The Easiest Way to Get What You Want in Life: Tips from the Brazen Fox
Written by Tracy on 24 Jul 2014
I have a few business items to acknowledge up front.
Yes, I have finally returned to writing blog posts.
Cue celebratory parades!
Yes, it’s been quite some time (two months, eek) since my last addition to tracytimm.com.
Yes, this hiatus amounts to a small, but palpable, tragedy.
But never fear, because new Timmbits are here!
In the spirit of putting “two feet in” (post on this important point coming soon!), I placed the blog on hold while I embraced a new role at a new job. Basically, I spent the last three months transitioning back into what many of you might call:
The Real World.
I traded independent contracting for client solutions managing. I moved from working at home to working in an office. I gained health insurance, a 401k, and a sense of stability and lost a significant amount of personal freedom for the time being.
Everything has a cost.
But now that three months have come and gone, it’s time to get back on the wagon. Many of you have been clamoring (some nicer than others, by the way) for fresh, new Timmbits, and as usual, I aim to please.
So here we go!
Now, after a long break from anything, I prefer to ease myself back in. I’m a toe-in-the-water rather than a cannonball-in-the-deep-end kind of girl. When I take a paleo break from eating sweets, I take it easy on that first pint of ice cream so I don’t end up eating myself sick. When I take a lazy break from running (because who really enjoys running?!), I jog and walk on my first trail run so I don’t end up with a pulled muscle in the woods somewhere.
Writing is no different.
When I take a break from wordsmithing, I like to ease back in with a great story rather than the world’s deepest, most thought-provoking essay, so I don’t scare all of you away.
Because that would be a true tragedy.
For those of you who prefer to jump right into the deep end of the pool rather than dip your toes in, read this post first, then be sure to come on back.
Because, you’re not gonna want to miss this one.
So once again, here we go!
In White Plains, New York, on Mamaroneck Avenue, on a Friday or Saturday night, one bar reigns supreme. The one bar to rule them all (if you’ll pardon the blatant nerdy LOTR reference) is none other than:
The Brazen Fox.
If you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t (which I’m sure is most of you), just trust me on this. There’s nowhere else to be.
All the way across the country, in San Diego, California, on St. Andrews Street, on whichever night she chooses, one woman reigns supreme. This queen of the suburban castle is none other than:
My aunt… who I affectionate refer to as…
The Brazen Fox.
Behind her back, of course.
I gave her this honored title, because I can think of no better description for this woman.
Let’s start with Fox.
She’s definitely a looker. She has these awesome, sparkly eyes that make you wonder if it’s the eye-shadow or if God just likes her better. What’s even more arresting is her infectious personality.
The woman could make an inanimate object like her.
But if Fox is an accurate description, then Brazen is damn near Gospel truth.
I’ll digress here to indulge my inner nerd (once again) and give you a definition of the word, brazen. I’m doing this, because I realize that the vast majority will probably never meet this woman. So I want to be as clear and descriptive as humanly possible.
No mincing words here.
Some of you might think brazen just means “confident” or “defiant” or “outgoing.”
All of those are great starts. But they only get to about half of the meaning. And it’s precisely that second half that makes this word so perfect and so fitting for my aunt.
Because while brazen does mean “bold” it also means “without shame.”
And it was that quality, that shameless confidence, from the human Brazen Fox, that gave me one of the best stories of my young adult life.
Enter, the Brazen Fox.
Last summer, while I was in the middle of my existential quest for meaningful work, I spent over a month living with my aunt and uncle in San Diego. Nearly every day in California, I woke up late, ate breakfast on the back porch, jogged around the golf course, and just generally lived the dream.
I was also fortunate enough to be in town for several epic, local, cultural events including Opening Day at Del Mar, Over the Line (LMGTFY), and arguably the most popular event of all…
Now, for those of you who have never heard of Comic-Con (seriously?!) or need a little refresher, I’ll give you the CliffsNotes version…
Or whatever kids are using to make Shakespeare easier these days.
On their website, Comic-Con’s mission statement explains that they are:
Dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.
Get people together. Put them in costumes. Pretend people care about comics. Acknowledge people actually care about celebrities. Bring in celebrities. Throw big parties. Let general merriment ensue.
Now, as you can imagine, the Brazen Fox did not want to miss out on this type of action.
On the first Friday of Comic-Con, she and I planned to drive downtown under the auspices that we would “just check out the scene.”
Whatever that means.
And, in true Fox fashion, the brazen moves began before we even got out of the car.
Comic-Con is held at the San Diego Convention Center, which is right on the water and surrounded by hotels, bars and restaurants. Naturally, parking anywhere near anything remotely involved with the event was out of the question.
Apparently, not for the Fox.
She aimed the car directly for the Hilton garage, next door to the event. Instead of reading the NO PARKING signs and diverting like a normal person, she rolled right up to the guard on duty. She said:
Hi, there. We’re headed to an event at the hotel. Can we get by?
At this point, I started laughing. That was never going to work. But then the guards said:
Go right ahead.
I was stunned.
Must have been the eyes.
We pulled up to the hotel valet, and she was already wearing that “I told you so” smirk on her face. This expression was only momentarily hindered by the valet boy who came running out to tell us the bad news. He said:
Hi ma’am. It’s really crowded because of the event, so we’re not letting people valet unless they are staying at the hotel.
Of course they weren’t. I started laughing again. But then she said:
Oh… well can we just pull into the garage? We’re headed to an event at the hotel.
I’m sorry. The garage with the no parking sign?! Like that would actually work… they just said we couldn’t park in the garage. But then the valet said:
Go right ahead.
Fox eyes: 2
As we pulled into the once-forbidden garage, I decided to let go of a bit of my cynical doubt. This woman was clearly the Ali Baba to our closed Comic-Con doors. So I was going to let her Open, Sesame whatever she damn well pleased.
We quickly discovered that our garage parking was rather expensive (shocking, right?). We decided to head toward the hotel bar to press our ridiculously good luck by attempting to get our parking validated.
Yes. We did that.
The Fox and I walked up to the bar with every intention of validating our parking, getting one drink, then continuing on to our original plan to “just check out the scene.”
Or so I thought.
She convinced me that, because I was closer to the bartender’s age, I needed to order our drinks, flirt with him, and eventually convince him to take care of our parking spot.
Now, for the record, I am nothing if not a quick learner.
Within 5 minutes, we had 2 glasses of champagne, a phone number, and a validated parking sticker.
I turned to her, excited and ready to share my bit of brazen success, only to find her fully engaged with a complete stranger, talking a mile a minute, and clutching his Comic-Con VIP pass…
While it was still hanging around his neck.
Yes. She did that.
Turns out, she had initially begun the conversation by asking him how he got his pass. She had tried (and uncharacteristically failed) to score free passes for herself and her daughter earlier that year. Little did we know, she had picked the best possible person at the bar to mildly assault.
Two hours and three glasses of champagne later, the three of us had become best friends.
We had an almost absurd amount of things in common. All three of his boys played baseball, including one in college. He was from Texas. His wife was from the Northeast and attended school there. He had a weird preference for the Saints (my aunt’s team, not mine, just for the record).
By all accounts, he was the nicest rando we had ever met.
But, as you might have guessed, he wasn’t random at all.
This man just so happened to be the Executive VP of the FX Network and the coordinator of the night’s largest and most exclusive Comic-Con party happening at a swanky rooftop bar at one of the trendiest hotels in town.
Once again, Comic-Con is not about comics.
It’s about celebrities.
And he could lead us to both those things.
At that point, the Brazen Fox got an idea. She said:
Ok, we want to go to this party. Can you get us in? Tell us what to do, and we’ll do it.
I choked on champagne bubbles. There was no way this guy was going to put two random women on the VIP list. But then he said:
Just go directly to the red carpet. Tell them you’re my long-lost cousins from Texas. You’ll be fine.
So there we were, on the red carpet, claiming to be an Executive VP’s cousins, and all I could think of was how handcuffs were going to feel after all and whether or not I’d get to tease up my hair a little bit for my mug shot.
But then I heard those improbable, but clearly not impossible, magic words. After hearing our story, the woman at the gate called the VP directly, looked at the two of us suspiciously, and she said:
Go right ahead.
One private elevator ride later, we had the most unforgettable night of my life in San Diego. I took a selfie with Jason Siegl. I danced while Jermaine Dupree DJ’ed. I told Brittany Snow her boyfriend was hot and that I loved her in John Tucker Must Die. I was totally blown off by Luke Wilson (but I still loved him).
We successfully “checked out the scene.”
Now, the point here is not that the evening ended in celebrities and revelries.
The point here is that none of that craziness, silliness, or ridiculousness would have happened if my aunt wasn’t the Brazen Fox she was born to be.
She taught me one of the greatest lessons yet:
Sometimes, all you have to do is ask in order to get what you want.
The great Wayne Gretsky said that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Next time you want something push the boundaries and attempt the improbable.
Say, Open Sesame!
You never know what doors will open.
What amazing things have happened to you simply because you were brazen enough to ask? Who taught you this incredible skill?
I believe that every greatness we enjoy right now can be traced back to one person, conversation, or observation that provided a turning point in our lives. I’d love to hear if you believe this, too.
Did this story resonate with you? Or did it make you think of a story of your own? Share your story or your reaction in the comments below.
Because sharing stories an instinctual, powerful way to touch the hearts of others and change the world around us.