This is published with permission from Amanda!
For Part 1 of this EXCITING series, please visit Conversations on a Saturday.
We got to the party on time! This is amazing! Absolutely incredible! We got there before most of the other guests. Once again amazing!
When Amanda gave me a big hug hello (Have I mentioned how much I enjoy my new friend! She is so great!), I told her I was nervous! And she said, “Oh! Don’t be nervous!” And from there she took over the awkward how-am-I-going-to-tell-you-that-I-know-you-but-you-probably-don’t-remember-me introductions. (Shout out to Amanda!)
My conversation with Mrs. Rettke (which was first) did not go very well.
Mrs. Rettke (with grace and kindness and a big smile): So you lived in Morris?
Me (nervously): Yep
Wasn’t I full of words?
Mrs. Rettke: What is your name?
Me: Gianna French.
Me, again: Well, it’s not anymore, but….
Mrs. Rettke: That’s what I would know you as.
I’m brilliant, aren’t I? And after that, the conversation came to an abrupt halt. I don’t know what happened, but I certainly wasn’t helping anything.
Mr. Rettke: Gina, I remember you (basically is what he said.)
Me: Soooooo, where do you live?
Mr. Rettke: I live in Wisconsin about 40 miles from the border.
pause. As you can see, this was painstakingly difficult.
Me (as a thought occured to me): Is that by Menomonie?
Mr. Rettke: Yes. It’s not too far.
Me: Oh, my brother is going to move to a town around there. What are the names of the towns around there?
(I was fishing for ANYTHING)
Mr. Rettke: Oh, there’s Johnsonville and Klements and Oscar Meyer and Ball Park.
(I do not remember the names of the towns. Just go with me)
pause I’m so engaging, aren’t I?
Me: I think he is moving to a town that starts with an A. Are there any towns that start with an A?
(Why can’t I just leave well enough alone?)
Mr. Rettke: I don’t think so. Not in our area.
Me: I must have it wrong then.
Me: So what have you been up to?
Mr. Rettke: I have traveled to the moon and bungee jumped into burning volcanoes.
No, this is not what he said at all. It’s hard to listen to someone when you are frantically trying to think of another question. I think he said something about a big garden and about spending time with grandkids.
In the middle of the conversation, he took JackJack and held onto him for a while. This was especially helpful when I needed to get food for my other superstars.
Me: I never really knew what my dad did.
How the conversation took this path, I do not know!
Mr. Rettke: He was the director of Social Services for Stevens County, right?
(Right on Mr. Rettke! You DO remember me! You rock!)
Mr. Rettke: He and I were on some committees together. You’ll have to tell him hi for me.
Me: I will. I’ll probably see him in a week.
Me: If you don’t mind holding my baby, I will get food for my crew.
Mr. Rettke: Sure.
Hold onto your hats, I know you are looking forward to the exciting conclusion of Conversations on a Saturday.