I usually do this kind of thing in time line synopsis like paragraphs, and I see no point in changing now so here we go. (This would have been a very long post, I’ve changed it)
This past summer Chris G. said something about the Florida Roundup that made me realize I had been poking fun at it and dismissing it as less than a worthwhile event without ever having gone myself: Contempt prior to investigation. So I set out to correct that error and was self assured that I would soon be able to boast at what a horrendous waste of time and money the Florida Roundup was.
There were rules of course, there always are when I go about this kind of thing. I agreed to attend at least one of every scheduled event – friends suggested that I go to at least one workshop, the Sunday brunch and the Play. OK, to be honest I had no intention of going to the play, the same friends that had suggested I go to the play told me you had to see the movie The Devil Wears Prada on the big screen to see the details of the fashion, and, as I’ve said before, I’m not that kind of gay. I even spent an extra day or two, arriving Wednesday and leaving Monday… well that was the plan anyway. I also agreed that I would not start to complain about things, because when I start it’s hard to stop and I wanted to be fair.
So what did I like about the Roundup? Seeing friends, getting to know new friends, 2 of the main speakers, the one day that I managed to spend lying on the beach with my Kindle reading, meals with folks I didn’t know really well and meals with folks that I had just met, eye candy everywhere.
What I didn’t like: the hotel, the hotel’s housekeeping, the hotel’s idea of hot water and water pressure in showers, the cost of a cab to/from the airport ($80), the drag shows, the Sunrise meeting (which I was told to attend at least once – it rained, was dark, and cold), the drag shows, the drag shows before almost every meeting… well, you know.
I was pleased to meet some very special people with long term sobriety that I hope to get to know better over the years if I’m fortunate enough to stay sober and alive – Michael and Terry among others.
At the big meetings there were some things that really got to me, little shout outs back to readers of conference approved literature (How It Works, the Preamble, the promises). A member of AA standing at a podium reading the literature that contains specific directions on how we get better and instead of honest reflection and mediation there is laughter at the cat calls and what not that they’ve added to our ritual. At one point, some young man yelled out to a woman reading: “show us your tits” which was promptly booed, but that’s where we are headed I think.
So, would I attend the Roundup again? I don’t know, I’m sure I could be persuaded, but not today.