Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sitting in a Circle, Talking Obama

Last night Ryan and I went to our first official "Munich for Obama Meetup" and I have to say, it was a strangely familiar process.

Growing up Presbyterian, I have been to all manner of meetings. There are numerous jokes about the Presbyterian love of order and desire to break up into committees. By the time I graduated high school, I had served on least a dozen committees, and even headed a few!

Its not that I like or dislike meetings, but church meetings were always the same, no matter the issue or the people involved. A leader trying to plow through a pages-long agenda, a rebel leader determined to "tell it like it is", a myriad of people bogging down the agenda with personal anecdotes or attempts at humor, and at least one teary-eyed older person who wanted to share some touching Chicken Soup for the Soul moment. But, as long as I'm not the one in charge of such a meeting, I find them quite funny.

But imagine my surprise as I sat amongst the middle-aged democrats and relived this church experience. The leader trying to be diplomatic as another experienced DA rants "the Amerikahaus hates democrats! That's a fact! They're all business neo-cons!" (oh the shame of that word!) Another lady went on and on about how we should find a way to order Obama shirts with "sprinkles" (aka glitter) and several other ladies cooed over her "sprinkle" shirt. A very elderly lady spoke with awe of a Gwenyth Paltrow viral video that she emailed to her nephew. I don't think she really knew what a viral video was, or that this particular one had been around at least a month and EVERYONE had already seen it, but good for her.

Mostly we spent time hearing about various attempts to register Americans to vote abroad. Each report was like this "I went to the _______ Festival where there were over 1000 Germans dressed as cowboys/Elvises/Hells Angels and I found only 1 American, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to vote." You have to have a sense of humor about these things. But, to Ryan's dismay, I have volunteered us to run a voter registration table at our English-speaking church on Sunday. That's another universal rule of meetings: attend a meeting, be volunteered.

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