Monday, March 1, 2010

I Just Don't Feel Myself These Days

Have you ever wished you could be someone else for just a little while? You know become let’s say Barbara Murphy from Virginia. What? You have never wanted to be Barbara Murphy? Me neither but that is exactly what happened to me last week at the conference. You are sitting there scratching your head and yelling at your computer “what the hell are you talking about Gladys?” Oh come on you know you just yelled at your computer. I can tell. I am psychotic that way.

You see I decided at the last minute to attend a seminar. I didn’t pre-register and when I arrived there were 47 gazillion people standing in line waiting to sign up. Luckily I went with someone who is highly intelligent and had pre-registered. I pretended I had too and made my way into the lecture hall hoping beyond hope that I would be able to forego the 27 hour wait to get my pass. I stood in line with Mr. Smarty-pants who had his pre-registration letter and his sanctioned ‘get out of long line free’ card. We eased up to the counter where all pre-paid attendees were given a bag and a lanyard with their nametag and an event schedule. The woman calmly and sanely handing over the pretty red bags held out her hand to collect my pre-registered pre-paid letter. I smiled and took a deep breath wholly and fully expecting to be sent packing right back to the end of the Great Wall of China line. She inquired as to my late-non-registered self. I knew the right thing to do would be to tell her the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I also knew that if I whined and groveled I might be able to circumvent being sent to the end of the now 20,892 mile long and still growing registration line. I weighed my options. I wrestled my conscience and finally I blurted out “I don’t have one. I didn’t pre-register. I in fact did not even know I was attending until I got here. I am so sorry and I will go straight to the end of the line. I will not pass go. I will not collect two hundred dollars. I will not even stop in the lobby and get a Starbucks, unless of course I can get you one.” Then I smiled my sweetest and most convincing smile. The nice lady smiled back at me and said “oh, that is okay. I don’t need more coffee. You didn’t register? You know my friend did and she couldn’t make it would you like her ticket?”

Now did you ever think there were still nice people out there? People who would offer you a pre-registered pre-paid for ticket of a friend to you a complete and total stranger. She stood there looking at me and I didn’t know what to say. I finally broke my silence with “are you sure I can’t get you a coffee?” She smiled and said “No thank you. You can go over to that booth over there and for a mere $500.00 fee they will change the name on the registration to yours or…” I stood there and waited for the rest of the "or"; but it didn’t come. She instead winked and put the lanyard with the name of Barbara Murphy around my neck. I stood perfectly still waiting for her to finish the sentence. I wondered what she meant. She handed me a pretty red bag and my notebook in which I was to take copious quantities of notes and welcomed me through the gates.

That my friend is how I came to walk in Barbara Murphy’s shoes for a week. People would see my name tag and say “Hi Barbara! How was your trip?” I would look over my shoulder wondering to whom they were talking. I would wait for Barbara to answer.

 The greeter would smile and wait patiently for me to return the greeting but I would stand quiet and confused wondering why the heck Barbara wasn’t answering this nice person. Then it would dawn on me that I was Barbara Murphy. I would stammer and stutter an apology and try to explain that I was not Barbara but that became tedious. It was much easier to just accept my inner Barbara. I embraced Barbara. I took hold of Barbara. I became Barbara.

Gosh I hope I made Barbara proud!

Oh and Barbara if you are reading this and you are wondering why you are getting 4,575 emails from people you never met well maybe now you understand.

Thank you to the wonderful woman who gave me the pass at Keller Williams Family Reunion in New Orleans.  Please if you read this go look at the photos of the event at


Anonymous said...

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Ms Martyr said...

My husband and I did the same thing way back in 1977. I was Dorothy and he was Roger. We got to see the King Tut exhibit in Seattle. It was worth it.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Hey, free is my favorite four letter word. I'm sure Babs is glad her ticket didn't go to waste!

Jaime said...

that was nice of her. i wouldn't mind trading shoes with good old babs myself... she can figure out how to fight the army on an employment discrimination claim and i'll do...whatever it is that babs does.

The Texas Woman said...

We should all feel ourselves more! Self exams of the breast are important! Sorry. Couldn't resist.