I like to think of myself a reasonably accomplished woman. I have a good education, some professional accomplishments, and a few people even find me to be sort of clever. But for some reason, the laws of the universe will absolutely not allow me to showcase these attributes in front of certain people. It’s like I’m physically incapable of seeing them when I’m on my game.
There is a senior staff member to one of our US Senators who I run into on a fairly consistent basis. I have failed to even once be impressive. Whether it’s in a professional setting or at a social event, I’m always spilling water, tripping, messing up sentences or something to make me look like a garden variety idiot.
Today, while getting my caffeine and pumpkin spice fix, I had Monkey Boy with me. I knew I had to take the dog to the vet after I dropped him off, so I didn’t bother to wear nice clothes or put on make up because I was just going to get gross again anyway. Monkey Boy is generally well behaved in public, but because god hates me, this morning he started taking everything out of my purse while I was paying.
I fussed at him to stop and heard a voice behind me say jokingly, “Can’t you control your child?” Being a total smarty pants, I whirled around not knowing who was there, and quipped, “No, you want to give it a try?” And there he stood. Me in the dumbest outfit ever, no makeup and Monkey Boy flinging all my possessions around the coffee shop and him, in a suit with his act together. He has very good manners, so he tried to make small talk about the end of the August recess and the Senator’s legislative agenda, but really, I had a kid crawling on me wailing about chocolate milk. I couldn’t string two coherent sentences together. And let’s be clear, talking politics in a coffee shop is totally my thing. I should have been able to do this, but now that I’ve been such a moron in front of him so many times, I have this block and cannot be anything but ridiculous.
And it’s not just me who has this problem. I worked with a man for a while who ALWAYS saw the Governor’s chief of staff when he was picking up birth control pills for his wife at the pharmacy or feminine products at the grocery store. He said it was impossible to lobby with much confidence once someone has seen you carrying a box of Kotex (not even yours) through the freezer aisle multiple times.
I think that I am just not destined to be impressive to some people. The fabulousity gods have decided that I am not to be fabu for this man. It’s not the end of the world. I don’t depend on him for my livelihood or anything. But just once, it would be nice not to totally embarrass myself in front of him.