Since I have a book release in less than four months, I decided to get some help with from Toastmasters. Toastmaster is an international club where people practice speaking and leadership skills. Or so I’ve been told. I’ve never actually been to a Toastmaster meeting. I tried to go to a meeting last night at a nearby community college, but after standing in an empty room for five minutes, I figured I was in the wrong place.
This didn’t surprise me in the slightest. I spend a lot of time in empty meeting rooms. If I wanted to explain what it’s like to be an ADHD adult to someone who is not an ADHD adult I’d tell them to do this: Next time you have an important meeting or doctor’s appointment drive to your nearest library and find an empty meeting room in the back of the library. Stand in the empty meeting room, wondering why no one else has shown up for the meeting.
When I got home, my husband explained the error of my ways to me.
“You were at the wrong place. It says right here on the website that meetings are held on Tuesdays at 7:00 on the second and fourth week of every month, and Thursdays at noon on the first and third week of every month.”
“Sure,” I replied. (“Sure” is what I say when I’m not really listening.)
“This is the first week of the month, which means the meeting is on Thursday at noon. Of course it says here that if the room is in use, meetings will be held in the backroom of the nearest public Library branch, unless it’s the rare fifth Tuesday of the month, in which case…”
Now I knew this was some kind of Nightvale-esque trick, designed to lure me into the backroom of a public library to stand alone in a time vortex. There are no meetings held in the back room of public libraries.
It just doesn’t happen.
And so I picked a fight with my husband. I had to. Of course, it wasn’t his fault that there are forty-five local chapters of Toastmasters, all holding meeting on alternate Tuesdays and Thursdays except for the second Wednesday of each month when we all meet under the bridge at a time TBD, and posted on the website not more than fifteen minutes prior to meeting time. He doesn’t make the Toastmaster rules.
But I do think the time to explain the fanciful and baroque meeting structure to me is before I leave for the meeting.
I will, of course, attempt to attend another Toastmaster’s meeting. I still have to do a book launch and reading which means I have four months to master public speaking and leadership skills. I figure that in four months, I will probably find at least one meeting. Probably accidentally. When I'm on my way to a dentist appointment and I'm running late.