Pretending to be a business person

I last went to New York City about twenty years ago. My father took me there for a weekend; I was still, in my teenage wisdom, planning to become the next Meryl Streep, and needed to go to an audition in Manhattan to secure a spot in a prestigious summer theater program. (I was accepted and went and had a great time and went on to win several Oscars. Well, maybe not that last part.) We ate a lot of good food and I spent a couple of hours sitting slack-jawed with wonder at a Broadway show, and best of all, I had my Daddy to protect me from the vermin of the city.

Now I will only have Chris to protect me, which should be sufficient if all I need to do to repel a mugger is show him that I’ve tucked my favorite little sparrow robot into my purse like a talisman.

(Oh, I kid. Chris would make a for a rather unwieldy talisman, though I’ve already threatened to put her in my purse for safekeeping owing to her recent spate of woes. She was a little too enthusiastic about the idea, too, if you ask me.)

Anyway, we already know that I’m a nervous traveler under the best of circumstances. I don’t know why. Oh, wait. That’s a lie. I actually DO know why. It might be because I’m an anal-retentive control freak and change makes me weepy. But that’s just a guess.

After living in the sticks for so many years (and not exactly being a big city sort, prior to that), I feel certain that native New Yorkers will take one look at me and laugh themselves silly at my bewilderment, pausing only to steal my shoes. Can you ride on the subway barefoot?

Chris and I will be doing the BlogHer Business conference, and while there are a handful of folks I’m really looking forward to seeing, I expect this conference to be really different from the one this past summer. For one thing, I don’t anticipate bone-crushing jetlag because this time I get to stay in my own time zone. Woo! For another, I suspect this will be a very different audience and a different tone… it will feel less like I fell through a wormhole and emerged at the world’s largest sorority party and more like actual work.

And then of course there will be my continuing undercurrent of anxiety about getting lost, being mugged, or having a large building fall on me. So that should keep it all interesting.

In preparation for having to take off my pajamas and interact with people face-to-face, I went and had my hair cut and colored today. The trip was, perhaps, the universe’s way of trying to make me feel a bit more open to change; I’ve come to realize that if I wasn’t already moving, I’d have to break up with my stylist. Consider the facts:

1) Last time she did my color, I still had a lot of grey. I mentioned that and she modified accordingly, putting me under a dryer with the color on. The result was superior grey coverage… for my roots. Now the only grey I have is on the ends of my hair. How very… geriatric punk rock.

2) I asked her not to layer the back and she layered the back. Does she think that because she’s standing behind me I cannot see her? I’m facing a GIGANTIC MIRROR, after all.

3) She has gone from gently teasing me (“Oh, you always say it’s bushy in the back”) to outright heckling me (“You just want what you want and I feel very sorry for whoever you go to in Georgia, with your ‘I want to grow it but cut it’ requests!”). Now, I’ll admit to being a bit particular and also being something of a moron when it comes to trying to describe what I’m after, but I’m pretty flexible (I almost always end whatever I’m asking for with “but you do what works, I trust you”), I’m polite, and HELLO, I’m paying. If I want abuse, I can get it at home for free.

4) She put a handful of goop into my hair that gave me helmet head, then said “Now tomorrow you can just spritz it with water, re-scrunch it, and you’ll be good to go!” Yes, I COULD do that, or—here’s an idea—I could wash all that crap out and have hair that feels like hair. Because I’m crazy that way.

So. That didn’t seem like the best possible trip omen, truthfully, but there it is.

And then tonight Chickadee was seven different kinds of bratty, culminating in a spectacular meltdown where she clung to me and cried, “I don’t want you to go, you are my Mama and your job is to be here with MEEEEEEEE!” and part of me wanted to cry right along next to her and say, “You’re right, I should never disrupt your schedule, plus those pants I packed make my ass look huge and I may as well just stay here.” I didn’t do that, of course. We snuggled and talked and I assured her that it’d just be a few days and that this was good for Mama’s work and eventually she felt better and went to sleep, and I went and marinated in guilt for an hour and made a mental note to pick her up a little souvenir, like maybe a pony.

If you’re going to be at the conference, come on over and say hi. Chris will be the one eating nothing but delicious, hypoallergenic fruit, and I will be the one with mostly-brown hair and a death grip on my shoes.

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31 Responses to “Pretending to be a business person”

  1. 1
    Krisco March 21, 2007 at 1:08 am #

    BlogHer the Business Event. Somehow I STILL think it will be like one big pajama party.

    Sorry to miss it, but have a great time!

    (I was just thinking TONIGHT about how glad I was I didn’t recognize you when we started chatting at BlogHer last year, because I so enjoyed talking to you. If I had realized who you were, I would have been a blathering idiot. (Like I was to…um… other famous bloggers who will remain nameless, heather….)

  2. 2
    Zee March 21, 2007 at 2:12 am #

    Ohhh, New York City is a BLAST! If you’ve not been there since you were 15ish, you’re in for a surprise! Sure, New Yorkers can be surly and a bit, um, abrupt but if you’ve spent any time in Boston at all this should be pretty tolerable.

    Anyway, New York is great. You’re going to have a fantastic time! And, if you want to get a lovely little treat for yourself, I recommend swinging through the diamond district! ;-)

  3. 3
    Cele March 21, 2007 at 2:57 am #

    Go, have fun, and bring back lots of blogging goodies for us. So jealous, I never get to go anywhere. No I’m not throwing a guilt trip, is it working?

  4. 4
    Heather March 21, 2007 at 2:58 am #

    Have a wonderful trip, and if you could manage to see a few sights for me while you’re there, I’d be ever so grateful. *hides seething jealousy*

  5. 5
    MomCat March 21, 2007 at 7:23 am #

    Mir, I can’t wait to read about your adventures in NYC – have a great time, whether you’re wearing the ass-enhancing pants (got a few of those myself) or something dipped in guilt.

  6. 6
    Woman with Kids March 21, 2007 at 8:08 am #

    I’m wondering how you’ll get the pony on the subway and retain a death grip on your shoes? Perhaps you skip the subway and ride the pony through NYC?

  7. 7
    Brown Eyed Girl March 21, 2007 at 8:10 am #

    Wait you’re a famous blogger? :)

    I stumble onto the best blogs.

    Hold onto those shoes!!

    I live and commute to DOWNTOWN Chicago every day (which would be a stretch for some people) and I would be afraid to go to New York. Although I dream of it a lot. Neither hubby or I have been there.

    I think you’ll be fine.

    Enjoy!

  8. 8
    tori March 21, 2007 at 8:13 am #

    You are more brave than me. My parents moved to New York about 6 years ago (maybe more) and I have never been there to visit them because I am scared. Well, that and the fact that I have four kids and travel is not cheap, but mainly the scared thing.

  9. 9
    cce March 21, 2007 at 8:18 am #

    I feel certain that New Yorkers will not steal your shoes…I mean, aren’t New Yorkers exceptionally fashionable and only wear Jimmy Choos or Manolo’s (or is this just a Sex and the City instilled misconception?) Anyway, whenever I visit friends in THE CITY I am paralyzed by fashion fears. What to wear, what to wear, trying to fit in here. Don’t let them see your tags. Let them all know you paid full, department store prices for all your apparel. Now that’s confidence.

  10. 10
    chris March 21, 2007 at 8:33 am #

    You have me to protect you. Never fear. I will growl from the little purse and scare them away.

  11. 11
    Katie March 21, 2007 at 8:55 am #

    The biggest worry is being run over by a taxi cab. I swear they get extra points for hitting out of towners.

  12. 12
    Mom2One March 21, 2007 at 9:12 am #

    A Pony on a Plane. The fascinating sequel to Snakes on a Plane. Just calmer.

  13. 13
    karen March 21, 2007 at 9:13 am #

    Just don’t cross the street going over to the Empire State Building while looking up and get hit by a taxicab and miss your date with destiny, because then you will end up sitting a lot and teaching a bunch of children to sing a silly song, and who wants to hear about that? We’ll all just end up crying at the end after you buy the painting of yourself anyway (like who would do that anyway except some narcissistic incurable romantic? really!).

  14. 14
    dad March 21, 2007 at 9:27 am #

    I’ll still be protecting you.
    Only from a distance.
    Have fun.
    Make me laugh.

  15. 15
    ChristieNY March 21, 2007 at 9:30 am #

    Well if someone steals your shoes, just remember all the pretty deals you can find online for new ones! LOL

    I’m about a 25 minute drive from NYC (in the suburbs), so if you have your shoes stolen, you just drop me an email and I’ll swing by with two little kiddos like the shoe fairy and bring you a new pair, k? ;)

    Have a great trip!

  16. 16
    Sheila March 21, 2007 at 9:57 am #

    Just don’t forget to pack your Inner Fluffy Thing!

  17. 17
    Melanie March 21, 2007 at 10:15 am #

    I think your shoes are safe. You can pack several pairs (I know you have a few extras), just to be doubly-safe. I’d worry more about getting my butt felt on the subway, personally. I always imagine New York subways as this big butt-grabbing festival, with maybe some dirty homeless guy showing everybody his nasty bits, and some teenagers drinking and swearing. And the blind guy from the movie Kids with the accordion outside on the platform.

  18. 18
    Aimee March 21, 2007 at 10:59 am #

    Huh. Somehow I’d rather give up my shoes to a pack of ravaging New Yorkers than attend a butt-grabbing festival on the subway. Maybe it’s just me. ;)

  19. 19
    Co March 21, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    Mir:
    [sigh] Oh, New York. Someday. Just think about all us moms home with whiny kids and remember that you are free for a few days! Have fun for all of us. Can I have a souvenir too?

  20. 20
    Lisa March 21, 2007 at 11:30 am #

    I just got back from New York last weekend… I was presently suprised that the people were actually very very nice. I frankly didn’t worry at all about safety because there were always tons of kind people roaming about the city. I loved it! :)
    Have a great time!

  21. 21
    rachel March 21, 2007 at 11:48 am #

    Hope you have a great time and that you and Chris keep eachother safe from the scary food & people!

    (not saying anything about how much I want to be in NYC … or anywhere other than here…)

  22. 22
    y March 21, 2007 at 11:54 am #

    I can not even put into words how JEALOUS I am that you (and Chris!) are in NY. I’ve only been there once, in 2002, and I fell so deeply in love and have been wanting to go back ever since.

    I am so jealous that I almost hate you.

    Almost.

  23. 23
    proudmonky March 21, 2007 at 1:44 pm #

    All of these people are talking about NY, and while I am sure that is the most pressing of details here, I can’t get past your hair stylist!

    Having a hair stylist is like being in a relationship. When it’s good, you come together and when your time is over, it’s a beautiful creation made possible by the contribution of both parties. When it’s bad…it’s like an abusive relationship. They are so good at first. They listen to you and your vision is made even better by their skill. Then something happens, and you leave feeling like you missed something. Eventually you are being laughed out and sabatoged. Break up with her Mir! You deserve better. Even if your hair is…naturally unruly…it still deserves respect and love. No one should sit in a chair and come out with grey tips and stacked curls. It’s not right…it’s just not right.

  24. 24
    Liise March 21, 2007 at 3:29 pm #

    Um yeah the stylist? She would be dead to me.

  25. 25
    Susan March 21, 2007 at 3:46 pm #

    Chris scares the hell out of me.

    Ha ha! Kidding! But I may call you all, just to say WHATCHA DOIN’? and hear about your shoes.

  26. 26
    Warrior Knitter March 21, 2007 at 6:37 pm #

    You know, of course, that there will be hundreds (maybe thousands!) of knitters in NYC for Represent (http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/represent.html) during the same time period.

    Have fun and watch out for the knitters.

  27. 27
    carrie March 21, 2007 at 7:23 pm #

    So, I am catching up with you after not blogging for a while and WHAT? GEORGIA?

    I live in Georgia.

    You are hilarious.

    I need to laugh.

    We should be friends.

  28. 28
    carrie March 21, 2007 at 7:25 pm #

    ps. I lived in NYC for three years. It was a blast. Wicked was the best show I saw. Thoroughly Modern Millie (when Delta Burke was in it) ran a close second.

  29. 29
    Jenn March 21, 2007 at 10:20 pm #

    I so hated to have to back out of BlogHer Business at the last minute. Would love to have met some new faces and have a fun NYC time of it.

    However, as I have learned over the years working with BlogHer so long, don’t kid yourself about it not being a fun pajama party (or the world’s largest sorority party and… actual work) BlogHers LOVE to work AND have fun!

    I do so hope you get to do both!

  30. 30
    MMM March 21, 2007 at 10:40 pm #

    “geriatric punk rock”
    My new favorite phrase!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Woulda Coulda Shoulda » Brains leaking out my ears - May 1, 2007

    [...] To wit: A friend of mine with curly hair (this is important) went on vacation last week. Given that I recently decided my stylist hates me but I would sort of like to have nice hair next week, I decided to ask said friend for her stylist’s number. I then proceeded to call her. Repeatedly. Leaving ever-more-frantic messages on her answering machine, until I remembered that she was on vacation. Then I stopped calling. [...]

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