The afternoon was going as expected, having traveling via the F-Line to Powell
Street, and walking up toward Post and Mason to the Olympic Club for the SCU Fall
Alumni Luncheon, it was about 11:45 am approaching the ivy-ed brick of the oldest
athletic club in the US, past the "Members Only" plaque, to the glass doors and just
past a uniformed man speaking French at the gold podium by the door toward a
circular set of marble steps...
"Excuse me, ma'am -- "
"Oh, yes. I'm here for the Santa Clara Luncheon, and --"
"Yes. But I'm afraid there's strict dress code. No jeans."
"But..." I looked down at my legs to check that I did indeed have jeans on, and then up at him.
"But," I stammered. "I already paid for the luncheon... they didn't say on the invite... "
He blinked at me, and said again, "No jeans."
Did he know these were my new birthday Seven Jeans for Humanity?? I noticed an overweight guy in baggy khakis and a sweatshirt wandering around the mezzanine area. Surely me in my black blazer and vinyl boots looked more acceptable than that.
"Just a second ma'am." He picked up the phone and spoke into it in French.
A brunette woman entered from the doors behind me and asked for the Santa Clara Luncheon. Jerry the doorman instructed her politely to go to the elevators, take them to the second floor, and go left. From my leaning vantage point on the podium, I checked out her attire: black high-heeled boots, black Capri pants, gray sweater-vest, white blouse, trendy haircut.
Jerry cradled the phone. A few uncomfortable silent seconds went by. The phone rang, Jerry answered, said a few words, then hung up.
"She said, you can enter from Sutter Street. The parking garage. Just go around the block -- " He gestured out the door with a curve of his arm.
"Out the street? Around the block?" Was this just a ruse to get me out of here?
With a sigh, I went out and down the steps, turning right, and up the street (a big hill), huffing it around to Sutter Street. Sure enough, there was the Pedestrian Entrance of the Olympic Club. Guys in jeans carrying sport bags waited for valet. More uniformed employees ushered me to the back elevator in hushed tones.
And like the clandestine lady I was, I entered the luncheon scene with barely a minute to spare.