Welcome to Hell! Can I get you a pita?
Last night I went to my official training session for the legal clinic at which I plan to volunteer a few times a month. I should start this off by saying it was a room full of people who really care about people less fortunate than them, and for that, I commend them. It won't, however, keep me from telling you all the utter nightmare that experience was.
I was only able to grab a snack for lunch, so I was looking forward to the catered dinner I was promised, maybe some pizza or just some pre-made sandwiches. I was starved. I show up at 6:25 - five minutes early - and turn out to be the last one there...that should tell you something right away. When I get to the back room where the food is, my stomach rumbles in protest; there's a large, mostly empty, tub of roasted pepper hummus, a bag of pitas that had been sitting open too long, one package of generic wet deli meat, and a bag of "guacamole chips," whatever those are. No drinks. So I take my hard pita smeared in hummus and squeeze myself through the tiny (tiny!) room to the back, where I can eat and listen in peace.
The young, perky woman in charge starts the meeting and immediately informs us she used to be a camp counselor (I cringe inwardly) and she's going to do things a "bit different." Instead of going around the room and saying our name, where we worked, what brought us here - "so boring!" she says - (maybe, but actually relevant! I retort) - we should say our names and, if we could only eat one food for the rest of our lives, what would we eat? I realized at this point I'd poorly positioned myself in a corner without any nearby windows to hurl myself out of.
The following actually happened:
Jane: "Hi, I'm Jane, and I'd eat sweet potatos, not because I like them, but because I read somewhere that sweet potatos have all the nutrients your body needs. Isn't that neat?"
Matt: "My name is Matt, and I'd eat wheat bread."
Jack: "I'm Jack, and I'd eat hummus."
David: "I'm David, and I'd eat salad bar."
Camp Counselor: "Ohh David." (giggles) "That's cheating!"
Patty: "Hi! I'm Patty, and I'd eat spinach!"
Me: "Hey, I'm Heather, and I'd eat cheese enchiladas. Big fat ones."
Anne: "Hi, I'm --"
Me: "With extra cheese. Not that crappy stuff either - extra sharp cheddar."
Anne: "...I'm Anne --"
Me: "And sour cream. And guac! I can't believe I almost forgot the guac. Ha. I mean, if I'm only eating one food for the rest of my life, it's got to come correct."
Anne: (giving me eyes of death) "I'm Anne." Pause. "And I'd eat celery."
Me: (raises hand) "I'm sorry, but I've already forgotten every single person in the room. Was there some point to this whole exercise except making me remember how starving I am right now, and how vegetables are not going to cut it? And you, wheat bread man, I've forgotten your name even harder than the rest of them. I think it was actually beaten out of my head by real information. Frankly, I think you owe us an apology for forcing to us to realize there's someone in this world who'd want to eat only wheat bread for the rest of his life."
Then I hear the words that make me nearly fall over backwards with the force of my eyes rolling back into my head: "Now we're going to roleplay!"