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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Minority Report

As a somewhat unthrilled member of the non-profit world, I was required to attend a grant forum today, ostensibly to gain more information about the grant being offered. What I got was the opportunity to sit and listen to a bevy of 50ish women talk about their own foundations and themselves.

I'm not a particular fan of sweeping generalizations, but here's my physical description of the typical arts-related non-profit representative at this forum:

* White.
* Mid-fifties.
* Long hair, done up in some elaborate braiding system.
* Wearing any combination of the following items:
* eccentric, colorful eyeglass frames (commonly referred to as "funky")
* clothes from Nordstrom (if non-profit is younger than 10 years old, Nordstrom Rack)
* a pin or brooch that is approximately the size of a salad plate
* strange-looking socks, (at least one individual had birds on hers, one had autumn leaves)
* Mom-paunches.

Needless to say, being a twenty-eight year old male and having left all of my satellite-dish-sized pendants at home, I was a little out of my element. I was the minority, even more so than the one African American woman with the hijab-- at least she had a vagina, I'm reasonably sure. Making small-talk with a roomful of women who could be your mother but are significantly more irritating and self-aggrandizing was not easy for me and, as usual in situtations like these, I seated myself far away from everyone else and pretended to read my notes, thus successfully avoiding most conversations. One cameo-wearing woman made the mistake of sitting next to me and introduced herself. I immediately forgot her name and she was positioned so that I could not see her nametag. Her breath smelled like old tires and so my clipped responses were carefully designed to minimize further communiques. She quickly moved to leech onto others with whom she could network with and breathe on more successfully.

The only thing I like about the non-profit world is that it makes you seem like a do-gooder. But I do not belong with these people. I don't know with whom I belong, but it certainly wasn't with them. I long for a time when and where I will not feel like an outsider, but I don't go to synagogue or to blogger conventions or to prematurely-retired EMT functions.

If you know of a place where I might feel more at home, a place devoid of jowly women in bird socks and mom-slacks, invite me. I might actually go.


  1. A salad plate brooch would be SO helpful to me! Where's my re-usable dish? Oh yes, attached to my shirt! No more forgetting tupperware in my desk.

    I would feel more sympathy for you if I weren't forced to attend council meetings populated by mostly white farmers or farm-related gentlemen, 45 and over, more often than I attend the grocery store.

  2. I so vote you give that idea (brooch pin/salad plate) to Mrs. Apron to execute and post on Craftster! :)


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