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The Hamptons Weekend Part I: Sensitivity Training
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(This is Part I in a five part series on my trip out to the Hamptons this past weekend.)

My ears are still ringing. My sleep schedule is more confusing than Spencer Pratt's celebrity status. And there's glitter. Lots of teal glitter on almost everything I own. This past weekend, I was taken out to a weekend in the Hamptons courtesy of the fine folks at Axe. Our schedule for the weekend was kept mostly under wraps though we had to sign a waiver and indicate any medical conditions we might suffer from, which had me convinced we were going sky-diving. Thus I came up with predetermined responses as to why I chickened out and/or shit myself should they want to push me out of a plane. (We were kept mostly on the ground for the whole weekend. Oddly, I still needed to use the excuse for shitting myself - more on that later) Considering this weekend cost me approximately zero dollars, I was truly game for anything. Learning Ninja skills? Killing whales? Eating sweet breads? I'd do it all as long as my gag reflex held out. And when we were taken out in the party bus (complete with stripper pole), I knew I had to keep an open mind.

The only other time I'd ever been on a party bus was for a bachelor party in Las Vegas. And given the amount of alcohol and DNA plastered onto that party bus, I figured this one couldn't have been much cleaner. Generally, all party buses are the same. Black leather couches, (with or without stains), a loud sound system, flat-screen televisions, and lights which cycle through the color spectrum. Unaware that this was our method of transportation out to the end of Long Island, I'd brought along my laptop and a DVD, assuming I'd be able to get some writing done and/or catch up on some movies during the trip. This didn't happen, though it did give everyone on the trip a chance to get to know one-another.

Once we cut through all the traffic on Route 27 and pulled up to the house (which was straight out of the Real World) we were all well acquainted. Though I quickly discovered I was out of my league. Everyone else was a writer or editor for big name magazines while I had to explain that I wrote for a curiously titled pop-culture blog. My job was met with the same expression one would get should a mentally challenged person inform them they learned to use the bathroom. It was the "That's so great! We're so proud of you!" response, coupled with the mouth closed smile and head nod.

After diving into an amazing catered lunch, we were ushered into the living room and told about Axe's newest shower gel for sensitive skin. And then author and television personality, Anna David, got up to speak. Anna had taken the party bus out to Southampton with us, and I assumed (wrongly) that she was covering the event for a magazine. And when she told us she was going to speak about sensitivity training, my mind went into over drive. Specifically, I noted the following:
  1. We were all arranged in an intervention-like circle.
  2. Had the people from Axe read a few of my last stories and realized what an unsensitive douche-nugget I was?
  3. What had I told Anna on our drive out East that could come back and haunt me?
  4. Could I get another mimosa before this talk started?
Her talk was rather on-point, mostly about how women these days don't want so much of the Sylvester Stallone machismo testosterone guy, but more of the sensitive Johnny Depp type of guy. Having been called a "pussy" no less than 250 times on this blog over the years, as well as having written a story about how much I love my cat, I figured I was safe. Then she asked for volunteers to role-play.

Now, the last time I was involved in a role-playing exercise I ended up in a nurse outfit in a dark room with tears running down my cheeks. So I was hesitant to volunteer. And luckily, I didn't have to. (Similarly, there was no dressing up in outfits or "safe words" given out.) But I did watch, and laugh, and learn a little bit.

When the talk ended, we were told to relax. Having already consumed my body-weight in champagne and orange juice, I was well on my way.
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8 Comments

That's a good read. I'm looking forward to the rest.
I had sensitivity training once ... but when a co-worker walked up to me and told me she could hold a beer bottle between her ample breasts without any hands ... the training failed.

said Ben Lurkin on August 10, 2009 12:30 PM.

Hopefully the next installment will explain this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sq5SzYqbHlk

oh and maybe this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtChNs_cAKw

said Scaramouch on August 10, 2009 1:01 PM.

Yeah, I was planning on posting those in the third installment.

said Echowood on August 10, 2009 1:15 PM.

"But I did watch, and laugh, and learn a little bit."

Is this for AXE or part of an afterschool special?

said Razen on August 10, 2009 3:38 PM.

Well you may have been called a pussy about 250 times, but that's the first time I've ever heard someone call you a trans-sexual...I nearly pissed myself laughing..

said Sheriff Pablo on August 10, 2009 3:57 PM.

Best laugh Ive had all day Scara, thanks. :)

said Evangeline on August 10, 2009 4:16 PM.

Well this one blew up in my face again.

said Echowood on August 10, 2009 4:29 PM.

that's what she said.

said Mr. Brightside on August 10, 2009 10:39 PM.
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