The Importance of A Letter (Doing Your Research Properly)

Sometimes a single letter can mean the difference between strippers and the US consular general.

One of the perks working for WeekendNotes is that writers are sometimes offered ‘invites’ (aka ‘freebies’). Just like anyone working in the media, you are given free tickets to an event or show and you are expected to write about it.

I accepted a free lunch once. I was less than amazed and although I tried to write fairly, I ended up upsetting the establishment by writing honestly about the experience. Since then, I have decided ‘no more freebies’. I would rather be able to write freely and honestly and not be beholden to anyone.

Until an invitation for the Xoticar International Women’s Day Luncheon appeared in my mailbox.

Mmm, I thought. Luncheon.

So I did what any self-respecting writing would do, and I googled Xoticar to find out what to expect. Except I didn’t read it properly, and googled Xotica instead.

Stunned, I sat there for a minute wondering how and why a strip club would celebrate International Women’s Day. Would there be topless waitresses serving the luncheon? Would there be a strip show? I couldn’t quite understand the rationale behind the sex industry promoting an International Women’s Day event, except for the obvious fact, that they – indeed – were women.

I was fascinated and as my finger hovered over the ‘register’ button, I wondered who I would take with my other VIP ticket. Did I really want to do this?

So I went back to the WeekendNotes page and looked again if there was any more information. It was then I noticed the ‘r’. Exoticar. I googled that instead and found a company which specialised in pre-owned high end luxury cars.

Ahhhh, that made a little more sense. Not much more sense, but a little more sense. Maybe the company wanted to promote itself to women, and show how women can enjoy fancy cars.

I know exactly enough about cars to understand where to put the petrol in, and that’s about it. But I had already decided to accept the invite and I knew who I would bring along. An old friend (male) who loved cars, and would not only enjoy a free feed but could translate any car-talk to me. Perfect. I registered my interest.

But something was still niggling. Fancy cars and International Women’s day still seemed incongruous. So I googled the full term: Xoticar International Women’s Day Luncheon, and it all became clear.

The luncheon was actually being run by one of Perth’s major charity groups, Momentum, with Xoticar being a major sponsor. Looking through the Momentum website, all thoughts of strippers and fancy cars drifted away to see that the guest speakers included the US Consular General, Dan Vulin, an inspirational burns victim and there would be a fashion parade by one of West Australia’s best designers. Images from previous luncheons showed glamorous women in pearls and silk, smiling elegantly at the camera. This was firmly women’s territory, and my male friend’s invite instantly vaporised without him ever knowing. I’d ask his wife instead.

I don’t think the US Consular General will ever know how close she came to being a stripper.

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