My editor lured me to the conference room under the guise of a "meeting."
I'm totally getting canned, I thought. (Top-notch self-esteem over here.) I toil in a tumultuous profession that has shrunk staff to operate on 5 percent of its workforce from 10 years ago. No damn joke. Hug a journalist. Bitchslap a hedge fund. Give your editor Deanna Hardies a high-five. I was the editor for years, so I'm well aware of the giant job she has on her hands. (That's what she said.)
But we love journalism, so we leave the hissy fits to Trump.
However, I was suffering a bout of journalism blues for months. Husband told me now is the time to shine and solidify. Sure, I write features and a relationship column for liberal readers, so I'm not under personal attack, nor am I in any line of fire — but observing colleagues defend themselves under POTUS attack can get a girl glum.
But back to the story: I walk into the conference room to a stench of musty moth balls, decaying bones and a tinge of urine. After I realized the smell was coming from me, I exhaled loudly to six shiny Silver Foxes surrounding a lovely cake adorned with my column name atop the conference room table.
Do you know my dear Silver Foxes? They're a Boulder crew that may be feeble at bending over but sprightly at heart. (Like your mom.) The men often seek wisdom and guidance from Fantz in Your Pants. Over the years, they've made numerous attempts to lure me to Vic's for coffee at 6 a.m., to which I've politely responded: Are you fucking kidding me? That's when I go to sleep.
So on Thursday, they brought the coffee to me. (And the chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. How did they know that was my favorite? I guess I should close my blinds before smashing my face into sweet treats while stumbling around the kitchen at 3 a.m.)
These men, ranging from a retired judge to a rocket scientist (and many things in between), came complete with questions hand-scribed on scraps of paper as well as stories of married life, veganism, lawyering, senior exercise classes, Fox News, hairstyles and ailments. I, of course, came equipped with answers and stories of a Catholic schoolgirl gone apeshit, the overabundance and under-policed happy-ending "massage" joints and the art of drinking.
Humor keeps the Silver Foxes ever young, and the group possesses a true bond of friendship — a bond we can all aspire to when we've got one foot in the grave. Plus, they elected me into their secret "Turtle" club. (None of your business.) After (probably) failing a short test, I got a certificate. (So maybe I need to make a couple 6 a.m. Vic's appearances.)
Am I honored to be the only woman ever inducted into this seven-man circle? You bet your sweet ass I am. They'll provide the nuts, and I'll bring the jugs. (Of whiskey, perverts.)
The Foxes' visit re-energized my drive for journalism. Sure, my prose may not heal the sick, but if it puts a short-term Band-Aid on the throes of life, I'll keep on typing dirty.
So thanks for that, Foxes.
Read more Fantz: coloradodaily.com/columnists. Stalk her: twitter.com/fantzypants