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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. From 5/14/00:

[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 be powerful?

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...




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