Monday, August 23, 2010

FORM

I came home from dinner at Spa.go (!!!!) last night drunk with happy. Connections were made. Laughter was had. Copious amount of wine was drunk. This morning, the wise words of Stuart Smiley are ringing through my head: I'm good enough. I'm smart enough and gosh darned it, people like me. (even with two dead babies.)

Dammit. Who let that inner voice into the party?

The day started off with a 5K fun run through the streets of L.A. I chose the "fast" group for the fun run thinking, it's a tour right? We'll stop, look at stuff, we'll talk, we'll run again....

Not so. So as the folks in front of me discussed plans for their next marathon, I panted and prayed for a traffic light to give me just a minute to breathe. Luckily, I wasn't the only one. At one point I heard a gasping, "there aren't hills like this in St. Petersburg!" behind me and knew I had a new best friend. So, my Florida friend and I finished the course together not too, too behind the pack and then basked in our accomplishment as the slower groups made their way back minutes after us.

The day kept that pace until I fell into bed late last night.

**

I read something last week that if you are looking to meet people, FORM is always a good way to get the conversation started:

Family
Occupation
Recreation
Me

And while it's a formula that definitely works, and while I always skip to the "O," it means that this question comes up. A LOT:

"So, any kids?"

So, I have gotten very good at saying, without blinking, "Yes. I had two daughters. They were premature. They died." and then wait patiently as someone processes that, searches for an appropriate response and facial gesture and a way to redirect the conversation. I don't apologize. I don't sugar coat. I refuse to say "No. no kids," and let people get wistful about my seemingly carefree unfettered life. It is what it is. And so far, the earth has not opened, the sky has not fallen when I speak the truth. In fact, I have been comforted and pleasantly surprised by some responses. ("Pleasantly" is clearly not the right word here. Maybe its just the shock that occurs when people manage not to say something horrible. But then again, I'm guessing these are folks who have taken numerous courses on Emotional Intelligence. Folks that are used to handling people in their lives as CEOs and upper management. Or maybe they are just good people and I should stop second guessing.)

Perhaps I am being too plain. But then again, perhaps I was too bold last night when I told the head of a particular city's tourist bureau: "I love my job. I love your city more. Here's my card. Help me find a way to be there."

But the sun is still shining. The earth below me still intact. And day #2 of the conference awaits. Let's see what trouble I get into today.

9 comments:

Audrey said...

You put a smile on my face today. I will now unslump my shoulders and try a little harder.

I hope you can keep this amazing momentum going well after your return.

Silver said...

Good on you for your positivity! A dear friend who is a "glass half full" person (I've tended to be the other side of that) tells me that being positive brings good things back, and when I manage to do it myself, I'd say it's true. Hope it proves so for you!

Angie said...

I'm always hesitant to do the quick explanation "one daughter she died after she was born" because lately people have been really crappy with their response and I was really tempted to punch the woman in the head who informed me that this was god's plan. I don't understand what is so hard to see how inappropriate that response is.

It does get easier to tell it though. And maybe I'll get better at dealing with the crappy responses.

Glad you are having a good conference. I wish everyone would skip the "f".

ezra'smommy said...

I never lie either - just like you I don't sugarcoat & let it soak in. You really are up to no good out there girl! Keep having fun!

Rosie said...

Love your cojones, woman.

FET Accompli said...

I like your approach. It makes sense. I've had different types of weights hanging over me, and have felt that I was leading a double life by having to hide things. It's exhausting.

theluckylife said...

I think it's great that you are so open about it. When people ask me if I have kids I tell them "no, I'm infertile". I don't think it's anything to be embarrassed about. But it's nowhere near as painful as what you've been through. You're being brave for all parents who've lost children, and creating awareness that way!

Smiling said...

I love that line... 'i like your city more' Hope that leads to something interesting! I smiled reading this while on vacation in Santa Barbara -- a very WOW place I must say:)

Kami said...

Good for you! I think being honest is best too. At the very least, it gives good people practice with responding.

I can't wait to year more!

Google