To shat…is that past tense of to shit?
Anywhos, I really wanted to lead with that question at a Speed Networking event I accidentally attended. It’s an awesome icebreaker. It might be the best icebreaker I’ve thought of. Matter of fact, I think I’m going to attend another one of these networking events so I am able to put folks on the spot with that question.
How did I accidentally attend a Speed Networking event? Accidental because it was not intentional. The event was being held from 7-9pm at the same venue as an open mic I was attending. I got to the open mic early and one of the comics was “speed networking” and insisted I join. So what is “speed networking?” It’s the same as speed dating, except you talk to men and women. The same rules apply: make your life sound more interesting than it is, pretend to be interested in the other person’s life, try to avoid talking to the really weird guy who is way more into the event than anyone else (there’s always one of those), and make a conscious effort to get your life together so you don’t have to attend these types of events anymore. Well, maybe that’s not exactly how it goes, but in my mind, that’s exactly what happens.
I met a whopping 2 people before I became exhausted “speed networking.” The concept of a bunch of folks in a room expressly to meet other folks is just strange. I don’t think a true connection can be made in such a forced way. Natural. Organic. Casual. All adjectives I use to describe my relationships, food, and how I meet folks.
What I did confirm from this event was folks take themselves WAYYYYYYY too seriously. Like way too seriously! Every person I met led with their occupation or by asking my occupation…which was really awkward since I was an engineer as of 4 days ago and now am a comedian…which led to questions I really did not feel like answering. The whole situation reminded me of something my therapist always says, “don’t let your do be your who.” There was a lot of doing and whoing going on.
I had a brief conversation with one of the event organizers, a young lady who appeared to be in her early 20s. To be young again. Sigh. She had on her pearls, cardigan, power pumps, and as Russ Green (fellow comic) put it, “her Michelle Obama hair-do.” She looked the part. What part, I’m not exactly sure of, but definitely the part. Her ensemble was deliberate, so I’m hoping she succeeded in whatever she set out to accomplish. After listening to her monologue on “not easily letting people in,” I found her to be a contradiction. You’re spearheading a speed networking event, yet you don’t want to connect with folks. Strange. She seemed to be offended when I told her she appeared conservative, firing off “I am at a business event, so I am conducting myself in a professional manner.” Well, excuse the hell out of me, but, umm…in case you didn’t notice, we’re at a bar, on U Street, in Northwest, DC at 8:47pm on a Thursday night. Cut the shit. Cut the shit, by the way, is one of my favorite things to say to folks full of shit.
But listening to her educated rant on being a professional and conducting oneself accordingly made me realize how much I’ve changed since my 20s. In my 20s, I had even less of an idea of who I am, but definitely thought I knew more. Luckily, I was not one of those all-knowing 20 year olds (well…depending on which one of my older coworkers you talk to) who thought I had life figured out. Meeting this young lady was a pleasant reminder of how stupid we sound when trying to sound smart.
She did, however, make me reminisce on my tender twenties (I don’t think anyone would call their twenties “tender,” but it sounded good). I decided to come up with a list of things I’m happy to have left behind in my previous decade:
1. Clubs. I can’t quite remember the allure of standing in line, to pay money, to get into a building with the same folks you just stood in line with.
2. Shoes that make you want to committ suicide. I made a pact with my feet around the tail end of 29 that I would never do harm to them ever again. After torturing them with the flyest pair of Aldo boots, I recognized comfort was more important than fashion. I have worn the same pair of crocs for 27 days and counting. A world record will be set and I shall prevail…in comfort!
3. Spending too much money on the wrong things and not enough on the right. The thought of paying a bill or putting money in my savings is a lot more sexy these days than buying a new Dooney purse.
4. Giving a shit. The older I get, the less I give a shit…about everything. ”Eh” with a shoulder shrug seems to be my response more often than not.
5. My undying love for Ludacris. No seriously, I used to want to have that man’s baby. I just knew I would be a famous comedian by now, he would “accidentally” be at one of my shows, think I was the most funniest woman in the world, ask me out on a date on the spot, and marry me the following week. I’m happy to say, while I do remain a fan, I am no longer a fanatic. Add Morris Chestnut to this list as well. At one point I really thought I was going to be his baby’s mother as well…I mean “mother of his child.” Y’all know I’m a classy, fantasizing hoe.
6. Thongs. I now accept myself and part of that acceptance is knowing I love, love, love granny panties…the ones that come right above my navel.
I know the list is supposed to be a top 3 or 5 or 10 because that’s how these types of list usually are, but I’m no longer in my 20s, so I don’t feel the need to conform to these social standards.
I’m curious though on what yall are happy to have left behind…and when the last time, as an adult, you shat yourself.