A vacation worth repeating?

Image by <a href = "http://www.sxc.hu/profile/iprole">Ivan Prole</a> at Stock.XCHNG
Image by Ivan Prole at Stock.XCHNG
If the next 2 weeks are a "wake-up call", who is the one that needs to be "woken up"?

This is the first year in several that there won't be a polyamory booth at the Twin Cities Pride. Nor will there be a polyamory info/party room at CONvergence.

I am strangely okay with this.  Actually, I'm very overjoyed by this. It will be a vacation. A wake-up call. A clue-by-four. A chance for people to take a break and re-assess things.

It means that the first time in 5 years, I will be able to enjoy Pride without having to worry about booth setup, teardown, and making sure that it is manned. It means not having to play troubleshooter or marketing geek.  I look forward to lazily waking up on Saturday morning without having to move stuff into the park in 90 degree weather.  I'm excited that I will be able to attend the Bitch & Brunch and watch the parade from atop of Seven Steakhouse without having to fret over water runs or rushing back to the park afterwards to meet the post-parade rush.

As for CONvergence, it is also the first time in 5 years that I'm not trying to adjust my schedule to play hostess or run errands between panels.  No more grocery runs, food prep, mid-day cleanup, or early Sunday tear-down. No more begging people to host for a few hours so that people don't feel like they are chained to the party?

Did I also mention no more wondering why my equally-tapped-out cohorts would subject themselves to 72 hours of sleep deprivation for these events? I thought I was committed, but I made sure to get at least 6 hours of sleep per night...

Remember the story of the Little Red Hen? In the children's story, the hen found some wheat seeds and asked the other barnyard animals for help. She asked for help in planting the wheat, tending to the plants, harvesting the wheat, grinding it into flour, and finally baking the bread. The barnyard animals kept turning down requests to help until the end, when they all wanted a share of the yummy bread. Few of us are willing to accept the real ending of this children's story, where those that put in the effort are those that reap the award.

Sadly, this is the state of affairs of our "community" - little hens building and creating a harvest, with everyone else idly watching.  We simultaneously feel it is our duty to create the harvest while we bitterly wonder why no one else steps up. Maybe others balk at being led (polyfolk have the stereotype of being anarchists). Maybe they have other things that are "more important".  Maybe they blind about taking without giving back; that we're creating an energy exchange that is very one-sided.

Or maybe we're too Minnesota nice to be explicit with our requests or firm in our expectations.  Perhaps we're trying to fulfill a need (or want) that is more perceived than real. Maybe we're even taking something that we want for ourselves, and externalizing it as a community need in order to justify obtaining it.

That leads to the 2010 experiment. If people miss the presence of either our Pride booth or CONvergence party room, they will either remain complacent, step up and help, or whine about it.

If they step up and help, perhaps we will host one or both events next year.

If they complain, I hope they can come up with justification on why they feel they can complain while having done nothing to support the events in the past.

If there is complacent silence, that means that the people that volunteered in the past will now have time to do other active'ism things that they enjoy... or they can choose to do either event because they want to, not because they fear that someone will be let down.

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