My friend Dawn, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama, and I went to a Returned Peace Corps volunteer happy hour.
I have not been going to RPCV events since I moved here from Memphis. My friends Leigh and Megan and I started the RPCV group in Memphis as a way to meet men. It worked for Megan - she met her husband, who was a volunteer in Chad, through the group.
Leigh and I did not meet men via the group but we met a lot of really nice people who are friends to this day.
Our philosophy for the Memphis group was, "We've done our volunteer work and now all we want to do is have a party."
The philosophy for the group here blesstheirhearts is "There is no social event that cannot be used as a fundraising opportunity."
Which is fine. They get to do it how they want. But I don't want to donate $25 every time I hang our with RPCVs or even $3 for a potluck. Potluck should equal free.
OK. I am being a bit of a bitch here. The three dollars for the potluck is because they have it at a county park and you have to pay to reserve the shelter with the picnic tables. And they buy some beer.
But. I haven't been going because 1. I don't want to pay and 2. I don't want to Do Good and 3. I hate leaving my house anyhow.
Primo saw that there was an event and said I needed to go - that I was turning into a hermit.
I asked Dawn if she wanted to go, hoping she would say no and I would be off the hook and could watch "Inspector Lewis" in peace and then read some "The Nest," of which I have read only two chapters but am already loving because it is about greedy, self-centered people who have lived way beyond their means in anticipation of an inheritance and I AM THINKING, "TED!" THIS IS ALL ABOUT TED! WHO LIVES BEYOND HIS MEANS AND THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO INHERIT AND HE DIDN'T!
But she wanted to go so I was stuck and off we went.
And of course we had a really nice time. It was at a bar, so I didn't have to make a donation, although I bought Dawn's drink because she had driven.
I started talking to this very cool woman who had been a volunteer in Morocco. (We are now finally getting to the point.)
She lives in Town X.
"That's where the horrible campaign manager my husband hired lives," I said. "She's on the city council now. I can't believe you guys re-elected her."
(I know. This is not a wise conversation to have with a stranger. However, if it turned out that Morocco Lady was friends with Campaign Manager, well, I didn't want to be friends with Morocco Lady.)
ML shuddered. "I know her!"
Me: You do?
ML: She's my neighbor. I have mixed feelings about her.
ML: My neighbor across the street is an artist. She was building some stuff - molds for casting - and using some chemical Campaign Manager didn't like. So CM reported her to the police.
[NB CM is ultra left, which is a category that I am thinking does not usually think well of the police and is always on guard against a police state - and I concur, as I also do not want a police state - but calling the police on your neighbor for a project she is doing in her own garage seems to be excessive use of police force if you ask me. So really, CM is just a hypocrite - she doesn't want police power to be used against her, but as long as she is the one calling the shots, she is fine.]
ML: The police came and shut my neighbor down.
Me: Had CM even talked to the neighbor first?
ML: Nope. So yeah - she's really not a friend.
Me: OK. You and I can be friends, then.