This past weekend I innocently attended a scrapbooking retreat with two friends, thinking there would be a couple dozen mothers lovingly pasting down photos of their children and adding precious little embellishments.
I was so wrong.
About 50 people filled the log chapel, cutting, arranging, and gluing. These were no cute little mothers. These were die-hard women (and even one man). A few seemed desperate. Now, I can't say that everyone fit into the crazy-for-scrapbooking category. But several did, clad in pajamas and greasy hair protruding from under baseball caps, obviously forgetting personal hygiene and common courtesy for the sake of their beloved books of memories. Others stayed up until the middle of the night, reluctantly put aside their adhesive and paper cutters for a few winks, and were back to work in the morning. One older lady told us that she laid on the couch in the chapel (not sure why she bothered to pay for accommodations) for just an hour each night, determined not to miss a moment of opportunity.
The most classic example was a woman who followed me into the restroom when I woke up to use it in the accommodations area at about 6:45 a.m. For some reason, her desperation led her to believe that 1)It was OK to harass a complete stranger while she was using the bathroom, and 2)I was the fount of retreat knowledge. Keep in mind that I was in the stall the whole time, so I never even saw her face. Our conversation:
Her: "Do you know how I can get into the scrapbooking room?"
Me (sleepily): "No, I'm sorry, I don't."
Her (slightly wailing): "I can't get in and all my stuff is in there!"
Me (thinking she's had a family emergency): "Oh, dear. Do you need to go home?"
Her (higher pitched wailing): "No! I want to scrapbook!"
Me: "Well, you could try walking around the camp and see if any staff members are up."
Her: "I did! I've been walking around for an hour. Do you know how I can reach the director?"
Me (thinking: Let the poor man sleep!): "Hmmm...maybe there's a sign posted on the office with a number you could call."
Her: "I tried that already; I couldn't get any answer. Do you know what time the room opens?"
Me: "I think at 7."
Her (reluctantly): "Well, OK."
An entertaining weekend to say the least. And I got 20 pages done and spent some great time with my friends.
Sometimes sunshine comes to life in, er, rather unexpected ways.
2 days ago