As I am neither especially young nor particularly professional, I felt a little odd about attending last Wednesday’s mixer of the Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club. Would they immediately recognize me as an imposter and toss me out on my business-casual-clad butt? Entirely possible. And yet, I’ve successfully infiltrated places I clearly do not belong in the past-an advanced-level Pilates class, any number of VIP rooms, the men’s bathroom at the Madonna Inn (that urinal is a landmark I had to see for myself)-and emerged a little stronger, a little worldlier, escorted by a member of the hotel staff. In all cases I’ve managed to escape unscathed, or at least without any permanent scarring. So, after years of receiving invitations to these monthly events, I finally decided to buck up and check it out.
I rolled up to Statemynt Lounge with backup in the form of two equally unprofessional accomplices, and was greeted with the instruction to put on a nametag (and the sight of a whole bunch of neckties). I obliged, made a pit stop at the bar, and set off into the field, taking a quick lap while sporting a “Hello My Name Is Peeps” sticker on my chest. Upon completion of said lap, I conveniently found myself directly in front of the appetizers. The gigantic mural of a Magnum P.I.-era Tom Selleck above the spread snapped me out of my taquitos-and-guacamole-induced reverie. “Oh look, it’s The Palm,” I said to my pals.
I snapped back to action when the dancers-brought in as a tempting tease for the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance’s forthcoming BASSH dance event-took to the floor, then mingled my way back through the surprisingly diverse crowd, landing, again, in front of the bar, the guac, and Tom. I was chatting with the Daily Sound‘s Jeramy Gordon about the state of the news industry, when The Palm himself appeared.
“Stop right there!” I said, and in one swift motion, I shoved my drink into the hands of Mr. Gordon, whipped off my lens cap, and got the shot of Mr. P right next to his small-screen doppleganger.
“You’re such a pro!” my pal hooted.
Yes, I am.