Lately I have begun to really appreciate my white hair.
For instance, last week I attended a large professional gathering where folks had come to meet and greet, to see and be seen, and hopefully to make some contacts. This is not the first one of these cattle calls I have attended but I have not been to one in a few years. It hasn’t changed but I have.
I do remember a time when people wanted to talk to me but certainly on this day, a white haired woman, a storyteller at that, was not someone today’s eager beavers, up and coming 40-50 year olds thought had anything of value to impart, so I was free to watch them and to learn.
These days government buildings in the Washington, DC area are set up like airports with long lines for baggage screening, ID checks and waiting. Finally when the checking in was done, it was a long walk to the building where the meeting was being held. Since I am no longer a daily sprinter I was gasping for breath by the time I got inside, out of the cold, and took my place in another long, slowing snaking line to approach the registration table. Finally I was next. What a relief! But just as I was about to give my name a
tall, well-suited man, chatting with his companion, stepped in front of me and gave HIS name. The woman behind the registration desk scurried away to retrieve a red packet and name tag for him. He noticed me, smiled a charming smile, and said, sheepishly, “I guess I broke the line.”
” Yes. You did”
” Well, we are co-sponsors.”
“Oh – then you knew you could get away with it.” I replied, smiling sweetly.
He blushed, took his packet from the woman and dashed off.
I picked up my registration tags and my red packet and stepped to a near-by table to re-assemble my belongings.
It was a surprise when the very same man approached me. “I want to apologize for cutting in front of you.”
I smiled and nodded graciously like a benevolent grand-mother and asked, “Well, who are you?”
He was indeed from an Agency that co-sponsored the meeting.
I was glad to meet him and we had a few minutes of polite and interesting conversation.
He was surprised to learn that I was familiar with his Agency and with the subject of the day.
I could see in his face that he was also surprised there was a person under my white hair.
We exchanged cards.
That would never have happened if I had not laughed at him and spoken up.
Something to think about.
Definitely a lesson learned! A day well-spent.