Uncategorized

Ch. 9-The Jane Game

“Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the Jane Game.”

I sink back down into my seat. Shit. Guess I’ll just have to talk to “Mr. Rude” later. 

I desperately want to talk to him and find out why he flat out lied to me about being on the Jane Game, but I realize that I’ll have to wait.

Standing in the front of the room is a gorgeous, tall, slim woman. She has large almond eyes and long strawberry blonde hair. She is dressed impeccably head to toe, all designer.

“My name is Caroline, and I am the producer of the Jane Game.” People applaud, she smiles, I do nothing.

“I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you. I wanted to introduce myself and tell you that whatever you need, just ask! That’s what producers are for!” People giggle.

“I digress; I am here to make sure the show runs smoothly. Just follow the rules, have fun and be yourself. Do that and I’m sure all of you will find love in no time.” She says this and looks directly at me.

Caroline then goes into a long winded speech about her biography and all of her accomplishments as a producer.

Then she introduces the rest of her team and all of the personal assistants each of us has been assigned.

“Okay contestants, it’s  time to split up, girls say goodbye to the boys, the next time you see them will be our first day on the show!”  She flicks her hands and our assistants escort the girls out first.

I linger to the back of the pack of girls, hoping to steal one last look at Mr. Rude.

I’m slowly walking out when I feel a light hand on my shoulder.

“Right this way love! Onto the next activity on your schedule!” Says Maddie, pushing me quickly towards the door.

I turn back towards the room and the door slams behind me.

“Okay love, right now we have you image consultant meeting. Then after that we have the wardrobe fitting. Then lunch, and then the spa. Then the makeover expert.”

“Wait Maddie, image consultant… makeover expert… why do we need those?” I ask puzzled.

We follow the herd of women through the hotel.

“Oh, they are just here to help love!” She says picking up her pace.

We all march into a conference room. Where 8 strangers are sitting… one for each of us girls. We all pair up with someone and our assistants leave. Maddie hands me a water bottle before she does and says in more than a few words that she will see me in an hour and a half when the consultant session is over.

I introduce myself to my “image consultant”.

My person is a petite sweet looking girl named Sarah, and we easily fall into conversation. I notice she starts taking notes halfway through. After telling her a funny story about my loser ex, and how he unromantically sent me to the hospital on valentine’s day, I pause and decide to ask her more straightforward questions.

“Look, I like talking with you, but what exactly do you do? Why do we need an image consultant? Isn’t this reality T.V?”

Sarah looks startled for a second and then recovers. My forward question must have thrown her a bit.

“Good question. Well, we are here to find and highlight your strengths. On the show, we may ask you to exaggerate your strengths a bit, either during a competition or during a scene. This is just to add a bit of color to a show. They do it all the time. For example, your strengths are, warmth, confidence, and forwardness.”

“You mean, ignorance, pride, and abrasiveness.” I say in a flat tone.

“Oh no! Not at all! You are kind, strong, and bold.” Sarah smiles and touches my arm. “So during a competition, you may be paired with a difficult partner. We would ask you to be really warm and supportive of them, instead of taking the lead.”

I blink back at her.

“Okay, but I don’t want to do that. I want to win money. I would take the lead and make sure we win.”

“Oh.” She says with a frown. She scribbles in her notebook. “Okay, then let’s say we put the men and women together and your friend is alone in the corner. What would you do?” She looks at me expectedly.

“Well I would stop dancing and go hangout with her. She is probably more fun to talk to anyway.”

“Perfect!” Sarah exclaims. “You are displaying confidence that you do not care what others in the room would think of you. That’s what we mean. Just highlighting your strengths.

I was confused. Did they want me to act, or be myself? I crack open my water bottle and take a big sip.

For the rest of the “consultation” I sat and listened to Sarah jabber on about me and my strengths.

As promised, Maddie sweeps me up at the door when the session is over and whisks me to another conference room that is lined with gorgeous dresses from the regency period.

My mood starts to pick up again. Sara was a very nice girl, but I hate being analyzed and tested like that.

Towards the end I was starting to feel self conscious and grumpy. But seeing the gorgeous fabrics and ruffles was just the cure I needed.

I notice, once again 8 different stations set up for each girl. Maddie leads me to one at the far left corner of the room. I shake hands with Fluer, a petit girl who quietly asks me to lift my arms in a thick french accent. I oblige and am immediately stripped naked and then redressed into the first gown.

She zips and spins me around to look in the mirror. I gaze at my appearance as she grabs accessories to match the dress.

The gown is a rich warm grey, made from fine muslin. It has ha sort capped sleeves and a very deep swooping neck, showing just a hint of cleavage. I am given a rose colored shawl and my hair is tied up into a rose colored ribbon. Some of the ringlets fall and from the loose knot and frame my face.

I look just like a character from a  Jane Austen novel. My breath hitches.

This routine is repeated over and over again, until I have a total of 25 dresses. 10 casual dresses, 10 “date” dresses, 2 dresses for physical activity, and 3 dresses for balls.

Then Fluer chooses my night gowns, under garments, socks, shoes, accessories, and instructs me how to wear each of them and for what occasion.

Maddie takes notes next to me and promises to add them to my binder of information later tonight.

After the wardrobe fitting, Maddie and I head out of the hotel for lunch with Charolette and her assistant.

The four of us walk to a cafe around the corner. Charlotte and I talk fluidly throughout lunch about how excited we are for the show, and the other female contestants.

I can tell that Charolette and I are going to become close friends in the month we spend in the mansion together. We both have the same intuitions about the other women after breakfast this morning and her reservations on the show. On our way back to the hotel tells me how strange she thinks it is that we have to go to a makeover expert later.

“I know!” I proclaim in agreement, “like why would we get a makeover, right before going on t.v. to find our true love?”

“Right?” Says Charolette, “For a show that made it very clear that we weren’t allowed to wear makeup, or support any modern practices, there’s nothing more modern then a complete makeover.”

-The Jane Game

Advertisements
Standard
Ghost Stories

The dreaded spot…

I am no stranger to ghosts.

In fact, some might classify me as “haunted”.

I have met skeptics who discredit me and come up with scientific reasons why these things happen to me. They tell me they are parlor tricks, or hallucinations, or pranks. And maybe they are, but they always feel very real to me. Too real. Like, chill me to the bone and sometimes paralyze me with fear, real.

After my last brush with a ghost, I decided it was time to share all my experiences, and hope that they both amuse, and scare you. Enjoy!

Yesterday I went home for the weekend to house sit and baby sit. It was time to spend with my sister. Time to hangout, pig out, and binge watch movies. It was great! The perfect sister bonding weekend.

But last night. Last night was not fun. Last night, I went to bed at 2 a.m. and woke up at 3:30 with a feeling that someone was in the house. What woke me up though made my heart race faster than it ever had. I woke up because I very audibly heard (or thought I heard) my sister scream, “Kelly wake up!”.

So I woke up and sat straight up in bed.

All the blood drained from my body and I went from being overheated, to freezing cold. In an instant, I felt scared and threatened. So i grabbed my phone and a baseball bat, turned on all the lights and went downstairs. I checked all the doors and windows to make sure everything was locked (it was) and went back to sleep.

Or tried to go back asleep. It was mostly just restless tossing and turning in bed.

At 4 I woke up with a start again because I heard stomping downstairs. Three loud thumps.

Thump, Thump, Thump.

Again, I grabbed my phone, bat, and the dogs. I turned on the lights listened, at the top of the stairs and waited.

Nothing.

I went halfway down the stairwell.

Nothing.

I called out that I had called the cops and was coming downstairs.

Nothing.

I checked all the doors again, all locked, turn on the outside lights and went back upstairs.

I stayed up for another 2 hours, listening to the thumping. Praying for them to stop. To not get louder. To not come up the stairs..

 I went to bed at 5 when the thumping finally stopped. When my parents came home this morning I explained that I had gotten  5 hours of sleep because I thought someone was in the house the whole night. 

“Oh yeah,” My dad said, “Did you hear the stomping noises? I hear them too. But whenever I go downstairs, there’s no one there.” “I think the house might be haunted.”

What! All night I thought I was going crazy, being paranoid, but here was definitive proof that this wasn’t in my head.

It was real.

The best part, apparently there is this one spot in my house that the dogs won’t go near. They get freaked out and whinny. It’s not in a corner either. It’s just a normal empty spot in the middle of my living room.

This spot, this innocent looking, spot,  is in the same room that the stomping, thumping, clumping, bone chilling noises come from.

I wonder what’s buried there.

More of my ghost encounters in the weeks to come!

If you have a ghost story of your own, leave them in the comments below!

Standard
Advertising

Dear Clients. I can make you a lot of money. Don’t believe me? Just watch.

Money. You want to make more of it.

I know how.

I have your attention, and maybe you are a bit skeptical, but here’s how you, the client, can reach your target better, sell more, and overall improve your brand image…

HIRE MORE WOMEN.

Don’t believe me? Let’s break it down. Women make up roughly 80-85% of consumers. Women in Advertising Creative, they only make up 20%.

So, who is coming up with the ‘award winning ad campaigns’ that will appeal to women?

Men. Now I’m an advertising major, and not too great at science, but I’m pretty sure the people who know women and their buying habits the best, are other women. You may argue that focus groups provide insight into the mind of women, but you have no idea what you are dealing with. Women are complicated.

Forbes recently reported that “Women are the world’s most powerful consumers, and their impact on the economy is growing every year. The global incomes of women are predicted to reach a staggering $18 trillion by 2018, according to global professional services firm EY.”

In fact, the entire article is a gold mine about female consumers, and you should definitely read it after you read this…

Women are the influencers and decision makers for our economy. Shouldn’t they also be the influencers and decision makers on your accounts? And not just on the accounts, but in the leadership roles?

Older professionals in the advertising industry have repeatedly told me, if you want more women in the creative industry, pitch it to the client as a smart business strategy.

Make sure they understand that it would be a good business move to have women working on accounts to sell to other women. Why?

Well for one thing, women selling to other women is a good business strategy.

A first hand look at the female mind. For example, women are funny. So why aren’t there more ads appealing to women’s sense of humor?

Sadly, we are afraid to say something to our boss or to you, the client, because we think just doing good work and showing up is enough to get put on the big accounts.

So clients, I can make you money. A lot of money. But first, the request has to come from you.

Ask for more creative women on your account.

Why would you trust a team of men to talk to stay at home mothers? You know what they produce? Culturally ambiguous actors that show and tell about cleaning and cooking products.

Women know what cleaning products are. We get it. Instead, why don’t you talk about how the bottle will actually last longer and has an easy to spray spout that never clogs?  Or maybe, instead of selling us the science behind the bottle you could put a man in the commercial instead (GASP!). Show THEM how easy it is to clean the kitchen.

Women will still buy a product, even if a woman isn’t in the commercial.

So clients, now that you know how to make more money, will you make the change? It doesn’t have to be drastic, because history would reveal men aren’t bad at selling to women and I don’t want an exclusive team of women working on female products either… but let’s start with hiring more women creative directors to lead a team of men.

Let hire inspiring creative women who will encourage others how to think more like a woman. Once you do that, you might not even have to conduct a single focus group ever again.

And that would make everyone very happy.

Standard
Author, Blog, Books, Writing

Ch. 8- The Jane Game

I enter the restaurant and play with my hair, making sure every split end is in place. I glance around for the private breakfast area the producers reserved for us, and notice how fancy everything is.

The restaurant has tall ceilings and large windows that overlook the streets of London. Everything from the walls to the table cloths is white. The only pop of color in the room is the fresh vase of flowers on each table. Gorgeous chandeliers hang from the ceiling, catching the light from outside and making the room shimmer in refracted rainbows.

It was nothing like the free continental breakfast I was used too.

I was relieved that I had dressed up and after another scan of the restaurant I found our reserved room.

“The Jane Game” said a sign in elegant script.

I sit down at a table next to the door and wait for the waiter to come by. I notice that Maddie  is sitting at a table with other studio assistants. I wave at her and mouth that I’ll talk to her later.

“Alright deary! After breakfast I’ll come find you!” She screams across the room. I blush a little but wave again in acknowledgment.

Sitting across from me is a gorgeous half asian- half caucasian woman with rich brown eyes. She seems to be engrossed in the newspaper and hasn’t noticed my presence. I study her before deciding to introduce myself. Her hair is chopped very short in a Emma-Watson way. It looks super cute on her, and I envy her knowing I could never get away with such a short do.Her short locks accentuate her thin face. In her ears she wears only pearls and I can tell by her style of dress that she is very wealthy. Intimidated, I muster my confidence and smile.

“Hi there, I’m Jane.” I say reaching for the menu on my plate. She puts down her newspaper and smiles back.

“Hi I’m Charlotte. So nice to meet you! Are you a cast member?” She says widening her grin.

I notice her british accent right away.

“Nice to meet you too! And, yes I am! Have you met any other contestants yet, or am I the first?” I’ll admit, it hadn’t really sunk in that I would be competing on a game show. So meeting another cast member felt a bit surreal. Like up until this point, it was still a fantasy I had, and now in the eleventh hour the pressure was on. Very soon I would be on t.v. competing for money and love.

“You are the first!” She says bringing me out of my day dream. I’ve seen a couple of the men trickle in but they are all sitting over there.” She points and I look. Sure enough, a table of men is sitting at the opposite side of the room quietly talking amongst themselves. I can’t see the man from the plane, but where I’m sitting might be blocking my view. I would just have to wait and see if he comes in later.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but I notice you have a British accent. What part of England are you from?”

She laughs, “Essex! Thank you for not just assuming I’m from London either. I hate trying to explain that to people when I meet them.” We fall into a natural conversation about her life growing up in Essex and (as it turns out) her recent move to New York City. More people come and soon the conversation turned to our favorite subject, Jane Austen.

“I just love Bingley. He reminds me of an adorable golden retriever.” says Lydia, a Southern Bell who is all blonde hair and boobs.

Lydia proclaimed when introducing herself, “I was the only girl in my sorority who liked Jane Austen, everyone else preferred to read those silly gossip magazines. It was so funny, when I told them I got on the show they had NO idea what I was talkin’ about. They all thought I was crazy, but they are bein’ supportive on my journey to find luuuv.” I had to resist the urge to roll my eyes.

I take another bite of my omelette.

“But,” says Charlotte, “He’s so gullible! I could never be with someone so easily persuaded by others.”

I nod in agreement. Indecisiveness was the most unattractive trait (besides Pride) in a male.

“Aww gullible isn’t all that bad darlin,” Lydia continues, “I’ve been with loads of dumb athletes and believe me, what they lack in brains, they make up in other ways.” She wiggles her eyebrows at us and the whole table bursts into giggles.

I glance over at the men’s table again and my laugh hitches in my throat.

Guess who I see. Mr Rude, of course. Sitting at the table with a stoic look on his face.

I can’t tell what he’s thinking, but he seems to be concentrated on a man sitting across the table from him. Although I can’t see exactly who is talking, I can tell by the body language of the men sitting there, that he must be telling a story. Everyone is capture in what he is saying. No one moves, not even to eat their food.

Unsure what to do, I continue to gaze at Mr. Rude. Should I approach him? Confront him? Ignore him? Wait are the women allowed to talk to the men? Or do we have to stay separated until the show? I can’t remember and I’m about to walk over to the men’s table when a voice from the front of the room stops me.

“Ladies and Gentleman welcome to The Jane Game.”

-The Jane Game

Standard
Author, Blog, Books, Writing

Ch. 7- The Jane Game

I look at the alarm. 6 a.m. Even though I’ve only gotten around 4 hours of sleep, I feel refreshed and excited for the new day.

I dress in workout clothes, grab my room key and phone, and head to the elevator. While I wait for the elevator I put in my headphones and blast my running playlist.

I get to the lobby and make my way over to the gym. I pass by the restaurant and inhale the sweet aroma of coffee brewing. I planned on getting a workout in before breakfast and hoped the gym wouldn’t be crowded. Judging by the lack of people in the restaurant, I know everyone is still sleeping.

The gym is empty except for one other person. He is in the far corner doing weighted squats with his back to the me. I ignore him and claim one of the two treadmills by the door.

I get into a running groove and zone out to the music.

5 miles later, sweaty and spent, I  glance at the clock above my head. I should do an ab workout cool down, because I know this will be one of my last workouts for at least a month, but I know that if I do, I’ll be late for breakfast. I hop off the treadmill and clean my treadmill. I cast one last glance at the man doing pushups and then head back up to my room.

I wait by the elevator, headphones still in my ears. I space out, running through todays schedule in my head (breakfast, breakout session for information, style consultation and wardrobe fitting, free time, all cast bonding session, dinner). I hear the elevator ding and am brought back to earth. When the elevator door opens I freeze.

There, standing in the middle of the elevator, dressed in workout clothes, is the man from the plane. Mr. I don’t want to talk to you because I am socially inconsiderate

We lock eyes, neither of us moving. Then in a split second we cross through the threshold of the elevator, him leaving and me taking his place, all the while maintaining eye contact. He gives a curt nod. I turn and look back out the elevator, returning the gesture. The doors close, and I let out a sigh.

Still a jerk? Probably. Still incredibly good-looking. Oh yes. His workout shirt was stretched across his muscular chest, revealing his pectoral muscles and incredible biceps. His workout shorts peek out from beneath his slouching sweatpants. On the plane we had been sitting, but as we crossed paths, I noticed he was at least 5 inches taller than me.

Hot.

I pressed the button for my floor and leaned against the elevator wall. I begin to wonder if he was telling the truth about not being on the Jane Game. After-all, it would be quite a coincidence to be in the same hotel, and on the same flight…

As I get off the elevator I decide two things.

If he is at breakfast, then I’ll have my answer. He is definitely a contestant on the Jane Game.

Second, I will have to step up my game and try to make an amazing first impression. Can’t imagine what my competition looks like, but I imagine that whoever shows up this morning will be a fierce sight to behold…

-The Jane Game

Standard
Uncategorized

Ch. 6- The Jane Game

Ch. 6.

I woke up four hours later in a start. 12:30. Where was I? I reached for my phone next to me and used the flashlight to survey my surroundings. Right, a hotel room. I turned on the light next to my bed and rubbed my eyes. At the foot of my bed was my duffel bag, my backpack, and my purse with a card placed on top.

I crawled across the mattress and grabbed the card.

Jane,

You were asleep by the time I came to drop off your things so I’m leaving a note. Here is my business card. Contact me at any time if you need anything. Just a reminder, I will come get you tomorrow morning at 7:30 for breakfast.

Sleep well dear!

-Maddie

I rolled onto my back and let out a moan. I had to be up so early tomorrow but I couldn’t go back to bed. I was to awake now. I got up and went to the bathroom. I washed my face, brushed my hair and piled it into a high bun on top of my head and brushed my teeth. Then I changed out of my travel clothes into a new pair of yoga pants a fitted track sweatshirt. I slipped on a pair of tennis shoes and grabbed my room key, my purse and my phone. I wanted to explore the hotel for food and maybe grab a drink before going back to bed.

I walked down the hall and waited for the elevator. Next to the door was a map of the hotel. From what I could tell, the spa and pool were both on the first floor, along with a restaurant and arcade area. In the basement was a workout facility, conference rooms, laundry machines, and a bank of vending machines. I decided to start there and work my way up. I got onto the elevator and pressed the LL key to get to the basement. Luckily no one else was on the elevator when I got on.

I was still waking up from my hard nap and didn’t feel very talkative.

The basement was dimly lit and hard to navigate because there weren’t any signs, but eventually I found the bank of vending machines. It was then that I realized I hadn’t converted my money to the euro system yet. My stomach growled. On the ride from the airport to the hotel I had eaten all of the snacks Maddie gave me in my welcome bag. Now I was regretting it.

I made my way back to the elevator and got off on the first level. I hopped the restaurant would be open this late at night. I knew the kitchen was most likely closed, but maybe they had a bar to sit at. At this point I would be content on snacking on bar peanuts. To my disappointment the restaurant was closed also. I went over the receptionist.

She was watching something on her computer and didn’t see me approach.

“Hi there. I’m starving and looking for a place open this late at night. Do you know of any restaurants or bars nearby that serve food this late at night?” I asked hopeful. My stomach growled loud again.

She looked up from the screen with a flat stare. She was a skinny teenage girl with way too much makeup on. Her foundation was way to tan for her actual skin color and a visible makeup line made an orange ring around her neck. Her mascara, thick and chunky drew attention to her eyes, framed by pencil thin brows. One brow was double pierced, with huge rings.

When she spoke she has a very cockney brood.

She raised her pierced eyebrow at me and let out a loud sigh, “Errs a pub a block away. They serrve bangerr’s and mash n sum o’ therr sherperds pie all nigh forr the drunker ’ds. Jus turn righ out of the hotel n up one street. It’s called Shepherrds Pub.” Then she turned back to the computer screen.

“Um do they accept credit cards? I don’t have any cash.” I asked.

“Lady it’s not the Middle East, o courrse they accept credit cards.” She retorted, not even bothering to glance up from the screen this time.

Good talk. With that I turned and went out the hotel doors.

The chilly air hit my face and when I reached the pub I was fully awake. I had felt a little self-conscious that I was wearing workout clothes, but at this point I was more concerned about eating something.  20 minutes later I was seated on the corner of the bar with a plate of banger’s and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes) sipping on my second pint.

The advantage of sitting at the corner of the bar was that I got to observe my surroundings completely. I was in downtown London, but I might as well have been in Edinburgh.

The pub was run by a Scottish family, and they did their best to make it feel as authentic as possible. The dark wooded bar was illuminated by green glass light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. The windows were actually stained glasses mosaics of pretty Scottish women.  The bar took up more than half of the space, and the space that was left was crammed with booth seating. The booths were filled with drunk 18 year olds talking loudly and quickly. One table was singing along with the music playing.

My ex would have loved this bar. He was a bar manager at a popular and trendy gastrob pub at home. They were known for having more than 20 beers on tap, but this place beat them by at least 20 more. When I got here I asked the bartender to see a drink menu, and he said, “No sweetheart,” he said in a cute Scottish accent, “you tell us what kind of beer or cocktail you usually drink and I’ll find the right one for you. Scottish promise.” He winked and I smiled back.

“Okay, I like amber ale’s but nothing to fruity, or pale ales.” He came back with a crispy, wheat-y, and dry pale ale. It was so good I drained it before he came back to take me order. Unfortunately the bar was pretty crowded so he didn’t have a lot of time to chat. I found out his name was Tim, and he was the son of the owner, Tom. His mother did the marketing for the place, and his sister and cousin cooked the food. He found out I was from Milwaukee, and laughed.

“Milwaukee! I luv tha place! The fonz. Ehhhh.” He said, pointing at me.

“Oh you’ve been?” I asked surprised.

“Yes mam. Mi dad and I went to check out the brewery’s. After that we went to Chicago to check out those, and then over to Indianapolis. It was a great trip.” His eyes sparkled reminiscing. I wanted to ask him more about his trip but he got called (very loudly) by another woman for a refill.  In that moment I missed Milwaukee terribly.

I finished my food and second beer and waved Tim over. I looked at my phone. It was almost 2 a.m. “Alright I’m closing out my tab. Have to be up early tomorrow.” I said, reaching for my wallet.

“No! Your Milwaukee money isn’t good here.” He said with a wink.

“Are you sure? Can I at least pay for the food? It was so good!” Which it was and I felt bad not leaving a tip.

“Ah my sister won’t care.” I nodded okay and he reached across the bar to shake my hand. “Nice meeting you Jane.” I shook his hand firmly.

“Nice meeting you Tim.” I said. Then I turned and before I left gave him a wave goodbye.

The temperature had dropped significantly so I jogged back into the hotel. The receptionist didn’t look up from her computer when I walked past and I rolled my eyes.

Youths.

That night I slept soundly dreaming about cute Scottish red heads.

-The Jane Game

Standard
Uncategorized

Ch. 5 The Jane Game

Ch. 5

3 naps, 1 airplane meal, and 8 hours later, I finally arrive in London. I grab my bag, say goodbye to my new friend Bradley and his mother and manage to be one of the first people off the plane.  Because clothes are being provided for us, I didn’t check a bag, so now all I had to do was find my escort that would take me to the hotel for orientation.

2 more days and the show would start filming. I couldn’t wait.

I went down an escalator to the waiting area. At the bottom was a smartly dressed woman in a black and white suit holding a sign with my name on it. Her grey hair was pulled back into a sever bun, and her face looked grim. I approached her cautiously.

“Hi there, I’m Jane.” I said pointing to the sign. When she registered it was me she was waiting for her face lit up into a warm smile.

“Why hello love! My name is Maddie and I will be your assistant for the next two days. It is my job to provide you with whatever you need so that you are relaxed and ready for the show. Oh you look positively exhausted. Let me grab your bags dear.” She said in a whirl wind of commotion. Before I knew what was happening, she had grabbed my bags herded me into a black town car, and driven off.

When we got onto the highway Maddie grabbed a large bag and handed it back to me. “Here you go love. You schedule for the next two days and welcome packet are in the large binder. But I also added some water, snacks, lotion, chap-stick, and fresh socks. Long plane rides can be rather hard on a person, and I figured you would arrive positively dehydrated. Oh the fresh socks are just an added bonus. A person can never have too many socks! In the binder there is also a spa certificate, curtesy of the producers. The hotel you are staying at has a wonderful spa. But all that information should be in the binder.” This was all said in one run on sentence. I opened the water bottle and took a swig. I pulled out the lotion, calming chamomile, and lathered a heavy amount on my hands hoping the aroma would calm me down.

Maddie was a very considerate woman, but man was she a talker. Spending the next two days with her was going to be a challenge.

For the rest of the car ride I asked Maddie about her job with BBC.

When did you start working for BBC? Wow 30 years ago.

And her family,

Oh you have a niece that currently lives in New York? Have you visited her at all?

And more about her family.

Oh that’s nice that you live with your mother and help take care of her. How long have you lived with her? 30 years also… Cool.

By the time we got to the hotel I knew all about Maddie’s mother’s ailments, her amazing niece in New York, and every celebrity she has ever been an assistant for.

“Darling I just want to say that out of everyone I have assisted, you are one of the nicest.” She said as we pulled up to the hotel entrance. When the car was in park she turned and gave me another warm smile. Then in a flash she hopped out of the front seat and pulled open my car door. I stood up and stretched my legs. Maddie handed me a tiny envelope.

“Here you are love, your room key. I’ll grab your bags and have them up to you in a second. No need to check in, it’s all been taken care of for you.”

I needed no further instruction. I grabbed the key made my way to my room. In a have dazed stupor I found my room. Orientation didn’t start until tomorrow so I had the entire night to myself. I knew I should call my parents or checkout the hotel more but I was so tired I just wanted to go back to bed. I entered my room and without turning the lights on collapsed on the bed and immediately fell asleep.

-The Jane Game

Standard