A few days ago, I was dabbing my face with a paper towel after working up a sweat walking the dog and a funny memory popped into my head. Years ago, when I schmoozed for a living, my husband and I attended a fundraiser for Jennifer Granholm, Michigan’s current Governor, who at the time was campaigning for office.
Not a cloud was in the sky, but the heat was stifling and the day turned out to be one of the hottest of the summer. Dressed in a suit, I wore a silk blouse, hoping I wouldn’t sweat like an athlete after a hard workout.
The fundraiser was held in a mansion that was so massive the host literally limited accesses to certain wings by roping off sections with—yes—velvet rope. As I walked around oohing and ahhing, I wished my mother were there so we could spend ridiculous amounts of time talking about every beautiful detail. I had never been in anyplace so posh and opulent in all my life.
I know I’m straying here, but I just have to tell you guys about this house. Because of limited parking, all the guests were shuttled from an office building parking lot less than a mile away. As the shuttle entered the private gate and pulled closer to the house, there was a putting green to the right followed by a five car garage. Inside, we were ushered through the non-roped off areas that led to the huge pool out back. By this time, the heat was scorching and the waterslide and blue water seemed to be calling my name.
The sections of the house that guests were allowed to tour included a full kitchen in the lower level, a bowling alley, pool house, sauna, small chapel, billiard room, recreation room, and lots of bathrooms. I kid you not, the fireplace in the basement was so large, I could almost walk into the chimney without ducking underneath the mantle.
As much as I wanted to stay indoors and enjoy the air conditioned rooms, there were people I needed to talk to and of course schmoozing by the pool. Once outside, my husband and I got in line and waited patiently in the blazing heat to meet the Governor. Every so often, I dabbed my face, thankful for the extra napkins that I had the good sense to grab from the buffet table.
The closer I got to the Governor, the more I could feel sweat dripping down my back and face. I won’t even tell you what my make up was doing. To say it melted off would be an understatement. My husband and I inched forward until one person was in front of us and we were next to meet Jennifer. I dabbed my face and asked my husband if I looked okay. He glance at me, nodded, and turned to keep an eye on our position in line. As the man in front of us said goodbye to the Governor, I dabbed my face one more time and then stepped up, smiled, and shook her hand. She smiled warmly, but her eyes seemed to be locked on a spot on the side of my face. I chatted for a brief moment, but she still seemed fixated with the side of my face. How rude, I thought. Then she smiled wider, leaned close, and pulled a chunk of wet napkin off my face. “Oh, hon, let me get that for you,” she said.
I saw her flick the damp cloth from her fingers, and I almost burst out laughing. I should have been embarrassed, but to tell you the truth, it was hilarious. She was kind of half-chuckling too and I knew she didn’t mean to make me feel nearly as silly as I looked. But, hey…that’s one way of making a lasting impression.
Have you ever made a lousy first impression, second, third, or fourth perhaps. Come on, people, throw me a bone here…Surely, I can’t be alone.