Recently, I was gifted the fortuitous chance to sit in a hotel lobby piano bar amid glass enclosed designer gown displays and larger than life brushstroke canvases of famous Asian opera legends. I was mixed a $25 cocktail accompanied with feisty little wasabi peas that burn going down while I gracefully reclined on a tidy designer couch pretending I was as cool as the $25 cucumber drink I had ordered. I prayed that a wasabi projectile would not fly from my burning volcanic throat across the room and hit the pretty man with perfect hair who sat casually reading something undoubtedly important. I also did quick mental math at how many ways I could and should otherwise spend $25 at Shoppers Drug Mart on tampons or evening primrose oil or cheese strings or those tiny individual boxed indulgences of Fruit Loops and Corn Pops.
I danced somewhere between owning my moment and denying my moment. It was all a matter of perspective. My good host and dear friend, identifying the cumbersome dilemma that was battling within my shying sense of entitlement, assured me of one thing:
We belong here as much as any of these others belong here. It’s okay. We belong.
The valet could have questioned my ‘belonging’ when I jammed Converse runners, wool socks and a half-eaten pack of cheap almonds into a reusable grocery bag and chucked it on his cart, dangerously close to a Louis Vuitton or was it Prada? Mine was Loblaws. To my room, please.
The scuffs on my boots screamed to attention when I approached the private check-in desk attendant who serves fresh jasmine tea and whispers to you in melodic song with perfect lipstick and pressed clothing that defies the science of fabric wrinkles and lint. There were tiny bejewelled dogs everywhere, coiffed with styling products and they clicked when they walked, tapping out a march of prerogative. They walked like they belonged. My boots didn’t click on the floor like the fancy women that clicked when they walked.
It’s okay. We belong. My best friend forever, she told me so.
Like my time spent in the company of these few exclusive, there are women every day who wrestle the same dilemma. Not the clicking boots on marble but the dilemma of choking on the wasabi peas – those moments when the regularly scheduled programming of the every day is preempted by a spotlight. That feeling of discomfort when given the gift of a moment. Guilt over big or small indulgences. A shying when afforded splendor and spotlight.
Claim your moments! Those moments are yours! Jam those wasabi peas in your mouth and smile a sweet toothy grin. Rest assured. That spotlight is not shined AT you but shines FROM you.
Like the women here. It’s okay. We all belong.