When I was a younger woman, I believed that once you fall in love, that's it. You're done. Committed to making it work no matter what. Unfortunately, the first time, for me, the "no matter what" included a progressively more abusive relationship and a dogged determination to make it work through circumstances that should have indicated an end to that relationship much earlier than it did. Even so, I promised myself I wouldn't be bitter, because there is no point. There is so much love to be had.
|That's me: Vanna Kristin|
In the photo above, you can see how I looked to the audience, and to the left, you get the full effect of the grand entrance. I was truly pretty nervous, but in sunglasses I felt like I could be someone else.
My job was to draw three names from each fishbowl for the sales managers; district managers; and VP and above categories. The "winners" of the draw had to get up on stage and recite, from memory, a three-page sales script, and the one who did the best job would win a prize. The very first name I drew was a young sales manager named Craig. He stood up, steeled himself, and chugged his beer as the crowd cheered, and then he approached the stage. The second name was drawn, and the third draw was someone named Will Shaw, whom I didn't know.
The first two guys faltered, and couldn't make it through the script. Trust me, I don't know who came up with this nutso contest - although I think it was resident mad professor Gary Benner - but memorizing a three-page script is not easy. Add beer and you have a low level of success.
Will took his winnings - a 55" projection TV - and returned home to Dallas. I interviewed him at the event for the newsletter, and then I didn't see him again or give it another thought, honestly, until the sales meeting the following year, in 2004. By then, I was newly single and Will had taken a new job within the company as a dealer manager, living in Phoenix. I remembered him from the contest and we chatted briefly, and then I asked him to be on camera for the event TV show I was producing on site. He was charming and happy to help.
When all else fails, call Mom. My mother said to me, "Go. What do you have to lose? You've been talking to him all summer, and it's a great opportunity for a trip. Go." (Now, she likes to take more than her fair share of credit for this romance.) I went.
Next week I'll tell you more about the flight, and how I got over my fears of starting over, and our first weekend date, in Sedona.
Read the whole story, chapter by chapter, right here.