As the First Lady you get called on to attend meetings. There is the meeting of the Women’s Ministry at your church, Ministers and Pastors Wives Meetings, District Women’s Meetings, State Women’s Ministry meetings….you get the point. If there is the word WOMEN in any ministry meeting title, there is a good chance that you are invited, expected or guilt-ed into attending.
Now don’t get me wrong, there have been some meetings that set a purpose, met it and I walked away blessed to have been there. But there have been some where I sat at a table, pen in hand and envisioned what their facial expressions would be as I imagine myself jumping on the table and screaming “WHY ARE WE HERE AND WHAT DOES THE SHINGLES HAVE TO DO WITH IT???”
I went to one of these meetings in the winter and because of how far it was my sister came along with me. It was cold outside and early on a Saturday so I jumped up, made sure the house was in order – who are we kidding, it was Saturday and there were four kids to ask ‘didjaeet (did you eat)??’ I put on my jeans, some knee boots, a decent sweater while grabbing my coffee saying goodbye and going out the door. I met-up with my dear sister (who has always been my roadie, no matter where I went once I got a drivers license, she would jump in the car and go with me to go to the moon) and we jumped on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
When we got to the church we descended down the stairs to join those already around the table and to my horror….many of the women were in their ‘Sunday go meeting’ outfits. Here’s me…jeans, boots and a leather jacket while these seasoned sisters were in full ‘church wear’ at 10 o’clock in the morning….a Saturday morning.
At first I was mortified in a quiet way. You KNOW there were icy looks, not loving sisters but judgmental biddies (that’s what I saw as they assessed my Saturday attire) but as I sat there I thought….they don’t know me! Then I started wondering ‘why am I here’ I giggled as I imagined them calling each other asking “did you see what she had on?!” That’s when I knew….my First Lady hat didn’t fit. Maybe it wasn’t that the hat didn’t fit, maybe I didn’t fit the mold that people had placed on the hat. Whatever!! I’m here now, dragged my sister out in the cold, paid tolls on the Pennsylvania turnpike and got up early on a Saturday to be here so I participated in the meeting, took my ill-fitting Hat (in their eyes of course) and went home. That was one meeting that I never attended again but I still laugh at the looks peering at me from under the First Lady’s Brims.