The evening kicked off early with a visit to the Sedona Clubhouse leasing office. Due to leasing dates, moving notices and yada yada, our ‘leader’ — no names mentioned, Jenny — had yet to secure the complex media center for our Connect Group’s 8 weeks of meetings. No matter. Did anyone *really* use the public clubhouse space for anything other than scrapbooking, anyway? You might be surprised.
A $100 holding check was left in the capable hands of a leasing assistant, who promptly secured our ‘official’ booking by scribbling aimlessly across 8 weeks of Mondays. Not as official as the booking software Planning Center Resources that Harborside utilizes but, hey, we can’t expect everyone to be that efficient.
A quick peek in to the theater room revealed a man and his daughter camped out watching the US Open. It was only the final match — they wouldn’t be there for long. Just a minor fault in our game plan.
Fast forward 1 hour. It’s 7pm and snacks/supplies are being carried down for set up. You could feel the bass vibrating through the windows before you even reached the outside doors; Zumba class was on and strong in the public lobby space adjoining the media center. Hmm. An interesting menu of activities. Work up a sweat then come align with us in study? On some bizarre level it made sense. However, the spandex and erotic moves of the women did jar ones concentration from Biblical alignment and small group discussion topics. Cue The Parent Trap, “Let’s get together, we can have a swinging time!” This would be an interesting night after all.
The level of noise and accompanying confusion lent itself to an informal arrival hour of typical first week parking and settling in. Newer folks to the community had to learn the gate code system and understand the serious nature of a subtly marked “Tow Away Zone,” i.e. ANY space not marked “Visitor.” Just hand Jenny the $155 in cash now and she’ll go collect your vehicle from a local abandoned junkyard conveniently located at Tampa International Airport.
Regardless, the room was buzzing and group had not even started yet! Naturally, a display of Trader Joe snacks and appetizers lined the counter space. (Have you met Jenny Maass before? You would swear she has stock in the company.)
With so many distractions (combined with the slight panic in Jenny’s mind as group facilitator), the only way to break ice, to drown out the pulsating Zumba music and “get together” was to — literally and physically — execute the Human Knot. Have you tried to untie a Human Knot before? Its great for babysitting and camps. It didn’t end well.
So the night started off about as awkward as a newborn giraffe. A punctual segue to our topic. Eventually we got our legs under us, we got it together, we plugged in and were ready to connect.