To understand Gum Girl, I’ll have to start from the beginning.
Last week I posted about my trip to the mall. I had gone to find some nice business clothes for the writer’s conference I was soon going to attend. I bought two pairs of dress slacks with matching blouses (this is important for later).
I like to think of myself as an extrovert. I enjoy meeting new people and socializing, but I’m petrified of getting up in front of a group to speak. If all eyes are on me in a crowd, I quiver like jello.
I hoped I could face that fear by speaking up in workshops at the writer’s conference. On the first day, with my heart in my throat, I raised my hand for questions. Because twenty-five to seventy-five people attended each workshop, they didn’t have time to get to me. Phew!
On Friday night, just as I sat down to dinner in a banquet hall filled with a couple hundred people, the moderator asked us to stand for the National Anthem. I moved to lift myself up, but my right leg stuck to the chair. What the heck? Great! Did the material on my new slacks get snagged on something?
I reached underneath the chair to gently free my pant leg from it’s captor. I couldn’t find where it was snagged. It felt like someone was holding onto my pants with their hands. Praying it wouldn’t rip, I tugged harder to try and detach from the chair. My leg finally loosened but remained attached by a string of gooey white gum.
I waited until after the singing of the anthem, then told the banquet staff to get me a new chair. I scanned the room wondering if the person who placed the gum there was watching and laughing. Which of you dastardly authors ruined my new pants?
The staff immediately replaced my chair, and the manager fetched a cleaner that was supposed to freeze the gum off the material. Since it was in the back on the calf area of my pant-leg, I had to stand while the manager and a nice writer sitting next to me worked on cleaning it off. This alerted others that there was a problem. More and more eyes began to look my way. The cliche is true, what we fear the most…will happen.
Since I’m spilling over my self-imposed 500 word limit, let me wrap this up. The next day, I was called upon in workshops for questions, and I spoke up in a room full of people. It’s amazing what a gum experience can do for one’s courage.
There were at least 250 people at the conference, and I was the one to find the gum, becoming affectionately known as Gum Girl.
Aside from the incident, and the need for a little more leisure time for fun after the workshops, the conference was a huge success.
P.S. The gum didn’t come completely out of the material until I got home. My wonderful husband slaved over it with a piece of ice and a toothbrush. Yay, Husband.
P.S.S. Would you like me to post about a workshop I attended called the Gong Show Pitch Fest? Here’s the link to this nail biting event.