Tuesday

...notoriety

I read a recent article, (or perhaps not so recent,) from a newspaper, (or perhaps it was a magazine,) about a man, (or maybe it was a woman,) who decided to wear a name tag for a year.

The article described the life changes brought about by breaking down the barrier of anonymity in society. The article described what a positive experience it was and the individual decided that the experience was enlightening and that he/she may continue to wear the tag long after the experiment was over.

After this encounter, I was a little dubious about having one’s name front and center, but I see now that there are benefits. Take for example, one of those parties that are frequented by those who go to see and to be seen. For me to be seen, it takes most of a week to search and retrofit the outfit. Trashy to classy is a major overhaul these days and the ensemble had to blend perfectly with what every well-dressed man wears to an evening out, his everyday suit gussied up with a glitzy tie.

We get to the party, the husband and I with our teenage daughter, who has been asked to act as a coat check girl. We are offered nametags at the reception table, but I am ultra cautious as the outfit is decorated with teensy-tinsy beaded flowers on velvet and I worry about pulling the tag off later and leaving a barren rectangle. Rather than being left with no option but to leave the nametag on into perpetuity, I stand and ponder my options.

As I shift the tag from finger to finger, hand to hand, I glance around and notice that the husband and daughter have been greeted by the boss—the big boss and they are quickly ushered over to meet the wife and rub shoulder-to shoulder with the other to-be-seen crowd.

Another wanderer stops beside me. It appears that he has bypassed the nametag table in favor of the open bar. We made small talk over his wine glass while I surreptitiously flap the tag behind my back to see if air drying would weaken the glue’s grip. I again send up the sonar and detect the husband and daughter still with the “In” crowd and looking very convivial. The circle has grown and I can tell the husband is guiding her in formal introductions with his hand at her waist.

I am still trying to decide whether to fold the tag in half or slap it on when another couple completes their nametag drama and steps toward me. I’m relieved that it’s someone I know because I realize that the wine man is shortly going to introduce himself and it will be necessary for me to free a hand. I decide to stick the tag on, but then I am stumped by another quandary, left or right. I vaguely recall that the article stated explicitly which, based on hand-shaking procedure, but I can’t remember.

The other couple greet us by first name and it’s apparent that they are familiar with wine man as pleasantries are exchanged. He’s fine, the children are fine, the night is fine, and as the conversation dwindles, the wine man glances around and then comments, “Wow, look at what Dave brought with him! Is that his new wife?”

The couple and I glance in the direction to which he is goggling and as the couple’s eyes take in my husband’s group, their eyes flash back to meet mine as his next words, “Wow, he’s traded up!” cause their stunned mouths to drop.

I am obligated to snap back with, “That is Dave’s daughter and last I checked, I’m still his wife,” and I slap the name tag square in the middle of my chest most definitively.

Reality Bite: The latest psycho-survey says that adults laugh as a response to fear… fear that a situation may happen to them. This book should be hilarious!