24 July 2007

marginal fiction

I was at an event last week, and I witnessed something and started taking notes. It wasn't particularly newsworthy, but it struck a chord with me. I decided to write it up anyway.

Two former college frenemies were both at the event. They were markedly different in appearance. One was in a fashionable 70s-print wrap dress with perfect make up, sleek long dark hair, a golden tan and spike peep toe heels. She was sitting alone and looked really excited to see a familiar face.

The other girl was less striking. Dishwater blond hair that might have been brushed that morning, wearing a black T-shirt and a grey corduroy skirt, with her work ID badge around her neck -- declaring her loyalty to the company and her complete transformation to DC worker bee. She's not wearing make up and has pale skin, but she's not alone. A colleague is with her.

She is polite to the better looking girl...almost. She answers the delighted, "Hi! How are you?" with a curt, "fine." Then when asked "Where do you work now?" responds with an acronym (the epitome of DC-insider talk). In the last attempt to engage the conversation, the dark haired girl says "Oh great, how long have you been there?" The response is a flat "since graduation." The blonde promptly turns around and talks animatedly with her colleague -- obviously trying to seem more business-like and important than her former college friend.

The taller, more-popular-in-college girl is a bit stunned. She shifts her eyes around, then checks her Blackberry (proof that she's important in this city too). She is silent for the rest of the networking breakfast. To pass the time, she writes the date, name of the event and location in neat block print.

and that's my eyewitness account, only slightly exaggerated...also by the end of the breakfast the plainer girl had turned around and they made up -- swapping cards and making plans to meet, but it makes for a better story for them to just be cold to each other. anyway. ~mari.

No comments: