Wednesday, September 17, 2008

They've Tried To Brainwash Me, But It Just Didn't Take

So everyone has fanatical groups they belong to. Admit've got something you're nuts about and you can't help getting caught up in it all. I belong to several. Let me lay them out for you.

My first "cult" is Weight Watchers. Several years ago, I joined Weight Watchers along with several people that I worked with. I was very successful and lost over 50 pounds in just under 3 months. My basic style is total overkill, so I was exercising like a crazy person in addition to curbing my caloric intake. Once you meet your weight goal in WW and maintain it for 6 weeks, you become a lifetime member. I am proud to say that I achieved that honor. I have the key chain to prove it (I'm totally serious.) When you're a WW lifetime member and you meet other people who are on WW, you start talking the lingo....."How many points is that?" "Do you have any good recipes?" "Can I see your very cool lifetime member key chain?" It's nice to know that if I ever want to become fanatical again about losing weight, I'll have lots of people obsessing with me.

Which brings me to "cult" number two. Several years ago, David and I bought a Saturn. We were in Orlando evacuating for Hurricane Georges and we ended up buying a new Saturn car. Back then, the Saturn Company was cutting edge in its method of no pressure purchasing. Basically this means that you can wander the lot as long as you want and no one will bother you until you ask for help. When you get a salesman (or woman) working with you, they cannot negotiate on the price. You either want it at that price or you don't. We liked our car for the most much so that we traded that car in and purchased a second Saturn. The second purchase wasn't as great as our first. Back then, when you finally purchased the car, everyone in the dealership would stop what they were doing and clap for you as you drove away. They took a picture of you in your new car and gave it to you free of charge. I also got a credit card sized photo stating I was Saturn owner. Like I would show that as a form of identification. They also gave us Saturn t-shirts and a Frisbee. The one thing that will keep me from getting a third Saturn is that they are so "exclusive" in their "cult" that you can only go to a Saturn dealership to get your car serviced. This sucks so bad when you live over 2 hours away from the closest dealership. Yeah...this is one "cult" I'll be glad to get out of.

Another group of overly fanatical people that I'm associated with is the Le Leche League. I'm not a member of this group, but I was counseled by a friend that was a part of this group when I came home from the hospital. I contacted them since I was having problems nursing Raelynn. For those of you that don't know, my daughter was born 8 weeks early and weighed 3 pounds when she was born. I was determined to do everything I could to give her the fighting chance she'd need to get caught up. My friend proved to be most helpful and put me in contact with another LLL member that had a health food store. I'm not knocking it, but if you find someone that is a member of LLL and also the owner of a health food store, watch out, because you have quite a double dose of "cult" right in front of you. This nice lady suggested some herbal teas that really helped. Let me just say that these ladies are adamant that bottles are evil and only breast is best. I don't quite subscribe to this theory, but I can see why they are so passionate.

The last enthusiastic group that I belong to is the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In layman's terms, I'm a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. This means that I went through the mental and emotional wringer to achieve this. It was a very reflective process and I learned so much about how I teach. It doesn't seem possible that you could learn about yourself without going to a meeting, reading a book, or other things we always do to better ourselves as teachers. I've continued to mentor candidates that are going through the process. It's nothing short of a year long mental marathon. Whenever you meet someone who's also a NBCT, you feel an instant kinship because you understand what that person had to go through to certify. It was a great experience and I'm proud to be an active part of this group.
While I'm sure there are other groups that I belong to that also have their share of enthusiasts, these are the ones that occurred to me first when starting this topic. I invite you to share a comment with any groups you are associated with that may be over-the-top and slightly fanatical. Me? I'm going to sit here with my carrot sticks (zero Weight Watcher points) and think of a day when I start my own enthusiastic group. But wait......isn't that why you're reading this????? You know you love me!

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