In a few short hours I'll be breaking an oath I made a long, long time ago. I swore I would never do it again, but here I am, standing at the threshold, palms sweaty, eyes wide with fear and trepidation, because, against my better judgement, I'm headed to my churches annual "Women's Retreat" thingy.
I know. I know. I truly believed when I made that promise to God, 8 years ago, that I would never, ever participate in the madness of Women's Retreat again. Ever. I was opting out for good; turning away from the cafeteria food, the lumpy beds, the crying and hugging, the headache inducing mix of fragrances, the crafts. "No more!", I said. And I meant it.
The last women's retreat I went to, I literally retreated to my room and spent 2 days reading magazines and doing planks with a couple of friends - while the speaker berated women for taking antidepressants, having bad marriages, and raising willful children. She assured us that if only we were spiritual enough, God would relieve us of these obstacles. And, oh, we could buy her book at the back of the room. I was livid. That old lady is lucky I didn't jump three rows of chairs and tackle her to the ground. It was bad.
Now you might be wondering why I'm going, so I made you a list...
Top 10 reasons I'm going to Women's Retreat:
1. My house smells like ass and armpit all day, every day. I need a break from teenage boys. Seriously. A smell break.
2. The speaker is legit. I've heard her before - She's smart, educated, straight forward, and God bless her, completely devoid of that annoying, weirdly romantic, soft "we're praying now" voice.
3. Lady singing. Throw a hundred women in a room with a pitched ceiling and let them sing their hearts out to their Savior. Even if 90 of them can't actually sing, it will be off the chain. I don't know why.
4. The food. I have a strange fondness for mass-produced cafeteria food. I'm not kidding. Love it.
5. This ain't my first rodeo. I know that if I want to I can take a nap, or hide and write, or go for a loooooong walk. I will probably do all of those things.
6. Lake Tahoe. Duh.
7. No way out. Now that I'm practically a pastor's wife, I felt weird telling people I wouldn't be at the Women's Retreat because "I don't do that crap." Anything else would have been a lie. So, the way I see it, my choice was offend, lie, or go.
8. Did I mention the food? Yeah. I don't have to cook or clean up after any of it.
9. Friends. My friends are going and they're super damn fun no matter what. We could be going to prison and I'd still be a little bit stoked to hang out with them.
10. It could be amazing. No. For real...
I'm going to Women's Retreat because maybe it won't suck. Maybe I'll even find God there... yes, even at Women's Retreat. Maybe.
Here I go.
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What about you? Do you "Retreat"?? (**We used to call the youth guys retreat an "assault" but then one year they were talking about sex and we didn't want them telling everybody they were going on a "Sexual Assault" weekend with our Church. Sooo...yeah.**) You were saying?....