But that’s me. I’d be a party Quaker

There is a Quaker church across Rte 9 from where I live.  The sign out front says something like “Adirondack Friends Gathering,” and once in a blue moon there is a mini traffic jam coming out of their parking lot.  I didn’t know that there were many Quakers in Glens Falls, NY. 

 I suppose some of the attendees could simply be lonely people looking for friends?  Doesn’t make them a Quaker, any more than me walking into a mosk makes me Muslim.  I can imagine the scene inside when a new lonely person first arrives:

“Um, is this where friends gather in the Adirondacks?”

All turn to the newbie and say in unison:

“Yes!  Share with us what you have learned from your inner light!”

After the meeting I think it’d be nice if they all went out for coffee and maybe some Yahtzee at someones house.  But that’s me.  I’d be a party Quaker.

All my life, people have been telling me to be quiet.  School, church, dinner, movies, dorm rooms, work, you name it I’ve violated noise level rules.  Though give me one thing — it’s not that I’m reprimanded for talking too much, it’s that I’m speaking too loud.  There’s a difference. 

When I first started in staffing, my manager would ‘shush’ me at least twice a week.  A pained look, eyes slowly closed, and two pursed lips: ‘shhhhhh.’ Even though we were the only people in the room, I felt stupid.  I felt stupid mostly because of the disapproval, not the loud voice.  It’s embarrassing.  Who wants to be that girl

Let’s pretend that there is a human-voice-volume-gage.  Most people speak at a 4 when indoors.  I’m maybe a 5, unless I get really wild about something.  If there is a camcorder in a room, my voice will cut right through the air and embed itself in the tape.  I can be the furthest away, but you’ll still hear me!  I would be a horrible spy.  If someone bugged my room and I was sharing confidential information, I’d be toast. If I worked for the FBI, they’d use me as a red herring, a mere distraction.

When I was in college, I had laryngitis for about a month.  No voice.  I was a zero on the volume gage.  Each morning I woke up and made crazy gurgling noises, searching for my voice.  I would exclaim, “I have it!” but others could only hear the “I ha…!” and then hissing noises.

I joke about it now, though at the time it was very hard.  I was struggling to know who I was without speech, without laughing, without singing.  This is where most authors would say something like, “it’s when I learned the importance of listening to others.” but I honestly can’t say that.  I can say that I learned how to communicate without talking and I learned how to make one great steam bowl treatment.  (Don’t add Vicks Vap-o-Rub to a bowl of boiling water, then hover your face over it.  Your eyes will burn out of their sockets).

It’s a Thursday night and there may be a mini traffic jam by The Adirondack Friends Gathering when I go home.  If so, I’ll scour their faces to see if any seem like simply lonely newbies, merrily on their way to play Yahtzee.  If I were going to the Yahtzee party, look out!  Yahtzee can make me pretty wild, which ratchets my voice to a 7.5.  I may not be invited back, unless their inner lights whisper to them that at the very least I couldn’t be an FBI spy.


10 Responses to “But that’s me. I’d be a party Quaker”

  1. 1 Becca
    December 28, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Your part about being a spy made me laugh really hard! Awesome. And I’m also really glad you don’t have lairrinjitys now. (I appreciated the vocal chord anatomy pic, though – epiglottis and all. 🙂
    PS – I’ve NEVER played Yahtzee. Can we play at the big Dalton New Year’s Eve Party?!?!

  2. 2 Mom
    December 28, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    Random thoughts: Could lairrinjitys be a hazardus product of a level 6 voice? I never knew how to spell lairrinjitys! Yahtzee dice are noisey too! I’m glad that there will be some life at the Dalton homestead this New Year’s Eve! Love Ya dearly! Mom

  3. 3 Kari Stiansen
    December 29, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    The way you guys are spelling “lairrinjitys” is really funny!

  4. 4 Becca
    January 2, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Haha, corrected spelling as follows: Laryngitis. And Yahtzee is AWESOME!!!! When can we play next? New Year’s 2008 at the Aasen’s was a lot of fun! =) Oh, and by the way — you’re gonna be toast next time we play Monopoly, Deluxe Edition… 😉

  5. December 5, 2008 at 8:30 am

    First of all, it’s mosque not mosk! LOL 😉 ha ha more picking on you for your spelling.

    Secondly, if they’re true Quakers, they wouldn’t mind you being loud at all. In fact you’d probably fit right in! They’re known to shout and “quake” while worshipping God. And if you don’t want to dress plain, find a good ol’ fashioned (or new fashioned) A/G church (Assembly of God) or a charismatic church of any sort, who won’t mind you being loud, either!


    God bless from your loud Holy Roller friend,

    Tonya Berry
    Columbus, OH

  6. January 25, 2009 at 12:01 am

    There are some plain dressing Quakers, but it isn’t required, so if you don’t want to dress plain, don’t dress plain – there is no requirement to dress plain to be a Quaker!

    And many people who attend meetings aren’t members – some are just visitors, some enquirers, some attenders – I know attenders who have been attending for 13 years and don’t feel ready to be members yet. So don’t worry about newbies – they’ll be greeted at the door with a handshake, asked if it’s their first time (and if it is, given some literature – Quakers are all about leaflets and brochures…) and welcomed with a smile.

    After meeting, most do stay on for coffee and chat – maybe you should head on over some time?

    Man, this is an old post I’m commenting on – came through from an odd Google image search…

  7. February 3, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    You might find it interesting to learn more about the YAFs – the young adult quakers. They have alot of fun and laugh alot. My adult kids have been and are “party Quakers”.
    We don’t always dress plainly. Last year, I wore my sparkly tights to Meeting for Worship on St Bridget’s Day (google that one if you don’t know it) and everyone loved it.
    Friends General Conference will be held in Ohio this year. It is a great gathering of interesting people. I also suggest, since you sound like an adventurous sort of person, that you google Shane Claiborne and Ben Pink Dandlion. I probably won’t check back with you because I don’t have a good relationship with blogs and nings, but I would enjoy hearing from you if you follow any of the links I have suggested.
    And – I love the sign you’ve put at the beginning of our blog. I want to put it on our next newletter, but it won’t copy.

  8. 8 sophia
    April 8, 2010 at 3:06 am

    Quakers do not go to church. they go to meeting. no hate to you, im just correcting you. thats all. im a Quaker if ur wondering, which is why im correcting you. have a nice day! 🙂

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