Overcompensating, Moi?? The Trailing Spouse at FIGT 2012

 

I think I may be overcompensating. I arrived in Washington DC for the FIGT conference yesterday evening, and in the ensuing 20 hours, I have sucked down two lemon drop martinis and a couple of seriously strong margaritas, slept like the dead for 8 hours, then bought one tablecloth, two umbrellas (one of which I have already lost), two gifts for the offspring back home, and 5lbs of grapes, 36 brownie bites, and 24 cinnamon rolls to bribe anyone who comes near.

This is in addition to the two suitcases, an antique typewriter and vintage Kodak phone that I have hauled 4000 miles to decorate a table which, if I’m honest, I only really hired so that I would have somewhere to sit if nobody spoke to me.

But the real indicator that I have descended into a mad state of panic came when I was handed my FIGT conference name badge. They have the lovely idea of attaching colored ribbons with gold lettering to designate the various participants – volunteer, attendee, international, speaker, board member, exhibitor, wet behind the ears mad panicker first time attendee, etc.

I have four ribbons.

The good news is that based on my previous post where I mentioned feeling like the pound mutt at the pedigree show, they have convinced me that I am already a winner, and I have the ribbons to prove it.

Never having been a particularly accomplished sportswoman, they are the first ribbons I have ever received, and even after half an hour, I’m already becoming rather fond of them. And I don’t want to spoil the warm fuzzy glow of accomplishment. I want to spend the next three days hiding, before they realize that they have made a terrible mistake and demand their ribbons back.

It’s just like relocating all over again. That sinking sensation when you leave all that is comfortable and safe behind, and launch into the unknown, quietly convinced that you will never feel that sense of belonging again.  That you will never have anything to add to the conversation, if you ever work up the courage to speak. That you were wrong, and you need to go home.

But here’s the good news. Ordinarily, I would retire to my room and raid the minibar, but some farsighted person locked it before I arrived, so it had to be the main bar after all.

And there they are – a room full of people just like me, with smiles, welcomes and wonderful stories. And wine, and laughter, and above all, friendship.

I’m glad I came.

 

 

 

 

15 Responses to Overcompensating, Moi?? FIGT 2012

  1. Clare Moore says:

    You’ll be BRILLIANT.

    That is all…..

  2. Sandy says:

    I knew you’d be fine and you’d love it! Watch those margaritas, though, or you might come home with tattoos and oddly placed piercings. ;)

  3. Eleanor says:

    I knew you’d be great, and you obviously are! Have sent you an email about setting up More to Life Than Shoes international/online group for expat women/entrepreneurs, see what you reckon – do you think your lovely new friends would be up for getting involved?
    Don’t forget to mention me if anyone’s Africa-bound! :-))
    And enjoy Washington – serious big city envy over here x

  4. sarah says:

    Hurray, hurray, hurray…. ditto the post about the tattoos… but you could invest in a Harley and ride it home to celebrate. :)

  5. Louise says:

    So good to know I am not the only one….! Knowing many of the lovely people who will be there – sadly only via social media, I am sure you will have an absolute ball, ENJOY putting faces to names and DO have a few margaritas for me! Now back to my packing – off to Brazil for two weeks – can’t wait!

  6. Judy says:

    I’m so sorry not to be propping up the bar with you ;-) but I know you’ll have a wonderful time.

  7. Clivia says:

    Rachel, You will be a hit! It is a wonderful group of people and you will fit right in, whether the booth or the bar! Have a lemon drop for me.

  8. kate says:

    Bravo…can’t wait to see a picture of the ribbons! You may think that you are doing this solo, but we are all there with you in spirit. Are they recording your speech? Can we hook up via live web cam? Can’t wait to hear more….

  9. And it was so lovely to meet in person and get on well face-to-face too!
    Missing Judy though -really wanted to meet her too!

  10. JuanJohn says:

    You’ll be OK, just like you survived your moves with your family.

  11. Khadija says:

    Totally rooting for you! Can’t wait to hear more from the conference…

  12. Cheryl McKeon says:

    Love the photos and anecdotes. We must meet soon, perhaps in lovely cosmopolitan Lafayette, where I hear we can even get a lemondrop. Have great fun, in the meantime!

    • Rachel Yates says:

      Yes!! Perhaps the phrase would more accurately be ‘Ruthless in the pursuit of knowledge and lemondrop martinis’.

  13. Rachel…just love your style! I am new to your blogs. This post cracked me up..we are so similar. :) I am very envious of the antique typewriter. :) from an expat loving in Surrey who is currently en route after a look see in Ho Chi Minh, where she will soon call home. Need lots of reading here. We have lived in Australia, New Zealand and England..I have been told that I will be a ‘real expat’ now… What have I been for the past 12 years?? :) Best wishes from Jeanne @ Collage of Life.. :)

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