Sunday, August 07, 2016

Five Questions About Being Bold and Going Places

This weeks theme is five questions about being bold and going places.  Give us more than simple yes, no answers, details, we want to hear the details.

1: Have you ever crashed a party?
2: Have you ever been backstage?
3: Have you ever crossed an international border, by accident?
4: Have you ever been turned away at the door of a restaurant because you were not "properly dressed?"
5: Have you ever out-pouted a French  maître d'hôtel ?

1: Crashed a party?  Shortly after I finished law school I went to an annual lecture held by the school at the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. Justice Scalia was the speaker that year.  I bumped into one of my former professors in lobby and we talked for a minute.  He said we are headed into the Brandies Society Reception, a private reception with the guest speaker for big dollar donors to the school, people who had donated $10,000 or more in the last year.  I said, oh, I don't have an invitation to that.  He said, just follow me and act like you belong there, no one will say anything.  He was right, very good champagne, and Scalia was rather funny.

2: Been backstage?  Does being in the tunnels under "Main Street USA" at Walt Disney World count?  I can't say how I gained entry, the person responsible still works for Disney and I think it is a firing offense. We went all the way from the employees entrance in the back lot to the fire station across from the train station. Even rode on one of the electric carts along the way.  We only had to hide behind a door a couple of times.

3: Crossed  an international border by accident?  Yep, I missed a turn when we were in Germany and ended up in France, for two minutes.

4: Been turned away by a restaurant based on what you were wearing?  Only once.  I was in Paris in January 1991 - just after the start of the first Gulf War.  It was a Friday, I was wearing jeans, a navy blue wool sweater (I still own it and wear it), a leather jacket, and hiking boots.  We were meeting an acquaintance for lunch.  Part of my dream of Paris was lunch at Maxim's.  The taxi pulled up out front, I opened the door to the taxi, and the doorman closed it.  I opened it again and he said, nooo! I stepped out and he proceeded to tell me, in his best snooty french style, that I couldn't enter the restaurant because I was not properly dressed.  I proceeded to tell him in my best arrogant American style, I would spend my money elsewhere.  And I did, we went around the corner, down a narrow street, and into a tiny restaurant and had one of the nicest and most expensive lunches I have ever had.

5: Out pouted?  Now I have to start by saying the French people are generally not snooty, or rude, they are welcoming, warm and inviting (at least by DC standards.)  But they do have their moments. About a dozen years ago, I got a wild hair, and we went to Paris for Christmas.  I was pissed at something my mother had said, and decided we would go do what I wanted to do one year without family.  So on Christmas Day, we were visiting the Eiffel Tower.  There is a restaurant on the first level, at the time it was called Altitude 95, being 95 meters above sea level (it is actually 57 or 58 meters above the ground and has changed names.)   I decided to see if we could get in for mid-day dinner.  The Maitre'd asked if we had reservations, and we didn't.  He stood there and silently pouted, and I stood there and silently pouted back - for about five minutes. He didn't tell me no, he was expecting me to turn tail and leave.  I didn't.  I could see they had open tables.  Finally one of the young ladies who was showing people to tables looked at me and said, deux? I replied "weee" and we were seated with a spectacular view. It was a wonderful adventure!

5 comments:

  1. I can't give details cause I have never done any of these things. sorry to disappoint.

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  2. 1) Not that I can remember, but knowing me and the drunken antics of my younger self I am almost sure I have without being able to remember it.
    2) Yes, however I used to be on a local crew that set up and took down concerts back in my Virginia hometown. We could hang out with the artists permanent crew back stage do]urging concerts. My most memorable was a Stevie Nicks concert. Decadent is a term that comes to mind as an appropriate adjective.

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    Replies
    1. Oops published before completion....
      To continue...
      3) While I've crossed many a border and live minutes away from one I have never crossed one inadvertently even when staying in Basal where I could stand and see Switzerland, France and Germany from one spot.
      4) I distinctly have a faint memory of being turned away but have the distinct feeling it was my state of inebriation rather than dress at the time.
      5) I've always found the French to be most hospitable and friendly. Especially when they hear me attempt to speak French with my southern (actually Appalachian) accent. However like in any society one runs into a stereotype or as I like to think of them a bad apple. I have a favorite little hotel in Paris where I have stayed on numerous occasions. It's on a quiet Rue very near Palais Royal and The Louvre. There is a cute cafe near there where I always stop daily for coffee and pastry. Several days into a trip I sit down and a waiter I had never seen there proceeded to throw attitude letting me know I was not welcome. My attempts a French were not amusing him in the least. I proceeded to stay in my seat watching the street and attempting to get his attention to order each time he passed waiting on all tables surrounding me. Finally the waiter from inside saw me and had waited on me the day before. He nodded and smiled at me sin]gnawing me to wait. Moments later he showed up in front of the rude one bringing me my order from the days before. It was perfect. Mr. Rude waiter didn't stop giving me attitude but he had to watch me enjoy my coffee and pastry. Needed less to say I returned there to my favorite waiter the remaining days of my trip.

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  3. 1. Yes. I was staying at a hotel in Manchester and I actually crashed a wedding. I danced with the groom's mother. I have no shame.
    2. Yes. Ricky Music.
    3. We have free borders (for now) in Europe.
    4. No but I have felt both underdressed and overdressed.
    4. I'm never intimidated by them. I NEVER blink first.
    JP

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  4. Should I be sad or glad I have done none of these?

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