Last week I was in Chicago. The event was for roughly eight thousand corporate travel professionals. Typical members of this organization I would describe as attractive females who dress well in black skirts and white shirts sometimes with a smart jacket. Most of them are in their mid twenties to early forties. It’s a group I like to talk with.
My hotel was the headquarters hotel for the event. They had the discounted rate, some of the committee meetings were there, and half the rooms in this huge place were filled with these attractive professionals.
On Monday morning, after an evening of trying to hunt down the cell phone, I went downstairs for breakfast wearing my new corporate logo bright blue shirt. When the elevator door opened I realized that the same hotel was also the headquarters for the Chicago Gay Games. And funny enough, the rainbow of colors was represented in the shirt colors everyone had on. My new blue polo fit in very well with one of the male teams that had massed in the lobby.
After I went back to my room to change shirts I ate breakfast. Sitting there eating my omelet and coffee in solitude my ears began to listen in on the conversation next to me. I was shocked and amazed by what I heard. It wasn’t full of the tardy and elicit details I was hoping for. Instead these four fit Latin American men in tight clothing who supported the gay games wanted to talk about Liza Minnelli, and how great her last appearances were on Broadway. I have to say I was surprised to witness a stereotype take place in front of me.
With a few emails sent back in the room, I grabbed my bag and headed to the convention center. The lobby was flanked on both sides of the walkway by a set of sweeping stone stairways. On my left a group of women from my conference sat in their black skirts, white shirts, high heels, long and well groomed hair, chatting on cell phones or to one another. On my right was a group of women wearing badges for another event over their brightly colored shirts, short haircuts, holding softball equipment. The ladies on the right steps were hypnotized and stared at the women on the left stairwell nearly drooling with lust.
God bless those athletes. I do not write this blog with any sense of hate or ill will in my heart towards them. But I have to say, that the next time someone tells me not to be so stereotypical, I will be retelling this little story.