or may not be mentally ill,
• Someone who may or may not be lying to you,
• If you can’t have a conversation with someone who is smoking without making faces and waving the smoke away,
• If you can’t hear someone use the F word as a verb and an adjective and a noun and an adverb, possibly all in the same sentence, without cringing,
• If you can’t laugh at a genuinely funny crude joke, and good naturedly rebuff a truly offensive one,
• If you can’t hug someone who may or may not have Hepatitis C or AIDS,
This may not be the place for you.
(But I hope it is.)