Cocktails with The Gatekeepers

The Rainier Club

Miss M has the most powerful contact list in Seattle.

No doubt.

And when you're invited for cocktails with the go.

It had been a particularly sloppy, rain-sodden day when I pulled up to my destination. Hoping no one would notice I didn't use the valet parking (street parking will do just fine, thank you), I dodged umbrellas and puddles, mercifully seeking cover under the awning. It was the kind of night where I would have preferred soup and TIVO over social obligations...but then again, when Miss M comes go.

The private club reeked of understated V.I.P. and I regretted not polishing my shoes.

We made quick introductions in the lobby and then headed upstairs for "Nibbles n' Cocktails." Club chairs and a cozy fireplace set the stage for our inaugural book club gathering.

Did I mention that?

All this was for a book club.

I quickly learned that when Miss M flips through her Rolodex, slouches need not apply. Gathered were the women behind Seattle's most powerful men....high profile politicians, international think tanks and trade centers.

You want the man in charge?

First, you have to go through The Gatekeepers.

(Good luck)

But all pretense dropped by the wayside when we delved deep into Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love." This fabulous book is so artfully written...I want to give a copy to all my girlfriends. It was an excellent choice for our first night getting acquainted. While we discussed specific events in the book, our own stories became woven throughout.

The ladies were in tears...laughing I described meeting with a Shaman in Mexico. It looses something in the re-telling, but let's just say, I wanted to see the light!

I really did want to identify with the Shaman healing experience...but it was difficult to focus as he pressed himself against me. I wasn't quite clear about the process, but I'm pretty sure... groping was NOT part of the "traditional healing."

The plot thickens boyfriend was actually there!

That boyfriend and I have since parted ways, but while all this was going on with the Shaman, my boyfriend stood close by with his eyes shut, claiming to see a kaleidoscope of colors! He was totally oblivious to what was going on with me.

When our "session" with the Shaman ended, I was irritated and confused. Meanwhile, I looked longingly at my boyfriend...who wore the look of perfect calm and utter peace.

Whining, I thought to myself, "Just my luck...I go looking for internal peace...and instead, I get hit on by the Shaman. Lovely."

Okay, back to the present.

I must say...drinks with The Gatekeepers was an eye opening experience. In a way, I felt like we broke down some barriers that night. The stodgy private club masks an unspoken "old boy's world." Yet, for at least one night, it was dominated by riotous women who filled the rooms with laughter.

Over cocktails and discussions of a great book...we found our place: real women, sharing real experiences...despite the surreal environment.