We have a big meeting with Freightliner coming up and I’m already stressing out about it. I’m not very good at being presentable to important people, they make me nervous and I do ridiculous things when I’m nervous. I was talking to one of my oldest and dearest friends about it yesterday, and she reminded me that when I’m nervous I’m hilarious. It’s probably acceptable to be hilarious at a party, but it doesn’t always go over well in a boardroom situation. Also, different people have very different ideas about what is actually hilarious and what’s just downright weird. My friends and people who love me (and are used to my insanity) think I’m strong and funny, people who don’t know me think I need to be medicated and locked in a padded room.
I told my husband (who doesn’t seem to be worried about meeting five executives on their turf) that I’m just going to play it cool. He informed me that my version of cool is bizarre, and to just be myself. Apparently, I’m not cool naturally and when I attempt ‘cool’ I’m even weirder.
My biggest problem is being distracted by odd things. The last ‘big’ meeting I had (which involved an executive administrator and my ex-boss) I couldn’t focus on a word they were saying, because the administrator had an unnaturally long hair sprouting from his right ear. It would glisten in the light when he turned his head and I was completely mesmerized by it. The fact that he had the capacity to grow such an impressive hair out of his ear, and none on his head, kept me from the conversation completely. I kept imagining at the end of the day, when he took his thousand dollar suit off, he would stoke the hair lovingly, attach colored beads to it, and rock the singles bars with his beaded ear hair. I could also see him looking vainly in the mirror for a left ear hair, and carefully applying Rogaine to the canal every night so he could have matching beaded ear hairs to rock the singles scene with.
This all started in the third grade, when I had a teacher who would vomit copiously into the trash can by her desk every morning. I was a little kid, I had no idea she was probably a raging alcoholic and extremely hung over, so I began to imagine what hideous processes in her body would make her vomit, in front of twenty terrified children, every morning. I spent the entire school year mapping alien viruses and horrific afflictions, instead of learning to write cursive and do multiplication tables. It was a long and arduous year, and I was ill prepared for fourth grade when it came. Thanks, Mrs. Grover, I still don’t know what eight times seven equals without having to think about you puking. Awesome.
I’m taking the love I get from my peeps into that meeting, and I’m going to try hard not to pee on myself or fall down. That alone should keep me from ear hairs or puking third grade teachers, I’ll be consumed with remaining upright and dry. Yay for NOT being crazy.