(Quick site news: you guys are psychic! The most votes piling up for the date of the 4th anniversary online chat and stuff are for November 16th, which was the day I was secretly rooting for! We’ll do 6-9pm eastern, one hour on Google Hangout on Air, one hour on uStream, and then an hour of Ask Me Anything/text chat with me and Daron together. I plan to debut the Colin story that day, possibly by reading it in the chat! More plans for special anniversary things as I think of them. -ctan)
I ended up having to go to that fundraiser after all. Here’s how the conversation went down, when Carynne broke me the news.
Her: Do you think there’s anything in this business that is worth breaking down in tears over?
Me: What? Who’s in tears?
Her: Some publicist whose life is going to end if you don’t show up to Lacey’s thing.
Me: Sounds like Lacey’s contagious.
Her: Maybe you’re right. But wait, I take it back.
Me: Take what back?
Her: This job wouldn’t be worth doing if it wasn’t worth blood, sweat, and tears. You know that, right? But honestly. She could have just asked instead of having hysterics. And if you’re going to have hysterics, for pete’s sake, make sure you’re in a job where it’s worth it.
Me: Maybe she feels really strongly about the women’s shelter.
Her: Oh, honey. I’m not even sure she knows what the event is.
Me: I can tell you’re not impressed.
Her: How much you want to bet she’s some poor kid Lacey’s mother hired and is terrorizing. When I call her back to tell her you’re doing it, I’ll give her some career advice.
Me: I’m doing it?
Her: I’m a sucker for a woman in tears, what can I say.
Me: Am I going to need a suit for this?
Her: Hell, no. Leather jacket, jeans, and sunglasses. Your appearance will be brief and consist mostly of photographs and autographs.
Me: Thank goodness. I think I’d skip the country before I’d give a speech.
Her: Don’t joke about that.
Jonathan and I debated whether he should go with me or not. In the end we decided not. A limo picked me up to take me to the thing, which was silly, I thought, when I could have driven myself, and if the whole thing was a fundraiser, shouldn’t they be spending the money on the charity and not on limos?
Maybe I don’t know how it works. Maybe the limos were donated, too. I didn’t ask.
My biggest fear about the whole thing, of course, was that Lacey and I were going to be trapped at a podium together with a million photographers and she was going to go off on me. I felt better when I arrived there and realized that actually her people had lined up a small slew of celebrity supporters. I also realized why the limo was necessary, which was that there was a pseudo-red carpet situation going on. As a hotel doorman opened the door for me, flashbulbs popped from behind velvet ropes. I was glad Jonathan wasn’t with me, then.
A reporter snared me just before the revolving doors into the lobby. She towered over me, probably a former model herself plus she was wearing heels. Her cameraman, I noticed, was my height. She had to hunch down to hold the microphone in front of my face and still be in the shot herself.
“I’m here with Daron from Moondog Three. So how did you get involved with today’s festivities?”
I like to think I picked up a modicum of publicity savvy from Jonathan. So I knew not to say something like after Lacey tried to beat me up, I got serious about battering as an issue. Ha. “Oh, well, it’s all thanks to Lacey Montaigne. I got to know her a bit through the drummer in my band, you know?” Tricky, I had to avoid saying whether they were still an item or not. “And when I heard about what happened with…” I hesitated a moment, trying to remember the name of the model whose boyfriend’s gig I had taken.
The reporter was good. “Mandy Killington,” she provided without blinking.
“…right, Mandy… I told Lacey right away I wanted to do something.” I nearly said it was my idea but that might have put too much spotlight on me and I did not want that right now.
“Do you think we’ll be seeing Lacey Montaigne today?”
The way she said it made me wonder if something had happened to her. What to say, what to say? Time to say something super super bland and boring that they would never bother to air? Oh, I know, a little profanity and then something dull. “Shit, man, I have no idea what the schedule is here. I just go where they tell me.”
She gave me a “you’re cute but clueless” smile and stepped back, pouncing on the next person before I was even through the revolving doors.
I never got her name or what cable network she was from.
As it turned out the schedule I didn’t know much about included a cocktail meet and greet. Silly me, I would have thought that who we were supposed to be meeting would have been some of the women who were helped by this charity, but no, duh, Daron, it was for the biggest money donors. Okay, I guess that made some sense. That meant they were mostly well-dressed men with Rolexes and they were mostly interested in talking to the fashion models who were at least half of the “celebrity” population at the event. I latched onto the one person I recognized, an owner of one of the studios where I’d been working, a guy I knew also managed talent, figuring he was there shepherding one of his clients.
No, actually, he was a donor. Hollywood is confusing.
The meet and greet was fairly short, maybe forty-five minutes, and then they ushered us into a ballroom, where I found myself sitting at one of the head tables, on a dais, between two more statuesque peers of Lacey’s, though at least they weren’t quite so towering when we were sitting down. By the way, not all supermodels are super tall. As one of them explained to me, it was all about proportion, how what the designers wanted was someone who looked really leggy with a slim waist and shoulders in comparison to how tall she was. So some of them were actually quite elfin up close.
The best part about being seated between two models was I didn’t have to do anything to hold up my end of the conversation. They kept the whole table entertained.
I was told by an organizer–identifiable by her clipboard–that I could leave after the main course. I felt weird about it, though. Wouldn’t kit look kind of dicky if I got up and left before dessert? Various speeches were made while the caterers were pouring coffee and serving mousse cake. It felt really rude to me to get up and leave during that, too.
Not that I paid attention to the speeches, either. In fact, I started writing a song on the back of the program.
Writing you a letter that I’ll never send
Thinking the thoughts that I’ve never penned
Picking at a wound that’ll never mend
Waking from a dream that’ll never end
I had started it as a song about Ziggy but as I thought about it, I realized it could apply to Jonathan, too.
That was when I decided I had to plan an exit strategy. There had to be a way to bring this relationship to an end that didn’t leave us both in bloody tatters. I still wanted to be friends with him. Not because he was a well-placed writer in the music business, either. Because I still liked him, I still respected his talents and his qualities, and I didn’t want to hurt him.
But it had to end. There had to be a way to disengage, even though he was clearly still really into me and being in a relationship with me. There had to be a way. There had to.I didn’t know what it would be, but at least having convinced myself that I would think of something, I felt better.
Lacey never showed up to the shindig, by the way.