Jeff Koons sculpture outside Brant Art Study at Greenwich Polo Club
The well dressed crowd was uncharacteristically packed with A list celebrities that included Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Jessica Hart, Ralph Lauren model Nacho Figueras, and fresh off fashion week designers, Valentino and Jason Wu.
A Ralph Lauren Look-a-Like, Peter Brandt, Jessica Hart, Valentino, and Nacho Figueras
photo courtesy of Getty Images
Despite their "fashion status," after an initial once over, I grew bored, especially since their super-sized fan base, along with a swarm of security, threatened to change the carefree, laid-back atmosphere of the day.
"Can't wait to see which one of them is first to use the porto-pottys," I thought, knowing the Clicquot was free flowing and that this was the only way of legally relieving yourself.
Our fun began even before we arrived. To get there we crammed 4 adults (one being freakishly tall), 2 kids, and 2 dogs into a 4 door sedan - our way of conserving energy not to mention cutting the overall cost (at $40.00 per carload) by a third.
Oblivious to the grandeur surrounding the match, and underdressed in "casual picnic attire," my husband Mark, our friend Jay, his son Zoc, daughter-in-law Mary, and grandson Jackson, were please to snag the last slice of front row turf. After lining up our lawn chairs, and tray tables, I popped open the first bottle of bottom of the barrel champagne and smiled.
Before I had a chance to sit down I remembered that, in my rush to grab a prime spot, I failed to collect an untimely dollop, courtesy of our rat terrier, Mylo. With the support of Mary, and with mascots Mylo and Lucy in tow, we set out to collect the evidence.
Despite our good, half-hearted intensions, we came up empty handed. On our way back, we walked along the front lawn - past the packed grandstand and lines of colorful blankets and mismatched lawn chairs. We walked past a slew of security guards, body guards, and off duty police officers. We walked past camera crews and photographers. We walked until we were stopped by a non-cordial police officer.
"Lady, your dog (pointing at Miss Lucy) needs to be on a leash."
The formality of his tone caught me off guard.
"Oh don't mind her," I replied, "she's better behaved then I am."
"I'm only going to tell you this once Ma'am, you either put your dog on a leash or I'll have you removed."
Removed? Really? Removed from polo? And did he just call me Ma'am?
"I spotted some kids smoking crack behind the porto-pottys, if you hurry you can still catch them," I replied.
Oddly, my snarky charm wasn't working.
His demand would have been easy to ignore had I not been escorted back to my seat.
Not only didn't I bring a leash, Miss Lucy wasn't even wearing a collar.
I understand that even 5 lb dogs need to be stay off the field during the match, but I assure you that Miss Lucy is astutely versed in polo etiquette. Not only will she not cross the designated white line - she typically sits under our lawn chairs, either to avoid the danger of oncoming animals 100 times her size, or to hide from the flock of children that naturally gravitate towards her.
In a pinch, I grabbed the chiffon scarf off my hat, and loosely tied it around Lucy's neck - leaving a long trail that would serve as a leash. I did my best to assure Lucy that this was a Valentino prompted fashion statement and not a restraining method, but she was not amused. To punish me, she removed herself from our pack and sat with a family behind us who had thoughtfully brought a houndstooth, wool blanket to shield her from plummeting temperatures.
Despite this drastic change of events, a radio call was placed and officer number two arrived. They strategically positioned themselves in direct line with my view of the score board. At that point, instead of pouting, I poured myself a bowl of wine and pointed my camera lens at them. I now have 64 photo's of officer Dumb and Dumber, on dog duty.
Determined not to let them spoil my day, I chanted "let it go"repeated. To my surprise, I was able to make it through the match without embarrassing myself - until that is, shortly after the closing ceremonies.
I can't remember what Jackson, Mark, Zoc, or Jay were doing at the time, but Mary and I were packing up when I was given a strong directive.
"Lady, time for YOU to go"
No longer capable of logical thinking, I shot back, "Can you NOT see what I'm doing? Am I sitting on my ass? NO, no, I'm not. I'm cleaning up and packing up!"
Not too bad considering my Irish temper. No bad words (unless you count ass) or rude gestures. Until... I punctuated it with, "Why do you have to be such a DICK!"
"Did you just call me a DICK?" questioned officer Dumber.
"How do I know your name isn't Richard?" I replied (yes, I know... that makes no sense)
His retort was belligerent, "I wouldn't have to be such a DICK if you weren't such an ASSHOLE!"
Did one of Greenwich's finest just call me an asshole?
I dropped my bag of recyclables, stomped up to him, and stood within an inch of his poorly shaven face.
Remembering I had a grandson close by, and knowing I could go 4 minutes without blinking, I said NOTHING.
"Are you trying to intimidate me?" asked Officer Dumber.
"What would make you think I'm trying to intimidate you?" I asked. "You're the one with the taser and the gun. You're the one with all the power. I'm just trying to get a good look at your badge number."
Luckily, my husband knows me well enough NOT to get involved. Had he tried to reel me in with a "lets go honey" or a "that's enough now dear" I would have responded like a rabid dog.
Before I was offered a free ride in the police car, a sensible officer approached us and announced, "Okay girls lets break this up."
It was exactly what I needed - a slap of humor - the one thing that snaps me out of rage.
Fortunately, my grandson was focused on his football and was not witness to my "Shannonigans."
I am not proud of my behavior. I realize I do not take direction or criticism well. This is whats wrong with Shannon.
However, my initial point was well made, my dog really is better behaved.
Is it just me, or do you Lady's of a certain age cringe every time someone calls you "Ma'am"?
For the record, the proper use of the word Ma'am:
Function: after "yes" as in "yes, Ma'am"
Function noun: MADAM i.e. LADY used without a name as a form of respectful or polite address to a woman.
Or the female head of a house of prostitution
Or the female head of household : wife