Friday, July 30, 2010

Problems With Spatial....

So I am readying myself to stand in front of a group of, (hard swallow) 25 people and co-host an Introduction to French Wine class. I am always a complete basket case before one of these events…nervous, tummy all flippy and just a general sense of doom. I can bear my soul, my heart, shit even parts of my body here but make me stand in front of a group and my mind is squishy and I am unsure if I am going to like hurl or pee myself. Really fantastic feeling I assure you.

Things have gotten better since Randy started helping me lead the classes; I feel at home when he is near me and I think there is a rather fun vibe between the two of us. Our banter flows naturally; we disagree on certain things and wholly agree on others. This helps, it really does but the whole standing in front of people thing, well I am just never going to get used to that.

So I am standing out back, having a cigarette before I face my firing squad and I feel something poking the inner part of my upper right arm. I ignore it at first, just too wrapped up to think much about it but the prodding continues and so I begin to investigate. Now I am not a picker by nature, I keep my fingers out of my nose and my jeans are always so damn big that my undies are never wedged where they ought not be, but I do have one picker issue…my goddamn bra!

I am top heavy, always busting out and I know I should be sized for a bigger bra but there is just a certain line that I so do not want to cross…anything beyond the first four letters of the alphabet and I am terribly uncomfortable. So I am standing out back with this obnoxious poking bugging the holy crap out of me so I start to investigate. Slipping my hand inside my shirt, pushing my breast around…my head craned and buried in my shirt. So it turns out the right side of my bra, (of course the one that holds the bigger of my two big breasts…ugh) has pretty much succumb. Just quit and crunched down upon itself…fantastic. So while I futz with myself trying my best to rebuild or bendy my bra to at least get me though I see a face. A face in the car right next to where I was standing….the car I assumed was empty.

Awkward moment of me trying to smooth out my shirt and pretend nothing happened before flicking my cigarette and going back inside….even bigger awkward moment when that face walks in the front door to check in for my class. Oh goddamn it. Now not only do I have to stand in front of 25 people I need to stand in front of one that just watched me give myself what looked like a breast exam.

Gonna cry.


Anonymous said...

Oh girlie, you have my sympathy. I'm the exact way with public speaking. Except I have to talk about money instead of delicious stuff like French wine.

On the upside, 25 people is a fantastic turnout! After the boob-feel peep show, the only place to go is up, right? I'm sure you rocked it!


Samantha Dugan said...

Ended up being fine but when I fired off this post I felt like I was an even bigger idiot than I normally do before one of my classes. We actually had 27 people and they seemed to really dig the class that is all good in my book. Hell if it gets people inspired I might feel myself up before every class from now on.

El Jefe said...

Perhaps this class will represent the peak of your possible pre-class mortification level, and all future classes will be easier - "yeah, I'm a basket case, but not like THAT time!"

Funny thing is I'm the same way. The anticipation drives me crazy, but once I get to where I'm interacting and answering questions I start to have fun and then I don't want to stop.

Samantha Dugan said...

El Jefe,
I can only hope. You are right of course, once things get rolling it gets a little easier but I still freeze up a bit when put on the spot. Always thankful to have my sweet boss there to pull me into focus and jump in when I start to stammer!

JW said...

I laughed my ass off at this post... Thanks for the great story. I'm sure you rocked the class. I've always had stage fright as well.For me It's improved with time and practice, but I don't think it's something you get over, just something you get used to.

El hefe hit it, you just have to put it into perspective beforehand.

Dave said...

Dear Sam, you've managed to dredge up my old angst over putting on workshops for science educators and information on water issues for public groups.

Fortunately, a friend turned me on to Chris Locke's online screeds (not sure if "blog" was even being used at that time). He and Doc Searls authored "The Cluetrain Manifesto" essentially detailing how fucked up advertising and marketing are in today's world. Looking back, I see him as the HoseMaster of Madison Ave, but not nearly as funny as our HMW.

I'd always had little interest in this area except for outright disdain and sometime utter disgust, but was taken with Locke's thoughtful analyses and his observation that "markets are conversations".

I had always over prepared for my presentations which allowed the devil to crawl out of the details whenever the script was interrupted. I don't recall a Eureka moment, but at some point I began approaching these events as just having a good conversation and soon it didn't matter if there were five or fifty people. This has allowed me to relax to where I do little if any "talk" prep and concentrate on visuals, handouts, and the like.

So hang in there kiddo, everyone here I'm sure agrees that you know your shit, so go out there and bust a bra strap.

Love 'ya,


PS Spatial? Damn, all these years I thought my wife was telling me I'm "special". Oh well.

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Well, since we're confessing here...

Once, before a tasting at Mission Wines where I was star of the tasting show, I was kind of nervous and had to take a leak. The bathroom was occupado, and I was desperate, having done the guy thing and waited fifteen minutes too long before acknowledging my need, so I went into the parking lot behind the store, in a quiet little space between the store and the storage unit in back, unzipped, and heaved that big sigh of relief as I began to urinate. Midway through my nervous peeing, four girls pulled up in a car, piled out, saw my back and that I was in a position where I could only be doing one thing, and called out, "Hi Ron! What are we tasting today?" I did that over-the-shoulder conversational thing, trying to act all nonchalant while trying not to pee all over my pants, trying to act all cool like I'm fine with four girls watching me pee, while desperately jiggling, waiting for the last drops to fall. They just giggled. I hope at my discomfort, not my plumbing.

So the first wine I opened for the tasting was New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc...

Samantha Dugan said...

Happy to share. I even took my dinner break, (which means I am writing myself out for 30 minutes) because I just had to post that one. I hope you cats are right but I am guessing I have many more asshole moves ahead of me.

Awe love I've missed you! Glad to hear that I am not the only one that hates the group eyes on you thing.

Ron My Internet Husband,
I just knew you would have a story too. Thank you for sharing baby and yours was probably worse....

vickibarkley said...

Just so you know, I never see you as awkward in a class! Everyone I know adores you and is falling all over themselves to see what you've got in store for us! You are our diva, our maven, and a little stuttering or nervous glancing is completely eclipsed by your knowledge and passion for the juice of life!

And, yes, I know your nervousness is very real. And you're a bad ass for working through it on a regular basis!

Samantha Dugan said...

First of all welcome home lovely lady! We missed you so. You give me way too much credit and way too big a free pass! I am a head case you know it, I'm just lucky that you love me anyway....

Charlie Olken said...

I have done my share of standing in front of groups and talking myself silly, and most of the time, I enjoy it. But, first time talks on new subjects, as I was asked to give to a seminar of wine execs recently, left me nervous as hell for days. I wrote what I thought was a really good set of notes, and then looked over what the person speaking before me was going to say. So, I wrote an alternate approach in case I would was going to be repetitve in front of these fancy pants folks.

So, when I get there, the guy is just beginning, and damned if he did not demolish both of my alternates. I finally resorted to telling stories that illustarated his points and disagreeing (politely, I hope) with him on a few points. About halfway through, I got really nervous because I was running out of stuff, but the next time I looked at the clock, the hours was almost over and it was time for questions. Next time, if there is one, I am going to ask to go first.

As for your wardrobe malfunction, it could have been worse. Ask Janet Jackson.

Sip with Me! said...

I'm sure you were fantastic, but baby, someone really needs to take you bra shopping. I'll voluneteer!

Samantha Dugan said...

Yeah...(sighing) I know. Just resisting for as long as I can but if you are offering to come and, (ahem) support me then I might think about it!