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Posts tagged ‘APA’

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A funny thing happened on the way to the Audies

A funny thing happened on the way to the Audies

It was June 5th, 2012.  We were ready to go.  At long last, the wait was almost over.  I was attending my first Audie Awards Gala.  I was a Finalist for the first time.  I had treated myself to a snazzy new bow tie for my tuxedo.  Jan and I stood in our compact, Manhattan-sized hotel room and studied the mirror.  OK, let’s go.

A man in the elevator, noting my black tie and Jan’s glitter, asked, “Broadway?”  No, I said, not tonight.  Tonight, we are heading to the 17th Annual Audie Awards.  The night had started out with precision – all of our clothes had made it to New York in great shape, we didn’t forget anything, and my shoes were even shined.  And, as luck would have it, we walked out the front door just as an empty cab was rolling up – it was even an SUV, easier to climb in and out of in fancy duds.  A quick flick of the wrist, and we were on our way down 41st Street.
“Where to?” the cabbie mumbled, and I told him.  I was prepared to answer with the address, name of the venue, even the cross streets.  I love it when a plan comes together.  After a spirited jaunt through Manhattan traffic, the taxi slowed to a stop…the intense greenery of Central Park on the left, and a very grand building at the curb.  It was immense – white with massive columns, and a very impressive bronze statue standing watch in front.  I gazed at the total displayed on the meter, tipped generously (I’m in a tux, after all) and helped Jan out of the cab.  At last – we’re here.
The wide, library-style staircase was lined with friendly ushers, welcoming us to tonight’s event.  One of them even seemed to be especially impressed with our attire – unusually so.  As we entered the beautiful antique wooden doors, we merged into a huge chamber packed with people – each holding a drink and chatting.  Two dinosaur skeletons were displayed, towering over the sea of attendees.  Another usher greeted us, gave us an inquisitive look, and said that registration was to our left.
“We’re overdressed,” said Jan.  The Audies are “black tie optional,” though I was told that there would be many who would so opt.  But as she made this observation, I too noted that we seemed to be the only ones in the room in black tie.
Nevertheless, we made our way over to the registration table.  Another usher met us there, and pointed out the signage above; A thru G at this table, H thru N at that one, and so on.
And that’s when it all began to make sense.  Because posted prominently above the “H-N” was another, very stately sign that read, “WELCOME, CORNELL SCHOOL OF HOTEL MANAGEMENT.”  Oh, jeez.
No biggie.  Feeling like we were 20 years late for the prom, Jan and I slinked our way back toward the entrance.  We spied a couple a security guards off to the side (and mercifully out of view.)  After showing them the address on our invitations, they happily pointed out the correct building, just one block down.  Down the steps we went, laughing out loud as we strolled down to the REAL New York Historical Society building, where everything suddenly made a lot more sense.
We had a grand evening, met tons of great people, posed for dozens of photos, and laughed a lot.  By the way, we didn’t win the Audie.
But as we rode back to our hotel in a cab at almost 2am, bow tie dangling following an incredibly fun after-party, I felt like the biggest winner in the world.  I had my wife of 17 years by my side, beaming with pride all night long.  I do what I love, get paid for it, and I’m really good at it.
As exhausted as I was, it took me quite a while to get to sleep that night.