Boy, do I like to have things in order.
Oh, don't get me wrong. Swing by my house unannounced on a weeknight and you're liable to lay eyes on the trail of carnage left behind by the twin tsunamis known as my son and dog. I call it the remnants of "Monsoon Moni-Kyle" and it contains various flung garments, chewed up canine toys, random shoelaces, crumpled sheets of notebook paper, half-eaten tennis balls, etc.
But the piles of boy / dog clutter aside, I am a bit of an organizer, as a rule. Or nester, as my husband dubs it. I straighten and tidy because I like to keep things neat, although Kerry says I do it to hide things from him - but hey, open a drawer once in a while, pal.
Either way, I pride myself on being ready for events, appointments, meetings and whatnot.
Seriously. I will even stay up until the wee hours of the morning making the boys' lunches, finalizing work documents or tossing the laundry from the washer into the dryer, et al, if said tasks haven't been completed by bedtime.
You name it - if it needs done and I'm conscious, I'm on it, because I firmly believe in the Boy Scout mantra of "always be prepared."
And such is my aim. Seriously. Ask anyone who knows me.
Except for the gals in the Catholic Women's Club at St. Rose Church in Girard. Don't ask them. They can't be trusted, I tell you. They might try to convince you that I got up in front of them at their November meeting unprepared as their keynote speaker.
I wasn't unprepared I was floundering in a sea of my own ineptitude.
Sigh and hmpf.
You see, it all started a few months ago when the group's vice president, Judy Entzi, emailed me and explained that she's a regular follower of my column, then asked if I could talk at an upcoming meeting.
My initial reaction was, "Oh, dear, these poor women can't read."
She went on to explain that she'd only need me to "impart wisdom" for about 15 to 20 minutes or so.
Um, wisdom? Moi? Fifteen to 20 seconds on a good day, maybe ...
But in the spirit of giving props to my fellow Catholic sisters, I painstakingly selected past columns from which I thought I'd read a few excerpts, (you know, memorable stuff such as "Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Patty Kimerer Becomes a Fan of Hating Facebook").
Next, I wrote some talking points about my own bio; then tossed in a few allegedly clever cracks about how Kyle, Kerry and Monnie are my mainstays; how I've always loved the Ohio State Buckeyes, my family, Erma Bombeck and the good Lord - but not in that order; and a few other pun-ny blurbs.
Ah yes, I was feeling quite ready ... right up to the point when I realized I'd left my notes in a binder on my kitchen table.
Bless Judy's heart. She gave me the most beautiful introduction. Told the crowded room how I discuss anything and everything from road rage to cookie-baking to keeping Christ in Christmas, and how she always feels my love for God, family, country and a good belly laugh shine through my words. Man, my mom is paying her good money to read and retain my column every week.
By the way, Mom, what was going on at that self-proclaimed "fun table" in the back, anyway?
I digress. One of the gals, my newest pal Bobbi, even told me how she made it a special point to attend the event specifically because she heard that I'd be waxing all Patty-ish and whatnot. Poor little thing, we have got to get her out of the house more.
In any event, I drew a deep breath, told the ladies the truth and blathered on for a good 15 minutes anyway.
Can you believe they still offered me coffee and a dessert? Talk about doing what Jesus would ... more than kind, girls.
Thank you, St. Rose Catholic Women, for your hospitality to my mother and to me, for your willingness to wing it along with me and most of all, for taking the time to read what little ol' Patty has to say.
You will never know how much it - and all of you - mean to me. Call me any time, girlfriends!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and supposedly a guest speaker. Contact her to totally ruin your next event at firstname.lastname@example.org.