I didn't meet Queen Latifah.
Here's what happened. There was supposed to be a smallish reception after the Women's Leadership Conference where Queen Latifah would be, and the hype was that the reception would be small enough to meet her.
There was a reception, but the organizers didn't screen anyone coming in. No badges were inspected, no check-list was checked. People just streamed in. I don't know, maybe they were all supposed to be there, but the lack of formality was suspicious.
When the Queen entered the reception hall through a back door, there was no announcement made. Predictably a mob quickly formed around her and the organizers scrambled to assemble some order. And by order I mean they hastily put up a small rope which corralled about 1/100th of the mob into a "line", which was really just a smaller mob funneled in at the closest proximity to QL. Everyone else was still in an unformed blob with people pushing, and cutting into the line at the end of the rope en masse.
Those people that cut the line? They got a picture or an autograph. Those of us who held the line? We saw the camera flashes and heard the squeals from a not too far, but far enough distance.
And just as the line started thinning out, just when I was only about 10 people behind, the Queen pouted to the crowd that she had to go.
Let me just pause here for a moment to point out that the theme of this conference was, "Be Bold". Apparently some women confused "bold" with "rude".
Now I am the first woman to bristle at any woman being labeled as some kind of misbehavin' because they go after what they want, but this wasn't that. This was just a case of bad behavior getting rewarded.
And I was miffed about it. I wasn't about to push and steal and cheat just so I could get an autograph. At the point that I realized this wasn't going to be a civilized reception of grown women behaving like grown women, I would've dropped out of the line. But I had been carrying around a book with me all day, the book my friend wrote, and I wanted to give it to Queen Latifah. That was my task. For a moment I contemplated throwing the book at her (ha!), but didn't want to be that woman. The woman that took out Queen Latifah's right eye with the sharp corner of a book of poetry. That woman who got tackled by security and hauled out of a leadership conference for causing a scene.
So as Queen Latifah slipped through the back door, I slid the book back into my bag, wondering when the world might be set up to reward those people who know when is the right time to break the rules, and when doing so is just a childish act of selfishness.
For the record, on stage and in the crowd, Queen Latifah was every bit of down-to-earth, sassy, funny, sweet, and kick-ass as you would think.
Your word this week my word-nerdlings is: