Wednesday, July 19, 2006

ain't got nothin' in the world these days

At my Grandma's birthday party, she and I were telling one of her friends about our trip to Poland together five years ago. How I went along with Grandma as her travel companion to help her out. The friend looked at me quizzically through this exchange, and finally said, with some surprise on her face, 'so, you would only have been about 16 then?'. I laughed and explained that since I am 31 now, that was unlikely. She thought I looked about 21, which is flattering, but also disturbing.

I'm not quite old enough yet to be glad that people often think I'm younger. It doesn't matter much at a family party, but it's a different matter when it comes to work. I recently was sent interstate to attend a symposium. Heh, I have so much trouble writing the word 'symposium' without inverted commas, and have been pronouncing it so whenever I talk about it. I wasn't going to be speaking formally, but was aware that I was representing my organisation and ought to make some attempt to circulate and schmooze talk to at least three other people in the room during the breaks. This sort of thing is really not my strong suit.

When I got to the venue in the morning - Parliament House, no less - I went first to put my hair up. It had still been damp when I left the hotel, and I wanted to look a bit more professional and less student/hippy. But as soon as I pulled my hair back from my face, I resembled a walking corpse. The shadows beneath my eyes leapt out to become deep dark hollows. No, I hadn't slept too well the night before. I stood there before the mirror deliberating (painfully slowly, with my usual pre-9am speed of thought) and finally came out on the side of looking a bit young and unkempt, rather than undead.

Then I was too honest at lunch. I admitted to my nearby table mates, who were all a bit on the quiet side (I really picked the wrong table for my networking ability level) as I headed off before everyone else left, that I was going shopping, not racing back to the airport or to another meeting. Such a go-getter.

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