03 June 2008

Being a Committee Member

"It was obvious from discussions that the disco night would have to planned with military precision...The only thing that wasn't covered was the synchronisation of all committee members wristwatches"

Last week I attended a special meeting. No, it was not an AA meeting, a Celine Dion fan club meeting or anything similar. It was a school events committee meeting. In fact, it was the first time I had attended as the previous meetings were held during work hours. Backtracking slightly, my wife had put our names down to be on the committee when our eldest daughter started 'big school'.

For this meeting there were 6 members who attended. There was my wife, myself and four ladies whose names all started with the letter 'J'. The host (aka J1) offered all and sundry a beverage. I declined thinking that the meeting wouldn't go too long and the fact that we lived really close by. It also became apparent to me at this stage that I was the only male on the committee!

Anyway, the meeting started and the main topic of conversation related to the upcoming school disco. There were a number of volunteer roles that needed filling. These roles included setting up, cleaning up, toilet escort, general supervision and safety patrols (without rottweilers hehehe). Given that the age of the children would range from 5 years up to 11 years old I didn't think that we would need 'bouncers' on the door. However, previous experience had taught the committee members that this would be required.

It was obvious from discussions that the disco night would have to planned with military precision to ensure a successful night. Naturally red cordial would not be on the menu but silly dance songs would! I wondered if we would have to set up metal detectors at the entrance to the school hall, and ask for identity papers for all children. Seeing a 5 year old break down in front of me as they had left their Dora the Explorer identity card at home would be hard to take. However, I think my mind was running away with things.

After thirty minutes or so it occurred to me that this event was going to be better planned than the Allied invasion of Europe in 1944! Churchill would have given it the thumbs up and lit a King Edward cigar in appreciation! The only thing that wasn't covered was the synchronisation of all committee members wristwatches.

The other startling fact of the night was the way the female members interacted with each other. Naturally being the only male there I found it nigh on impossible to get a word in edge ways. I did think of raising my hand to ask a question. However, I thought that if I did this then J1 would tell me where the bathroom was! So I stared in awe at the verbal skills on show from J1, J2, J3 & J4. Even my wife (aka 'No Worries') had trouble partaking in the discussions.

It was evident that all the 'J' ladies complemented each other with their verbal skills. It was almost as if they were using mental telepathy to do so. They were very much in sync with each other. Despite this, I did manage to make at least two important contributions across the 90 minute meeting. At all other times I was a mere spectator to the 'J' verbal fest that was going on.

We left the meeting and drove home. On the brief journey to our house I couldn't get over what I had just experienced. It certainly showed me at first hand one of the main differences between the two sexes.

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