So after my initial encounter with Jeff Bezos, I spent a few days laying low in Sun Valley Idaho, just enjoying the life of “pool-goer surrounded by greatness” during Allen and Co’s mogul conference last month.
On its final Friday I reemerged from my hibernation to hang out in the lobby and read Vogue on my iPad (I know – advanced technology for me).
Even on the iPad, I love Vogue magazine because it has so many pretty pictures, of pretty people in pretty clothes. I’m paging through thinking, “OOH, PRETTY! THE MET BALL! OOH I LOVE THAT DRESS! MADE OF CROCODILE? REALLY? I WONDER IF SHE’S WEARING SPANX …. WAIT A MINUTE HOLD ON A SECOND THAT GUY LOOKS REALLY FAMILIAR!”
And what do you know – there, in my iPad Vogue, is a huge picture of that guy Jeff I met in the hotel bar the other night, front and center at the Met Ball because he was the CO-CHAIR.
Oh and by the way, did you know he founded Amazon? Well don’t I feel silly now, having just talked to him about how I don’t understand new-fangled technology. Geez, that fancy Amazon.com thing that is so ubiquitous, my 95 year old grandmother used it up until her tragic passing AND HE FOUNDED IT, AND HE’S IN MY VOGUE (love you Grams!) .
So, of course, who happens to stroll by, right as I am staring at a picture of his massive mug in this month’s Vogue? Well it’s none other than Jeffrey Bezos! And cool guy that he is, he comes right over to chat with me!
“Your iPad doesn’t match your scarf today.”
“Oh. It’s you.” I put down my iPad “I have a bone to pick with you sir.”
I explain to Jeff and another conference attendee that I had met these nice men at the bar the other night, and they had asked me all these questions about my book and laughed at me for buying it in a bookstore and called me “terribly unhip.”
And then I explain to him the shock I felt when I opened up my magazine this evening to see a picture of a STUNNING brunette and her “nebishly attractive” husband, who just HAPPENS to look like the guy in the bar the other night. The guy at the bar, who tried to convince me to buy a Kindle, who just so happened to be Jeffrey Bezos, founder of Amazon.
And who didn’t let me know that oh maybe, before I embarassed myself further, I was talking to someone with a SLIGHT PERSONAL INTEREST IN GETTING PEOPLE TO BUY KINDLES, BECAUSE YOU KNOW, HE FOUNDED AMAZON.
The other conference attendee then chimed in, in mock horror “Jeff! You did that to this poor girl?!?”
So then Jeff apologizes, says he was just joking around and goes on about how it was fun to talk to me and how I shouldn’t feel bad.
And I say, as I am staring at the middle two buttons of his shirt which have burst open to expose a flash of hairy mid-stomach, that this whole thing makes me VERY SAD. Because if someone had asked me about Jeff Bezos before this week, I would have called him an innovative genius. But alas now, if someone asks me about Jeff Bezos, I will be forced to answer honestly and tell them, with perhaps a tear in my eye, “He may be a genius but he is not a very nice man.” I told him this.
And Jeff Bezos, very nicely, apologizes to me AGAIN and says more nice things and is an all around pretty awesome, funny guy for apologizing to a complete stranger because she wasn’t smart enough to recognize him. Which probably happens like, never.
And all the while, the middle two buttons of his shirt are still unbuttoned and oh, it looks like a third one is about to pop!, and I am laughing, because now he’ll know what it feels like to have someone laughing AT YOU and not WITH YOU. But then, he was so incredibly nice (genuinely – I am not being facetious here) that I finally told him about the shirt.
We agreed that now we are even, and all was forgiven, and he went on his merry way.
So in sum:
1) Jeff Bezos and his friends made fun of poor clueless me at a bar.
2) I retaliated by calling Jeff Bezos a “not very nice man” and by letting him apologize for 10 minutes with the middle two buttons of his shirt unbuttoned.
3) We agreed that we are totally even now and maybe someday can become like, Facebook friends. Or even real friends? That may be pushing it a little bit.
Except there is this one very small thing that I still have weighing on my conscious. I think I mentioned in Part I that I had a secret? One that you may have suspected while reading this but that Jeff Bezos definitely does not see coming?
Well, Jeff Bezos – I have a confession to make. I am not a very nice woman, and I’m afraid we are not even. See, I may have gotten a wee bit carried away and forgotton to mention that I may have gone to business school. And that I may have done two cases on you – one on Amazon, and one on your role in the Segway launch (ouch – not your finest moment).
The first night I met you in the bar? I may have heard you were in there and thought to myself “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny in a TERRIBLY UNHIP way to sit next to the creator of the eReader with a giant hardcover book? And then be all like, ‘Oh, this little thing? I got it at a BOOKSTORE IN TOWN'”. I did also consider saying something about how no major metropolitan areas were being constructed entirely around Segways, but I thought that might be in poor taste.
So Jeff Bezos – if you are reading this – HI!!! And also, I’m sorry for playing you like a fiddle. You were genuinely awesome to talk to, and did not deserve that kind of treatment – especially from someone as TERRIBLY UNHIP as me.
For the record, I own a Kindle (which I love) but the screen broke on my way to Sun Valley and I am too poor to order a new one. And I did match my scarf to my book – so thank you for noticing.
And to anyone out there who wonders what Jeff Bezos is like? He is charismatic, charming, attractive, funny, and above all, a really nice guy. Even if he did call me “terribly unhip.”
Editor’s Note: Susanna Burke has absolutely nothing to do with technology — Other than the fact that she may (or even may not) have met Jeff Bezos at a bar. You can read the first part of this series, here.
Image via Peter H