At the first back-to-school meeting of the faculty and the staff at my school, there is an opportunity for people to make announcements. I'll admit that in my first year at the school, I found these personal announcements rather charming. Nine years in, I still know that this sharing is very nice. But as much as I like my job and my colleagues, I find my thoughts begin to wonder when announcement hour arrives.
Almost all of the announcements fall into one of three categories. Category 1: Someone got married. Mostly, people are announcing their own weddings or the weddings of their children. Perhaps related to that, is Category 2: Somebody had a baby or is expecting a baby; a subset of this category features people announcing the births of their grandchildren. And then there is Category 3: Wedding anniversaries. There seems to be an unspoken rule about the anniversaries in that you need to be married at least 20 years to pony up for the announcement.
And that's it. One of my colleagues who did have a legitimate non-birth or wedding announcement opted to stay seated yesterday, largely because she feared that if she stood up to make an announcement people would just be craning their necks to see if she was pregnant.
I totally get this sentiment.
I've never had an announcement that fits into the established categories so I am a silent observer to the ritual. And let's face it, there is no actual danger of either a wedding or a birth in my immediate future. Even if there was, I'm not sure that I'd announce it at a meeting. Though I am a compulsive over-sharer, I prefer to do my over-sharing via the anonymity of the Internet.
Instead, I listen to the announcements and find myself silently wishing that things could take a turn for the more interesting. I don't want people to stand up and report the mundane. No, I want something meaningful and interesting.
Maybe someone will stand up and announce that over the summer they kicked their 10 year crack habit?
Perhaps someone will rise with a simple report: the jury found me not-guilty on all of the charges.
Or maybe they'll proudly proclaim that the statute of limitations on a possible homicide charge against them finally expired this summer?
Won't someone please stand up and point put that they've completed their probation and are no longer on the New Jersey sex offender registry?
Is there any chance someone unrecognizable will stand up and announce that they had a sex change over the summer?
For the love of God, give me something people.
Update: Looks like I needed to get Ken Mehlman to make an announcement at the meeting.
Update II: I am now collecting more potentially thrilling announcements. For instance, my sister KO, who assures me she does not speak from personal experience, wants to hear this announcement: "I know that they say herpes can't ever be cured, but this summer, I felt cured." I concur.