No swan at Swanee’s

You know, just when I thought my life was sort of moving in the “normal” direction a bird hits my windshield or, more accurately, I run into a bird in the loo….

My great friend Stephanie pulled together a luncheon of a few gals to talk about everyone’s favorite upbeat subject “Human Trafficking”.  There were 5 of us for lunch and we all sat at the cozy round dining  table of our hostess, Swanee.

Much of the conversation was eye-opening, empowering, disempowering, encouraging, discouraging and felt like a collective call to action with a few base comments thrown in (mostly mine).  I generally add much to these discussions based on my near encyclopedic knowledge of Fall fashion accessories, Sixth Grade Earth Science, and multiplication tables.  To be sure the qualityconversation would have been lost without me.  Fortunately I was able to add a few erudite comments such as “I really enjoyed your book” (she has written several….oops, I only read one); “No thank you, I do love Beaujolais but not when my son’s school conference is in two hours” and my personal favorite faux pas: “Are these gold rimmed, US crested plates party favors from when you were Ambassador to Austria?”  (Yes, in case you were wondering and if there are any Ambassadors out there reading this today Swanee needs 6 more soup bowls. does not carry the US Ambassador dinner line….go figure).

So after all of that lofty conversation and Swanee’s very gracious offer for me to audit her class in January at the Kennedy School (clearly she was impressed with my contributions to the discourse–see above examples) I needed to use the bathroom.  I excused myself and walked down the hall.  As I entered the bathroom and then closed the door I noticed a BIG BIRD, kind of like a parrot or some other exotic species, just sitting there on the floor (next to a lined up collection of  brass hookahs by the way, which I haven’t seen since college but I digress majorly here….) minding his/her own business.  I laughed out loud and then asked the bird if it was a nice bird.  I swear to you that I actually did expect an answer but none was given and so I decided to go about my business.

As I sat down (getting in to the TMI department??) I looked nervously in the direction of THE BIRD.  I mean really, talk about a sitting DUCK!!  I chatted up THE BIRD as I went about doing my thing and he/she kept taking two steps towards me then 2 steps back.  Clearly this bird was not sure about the red-headed interloper perched on the throne.

When I finished my task in the bathroom did I leave the room immediately?  Of course not.  I felt compelled to have a little tete a tete with THE BIRD.  I got down on the floor and put my hand out and coo-ed at him/her in the same way that he/she had been coo-ing at me (or more like clucking).  Are you remembering that I am in the bathroom of our former Ambassador to Austria’s HOME???.  When it saw me trying to lie down on the floor and get down to its level THE BIRD decided I must be a REALLY sick BIG bird and I swear it looked as though it was rolling its eyes at me.  Undeterred I stuck my finger out to see if it would climb on my hand and THAT LITTLE SUCKER BIT ME.

So I killed it.

Just kidding.  I promptly opened the door and walked into the hall and asked the man in the hall if he knew there was a bird in the bathroom.  He seemed concerned and quickly went into the bathroom and collected the bird and then apologized to me profusely saying that THE BIRD is very proprietary about that bathroom and he often attacks and bites when people go in there.  Great.  And I was in there, SITTING DOWN WITH MY PANTS…WELL, DOWN, WITH A KNOWN BITER   !@!!!.  I laughed out loud at that.  The gentleman had THE perpetrating BIRD sitting quietly on his hand and so I reached out to the bird and said “Oh, you wouldn’t bite me, would you?”

And that little sucker BIT ME AGAIN.  HARDER THIS TIME.  I mean he/she really latched on to my index finger.

As I reflect on the events of the afternoon I’m left wondering if maybe the white pager-esque box that Swanee kept by her side at lunch is actually a remote control/communication device between THE BIRD and her and she cues him/her to bite when the guests overstay their time in the loo or at lunch for that matter.   I finally took the hint and left after saying my goodbyes to our hostess and THE BIRD.

So, aside from that totally normal lunch not much else is new.