The Society of Mannequins

It’s been a little over a month since I attended the Society of Mannequins luncheon at Tuscany Falls Banquets & Events in Mokena, Illinois! There was so much prestige, classiness and elegance among me that I almost couldn’t contain myself. There were educators, vendors, media personalities, Judges, Mayors, and fashion designers to say the least. I walked into this beautiful banquet to see several fancy hats, custom made clothing and quite a few fellows that were casket sharp. It didn’t take long for my fears and intimidation to creep in. I was thinking to myself, “Oh Lord, what did I walk into?”

The atmosphere was fun and rewarding from all the chatter among friends of old and new. So many faces that I’ve previously seen on television, magazines and newspapers, but most I didn’t know personally. The beginning started off with prayer. There was the welcome and introduction, raffles, presentations by Robin Robinson, tributes and scholarships were awarded.  The Smokey Robinson impersonator added that last bit of class to the atmosphere. The MC for the fashion show, Ella, was hilarious.

As dinner arrived I watched the gentleman across the table to ensure I used the correct utensils, couldn’t be out here bad. The tables were decked out with white linen, flowers and wine. The chicken and vegetables were seasoned to perfection. I took a small sip of the wine because I felt my nerves trying to come up so I was determined to keep them under wraps this day. I realized this was my moment, but that ole “stanking thanking” is something! I asked myself was I supposed to be here?  Did I deserve to have a seat at this table? I thought of my past growing up with a Father who was an absentee, drug dealer, turned bank robber who later became a drug addict. Guess he forgot or didn’t know rule number (1) one: you don’t get high off your own supply, Biggie taught me that. I eventually allowed myself to feel that fear and my hands got clammy, I thought about vomiting, but I told myself soon it will pass. Then something came over me and I remembered who I was, but most importantly whose I was. I am the Princess of the Most High and am entitled to all of his riches and glory. I’ve prayed for this moment and yes, this is my seat and I am here. Oh, the things that went through my mind.

As my inner gangsta was arising, I don’t know if it was my facial expression or Mayor Covington felt my uneasiness, but this woman knew something. She literally asked me to take a walk with her as she mingled and introduced me to everyone she had a conversation with.  As I was approaching the comedian, Damon Williams, a seasoned woman was looking for the restroom and changed my path. I chose to escort her and upon my return he was there waiting to let me get my picture. Kindness was reciprocated with kindness. Robin Robinson was authentic as she rocked stretch overalls, also worn by Chance the Rapper, and designed by Sheila Rashid. Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Dorothy Brown, was as graceful as her ensemble.

That old stanking thanking kept me seated for almost 45 minutes. That was 45 minutes I missed an opportunity to engage, gain insight and wisdom from other greats. By the events end, I felt the ease of camaraderie and a mutual respect that radiated throughout the room. I learned several things that day: 1) successful people want to help others succeed ; 2) fear can paralyze you; 3) elegance knows how to turn up; 4) never doubt the Favor on your life! Though this was my first time hearing of this event, I pray it won’t be my last attendance.

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