I am a woman of a certain age. That age is 34. I am no longer a people-pleaser (thanks to 13 years of living in New York City). But I feel that I may be lacking in signifiers expressing my true age. Maturity level? Status?
It’s true that about 1.5 years ago I cut off my princessy locks for a more boss-like hairdo. And it’s also true that the reason I’m writing this is because I attended a networking event in the Meatpacking District.
How to be a woman in a room with 20 men and one woman with a giant wedding ring who arrived late and left early? (Note to self: be more like her in the future.)
1. Wear giant clomping black shoes that suggest you can and might kick the shit out of someone.
2. Cover yourself from neck to wrist, at least until it’s time to sit down for the “networking dinner”.
3. Pull back your hair in such a way that says, this was a long fucking day and if you think I’m coming here to sweep any of you off your feet, seriously, get out of my way. (And for the record, oh what a long fucking day it was.)
But what does a woman of a certain age DO at a networking event in the Meatpacking District? At a steakhouse? In a private room with a round white leather banquette and a gas fireplace that someone turned on with a remote control? Likely by the little helper guy with the tattoos who assumed when I arrived I was GINA because GINA was the party planner who helped to put together the event.
Mmm hmmm. Noted.
Well what I didn’t do is grab a drink. At first.
THINGS THAT WERE MANSPLAINED TO ME
HTML 5 (*cough*)
[moment at which drink was grabbed]
"The social entrepreneurship bubble"
How living in China turns you into a dick
What it’s like to share a hotel with certain African dictators reminiscent of Billy Dee Williams*
How Oakland is mixed with hipsters and gangbangers (ORLY?!!1)
*not an explanation, technically; more of a humblebrag
REFERENCES I MADE THAT WERE MET WITH SILENCE
Tim Berners-Lee (in relation to my position on HTML 5)
But the true capstone of the night — which, if I’m being honesty honest, did have a few interesting conversational tidbits — was thinking, yeah, interesting (gay?) guy that I didn’t really have a chance to talk to and might be a prospective client, let’s walk out together and catch up as we hail cabs. Which turned into one more glass of wine. (Gwyneth Paltrow sliding doors moment.) Which turned in to:
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!
(a) The touching of my hair and the calling it “cute”
(b) The accusing me of being “shocked” at being asked the question “what would you be doing if not this” because clearly I must be “sublimating” some “issues” about my “life” and “you should have seen your face”
(c) The, after one glass of wine each WHICH I PAID FOR and then after me PUTTING YOU INTO A CAB THAT I HAILED resulted in you waving — no, nodding — me into the cab with you? “Come on,” etc.? AMSHashsahahwhwHAAAAAAA!LOLLLLLZZZ!
(d) All of the above
Because you see, tech entrepreneurs of the networking events in the Meatpacking District, just because I’m not wearing a wedding ring, and just because I work in an industry personified by Lizzie Grubman and girls in daisy dukes wearing headsets and holding clipboards…
Fucking A you don’t know who Jenny Holzer is?
PS I didn’t order dessert because THERE WERE NO GLUTEN- AND DAIRY-FREE OPTIONS