I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
August 16, 2011
And now, a bizarre and excruciatingly embarrassing moment.
(Because I know how much you like those.)
As part of the BlogHer Conference in San Diego two weekends ago, I attended a luncheon hosted by McDonalds. This should surprise exactly none of you. Ronald and I are LIKE THIS.
Anyway, the luncheon was for about 40 women and McDonalds CEO Jan Fields was speaking. When I arrived, I greeted her and took my seat at a nearby table. I may even have felt a little smug as I sat there. After all, I knew Jan Fields. And Ronald. And now, here I was at a private luncheon. With beautiful centerpieces. And Asian Salads. Now I could die.
Wearing a deeply satisfied smile, I chit-chatted with the women at my table and caught up with Colleen, who was sitting next to me.
And that’s when it happened.
From out of nowhere came a noise so loud and explosive that it sounded like a bomb was going off in our midst. Or a herd of elephants had just burst through the door. Or a jet plane was landing on our heads. It was the kind of noise that makes babies cry. Eyes roll back in heads. Eardrums burst.
And I reacted the way that any rational, thinking person would be expected to react.
At the top of my lungs.
Yes, friends, this was no ‘girlish squeal’ or ‘startled shriek’. This was the bone-chilling scream of bloody murder. The kind of scream that made Jamie Lee Curtis famous in Halloween.
And at the moment that that scream emanated from the depths of my profoundly disturbed soul, I realized that the exploding bomb was actually…
…feedback from the PA system.
Looking back, I have to say that I was very lucky to have realized this fact so quickly. Because I managed to stop my scream at the same time that the PA system was turned off. As shockingly loud as my scream was, it would have been infinitely more embarrassing for me had it continued in the silent room after the feedback stopped.
Still, the damage had been done.
Once the PA system was turned off, the ladies at my table and I stared at each other, befuddled. For a long moment, no one could speak. Finally, a woman sitting across from me gathered her wits enough to say:
“Who was that SCREAMING?!”
“I have no idea,” I said quickly. I looked at Colleen. “Was it you, Colleen?”
“No,” she sputtered. “Of course not!”
“Well, who would do such a thing?” I asked innocently. “Scream like that? What a weirdo.”
The luncheon got underway and the scream was forgotten, by everyone but me anyway. Because it occurred to me as I politely listened to Jan Fields speak that I had screamed bloody murder not ten feet away from her just a few minutes earlier.
And that certainly had not been on my to-do list for BlogHer ’11.
And then I couldn’t stop giggling. Because I’m mature like that.
I told my family this story last night and oddly, they weren’t suprised at my reaction. But my 18-year-old did inform me that this kind of response to a loud noise isn’t exactly normal.
“Of course it’s normal,” I retorted. “I was using my animal instinct.”
“How’s that?” she asked.
“When I scream as loud as I can, I am instinctively asserting my dominance over the loud noise,” I said. “I’m saying, ‘Don’t mess with me, loud noise. Because I’m louder.’ And so that loud noise isn’t going to bother me. It’s going to choose a quieter person.”
“Just like bears,” my husband mused.
Just like bears.
Image via bixentro/Flickr