Tuesday, October 21, 2014

my BLOW OFF from a woman

Ladies, we are (sadly) used to being BLOWN OFF by men and in the romance department but even more jarring is being blown off by fellow women. Outside of the realm of high school I've never experienced a real life Regina George and at my age I didn't expect to. Sure, we're almost all guilty of gossip and being a little catty, but I hadn't expected to ever be treated so poorly by a woman who's almost fifty- not that age should have anything to do with this story but one would at least hope that when you're close to hitting the half-century mark you would have reached some level of maturity or at the very least decorum in public.

I happened to be lucky enough to attend the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit a few weeks ago for a work assignment. Warren Buffet spoke. Sheryl Sandberg spoke and moderated a discussion. Even Billie Jean King was there, which for a tennis fan like me, it was pretty cool to literally almost run into her as I was leaving the Shesheido touch-up suite at The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel. This was good stuff. It's a place where women gathered to be empowered and nurtured and mentored. I had planned on leaving after the panel I needed to cover was over, but I was encouraged to attend dinner. I was on the fence, but one of my goals is to start saying "yes" instead of "no" all the time. AND I learned it was going to be like an episode of Top Chef where ten talented chefs from across the country made dishes that we got to walk around and pick up and try-- I was sold.

When dinner started I walked up to a group of ladies and asked if I could join them at their open seat at this open-seated dinner. The woman across from me couldn't have dismissed me faster. Yes, I realize I look a lot younger than I am and I was dressed a little more "hip" than everyone else, but it was by no means inappropriate. I learned that she's a legal headhunter in NYC and when she heard the outlet I was there to cover the summit for she was even more disinterested. Was it The New Yorker? No. Was it Atlantic Monthly? No. But it was by no means The National Enquirer. She then did everything she could to ignore me while sitting across from me. I'm talking pretending like I was invisible and refusing to make eye contact when I spoke.

She immediately wrote me off as stupid based on a few superficial factors. While I'm not in any way claiming I could've shared the stage with Mr. Buffet discussing Berskhire Hathaway I'm by no means an idiot. But I was in a professional setting and I held my tongue. And I've regretted it ever since. On my drive home from Orange County, everything I wished I would've said to her repeated in my mind. I wish that I would've told her that there was no reason for her to behave like such a snob when she was there attending the conference, not chosen to speak or moderate. And I really wish I would've told her that I hoped her husband was fucking someone like me.

She was rude. She was nasty. And if she treats a total stranger who was perfectly kind to her that way I can only imagine what an unhappy shrew (I really want to call her a word other than shrew but....) she is in her relationship.

The worst part is that it hurt more than a blow off from a man. When we're dealing with men we realize that at any second they can blow us off and on some level we're always prepared for that. But this woman made me feel smaller and more insignificant for the duration of one meal than I ever have by a man. Of course, once I left those feelings dissipated and I realized that her behavior had nothing to do with me, but as women I think we need to realize that our actions affect others and we need to be accountable for that.

Have you ever been blown off by a woman? Do you blow other women off? Comment below.


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