Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

I must have a face that says to people tell me your life story…no…don’t hold back…there is nothing like “TMI”, All Information Is Welcome here…

I was in a shop today, treating myself to something special, because it’s a special day for me and I heard the clerk on the phone with an angry customer. She hung up and told me that the customer was upset with her but that there wasn’t anything she could do about it. I, in turn, told the clerk to let it go, it’s out of her control and that everything was fine…she immediately connected with me from those few words I said to her. As she was ringing up my purchase, she had asked if I read “The Onion”. I’ve heard of it, but I wasn’t an avid reader of their articles. She said that her husband had read an article about “open marriages” and he wanted to try it.

I looked around me and soon found out I was the only one in the small shop. She told me that she was open to it, because “who has traditional marriages anymore???” ….I said…

“Well…I do. 21 years as a matter of fact. Today is my anniversary.” And then she floored me by saying, well…maybe you…but no one else does. Wow. Am I a freak? I know the next X-Men movie is coming up this summer so I’ll be anxious to see if monogamous marriage couples are the next new “mutants”.

I grabbed my bag and told her to have a good evening and bolted out the door. On the drive home, I did think about what she said and about 10 years ago, my first venture into volunteer coaching happened all because of a pair of open marriage swingers. My youngest little diva was in first grade and signed up for softball. At the first practice, I went up to her coach and assistant coach, both dads, and offered my help. They looked at each other and kinda nodded to each other. I didn’t think much of it. The next couple practices, things seemed a little tense and by the 4th practice some of the girls had stopped showing up.

About 3 weeks in, I went up to both of them just before practice and said, “Hey, I can totally help you guys, I’ve played before, maybe having a girl coach might be good for the girls.” I must have been totally naive because what happened next was a shocker. I was thanked for still talking to them, it seemed that most parents and the softball board were running these two coaches out of the league because they were “swingers” and had swung with each others’ wives with one couple falling in love and a soon to be divorce on the way. The funny thing was at that first practice, when I had gone up to them, they had thought I “knew” and wanted in on “the action”.

“uhm…no thanks, I just wanted to volunteer coach the girls…”

“Yeah…we kinda knew that when you brought your glove to the next practice…” whew…good thing I brought my softball glove to a softball practice. Geeshe.

Eventually, that summer, I went on to head coach that team with another mom as my assistant and I coached softball another four years after that. I’m a better parent of a sports player because I’ve been a coach. That chic’s story in the jewelry shop just got me to thinking about how I started my coaching career….

it’s always good to be open minded…you just never know what volunteer opportunities may “swing” your way….


et cetera
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