Wednesday, November 28, 2007

From Sizzle... to FIZZLE

(FYI -- this post relates to the last one, so you might want to read that one first.)

So I drove to last night's social networking event with the excitement of a kid who sneaked a pregnant squirrel into his bedroom unbeknownst to his parents.

I had it all planned... I would try the following answers to the age-old "What do you do?" question:

- I work for the Centers for Disease Control and we're wrestling with a particularly tenacious, contagious airborne bacteria that has us stumped. (cough, hack)
- I hunt and eat moose. Zebras, too.
- I can't tell you that. (followed by a long, uncomfortable pause while staring innocently into the disbeliever's eyes)

I parked the car.

The building was lit up in a Christmasy theme. Garlands here, lights there. Oh, the anticipation!

I quickly glided to the door, not even feeling the chilly night air. Bliss, pure bliss!

I'd have the opportunity to use my 26+ years of theatre! And I couldn't wait!

I stepped into the lobby. I told them my name. I reached for my name tag...

S*&t.

FREELANCE WRITER.

That's what my name tag boldly declared.

Foiled. Spoiled. Roiled.

As my enthusiasm turned from a hot sizzle to a cold fizzle, I mentally switched the game plan. I decided that I'd tell other people that what they thought they did wasn't really what they DID do.

The results?

1. I told one gal she should be an exotic pole dancer because her name sounded... well... almost made up and a little too peppy. (She laughed, by the way -- it was at the end of the night and I think the wine that flowed at the event helped open the doors for me to make such a naughty statement to a stranger.)

2. I told another gal who sheepishly admitted that she had just been "let go" from a position and was looking for another that she was a "Reinventress", as in a gal who was reinventing her persona. She suspiciously eyed me for a second, then timidly smiled.

In the end, I had a good time, but was still ticked about the name tag fiasco. In retrospect, I should have just ripped it off and made people guess my moniker and job. Next time, I'll have a contingency plan in place.

(Oh, and as a quick FYI, when people asked, "What IS a freelance writer?", I responded, "I get paid to tell stories." Not exactly witty, but more interesting that going into detail about the nights spent drinking diet cola until 2:00 a.m. in order to meet a deadline.)

12 comments:

jason evans said...

Dang, you were primed to go.

In any event (no pun intended), you did a spectacular job. Mixing it up a little is a great skill. Much better than folks standing around talking about the unseasonable weather.

Church Lady said...

Jason, I know!! She was primed to go. But I disagree. This was *NOT* a fantastic job. No siree. Far from it.


It's a job unfinished. Go somewhere else and be a CDC worker. It's your duty to your blog readers.
:-)

Aine said...

LOL-- I agree with Church Lady. You must put those theatrical skills to work (so the rest of us wallflowers can live vicariously through you!)
:D

The Quoibler said...

Jason, Church Lady, & Aine:

Ha! I loved all your comments. First, Jason was perfectly gentlemanly. Then, CL gave me a swift kick in the derriere (which wasn't entirely unpleasant, might I add), then Aine put a fun spin on the whole "controversy".

I've been having kind of a bad day, so I really appreciate the fact that when I opened my email, I instantly smiled. Thanks, my blogging buds!

And CL -- I am with you 100% on this one. I MUST find other venues to try these lines or my destiny will not have been fulfilled. (Aine, sit back and enjoy the show!)

MOI (mwah)

Ello said...

Ha ha on the exotic dancer comment! That would have cracked me up if I heard it! I agree with CL - you gotta scope out opportunities to use these lines!

Shameless said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh. And I was looking forward to the punchlines and the reax. I would've just ripped it off.

Lori said...

Alas, your plans were foiled. However, I think you were quick enough on your feet to get some enjoyment out of it!

To the question "What is a freelance writer?", you could always answer "It's a person who writes by day and works as an undercover serial killer by night - focusing on social networking events to find victims." :))

I'd have to ask them a question "What exactly is an 'accountant'?" Or ask the gynecologist, "What do you DO all day, anyway?" Turning the tables can be such fun. ;))

The Quoibler said...

Ello: I agree with both of you, too!

Shameless: It is definitely too bad I didn't boldly rip off the nametag. Crud. I dropped the ball on that one!

Lori: Wouldn't it be fun to grill a gynecologist? "So, when you go into the woods and see beavers and bushes, do you feel like you just can't shake the office?"

Damn. I'm in a weird mood today!

Mary Witzl said...

I used to teach gynecologists in Japan. The one thing I remember is that the busiest of them often saw around eighty patients a day. That's a lot of pelvic exams for an 8-hour period and my heart went out to these men (and they all were men, too). Writing has got to be better than what they do for a living.

Mary Witzl said...

And I've been tittering over the idea of a kid sneaking a pregnant squirrel into his room. That's my kind of kid.

Devon Ellington said...

That sounds like so much fun!

So you have a background in theatre, too? I've spent my entire professional life in the theatre, over 20 years, the last ten on B'way, running dual careers with the writing, and am just getting out of theatre into full-time writing.

Devon Ellington
Ink in My Coffee
http://devonellington.wordpress.com

The Quoibler said...

Mary: I'd like to do a post on the whole gynecologist thing. Just as I'm sure they cannot imagine why we like hanging around our computers and chatting over the phone for hours to interviewees, I cannot imagine how one could stand looking at vagina after vagina. Blech.

Devon: I think thespians and writers have tons in common, don't you? I'd love to do both full-time, though I'm sure my family would have something to say about that! :) Thanks for visiting!