Hello, Reality

If my life were a movie, here’s how last weekend would have gone:

I would have dreaded going to the 3-day conference about the unique technology we use at the office where I work in a job I’m way over-qualified for.  Because the conference really had nothing to offer me- I’d be leaving this job I’m way over-qualified for soon.  But I’d put a smile on my face and cheer in my voice and go along with the seemingly pointless classes and group activities.  At the end of the first day, I’d carefully curl my hair, apply fresh makeup, and slip into my brand new dress to attend the opening night welcome reception along with my co-workers.  While saving a table in the over-crowded hotel restaurant, I’d spot two very cute young men at the next table over, and being bold, would walk over and introduce myself.  We’d laugh, flirt a little, then I’d rejoin my party and the cute boys would have spent the rest of the evening thinking what a cool chick they’d just met.

The next day, I’d go to more classes, say fabulously witty things to all the conference presenters, and get an email from one of the graduate schools I’d applied to saying they’d made a decision regarding my application.  I’d bite the nails for the rest of the day, just waiting until we had a long enough break for me to check the school’s graduate website to see if I’d been accepted.  Finally, finally! the classes would be over for the day- I’d rush up to my room, log into the site and Yes! I got in!  They wanted me!  Armed with new confidence and excitement for the future- I’d get ready for the huge sports-themed party the conference was throwing.  Hair curled again, makeup re-applied again, and skinny jeans plus totally awesome black and pink Bowling shirt.  I’d enter the party with my co-workers, head held high, wondering when it would be appropriate to tell my boss that I’d be leaving for school in August.  The first person I see is one of the cute boys from the night before.  He’s dressed as an old-timey football player, complete with leather helmet, and he looks adorable.  He slyly makes his way over, looks at me with that “Hey, I recognize you,” look, and slowly says, “Rachel?”  I grin, and say back, “Joshua?”

Somehow, Joshua and I end up talking away from my group.  He offers to get me a drink.  We spend most of the party talking and dancing and as things are winding down, he walks me to my room and kisses me goodnight.  I can’t believe this is happening- the best news of my life on the same day as the best kiss of my life.

The next day, we spend as much time talking together as conference demands will allow.  He’s working, I’m attending.  I tell him about getting into school, and he’s impressed by my intelligence.  When the conference ends later that day, he insists on getting my number and email address- the long distance doesn’t matter, he wants to keep getting to know me.  A few days later, he’d show up unexpectedly in North Carolina at my office with a bouquet of flowers and the insistence that he knew we had a once-in-a-lifetime connection.

That's me on the far left, in the black dress. Too bad you can't really see my shoes, because they are AMAZING.

My life is not a movie.

What actually happened:

I was kinda looking forward to the conference.  I’d never been to Dallas (where it was being held), and hey, anything is better than answering the phone all day long.  And for the record- I didn’t have to answer the phone a single time while I was at the conference. Also for the record- we didn’t leave the hotel once while we were in Dallas.  So I might as well have been in North Carolina.

At the end of the first day, I did indeed curl my hair, re-apply my makeup, and put on a brand new dress I actually bought for a rehearsal dinner for my friend’s wedding, but wanted to test out somewhere not as important to make sure I actually liked the way it looked and was comfortable enough to wear all night.  When we got to the reception, I did hold a table for our group, and I did introduce myself to the two cute guys at the table behind ours.  We talked for a few minutes, the other guy, Jason, was the one I was initially attracted to, but the next night, he seemed kinda douche-baggy.  But anyways.  After a few minutes of (probably badly-executed on my part) flirting, I returned to my group and the boys returned to theirs.  I wondered for the rest of the evening if I’d get to talk to them again, they joined a table of “Woohoo” drunk girls who insisted on shouting and singing random songs for the remainder of the reception.  Joshua did shake my hand again and say it was nice meeting me as we (my group and I) were leaving.

The next day, as I sat waiting for the first class of the day to start, I checked my email and saw a new message from one of the schools I applied to: a decision had been made about my application and could be found on their website.  I couldn’t check the website on my phone because the password I needed was upstairs in my hotel room.  So, I had to sit through 6 or 7 hours of classes just waiting, waiting, waiting.  When I was finally dismissed, I went straight to my room, located the password in my red notebook, logged on and… Found rejection.  A form letter.  I didn’t get in.  I figured I should check the other schools’ websites while I was at it, even though they hadn’t sent me any kind of notification.  Another rejection from the second school.  I didn’t get in.  And the third school hadn’t posted anything.  I started crying while my roommate showered.  I laid down on my bed and cried and cried.  When I heard the water shut off, I sat up, wiped my face, and tried to compose myself.  I started ironing my awesome bowling shirt, then offered to iron hers.  I curled my hair.  She left to help one of our co-workers with makeup.  I cried some more.  Then re-applied my makeup and changed into my outfit.  By the time I went downstairs to meet the rest of my group, I managed to pull myself together and my eyes weren’t nearly as bloodshot as they could have been.

Joshua did approach me when we entered the party.  He was an adorable old-time football player with adorable leather helmet.  But he never offered to get me a drink, and while we did talk away from my group for a few minutes and we did dance for a few minutes, he spent just as much time with me as he did with everyone else there.  He certainly didn’t walk me to my hotel room and he most definitely didn’t kiss me goodnight.

The next morning, he was moderating the very first class I walked into.  I did not know he’d be there- I didn’t choose that class because I thought he’d be there.  He greeted me by name again, but then he had to work and I had to listen.  We kept running into each other throughout the day and it felt flirty and nice and I thought, maybe- maybe he likes me.  I also thought, maybe he’s just really good at networking.  At the end of the conference, we shook hands, said it was nice to meet each other, and “hey, maybe I’ll see you at next year’s conference.”  We didn’t exchange any contact information.

When I arrived back in North Carolina, my bag did not.  It decided to stay in Dallas.

I tried to find Joshua on facebook, but couldn’t.

I still haven’t heard back from school # 3, but I’m not keeping my hopes up.

I like the movie version a lot better.

The most awesome Bowling Shirt, ever.

4 thoughts on “Hello, Reality

  1. The reality version is better in some ways; mainly you’re not uppity in it…you would actually like to go to Dallas just for the change. Secondly the reality and movie version are probably exactly the same in the first paragraph where you are over qualified and you probably will be leaving soon….

    You should have PERSUADED whoever you traveled with to at least see some of the main points of the town….Dallas is relatively well known for their tourist areas.

    The cute guy you met…he probably wrote the same entry into his blog about how the really sharp girl seemed nice but he just didn’t have the backbone to take the next step.

    Sorry about the schools…I can’t imagine toooooo many people with a better handle on writing than you.

    Bob

  2. Rachel
    Hey, on your story, 25, you have two separate views of the story……can a writer have a first person and yet another set of characters under third person? Have you seen that? Does it work if you have? I am trying to write a story of the Border Patrol(25 years of my experience) fictionalized in the first person and then the story of a group of immigrants from third person…..Your view as I believe you are good if not yet great!

    1. Bob, I don’t think you should look to me for advice because I have no idea what I’m doing! But I do think it’s ok to have more than one point of view in a book. The new book I’m working on has 3 different first person POVs and 1 third person POV

      1. I ASK Your advice because I have read some of the stuff you wrote…you ARE good….As a Federal Agent for more than a quarter century, I learned to read people…I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think it worthwhile for me…
        Bob

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