The crickets chirp, the owls hoot, and I head to bed.
Madison. Kalamazoo. Minneapolis. These cities mean something, because I can say I got drunk at them and survived nicely, thankyouverymuch, all on someone else's dime.
I can now add Orlando, FL to that list.
Had an eventful day, full of fire and brimstone credit union speeches (by an amazing guy, Rex Johnson, who is mad as hell and won't take it anymore) that - with a bit of luck - won't be forgotten between now and the flight home Sunday.
Melissa and Jennifer. Liz and Lori and Maureen. John and Steve and Chris and Judi. These last four I just left at the hotel lobby after taking advantage of the open bar (my vote for the two greatest words in the English language) and the all-you-can-eat dinner. I'll never look at a bottle of Corona the same, and I'll never forget the relaxed, laid-back style of credit union professionals.
The dress code calls for "business casual," which to those in the CU biz means khakis and a logowear shirt, if that. We're supposedly known for our ability to drink and hang loose and actually engage each other in the gospel of membership and democracy and volunteer boards and "movements." We preach to the choir, except when the Aflac folks show up and we have to justify our existence to former bank presidents.
"Yeah, but ya'll are tax-exempt," Steve said.
Your goddamn right, pal, and for good reason.
In Rotary, I'm used to the fact that I'm the only single and young member when I go to these types of conferences. I tend to stand out, and even when I wish I didn't it makes for good conversation. What I'm finding is that CUs are a female-centric business, and this makes for its own conspicuousness.
No pool today, but plenty of food and conversation and "how's the weather?" (a talent perfected by us Midwesterners) and "What Disney park are you headed to tomorrow?"
Me? I'm all for Epcot, a grand adventure to the future, and probably the least family-focused of the parks. But then that's my style: go it alone, do your own thing, and hope nobody notices your by your damn self.
I wish it were different. I meet people, and they talk about kids and husbands and wives and grocery shopping and mortgages, and a part of me wishes that was happening. Especially when I see so many my age with rings on their fingers (I remember when I started looking for that).
But then I think, "Jesus, could any of this be possible with all that?" Which is better? What do I want more?
Right now I want sleep, and this terrible, booze-heavy feeling in my stomach to go away, because I know I have to get up early tomorrow and sit through some three-hour bore-fest before we storm the parks and raise Donald Duck as our pagan fowl god, drinking Goofy's still-warm blood and hoisting Mickey's head on a pike.
We're credit union folk, dammit, and we know how These Things Work.