I love Tony Bennett! So who am I to pass up on an invitation to go to his house for lunch? Ok, you caught me. This isn't a picture of me and Tony Bennett. It's Samuel Kaplan, the American Ambassador to Morocco. But come on, doesn't he look like Tony Bennett? Like really? And I didn't actually have lunch with him, but a reception with him and about 50 other people.
So, I was talking to my sister on the phone this week. We talk about all the familial stuff when she asks me what I'm up to. "We got an invite to go to the Ambassador's house for this 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps thing”, I say. "What?", she asks excitedly. "I don't think I'm gonna go though”, I reply. Because I hate going to social functions trying to make small talk, with people I don’t know. Which is far better than making chit chat with people I do know, but don’t like. Since Craig has to go anyway and my sister things I should go. I decide to brave it.
I dust off the one business casual day dress I own and a pair of high heels. Because this now ranks as one of those bi-annual events when I wear heels. I pick up Craig from work and we head to the Ambassador's house. I smooth down my dress and pick the panty wedgie out of my ass before we go in. Because I want to feel my best before going into a totally uncomfortable social function. When we arrive, the Ambassador is there to greet us. This is my moment to say something really profound. Of course, that’s not what happened.
"Has anyone ever told you, you look like Tony Bennett?" I asked.
Apparently he's heard this before.
“I’m taller than Tony Bennett.” He says bitterly.
Note to self: Google how tall Tony Bennett is.
This uncanny ability to say just the wrong thing happens with more frequency than I'd like to admit. I'm gonna stick to a few polite hellos while I’m bee lining to the buffet to stuff food in my mouth to keep it occupied. The place is swarming in Peace Corps Volunteers in town to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of do-going. So there may not be much food left. I don't think it's coincidence that all the male volunteers are wearing cargo pants.
Unlike trying to make polite, intelligent, but not offensive conversation with diplomats, talking to the volunteers is always fun. I can say anything and they don't care if it's stupid or not. As long as it’s in English. They're listening anyway, they're casing the buffet for what will fit in their pockets without oozing and they’re checking out the other volunteers for that night’s booty call. After drinking some iced tea and nibbling, the inevitable happens. "Excuse me for a moment”, I say. Which I think sounds a little more dignified than, "Holy crap, I need to take a dump."
I walk as elegantly as possible, while desperately clenching my butt cheeks. I find the rest room just in the nick of time. As thoughtful as the design of the Ambassador's residence is, one would think that there would be an air freshener in the bathroom. Because after I completely defile the bathroom, I would like to extend a little courtesy and attempt to leave no trace of the unmentionable deed I did in there. I know there is a budget crisis and all, but let me just say that sometimes spending a little money yields big rewards. So, a scented candle would be about $7, a can of air freshener about $4 and a box of matches $1. I’m sure the Ambassador receives a lot of foreign dignitaries in his home. So, extending a little goodwill toward your international neighbors by leaving the powder room fresh for the Ambassador of Syria? Well, I think it could promote world peace. Isn’t it worth a shot.
Of course, then I had to return to the reception, only, the speeches have started and I'm trapped. I can't get outside through the main entryway. So I sneak through the kitchen to enter from the side for my stealth entry, so I don't disrupt the quiet din of boring speeches no one gives a crap about anyway. Unfortunately, I'm wearing heels, or truth be told, they’re wearing me. I do my very best delicate pink panther sneak walk of shame back from the shitter on my heels. Hushed audience. Clomp, clomp, clomp. Everyone looks in the direction of the noise. Which is me. Now they all know where I was and what I did. Hopefully, they can’t smell it in the moist Moroccan air. It’s only a matter of time before someone else goes in there and figures out who violated the international peace agreement. And I want to be home in my flip flops and jeans laughing about when they do.
Things I've learned today:
* Fight the urge to tell people which celebrity they look like, cause I know I hate it when people tell me I look like their slow cousin who lives in Albuquerque.
* Next time use a soft focus lens on the camera and pan out a bit to capture me and Tony better, so when I blow it up to poster size my stand-in still looks Tony-esque.
* Bring a candle, air freshener or a box of matches next time I go to the Ambassador's. Unless all of those things would be confiscated by the Ambassador's security because they make me look like someones slow terrorist cousin who lives in Algeria.