Saturday, October 9, 2010

Although my foot lives in my mouth, you can still get hit by my shoe

One of my goals for the upcoming year is to try to land more speaking gigs.

Hold on. Let’s try that again.

[Ahem.] One of my goals for the upcoming year is to try to land more speaking gigs.

That’s better. (The minute we put “try” in a goal statement, we’re already telling ourselves we’re not serious about doing it.)

Anyway, last Monday night I spoke to a nice bunch of about thirty women at the All Saints Church in Albany. (No, that’s not a typo.) One of the ladies had read my book and asked if I’d speak to her group. Believe me, I was as surprised as you are!

When I speak to groups, I talk about how I ended up in Las Vegas after a midlife divorce and got into standup comedy, and how you’re never too old to set goals for yourself and a lot of the motivational blah, blah, blah you’ve been reading here for the past two years (as opposed to the politically incorrect and vulgar stuff—ha!) I also talk about how the book came to be and read funny bits and pieces.

I was a bit leery about speaking to church ladies because you know me—it’s an effort to be on good behavior for any length of time—but they were all really cool. Really cool. When I mentioned how I’m the bossy type of person who would tell the pope how to say Mass, there was a chorus of, “I think you should!”

I sold a lot of books that night. (If I could get a few gigs like that a week, I could quit my day job.) God bless my sister Lori for coming with me and selling books while I signed and chatted it up. One of the girls told me, “The last author who signed a book for me killed herself.” Yikes. Then when I went to sign her book, I noticed I’d already signed it to another person. Huh? She said she bought it at an estate sale! So I wrote
I won’t commit suicide if you don’t die. Deal?
The funniest part of the night happened the next day when I realized I’d been sitting in a circle of 30 women crossing and uncrossing my legs with a giant price sticker on the bottom of my shoe. How could no one have noticed? One more thing for the “Before I get in front of people” checklist.

That reminds me of my funniest/most embarrassing shoe-related moment, which happened about 14 years ago when I was working as trainer for a corporate outplacement firm. I was facilitating a small group around a conference table but during the module on interviewing skills, I pulled my chair away from the table so people could see my body language.

"You don't want to come across too uptight," I said, sitting rigidly in my seat. "On the other hand, don't get too relaxed." To demonstrate, I sat back in my chair with my legs crossed and my shoe dangling from my big toe.

After making my point, I adjusted myself back to normal posture, but I must have uncrossed my legs with a little too much force because my shoe went flying into the air in what seemed to be a head-over-heels slow motion movement for like 10 seconds before it landed perfectly like a gymnast in front of a guy, right on his open training binder. Now, the last thing you expect when attending a training session is the instructor's shoe presented to your face, right?

That was so freakin' funny; we all must have laughed for like 20 minutes.

Aaaaah.... am I not the biggest idiot you ever met?


Anonymous said...

No, you are not the biggest idiot and that's what's so likable about you is your ability to poke fun at yourself. If you think about literature and the heroine/hero,they always have flaws and that's part of the formula(and why we love and can relate to them).Plus if you make a blunder, it reduces my embarassment about my own.About the shoe thing,I buy alot of my shoes from thrift stores and they write the actual price on the bottom in large print and so if I do what you did it usually says 1.95 and that's more embarassing. I still wear them, as I'm a sucker for a good deal.

Fragrant Liar said...

HAHAHAHA, Linda, that's a GREAT story. I have flung borracho beans across the room by accident, but never a shoe.

Good to hear you're making $$ from your book. People, it's a great investment!

Mimi said...

You're not an idiot at all, but I love how you ask that question!
I'd love to be at one of your motivational speeches, but being on the other side of a large ocean, it's unlikely.
Anyway, good to hear it's going well for you, and word travels...

Unknown said...

Linda, you are so very honest and hilarious! Can you head out to Oregon? I'd so love to hear you speak.

As for the shoe, that was one training that the attendee never forgot, I'm sure.

gayle said...

I love your shoe funny! I would love to hear you speak!!

Lorna said...

Lol that's our Linda! My mom accidentally cast a cherry tomato onto a guys plate at another table, seated below her. I love embarassing moments. Those church ladies were right btw, the pope could use your advice! Happy Selling :)

Mimi said...

Linda, there's an award for you over at my place, if you'd like to call in and collect it!

K A B L O O E Y said...

First off: thanks for the advice about goal-setting, because I qualify everything that way. Got to listen to Linda Lou and Yoda -- "there is no try..."
Second: haven't met you, but still want to. I'm putting that on my to-do list.
Third: If you're an idiot, then I'm a loaf of bread.