I was tasked to go to a movie premier for a friend to cover for her website. My first press event and I couldn’t wait. I even went out to buy a notebook specifically for “press related activities and events”. It was small and sturdy with pictures of illustrated dogs on it in all-different colors. I also bought over-priced ballpoint pens. I was official.
I found the mall that the movie theater was in without a hitch thanks to Google Maps. I even found a parking garage outside of Macy’s to park in. Because Macy’s is always a safe bet my grandmother says.
Armed with my puppy notebook, overpriced pens and giant “makes everything else look small in comparison” bag, I walked with confidence through the Macy’s shoe department. I even took time to pause at stacked Calvin Klein heels making a mental note that when my writing gets syndicated by the Washington Post, which at that exact moment I thought it would, I will treat myself to these, because after all I was a sophisticated news writer who needed pleather, 5 inch, peep-toe heels.
I arrived at the theater at a prompt time of 7:45 pm for an 8:30 pm film, if you’re not early; you’re late after all. I immediately spotted a gentleman manning a table of 3-D glasses looking very official, I marched up to him and asked “I am here for the movie premier, where do I go?” and he told me just to walk in. I then asked if I needed “an official badge”. He said “no” and then avoided eye contact for the next 10 seconds before I walked away.
I skipped the popcorn and diet coke because I was a working girl. That and the line was too long. I arrived at theater 5 and saw a table with Lionsgate reps handing out half sheets of paper printed in black and white with the movie poster on it. This is surely where I was supposed to be. They asked me my name and where I was from and I proudly pronounced my name and my affiliation with somebody far more important than myself. After the woman got done rolling her eyes she allowed me past the velvet ropes.
I walked down the long corridor into the theater. As I walked into the dimly lit room I was greeted by two thugs wearing suits, this was a big deal. I was told not to sit in the back row and that I wasn’t allowed to have my trusty iPhone out while the movie was playing, but before the movie it was ok. I wasn’t sure and was about to ask but then I noticed everyone around me was on his or her phones. I fished my phone out of my giant bag and started live tweeting, which incidentally nobody cared about.
I watched my fellow writers pour in and get the same speech I got. Behind me there were nuns, full on flying nuns. To my left was a kid with socks and sandals who clearly was single. Next to him was the man who nearly stepped on me trying to get past me with his snowcaps. Then there was Chad with his backwards hat and blue icee (because apparently Chad is 14 and writes news for a living). I will also note that there were plenty of people with popcorn.
I had my puppy notebook out and pen poised to write my award potential news piece and then took a look around. The nuns, socks and sandals man-boy, snowcaps asshole and Chad, none of them had notebooks and I can assure you, the notebooks they did have didn’t have animals on them.
I put that stupid notebook away. Not before I entered a list of things to do:
- Get a smaller purse
- Never bring the puppy notebook out of the house again
- Stop asking for official badges
- Be cooler
The movie was fine, went off without incident. Nobody got kicked out for having his or her phone out.
The movie, 2.5 hours long, emptied out at 11:00 pm. I am a 9:00 pm’er. I noticed everyone going in the same direction to get out of the mall to their cars. That is when I had made a very bad mistake. I parked in Macy’s on the other side of the mall and the only way to get there was to cross over construction. Luckily I met John who escorted me to the door to find my car, across the entire mall. What is good is that he carried on an entire conversation on his Bluetooth headset throughout our entire interaction. I bid him adieu at the door and thanked him for his hospitality. He walked away when I tried to hug him.
Outside I walked into what I thought was my parking garage. I went to the second floor, no car, then to the first floor, no car, back to the second floor in case I missed it, no car, third floor, no car, back to the second floor, still no car and back to the first floor just to double check. At this point I was more confused than concerned. This is where I met Dave. Dave was emptying the trash at the ground floor of the parking garage. Dave, who looked me up and down, graciously helped me look for my car. For the next 45 minutes. I was convinced my 2010 red Volkswagen Beetle had been stolen. It has leather seats for crying aloud! At this point I am on the phone with Jared telling him to prepare to come pick me up because I didn’t have a car anymore.
Finally Dave has an idea. There are three entrances to Macy’s at this godforsaken mall. He heroically guides me to the final parking garage of the evening (because the other 4 we were in yielded no results) and there is my car, untouched, in the same place I left it.
The resolution: Always write down where your car is, pee before you leave and never assume anybody cares who you are.