“Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you.” — Groucho Marks
The weirdest thing happened to my husband and me last week at Washington, D.C. ‘s Bar DuPont. We were suddenly cloaked in invisibility.
Here’s what happened. We were vacationing in D.C., staying at the Hotel DuPont, and one day we noticed that Veuve Cliquot was hosting an event on the terrace. Great! We settled into one of the couches, caught the eye of a Bar DuPont server, and ordered two twenty dollar glasses of VC champagne.
It was a beautiful afternoon, and we sipped our bubbly, listened to the jazz combo, and soaked up the festive atmosphere. Several reps from Veuve Cliquot bustled about. A guy in a pith helmet and a mail sack greeted the women at the table next to us. He handed out postcards, invited them to address them to their friends, then tucked them in his mail pouch and promised to send them.
One perky rep toted a bright orange picture frame and bopped from group to group, taking photos of happy people posing in the frame. Other VC peeps passed out goofy orange sunglasses and invited patrons to play a round of VC bean bags. What fun! Their goal seemed to be clear…. Stir up the crowd into one big, happy, champagne-drinking fiesta.
Except, for us invisible people.
Had a big ethereal blanket been thrown over us? Reps zipped around to everyone — the women on our right, the couple on our left, the ladies at the tall table in front of us. Yet they would not, could not see us. Not even a glimmer of acknowledgement. How bizarre! We flagged down a server and ordered a second glass, but that didn’t end our place on the “pay-no-mind list” as far as VC folks were concerned.
No free post cards, no orange sun glasses, no fun photo in the picture frame. (Not that we wanted any of it.) That stuff was for the visible people only.
Weird, huh? We could see them, but they couldn’t see us. Kind of like an episode from the old TV show Topper. But since life is not a TV show, we couldn’t quite buy into the idea of invisibility. Here’s our guess — we are sixty-six years old.
Geezers. Over-the-hill. Senior citizens. Guilty of carrying Medicare cards. Old enough to get the reference to Topper, when the ghosts of Marion and George Kerby haunted the home of a banker. Nonetheless, we are also people who occasionally purchase champagne. In fact, we’d had a bottle of VC at a restaurant just two weeks ago when we celebrated out forty-fifth wedding anniversary.
Silly us! We hadn’t realized that VC was only for the younger crowd, and we fogeys might tarnish their image. We won’t make that mistake again.
Next time we buy champagne, we’ll be sure to avoid any from Moët and their affiliates.
I’m passing along my congrats to Veuve Cliquot for having their reps at the Bar Dupont make it so crystal clear that we are personae non gratae. Cheers!