{ Tuesday, November 26, 2002 }

Big Meeting.

So, today was my sister's Big Meeting. The meeting she's been working toward for three months. The meeting where her neighborhood was going to come together and make their plans of action.

I can assure you that every house in the community received a flyer in both English and Spanish about the Big Meeting along with a personal invitation to attend. I can assure you that there were fliers everywhere. I can assure you that my sister and her volunteers called three hundred people to remind them about this meeting. Three times each. Almost a thousand phone calls. Seventy-five people said for sure they were absolutely coming. Shelly figured she'd get 40.

Twenty-five people came.

The meeting itself seemed to go well if you ask me. For twenty-five strangers, each with a personal agenda, meeting together for the first time, I think it went well. The people who spoke were very enthusiastic and made an effort to be clear, and really they were all very well spoken people. The people who said they'd bring snacks brought an abundance. Everyone had something to contribute. The meeting went well.

It's just the lack of turn out.

And there's nothing she could have done. She feels like she missed something. Like there was something she didn't do. Because people who by all rights should have been there, people who had been to other meetings and had been active in this organization before, weren't there. She feels like it was her fault.

And there's little I can do to make her feel better. She knows the meeting ran well. She knows she did everything she could conceive of doing. There's no reason we know of why the turn-out was so low. Other people's meetings didn't have this low of a turn-out. Maybe it's the upcoming holiday? Maybe it the neighborhood? Maybe it was just a fluke? We had signs up and everyone knew exactly where the meeting was being held.

But right now I'm trying to give her space. Because I've given her all the encouragement and treats that one person can take before they stop seeming sincere. And I think she just wants to sit by herself with her Ale8 (I managed to bring her three in my carry-on luggage) and lament. I feel just awful for her.

posted by mary ann 11:00 PM