Saturday, October 6, 2012

Retreat! (But never surrender)

Nothing makes me feel more grown-up than going on a business trip. I just like the way it sounds: "I'm afraid I'll have to cancel our regular rat-shivving appointment on the East River. Kindly convey my apologies to Long Lizzie and the Circus Twins. Oh, nothing fancy, I'm just going on a business trip." And then I take all my extra purses out of my absurdly cute overnight rolly-bag, the blue one with the turtles and monsterra leaves, pack it full of actual overnight stuff, and roll through Cobble Hill like a boss. No Hello Kitty lunchbox for me today; the office will be providing meals.

We spent the night up in Rockland County at the Stony Point Conference Center. It was hard to pin down at first, because on the one hand, the Center was VERY hippie-ish, with the peace signs and bookstore full of leftist pamphlets. On the other hand, there were huge dove and olive branch tapestries hanging in the dining room, and more crosses than you usually see at your run-of-the-mill commune. But then I read the guest information booklet in our room and found out that the Center is run by the Presbyterian church. Fortunately, our room had free wifi, so I googled the Presbyterians and found out that they're a very liberal and socially-conscious branch of Christianity, which explained the LGBTQ section of their gift shop. So know I know. (And knowing is half the battle!)

I would have loved to stay at a place like this for my Girl Scout camping trips, instead of up in the freezing cold highland desert, which had to have been the only ugly place in the state of Hawaii. Stony Point had lodges, a glass-enclosed dining room, fine art everywhere, rock gardens, a meditation solarium, and a Victorian Mansion perfect for a murder mystery that we got to bunk in. We shared it with an Islamic healing group also up for their retreat, so there were halal and vegan options at all the meals. (Fortunately, my one coworker had visited the Pork Store before the trip and we had plenty of prosciutto and pepperoni to keep our arteries nice and greasy. Gotta love the Pork Store.)

So, threw the Frisbee around, chased some deer, sat in the fancy parlor, discussed yearly goals for the office, ate some cannoli, and then came home. It was very peaceful and relaxing to be away from the physical office and get a fresh perspective on the things we do every day.

Coming home yesterday, my coworker and I were zipping down the Palisades Parkway behind our Big Boss's SUV in her sweet little Mini Cooper, and she remarked how grown-up SHE felt driving her own car home from an office retreat. There we were, just a couple of grown-ups grown-upping it up in New York.

Then I forgot my purse in her car when she dropped me off. I think I know why my sister always says that if you're still using the word "grown-up," you're probably not one.

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