Thursday, 9.30.04: B.O.R.E.D.
Lately, I've done some brooding in these pages on my End of Days at
the Institution. It is the disillusionment plot I'm working on. But
where I failed as a revolutionary, I may have won out in the friendship
category. Funny how that happens. Maybe life is about the relationships
you have after all, not the high aims you achieved.
The BORED was formed after our major project for the Cause was
completed. The project was called Redesign and the women who stuck
around found themselves meeting for after works drinks to, well, bitch
about things. When we decided to name ourselves we became the Bitches of
Redesign Enjoy Drinking, or BORED.
(Maybe in my memoirs I should refer to Redesign as the Revolution.
Bitches of the Revolution sounds so much cooler. And I suspect there
were many at the Institution who thought of us as wild-eyed radicals.
The Bolsheviks of our day.)
Our membership has changed. LW was one of the founding members, but
during the summer of 1999 she moved south. From my 6/6/99 journal entry:
Friday night, L. had a sleepover at her lakeside cottage for the
B.O.R.E.D. ... Even though she is leaving at the end of July for a
"new life" in NC, the 5 of us are possessed with the work and the
insanity of [the Institution]. Even at 2 A.M. lying out on the dock
looking up at the stars we were still talking about [it], then
pondering why. The big question is not whether being
passionate is good (we agree that it is). The big question at the
moment is whether the results at [the Intitution] will live up to
the passion. Is [the Institution] just too crazy, too ruined by the
years and by the complexity of it all to ever work as we had
dreamed? We tried to ponder what we would want to see happen that
would not make us quit en masse in a year (or that would make
a returning L. say, "Wow, it really came together." I can’t remember
if we came up with anything very meaningful beyond parents having
reserved parking places.
After LW left, Maria came back to the fold after 3 years of working
part-time from home. She was quickly reintegrated into the fold. We seem
to be united by the spirit of Wine & Whine -- maybe that's not good.
[I'm reading] Great Dames: What I Learned from Older Women
by Marie Brenner. Another source of inspiration. I heard Brenner
being interviewed on NPR and knew I had to get the book. If fact, I
went wild and bought it for the five other members of my "club" of
disillusioned, female organizational redesigners. (B.O.R.E.D. —
Bitches of Redesign Enthusiastically Drinking. We usually just go
out and cry in our beer together, but we have a fishing trip planned
for June… oh, I guess that means drinking too.) We are too often
finding ourselves in whiny, hormone-victimized states of despair —
and looking like shit. Brenner assembled portraits of women who
faced adversity by putting on their red lipstick and high heels and
taking ownership of themselves. They reinvented themselves, as often
as necessary, and wouldn't be caught dead whining. I need this kind
of role model. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of responding to tough
times at work by becoming angrier and bitchier, I responded by
becoming more beautiful and more gracious and more clearly in charge
of who I want to be? Respond to powerlessness by simply deciding to
Our lives pull us in so many different directions now that we have a
hard time finding a time to get together. Summer was impossible but last
night everyone was miraculously available.
The themes of our conversation haven't changed much, which is
probably not good. The Institution is still a strange crazy-making
conglomeration of personalities and politics. All-consuming. Listening
to the current waves of insanity gives me that strange expatriate
feeling I get now and then. It's like I've moved to Paris and am seeing
my former country only through phone calls from friends. There is a
certain wistfulness and a little guilt about now being part of the fray
anymore. But that's another entry...