Tonight James and I broke from our regular evening routine of dinner, TV watching, and blog reading/computer time, all done from the comfort of our loveseat. Tonight we had our second meeting with our small group from church. The idea behind small groups is to forge connections with other members of the congregation, and to get to know some new faces at church. Our congregation is pretty big, and after two years of regular attendance, I still know just a handful of people's names. We've enjoyed our previous small group opportunities that have given us a chance to get to know a few people a little better.
Our current group is a nice mix of folk, some single, some married, some older, some younger. Our ages range from 22-70 (or 80?) and we come from various professions and walks of life. Tonight we played Catch Phrase, which I think is a really good leveling game. There are words that the younger generations know and words that the older generations know, and sometimes you just get stuck with a tough phrase like slap shot. It was fun to see how different members of our group approached the game--some with lots of hand motions and few words, some with lots of animation, some with a cool, calm, collected attitude. It was fun to laugh and play together, to discuss opinions and ideas, to tell stories.
I have to tell on myself, as I embarrassed myself a little in front of the group tonight. On one of my turns at Catch Phrase, I gave the following clues to my team: "Oh, Hugh Hefner lives in one of these." "Mansion!" my team guessed confidently. "No," I said, "it's a place where you might entertain women." Time ran out and my team was stumped. The other team tried to guess the word, debating bachelor pad as a possibility. At this point I realized I had gotten the meaning of the word all wrong, and would have been much better off with a clue such as, "a room at the top of a hotel or condo/apartment building," and start to giggle.
The word? Penthouse.
The thing is, though I don't know these people well, I did not feel mortified or even embarrassed for long. I didn't for an instant consider that these folks might think less of me. I giggled (until I cried, as I often do when I laugh a lot) and made fun of myself. We all had a good laugh and moved on. It's so great to feel that safe and comfortable in a group of former strangers, now friends. Intentional gatherings to get to know people in your community really work. I am glad to be a part of such a group.