Well. We always try to come up with a story to tell at the beginning of each GTWoman event. But lately we’ve been lamenting that we are recycling stories. At the ripe ol’ (business) age of 14, we realized we’d become such astute businesswomen that we no longer screwed things up, thereby extinguishing our source of good stories.
We felt a secret satisfaction over this. Smug even.
Thank you, karma, for paying us a visit.
To set the scene: We had 215 women, 40 booths, vendors of wine and food, a little music and a lovely, perfectly appropriate Friday evening underway in a nicely lit (former) school gymnasium.
We’d initially thought the gym was a risk. But the gym had been transformed into a cozy night out with twinkling lights.
We’d wondered, would the 40 vendors be too many or too few in the space? But the gals laughed and shopped with plenty of room to mingle, yet hang out elbow to elbow.
We’d worried where we’d seat the women for the comedy show and how many chairs were enough without drowning the room in steel legs and maroon cushions. But the setup turned out to be a perfect mix of standing and sitting.
Then, the show began.
And it turned out the entertainment was what we should have worried about.
We welcomed a comedian from Detroit, one well-vetted with an impressive résumé (New York! Chicago! Cable TV!). She had come with glowing references and we’d given her talent manager just a few instructions: avoid too much swearing and give us a moderately clean show.
Well, the message got waylaid at some point because we got decidedly more than that.
While the comedian was kind and delightful in person… on stage, she did not hold back. The show swung between hysterical and hysterics (ours).
We had asked for a PG-13 show and were well into the NC-17 rating. We did NOT know what to do! There we were, a couple of girls-next-door, staring up at a woman whose mind worked unlike anything we’d ever seen.
What to do? Stop the show! But how? There were 200-plus women laughing. Or were they? We started scanning the crowd. They were getting a little quieter.
Surely the comedian could see if things were going south? She was on stage. We were standing in the back. She would see the audience’s reactions and take a new tact, wouldn’t she?
Yes, she would get things under control any minute.
But no. Just when we thought she couldn’t get any raunchier, she did. The women around us started making sounds of sympathy. Could the twins handle this? Did they even realize what the jokes were about? Were the girls ever going to be the same?
“Don’t worry. We’re all grown-ups here,” became the war cry whispered in our ears.
We couldn’t seem to stop what was happening. The comedian thundered through a gym full of innocent Northern Michiganders and left smoke in her wake.
When the show was over, we went to the door to bid everyone goodbye. We were still hung up on the last joke and were worried, quite worried, that she’d said exactly what we’d thought she said.
Some of the women loved it: Innovative, cutting edge, you can’t get that anywhere in TC!
And some were in clinical shock: That was… something.
We learned that women are polite, always. Even in the face of comic anarchy.
So we raised our eyebrows channeling our apologies to half the women as they left, while agreeing with the other half that we knew exactly how cutting edge we were.
The comedian, returning to her sweet self off stage, had this to say to us after the show: “I was on a roll and couldn’t stop!” (This has become something of a catchphrase around here since.)
After everyone left, we ate pizza and took off our heels and tore down tables and wondered, was this the end for GTWoman? We swung between new career ideas and reassuring ourselves that we were pioneers.
Well, a month has passed and things seem to have blown over. Our 14 years of (mostly) good behavior has kept us in good stead with (most of) Traverse City. And let’s not forget the women that we totally impressed.
So, we want to take a moment to let you know that we are… delighted to have a new story in our arsenal. An unexpected, non-returnable, one-size-fits-all, gift-beyond-gifts, gift. Just in time for the holidays. Thank you, karma.