Shown to the back of the room
I shrug my shoulders
At least I’m near an exit,
I tell myself sarcastically.
Scanning the room
For one familiar face
I see there are none
And go back to the task at hand.
Primping and preening
All is made presentable
Wondering about my plastered smile
I wander to the bathroom.
Grinning into the scratched and dinged mirror
I shake my head at the awkward expression
Sitting on my face
Like a drunk on a three-legged bar stool.
Sighing in resigned indignity,
I return to the main room.
Head down, avoiding eye contact,
I walk to the back of the room.
But what’s this?
My table, my table- it’s gone!
A few moments are spent questioning sanity- how could a whole table disappear?
Snapping out of it, I scan the room for the second time that day
Tables of laughing, socializing strangers block my view
And force me to search on foot.
Finally, tucked in an obscured corner
I see it
Just as I left it
But about as far from its point of origin as possible.
I have been brushed even further out of the way
My table is now hidden behind a myriad of other tables
Not for the first time, I wonder why I bothered to come
As I stare at my neighbor- a large Ficus plant.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Today was a strange day, professionally speaking. Ever show up to an event or a meeting and immediately realize it was a mistake to come? Yeah, that was me today at yet another graduate fair. The organizers were very professional, the other vendors very kind, but there was no need for me to be a participant in what inevitably turned into a four hour block of time spent people watching, sipping a free Coke and nibbling at a free Danish. Things did not get off to a good start, something I should have taken as an indication of how the rest of the day would go. I was led to my assigned table by a very lovely student, so what if it was in the very back of the room? No big deal. After setting up everything, fanning out flyers, setting out some pens etc., I decided to go back to the office and try to get a little bit of work done before having to come back for the rest of the day. Well, upon my return about 10 minutes before the start of the event, I walked to the back of the room, to where I knew my table was and- it was gone. Another school was set up in its place. What the deuce? For a few seconds there, I really questioned my sanity- did I just imagine setting up my table in the back? Was I confused somehow? I even thought I might have wandered into the wrong room. Finally, out of the corner of my eye, I spied my table- on the other side of the room and in the corner. Now I was wondering if someone was playing some type of weird joke on me. Why would anyone go to the trouble of moving my table? I slowly approached my new location, looking for anyone stifling a giggle and found that everything was just as I had set it up. Weird. As I sat down, I was still half waiting for someone to pop out and say “Gotcha!” but it never happened. My current location in the corner was, let’s say, less than desirable, and I was completely ignored by about 99% of the students who attended. All I kept thinking was, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”. Oh well, at least I got to sit next to a Ficus.
Love & Squirrels.