There are so many potential titles for this post I had a hard time picking one.
Where Nobody Knows Your Name
Mama Doesn't Fit In Here
I Think The Guy In The Purple Shirt Plays For The Chargers
Bring me Another Martini, Please
Let me back up. Last week I received an email about going to a function that Coffees of Hawaii was sponsoring... was I available on the 27th... yes I was. That was about all I knew. Then some details came in... something about Pro Bowl players and celebrities and VIP and Pearl Ultra Lounge. Um, what? The party starts at 10PM? Attire was 'club/cocktail.' What does that even mean?
I was guessing that Scott's interest in attending an event like this would be about zero, but I have an athlete that I coach who is in her 20's and into football and immediately thought she would be the perfect person to bring along to an event like this. I sent her a message and asked if she wanted to come with me. Yes. She did. Perfect. Maybe this won't be so bad after all.
Then I get another email that says that I only had one ticket. Um, what? Are you serious? I am supposed to go to some VIP party with celebrities and Pro Bowl Players about whom I know nothing at 10PM on a Thursday night by myself?
Am I on candid camera?
I could go on and on here about how I was feeling about going to this party. I know some people would be super stoked about this, and shoot, maybe 10 years ago I would have been one of them. But I got married. And then I gave birth. Doesn't that entitle me to spend the rest of my Thursday nights lounging on my couch in my pajamas watching Grey's Anatomy?
One of my biggest dilemmas was what shoes to wear. I do not have any cocktail dresses so I did the best I could with a pair of capris and a halter top. But the shoes? Flip flops or running shoes? Flip flops or running shoes? Hmmm. Neither of those were going to work. So I dug and dug and in the back of my closet in a storage box I found an old but rather cute pair of sandals with a very thick heel (think platforms) that make me like 5'10". I feel more powerful and confident being 5'10" so even though I haven't worn these shoes in years, I threw them in my bag and took them along. (I couldn't possibly put them on until I was about to walk into the party.)
Anyway, I put on as much makeup as I could, googled the location of The Pearl Ultra Lounge, summoned up some fake confidence from somewhere, and set off to find this VIP Party. The revised info I got said that VIPs and Sponsors could get in at 8:30, so I showed up at about 9:00. Had no problem finding the lounge... it was quite obvious, what with the red carpet and ropes set up at the entrance and several security guards with ear pieces and fashionably attractive young women with lists in their hands making sure that only the important people were granted access.
I sort of hoped that maybe my name wouldn't be on the list after all. But there it was...
"Michelle Simmons (Coffees of Hawaii) +1 guest"
What? +1? The attractive young woman asked where my +1 was. Yeah. See, it would have been nice if somebody would have told me I was allowed to bring a +1 because then I wouldn't be doing this right now all by myself. It occurred to me to call Karen and tell her to get her butt down to this bar immediately but she lives on the other side of the island and it would take her an hour minimum to get there. Whatever. I will go in. I will drink enough alcohol to allow me to chat it up with several people and then I will go home and wipe this make up off and put my pajamas on and go to sleep next to my husband.
They gave me one of those fake Power Balance Bracelets which was my official ticket into the VIP lounge where all the players would be. I walked into the bar where all of about 10 people were sitting in groups of two or three talking quietly. Nice. I sat down at the bar by myself and ordered some liquid courage in the form of a martini.
Very Important People and other football players started flowing into the room. I started small chat with the first guy who came to the bar to order a drink. At some point I asked, "So what is your function here at this party?" Oh, you're the CEO of the Sports Marketing firm putting it on. Excellent. I introduced myself as one of the sponsors and made small talk about our coffee plantation on Moloka'i. He then introduced me to some other guy who actually lives on Moloka'i and knew all about our coffee farm... then I met another solo female rep who flew in from Southern California for the Pro Bowl weekend because her company was sponsoring the event as well... So luckily I didn't end up sitting by myself and drinking alone for too long.
And while I was seemingly the only woman in the room not wearing a little black dress and stilettos, I wasn't the only one who didn't know any of the football players. It was quite obvious which ones were the players (um, they are HUGE) but none of us knew who any of them were. Though the other rep said she was pretty sure that the big guy in the purple shirt over there played for the Chargers. Lol.
At one point I did get my picture taken with a rather famous ex-pro football player who was the head honcho behind this sports marketing firm putting on the party in the first place. And I talked up our coffee a bit to him as well so I felt like it was job accomplished after doing that. And then it seemed to me that maybe I'd had too much to drink because the floor was moving... and I was getting shorter... OK, no more martinis, Michelle.
Or maybe my shoes were just disintegrating right under my feet? Indeed. That was it. OMG. My old shoes were literally falling apart on me in the middle of the Pearl Ultra Lounge. It was as if the clock struck midnight and Cinderella's carriage turned back into a pumpkin. As if I needed another sign to make it clear that this was not my scene and it was time for me to go back home where I belong. Mama is not a VIP. And Mama needs new shoes.
My late night last night did not interrupt my morning routine though. This morning, as I watched the sun come up over the ocean between swim strokes, I thought about how I was infinitely more comfortable here in the choppy ocean than I was at that party last night. This is where Mama belongs. No shoes required.