Picture it: Miami. February 20, 2007. I am at a financial services conference that involves a great deal of schmoozing. In fact, all of the panels are bright and early so everyone can finish up by noon and go play golf or sun themselves by the pool. And there are lots of parties. I couldn’t get into much because the companies sponsoring them were afraid I was going to witness something scandalous and immediately run back to my hotel room to write about it.
The woman who had the power to get me into these parties made a comment at one point about how I look so innocent and bland and nonconfrontational that it made little sense for me to go to these parties with everyone anyway. And I hate being pigeonholed like that. I can let my hair down! I am hardly a shrinking violet! So I sort of took offense.
The last night of the conference there was a Black and White Ball for the unwashed masses and during all of my schmoozing I met – get this – the Danish National Ballroom Dancing Champion of 1986. In person! I was trying to get him to tell me his favorite dessert so I could blog about him but he said he didn’t really like sweets and only begrudgingly admitted he liked cookies and cream ice cream after much obsequiousness on my part. When I begged and pleaded for him to tell me something I could actually bake that would be blog-worthy, he said “apple pie with lots of cinnamon” but that could very well have been to quiet me.
I then proceeded to try to convince him to be the corporate sponsor of my blog so I can do this full-time. (Fingers crossed!) I don’t actually think it’s as crazy as it sounds since my colleagues read this and we’re all financial journalists for the most part and it could be a great way to get his company’s name out there.
Then we all went to a crazy place in South Beach where I really didn’t belong in my conference garb (my hotel was about a million miles away from the conference hotel and so I couldn’t go home to change). That’s it. I woke up, missed my flight, hung out at the airport, found flamingo windchimes and a copy of Southern Living and finally flew back to New York…