I went to a seminar last night, and it was possibly one of the most bizarre things I have ever done. I don’t know what I expected, I thought it would be me, Susan, and a couple of older single ladies and maybe some people who wandered in by mistake looking for an AA meeting, who then felt too self-conscious to get up and walk out so they stayed. In fact, there were probably over 70 people there, everyone looked totally normal, was around our age, and were there absolutely on purpose. The title of the thing is “Have We Lost Our Ability to Mate? Or Relate?” and we were woefully unprepared. Turns out, this is not some random seminar, most of the people in the room come every week, like a support group. They were literally speaking a different, common language – based on this woman’s research and published findings and it was… just really weird.
Honestly, I don’t want to say anything negative about the people who attended, because they are “in the arena” to borrow a phrase from Teddy Roosevelt, and they are working really hard for – well, for something. To change their lives, to make things better, the same things we all are doing when we are at our best. It was strange, and felt weirdly foreign, they had these phrases and truths that we did not understand and the woman giving the talk would go off on these odd tangents that everyone in the room seemed to get except us, and we were very lost most of the time. It felt like we wandered into the wrong room, and it clearly was not going to be something that we related to or wanted to do much more work to understand. But obviously this is important and helpful to a lot of people so… that’s nice I think.
She spent a lot of time asking people what “type” they were – are you a Peter Pan (most of the men), a gold digger, etc – and Susan and I never actually fit into any of her explanations. Even in this weirdo setting, we said, we are too weird to fit in. Or not weird enough? Who knows. The only thing that came close to describing us, was when she said “you are a woman who wants to be equal to a man, you want to make your own money, you want to be respected more than you want to be cherished.” Well, yep, that sounds right, we got slightly excited and sat up straight hoping that she was nearing our type – and then she gave us the punchline – “You are a Narcissist. Stay single.” Really??? Fuuuuuuuuuuccccckkkkkkkk. Okay, if you say so, you’re the scientist. So, for obvious reasons… we felt fine about not fitting in, and at this point I just really wanted to go sit in my bathtub and read – absolutely narcissistic behavior – which I did. I will probably just stay with the things I am doing to help me grow and change and not go back to this gathering, but it was definitely an adventure.