When things are going very, very well for me, I feel as though I can I see everything around me, and that I can see everyone else’s view of everything around me, too. I have not felt this way in a very long time — maybe 18 months, maybe longer.
Instead, I have been trapped inside my own head, unable to clearly see what’s happening around me, and certainly incapable of seeing how others are reacting to me.
So much of what I do has to occur in this heightened reality. I need to plan moves weeks, months, years ahead, so I have to know what everyone is thinking and feeling and planning all the time — what they say and what they mean. I have to discern their hidden agendas, play to their strengths, sidestep (or take advantage of ) their weaknesses, and often convince them of something the opposite of what they think they want, though it’s a better solution.
I had a conference with BP and some potential clients on Thursday and I felt a hint of that vision. It was a great conference. I felt strong and confident and I was able to persuade them that not only did I have a far better solution for them, but that it was their idea in the first place. By the end, they wanted to hire and date me.
On Friday, I was tasked with a rather complicated challenge — set a last-minute meeting with a high muckety-muck, to whom I was not connected. So, I took a shot. Made a cold call on my own. Set the meeting, aggressively, then moved it back because BP was late.
I wore a short-sleeved black sweater dress, black patent pumps, and my hair down rather than my usual chignon. It was a little sexy for a meeting because the dress is a little low, but it shows me off to good effect without looking as though I am trying. I changed 8 times in 45 minutes trying to convey an insouciance, while looking sexy as hell. I was convinced going in that the meeting would be a bust, so I was dressed for my date with BP.
Also, it’s sort of important that I look as though I’ve cracked an issue of a style magazine from time to time. In the meeting, I mentioned “casually,” that X is actually an important thing for fall. If you see the [month] issue, they had a huge spread featuring it.
I could feel BP smiling next to me. First, I was right. And second, I was in command. I said it because I saw they needed me to. They wanted to feel that I was who I purported to be, but somehow, better. They wanted to leave the conference and tell their coworkers, “casually,” you know X is an important thing for fall.
Was it true? Yes. Did it matter? Absolutely not.
As I realized I leaned forward from time to time in the meeting, so I reached into my bag and pulled out my go-to silk scarf and threw it around my shoulders, as though I were simply a little chilly. It looked effortlessly chic, and blocked my cleavage.
We kept them enthralled in this meeting for two hours, late on a Friday afternoon. By the end, we got exactly what we wanted, plus hints and tricks to work the system. It was an out of the park home run. BP was so happy, he started to express loudly his pleasure at how things had gone before the elevator doors closed. I shushed him, and as soon as they closed, embraced him. We were beaming, floating back to the parking garage as he said, in amazement, you did that. I can’t believe you just did that. You really pulled it off.
And I did.
I listened carefully, paid attention to everyone’s body language and did my motherfucking job, at which I’ve been really sucky for months.
I sold the hell out of who I am and who he is and who we are and what we do and it was perfect. No false notes. No weirdness. No facial expressions I wish I could take back. No fear that fear inadvertently undermined my overall message. No whiff of desperation. Just tight and controlled. It was smooth from start to finish and the parts that were actually rough, I smoothed as we went so no one was the wiser.
I helped resurrect our original plan, which had fallen victim to the global financial crisis. It’s not “fuck you” money — the walk away money BFD earned for example — but it is enough for my mother to retire and for me to live comfortably without having to constantly worry.
As we left the garage, we debated where to go for dinner. There were really only four options: his favorite 5 star restaurant, my favorite 5 star restaurant, a 4 star restaurant neither of us had been to yet, and a slightly more casual homey restaurant where we’d had many, many drunken dinners, lunches, and where I’d had many fabulous brunches. We opted for the homey restaurant.
It was perfect. Our food was outstanding — 2 appetizers (a fabulous crab cake he liked better than the famous one at his favorite place), 2 cocktails each, dinner, and then a ridiculous dessert. I was actually queasy by the end.
BP gave me dating advice — he thinks I should continue to date both BFD and LP and is wondering how long I can keep them both in stasis before one or the other decides that he is or should be the only man in my life. He genuinely likes BFD and sees why I like him, but he also likes the idea of LP and sees how happy he makes me.
He told me not to give up on LP yet.
We laughed for hours and truly enjoyed each other. We also kind of picked up our incredibly hot waiter. So, there’s that.
I got home still early and fell asleep by 10, awoke to set alarms for my early trip with my cousins, and went soundly back to sleep.