Driving Ms. Heidi to a speaking engagement
“Nope, I’m not going,” husband-head said firmly when I asked him to attend a speaking engagement with me in which people were likely to ask him a bunch of questions.Actually, he had to work, so I didn’t press the issue.Instead, I asked my girlfriend, Dale, to go with me and drive to the appointment, which was about 45 minutes away from where we live.Those who know me are well aware that I don’t like to drive. In fact, my editor once asked if I even HAD a driver’s license.I do. I just don’t use it all that much.Off Dale and I went, to a local Rotary Club meeting in a very high-end subdivision.We had to get permission from the guard at the gate to even get in.”Sure, go on in and have a great day!” the nice guard said, probably having no idea if we were armed and dangerous or not. …
Dale dropped me off at the front entrance of the exclusive club and then came in a few minutes later.”Hi, I’m Heidi Rice,” I said to the president of the club who had invited me to speak.”And who is this?” he asked, when Dale came through the door and stood by my side.”That’s Dale, my driver,” I informed him.Little did I know, that introduction would be the subject of many laughs for the rest of the day.We were offered a beautiful buffet lunch and exchanged pleasantries while we ate with several of the members of the club before we were introduced.”This is Heidi Rice and this is Dale, her driver,” the speaker said when it was my turn to talk.I am not a big fan of public speaking and had been dreading the event, which was billed as “Life With Husband-Head.” Instead of giving morbid details about our sex life, I decided to talk about our recent experience being featured on Dateline NBC in a special about football fanatics and their football widows.When I was done with my talk, Dale and I left.
“WHY did you introduce me as your DRIVER?” Dale wanted to know. “You know, people thought I was, like, your CHAUFFEUR! I know I dropped you off in front of the clubhouse while I looked for a parking place, but STILL …”I had no idea that she had then been considered a professional driver. I only meant that she had driven ME to the meeting. …”Some guy asked me what kind of car I drove!” she laughed on our way home. “I think he thought it was a limousine!”She told him she drove a Volkswagen Jetta.”And then another guy asked me for one of my business cards,” she said. “I really think they thought I was ‘the driver.'”Dale is a very attractive woman and I’m pretty sure her driving abilities weren’t really what they were after. …Nevertheless, we about died laughing on the way home at the thought of her being my personal “driver.””Why didn’t you just tell them I was your friend and I was doing you a favor by driving you to this thing?” Dale asked between giggles. “For God’s sake, I’ve had two accidents in the last month – why am I supposed to be the driver?”
Ummm … I don’t know.Somehow, despite the laughter, we made it home without getting in an accident.”I just cannot believe that you introduced me as your driver and not your friend who was just giving you a ride,” Dale laughed. “They actually believed that I was a professional driver!”We laughed about that one all the way down the highway until we almost got hit by a truck. …Later on, I reiterated the whole experience to husband-head, who was not all that sympathetic to the situation.”SEE?” he pointed out. “That’s what happens when you talk about me at a Rotary Club meeting.”Now I’m not sure which is worse – driving or public speaking. …Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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