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The lesbian network

The Rubbish Lesbian works the room - or does she?

Sarah Westwood

Fri, 23 Nov 2012 14:49:38 GMT | Updated 4 years today

Lesbians really do love to network. Before everyone was connected via the internet there was just the lesbian phonebook, 2nd edition. Your average lesbian would put Kevin Bacon to shame; most are only five degrees of M&S gusset from each other. We're driven to keep expanding the circle. It's in our DNA. We love a new lesbian, one we haven't met before, it's like happening upon a new flavor of Walkers Sensations in Sainsburys.
I arrive 45 minutes late to this particular networking event because I had to make a stop at the printers to pick up business cards. I usually forget them but this time I was under strict instructions from a colleague to thrust one at every lesbian I met, and I wasn't going to disappoint.
Trouble is I don't excel at networking. I watch with envy as some people swagger in confidently like they own the place - it's called 'working the room'. After one hour they've left with all the intel they need as if on a military mission of reconnaissance. I slip in undetected and slink around with my back to the wall like an escaping fugitive avoiding a searchlight. I have been known to leave without even exchanging a single pleasantry - let alone business card.
This time I've bought a wingwoman but my friend and I are instructed to separate (by a woman in a stick on name badge) because after all we're here to make new friends. We promise to look out for each other before going to mingle separately. I'm determined to step up to the canapé plate, bite the sausage-roll-shaped bullet, and grab the bullshit by the horns. I'm going to 'get involved' - after I go back to the bathroom for a quiet sit down.
In truth, once you put aside everything you've ever learned about social skills, and get comfortable with bowling up to a conversation in full flow and bellowing, "Hello! I'm Sarah. Who are you?" things improve. I don't even know why I was so nervous. This networking malarkey is a piece of cake. A few Coronas later and I'm even channeling Deborah Meaden and saying things like, "Here's my card. Call me." Tomorrow morning the phone will be ringing off the hook - guaranteed.
Finally, I thrust my last business card into the hands of the only person not to have received one . She looks at it for a couple of minutes then back at me and says, "Panna Patel?" What? No! Oh crap I've been giving out my straight work colleague's business cards all night rather than my own. You know what this means? I've just achieved something that puzzled ancient geometers for years: I've just straightened the circle.


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