Monday, March 30, 2009

Power to the Little People

You may remember this story about my social prowess when fraternizing with important "power people" that my husband and I meet from time to time. You know the people, they may be slightly older than you, well established in impressive careers, usually very well traveled, and more often than not, expert conversationalists. Read: Intimidating as hell. Well, friends, I've been holding another such instance from you and per former president Billy Clinton, I must be honest about it.

Setting the scene: my husband and I are set to have dinner in the city with a certain power couple that we're somewhat familiar with. Since most of our meetings had previously been group gatherings, this would be the first stand alone social occasion for the 4 of us. The wife component of the other couple is a medical doctor (of course) and her husband after graduating from West Point and two trips as a paratrooper to Iraq (that's right TWO tours) is currently a professor of history at the Academy. Not at all intimidating. To add insult to injury, they are the sweetest, nicest people you've ever met with giant hearts to match their giant brains.

And in the other corner: me and Grant. Two homegrown, cornfed Ohioans who consider Florida a foreign destination. One, a boring baby nurse who may or may not have been fired/quit her previous place of employment for calling off to often, and the other a wet-behind the ears, freshman coffee boy* for Lehman Brothers (love you, honey). Stellar life experience alert! Look out.

Anyway, needless to say my desperation over making any friends in this city overwhelms my self consciousness about not being a "power" person and we're off! The evening begins splendidly and I make sure to only have one drink before we're seated so as to not appear the binge drinker that I am. We are seated and I'm spewing compliments about the restaurant, since it was their choice, and feeling like I'm on my A game. The waiter approaches for our order and I try to pick choices from a variety of ingredients rather than my usual selection from the children's menu: an order of chicken fingers and french fries. Everyone orders and conversation continues.

From time to time the conversation takes a turn that I have absolutely no f-ing clue about what they are speaking so I politely take a drink of water or go powder my nose. Standard. Our apps come and mine is amazing so I swiftly inhale it - without choking - and ready my place for the main course. And then it happens.

In an attempt to complement their restaurant choice again, I take the opportunity of a lull in the conversation to clear my throat and pronounce proudly that, "My appetizer was wonderful! The sweetbreads didn't taste like bread at all!"

Nails in the coffin.
~R.I.P social networking skills~
We loved you once, and now no more.
*No, you were not really an errand boy, it just makes for a better story...

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