and then he was like,
and then I was like… duh, I’m definitely going and I don’t even know why it was a question. Com’on Brit. Get with it.
After we had spoken to Becca on the 6 train (click her for previous story) and been invited to a Random House cocktail party, we realized this was simply an offer that couldn’t be refused. Drinks, food, books… what more could inexpert “publishers” ask for?
Our party of industry amateurs consisted of Mauricio, Claire, and I from Pace University’s graduate publishing program, and my friend Laurie, who is an avid book lover interested in the field of marketing. After much tweeting, texting, emailing, and facebooking we were finally able to assemble at 7pm in the Random House lobby.
Welcome to 1745 Broadway, New York, NY.
Working all day in heels and rushing through Soho to get uptown in time, I could only hope that my hair wasn’t a mess and my caffeine wasn’t fleeting (I know you don’t care if my hair was a mess or not – but in the moment I did, and I’m giving you a sneak peak into my psyche so the full effects of “thrilled” and “excited” can be noted).
The party was intended for young professionals in publishing, most being under 30. Because the National Book Awards were taking place in New York that evening, bosses were attending that function while the younger employers were gathering for the Random House “House Party.” A metaphor for this event might even be: “while the parents are away, the kids will play.”
So play we did.
Our merry group of misfits met several employees from other publishing companies, including Simon and Shuster, Doubleday, and Viking. One girl even told us we had more guts that she did, “coming to an event like this as students.” Her comment was a tiny bit funny because we didn’t really realize we would be the ONLY students attending the party, but of course this just made the evening all the more exciting – and no one seemed to mind our lack of experience.
By the end of the night, I was holding a Brooklyn Lager and overlooking the streets of Manhattan through a wall of glass. My friends were to my side, and the National Book Awards were being projected onto screens behind me. But I was having a moment. Staring into the distant lights of Times Square, I couldn’t help but smile to myself, taking mental pictures of the atmosphere panning out all around.
It was one of those moments – you’ve had them before – where you feel yourself stepping back and watching life, almost like an intriguing movie or television show. You’re there, living and breathing in every detail, yet you can be removed from the situation and analyze - almost retrospectively but “in the moment” at the same time.
And then you wonder, “what’s going to happen next?” But as soon as you think this, there's a sudden snap! You’re displaced from the film version of life you've just been watching and the real world speeds up around you, leaving one to ponder if they were ever really reflective in the first place? Or was that simply another trick of the mind…
NYC. Random House. Cocktails. Books. Friends.
It was quite a moment.