Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Was It THAT Obvious We Didn't Belong?

Last week Paul and I attended a seminar about Social Security. Invited by our financial guy, Paul isn't that far from retirement so it made sense that we learn a bit more about the benefits, plus I was very excited about the location of the meeting.

The seminar was held at a very, very exclusive private club located in a gorgeous building on the historical East Side of Providence. One of those clubs where you must have the right pedigree and buckets of old, moldy money to join. Where women are probably still only allowed to be auxiliary members through their husbands.

Founded nearly 150 years ago, this organization is in what I am sure was originally a private residence. Renovated and added to over the years but without ruining the wonderful details, the club consists of several dining rooms, reading rooms, lounges, function and meeting rooms, a gym (in the basement) and even rooms where members can stay overnight if they have one brandy too many with the old chaps. Pip, pip, cheerio and all that.

Filled with antiques, this building is so beautiful that I could just walk around looking at the mill work, decor and artwork for hours. (I'd like to didn't say I did) I have no idea who had the connections for the use of this facility for the seminar but I was thrilled to be going there again. I have been to several functions there including holiday parties and private lunches and breakfasts. The owners of the real estate company I worked for when I first started in the business are both members. After parting ways with that agency, I never thought I'd ever see the inside of the club again.

During my previous visits to the club I think I managed to remain cool, calm and collected enough not to stick out like the bumpkin I am. Although I am certain that there are members past and present who share my last name, I'm also certain that my branch of the family came from a tree on the other side of the tracks. Having said that I am in no way ashamed of my family as you can tell from my genealogical search I wrote about. Besides, no one has any choice in where or to whom they are born.

So with as much decorum and gentility as we could muster, Paul and I entered the lobby of the club. Before we even hung up our coats and approached the reception area, at least two men standing nearby almost shouted...."to the left of the staircase, go to the end of the hall." We hadn't even had a chance to ask where the meeting was being held. Rather than making us feel uncomfortable, I found their 'assistance' rather comical. Paul and I looked at each other and shared one of those knowing smiles.

So as my title asks Was it that obvious we didn't belong there?! I guess I'll have to be more careful about the straw sticking out of my clothes next time.


Housewife Savant said...

Years ago I was invited to a "Ladie's Meetin'" by a church woman who was almost wetting herself with the prospect of winning the luncheon's "Bring-A-Peon" contest.

There was something, in that invitation, and I was insulted.
I declined with decorum though, "Hells no thanks lady."

Maybe I should've gone; for the sights, and the food, and the first prize swag - a Dollar Tree yo-yo.

Mommakin said...

I'm going to a party this weekend that intrigues me but at which I will be completely out of place. I am a nervous wreck.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Groucho Marx once aptly said, "“I don't care to join and club that's prepared to have me as a member.”

Anita said...

I've been in those situations, and then I'm irritated that I'm not cool enough to look like a fit anywhere!

Slamdunk said...

Too funny. You'd think they would be more welcome as it may drum up business for them later.

Elle said...

I loved "buckets of old, moldy money to join," what a fabulous way of putting it! Those two men have probably been through hours and hours of training to recognize "outsiders," so I wouldn't feel too bad. They were probably just jealous that they had to jump through so many hoops to be part of the club, and here you were just allowed to walk right in! :-)

Pam said...

Based on the title of your post, I thought you going to say you didn't belong because you both too young to be worried about retirement! LOL!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Ha! Sounds like you may have had more fun at the SS meeting than those who have to behave at the "club".

Raine @ Mama Rants said...

I have some family members who are still very into clubs & things like that. I always thought it was funny that I was encouraged to take etiquette, cotillion, etc even though it was clear early on I was not gonna be Junior League material [I showed up at my "debut" with purple spiked hair].

Gotta admit though, there are days I still think it would be great to have the money & social connections to get an invite to one of those type events, just to shake things up a little.

Life with Kaishon said...

No. They probably were tired of everyone asking them where the seminar was : )
I love old buildings like that. Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I'm always deeply uncomfortable in private clubs of any kind and it tends to bring out the anti-social bastard in me. Like you, I somehow feel I don't belong there. Silly, really - the only difference is generally money.

ain't for city gals said...

This reminds me of the time my husband and I went into an upscale design studio looking for tile...the kind of place where the prices wern't on the tile....(like at Home Depot)...they wouldn't give us the time of day...we left...we are about the only builders still standing in Arizona...might get a little better customer service now???


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