Thursday, June 17, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different

I had to go to a couple of business events this week after months of not doing anything remotely work-related and it was uber-intimidating. A very dear friend/colleague of mine had published her first book and people turned out in numbers to celebrate her well-deserved success.

It was so strange to put on corporate garb. I removed all the crayon from my handbag and spaghetti sauce from my hair, I put on my white trousers at the last possible decent moment, I WORE MAKE-UP!!! (none of the kids cut themselves open), and then I went into a roomful of people I used to work with/would die to work for and was struck mute with terror. What could I possible contribute to a conversation? My grasp on current events is tenuous at best (I read most of the newspaper on weekends but all other current events I glean from the 5 minutes of the Today Show I manage to watch each morning before the Lucky Charms fight begins) and I was standing next to a book editor from Newsweek.

Fortunately, with the help of a few glasses of Chardonnay, I soon remembered my two new mantras: 'Deflect Attention' (people love to talk about themselves) and the related 'Less is More' (if you don't talk too much, people assume you're more intelligent than you are - it helps if you arch an eyebrow at relevant moments too).

My phone is certainly not ringing off the hook today with job offers, but neither did I make a complete fool of myself (and nobody heard me snort that one time when I laughed too hard at a joke - bonus!). I am entirely satisfied to have broken even.

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