I have just returned from a fantastic four-day retreat, the theme of which was “Wild Child Wisdom”. As you can probably imagine, spending four days with thirty-one other “Wild Women” created the opportunity for a number of “What?!” moments. Below I have listed my favorite moments for your reading enjoyment.
The center where the retreat was being held was an hour away from the airport into which we all had to fly. As the arrangements were made to transport us all to our final destination, I ended up riding with someone who had rented a car and wanted people to ride with her and help her navigate. As anyone who knows me (or has read this blog) knows, I am a little challenged in that area. (And here in Atlanta, it gets a little warm in the summertime.)
I really don’t think I have the words to do this story justice, so I will just give you all the ingredients and let you imagine it for yourselves.
2 Passengers, Neither of Whom Are The Driver, But Both of Whom Are Prone to Motion Sickness
Only 1 Front Seat
3 Sets of Directions, all starting and ending at the same place
3 Sets of Directions, all of which were completely different
Believe it or not, nobody puked, we did finally get there, and we were actually on time. I have absolutely NO idea how that happened. Voodoo, maybe. You never know exactly what’s gonna happen when you get a whole bunch of women together.
Once we had all checked in, we were each given a goody bag filled with amazing gifts that different artists, writers, and other creative folks had donated for the weekend. In order to make sure we didn’t miss anything, our fearless leader and retreat organizer went through her goody bag in front of the whole group and called attention to all the items one-by-one. I think this particular item was our favorite.
What she said: “And here is an offer for some business coaching.”
What we all heard: “And here is an offer for some bitchiness coaching.”
What we all said: “I don’t think any of us need coaching in that area.”
After we got all of our goodies we went around the circle and introduced ourselves. One of the women spoke about how coming to this retreat was a really big deal for her because she often had problems getting out of the house and being around groups of people.
“But,” she said, “this is great. You guys aren’t irritating me at all!”
I think that will be filed that under the heading of, Most Dubious Compliment Ever Received.
Next the evening was dedicated to various small presentations from different members of our group, describing the different workshops that were coming up over the next few days.. One of the retreat participants who specializes in event planning helped to organize all of this, and she said that her husband was a bit, um, taken aback by some of the phone conversations he heard during the planning phases. One night he hesitatingly inquired about a particularly disturbing call, asking,
“Um, honey, did I hear you asking about fairy wands? And, were you wondering where to put them?”
So we made it through our first evening, and then the next morning I was hailed by a fellow retreatant who stopped me to inform me that, “Hey, last night my roommate and I did a ‘Jenny’.”
(Important Side Note: If someone claims to have “done a Jenny”, most likely it will not have been something good.)
“We got off the elevator, and we didn’t know whether to turn left or right. You’re contagious.”
That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I hoped that people would become fans of my blog.
All too soon the weekend came to an end, and it was time for us to say goodbye. As I was walking around the room hugging everyone, I got to one cluster that included the keynote speaker for the weekend. She is a pretty well-known author and speaker in the art and creativity world and as I approached, I heard the woman talking to her say, as if it were the most normal conversational response in the world,
“One day you’ll have to go out on the balcony and show your tentacle.”
Clearly that was not the moment to join that particular conversation.
Finally it was time to go home, and I was fortunate to be on the same flight as one of my fellow Wild Children. She was remarking on how excited the airline seemed to be about the fact that they had five different snack choices for us, and she said,
“You do realize that we’ve only heard the annoucement about what to do in case of a crash once on each flight, but we’ve just heard the announcement about our snack choices for the eighth time.”