Country Mouse Visits City Mouse

27 01 2012

Earlier this week, I presented Faces of Israel at an invitation-only event in Tucson.  The program was held at a private home…  at a visually stunning and magazine-perfect home to be precise.  Each female guest arrived with beautifully-coiffed hair, a carefully selected outfit and matching accessories – including a groomed man at her arm.

As the hostess introduced me to each guest, she half-jokingly remarked that “She didn’t have pink hair when we met her last year!”, perhaps making small talk or perhaps to distance herself from inviting them to a program where the speaker might be a wild card.  We sipped wine and socialized prior to the program, and several of the guests handed checks or a one hundred dollar bill to the organizer at the end of the night to subsidize future programming.

Home? (In The Pool On Our African Safari Honeymoon)

Home? (In The Pool On Our African Safari Honeymoon)

Here’s the thing:  Both the hosts and the guests were friendly and welcoming, literally opening up their home to me and my work.  And though I didn’t grow up in a fancy house like the one that I found myself in that night, I was always somewhat at ease interacting with all sorts of people – including wealthy “Englewood-types” and international diplomats.

Yet, that night, I felt a profound and quite surprising discomfort during the social part of the evening.  It felt foreign to be socializing with upper-class Jewish couples in a private community.  How much should I share with them about my life?  What would they think of me and my RVing and van-dwelling friends?  How much would we have in common?

Or... Home?  (In A Renovated and Redecorated Tank At The Slabs)

Or... Home? (In A Renovated and Redecorated Tank At The Slabs)

I would like to be able to weave in and out of different communities with ease.  I wouldn’t mind being gifted a masterpiece home, but practically I have become used to a much more informal environment for myself.

My first choice for a chevreh (social circle) are fun people who share a passion for bettering the world and who inspire one another.  But beyond that passion for service, if I needed to choose between your average RVer / van-dweller and your average mansion-dweller, I would likely choose the former.  Without making any value judgments, that crowd is just so much more ‘me’ right now.

posted by ayo

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5 responses

27 01 2012
roamingbarbara

The pink hair comment would have thrown me too, i.e., what did she mean by that? But obviously you must have impressed them if they opened their wallets at the end. And maybe they learned something at the same time. Good job!

2 02 2012
ayo

Thanks for the encouragement! And, hey… if they open up their wallets to me next time, they can say whatever they want about the hair! 🙂

27 01 2012
Karin

I am glad to be a part of your social circle! It was great to finally get to meet you in person. Thank you for letting us show you around today. We had the best time.

2 02 2012
ayo

You guys are fantastic! We’re a teense behind on post-writing, but totally need to brag to the world how lucky we were to hang with you guys. 🙂

Thanks for the company, the excursion and the yummy lunch. Til next time… on the road!

2 02 2012
Tamar Dermer

Your pink hair is an accent to your bubbly, sweet personality. As for mansion-dwellers, I don’t feel in the same social circle either. And I’ve lived on the same 7,000 sq ft for the last 10 years. Matching accessories? Not likely. 🙂

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