Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Funny li'l story from tonight.
I was invited by my friend, Mike, to his house to have pizza and watch the returns from the primaries. After all, it's Super Tuesday. Forget Fat Tuesday! In DC, elections take all the spotlight.
I had never been to Mike's before. It's in my neighborhood, on Capitol Hill. Mike is a sweetheart and works on the Hill, like me. So, I quickly glanced at my Blackberry and saw the house number, "608."
Hooray! Remembering it was the basement apartment, and seeing a couple folks sitting and eating on the sofa, watching the tv, I did what any good party guest would do:
I pranced down the steps to the English basement, opened the door, and let myself in. "Hello!" I chirped. The two people in the house looked at my quizzically. "Hello," they said.
Suddenly, I got a strange sensation. There was no Mike in the room. Nor pizza. Nor party of primaries-watchers. I cocked my head to the side. "Um, is this Mike's place? I'm here for the party...?"
"Um, no." they said, in a tone that was half questioning if I'd lost my sanity, and half pitying me for the embarrassing gaffe. I felt my face redden with shame. "Oh, I'm so sorry...I think I've got the wrong address. So sorry!" I said, as I began to turn on my heel.
"That's okay," they said, still eyeing me.
"Good night!" I said with a cheerful smile, as I squeezed the door handle and made a quick exit before they could get a long enough look at me to recognize me later.
As I headed out into the damp-night-from-a-mild-day-in-February, I chuckled to myself. Before long, the correct house number was just a block away, and I could already hear the party revelers outside. And I was relieved! Liberal Hill staffers and animated politicos buzzed like gadflies and yelled comments toward the television. A senator was even present at the fete! Even more impressive was the selection of exquisite hand-made truffles, the flavors themed. Each chocolate truffle variety was named for one of the candidates! One had a fuschia outer shell with a strong chocolate center: The Clinton. Another was dark on the outside, with a white filling (certainly, The Obama). Still another was smooth milk chocolate on the outside, with a nutty inside: The Romney. Get it? Pure, chocolate brilliance. Only in DC, folks.
The experience earlier in the evening reminded me of a powerful life lesson: the seriousness of the gaffe is less important than the skill of making a graceful recovery and quick exit.