La Jolla is the wealthiest city in San Diego, with streets with million-dollar homes considered slightly shabby. The gorgeous cliffs and coves at the beach regularly host seals and seagulls, dolphins and whales. It’s also the sight of the annual Junior League Food and Wine Festival, where preppy folks of all ages don their Brooks Brothers and Lilly Pulitzers with reckless abandon. It’s where I took my West-Coast Pink Pill sisters for what I hope to be a yearly meetup event because the fun we had was capital, old boy.
As a child of two country parents from Texas and transplanted to the dusty and ashy Antelope Valley, I had little exposure to fancy events outside of the church. It is for that reason that I have a complicated relationship with the wide-brimmed hat, which was highly recommended as a dress suggestion, along with “Sunday best.” I know a little about this chapter of the Junior League because I’ve been following their activities for the better part of a year, and their focus on eliminating human trafficking is admirable.
They do a lot of hard work, and there’s a lot of not-so-glamorous responsibilities that go along with being in the Junior League, but the rewards of doing good work, expanding your social circle, and networking is priceless. But last Saturday was all about the fun stuff–meeting and rubbing elbows with the whos-who of San Diego, and basically basking in the glow of everyone telling our Pinkie group that we were the bells of the ball.
Events like these can sometimes be intimidating for black women, especially when they have lacked exposure to the wider society, or have been taught to be suspicious of white people. Many ladies new to following me have confessed a desire to widen their dating options interracially but harbor deep suspicions of the women. As I mention in The Pink Pill course, when you become a citizen of the world and open your options to all races of men, then all races of women also become your competition. But that doesn’t mean we have to be adversarial. Some of my best alliances and opportunities have been forged from my relationships with non-black people–including the women.
As we Pinkies assembled at the event, one thing I noticed right off the bat was the male response. Many of the men went out of their way to speak with us, compliment, and flirt. The women were friendly and open and eagerly interacted with us. They even invited us to the after party, located at one of the swankiest hotels in La Jolla. Once the wine and beer were flowing, we all got into the groove. I love how my Pink Pill sisters meshed seamlessly with the crowd, making new contacts and perhaps even some friends. In all the noise and hoopla of “level up gurus” now flooding the social media space, being able to navigate successfully IN REAL LIFE is one of the most important skills you can acquire. Being comfortable in situations like this is one of the main portals to “securing the bag” and making strategic alliances. My girls did me proud!
Real-life events like this festival and other charity galas are excellent ways of gaining entry to polite society, but there’s a lot you need to know beforehand, so here are some tips:
Know the Dress Code, but Make it Your Own. In my research for the event, I not only noted the dress code in the invitation, but I also Googled images of previous events that were published in a local luxury magazine. It’s a good thing I did, too. “Sunday Best” can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. I had a pretty good idea of what was expected, and I Christelyn-ized it, and boy was that a good move.
Mingle: I loved that the ladies with me instinctively knew that it would be extremely limiting if we all congregated together and didn’t separate. A cluster of black women, no matter how fabulous, can often be intimidating.
Be Careful About What Questions You Ask: One man in which I was speaking to mentioned in passing that he moved from Manhattan to La Jolla and mentioned he worked in finance. This is an excellent prospect for a single, older black woman (he was in his 50’s). Acquiring information about his work and financial status should be completely undetectable. Too much questioning may give the wrong impression. The rule of thumb is to never, ever ask how much money anyone makes, and use caution when asking specifics about people’s titles and place of work unless you are also in the industry.
Look for your “Turtle”: The “turtle” (taken from the Social Climber’s Bible) is the person who you encounter at such events who is well-heeled in the society in which you’d like to gain access. The turtle is your entry into the people and places you yearn to access. As implied by the name, take it slow. Long game all the way.
Ascertain who the Real Players Are. If you currently lack a “turtle,” you’ll have to do some discrete snooping. Start with learning about your host if you don’t already know, or the organization hosting the event. Know what is current with them and mention it. It will show that you have a genuine interest in them and/or the organization. Pay them a compliment. Mention how nice the event is and casually enquire about the guests. If someone sounds interesting, ask for an introduction.
Remember Names. It’s the sweetest sound to that person’s ears. You make people feel like they matter. Ask the name, repeat it, and say it again one or two times during the conversation.
Be unforgettable. Being unforgettable is more than just what you wear. It’s about the connections you made and the charm you exuded. You also make yourself unforgettable by sending a nice note to your host thanking them for the invitation and congratulating them on a successful event.
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