I want to be one of the ‘social’ites

The word “social” has had a new meaning in recent years thanks to social media. But earlier this week I got a taste of the true definition thanks to a speaking engagement.

The Women’s Canadian Club of Winnipeg invited me to speak at their monthly luncheon at the RBC Convention Centre. The theme was related to my money-saving book The Official Guide to Being a Winnipeg Cheapskate.

Having done public speaking for other, shall I call them, less-formal events, I wasn’t sure how to plan my approach when addressing a room full of grandmas and great-grandmas. (Read that as: no dirty jokes.)

But I was surprised at the humour from the group when they held a contest related to local cheapness and wrapped a copy of my book in newspaper and twine — saying it was cheaper than wrapping paper and ribbon. At the head table I had Sylvia Kuzyk’s placecard with her name crossed out and mine written in — cheaper than printing one for me, right?

After the event I was chatting with some of the ladies who noted that this type of social club is gradually dying off — literally. As the members age they see attendance dwindling and fewer new people joining.

Though I have to say, if I was the right age and gender I’d be part of the group because I still appreciate the art of conversation and the desire for technology-free interactions. But try sell that to today’s generation, right?

In fact, I was surprised how many of the women were interested in my new book called Put Down Your Damn Phone Already but realized that’s the perfect demographic to relate to the subject matter. Lots of the responses started with, “My grandson…” or “My granddaughter…”

Here’s hoping this column brings awareness to the importance of social gatherings and encourages you to stay active and vital with that old-school mentality.

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