This weekend I attended the Toronto Film Festival.  It has always been my dream to attend “things” at TIFF and this year my dreams came true.  I was invited to a few gifting and cocktail lounges which threw a wrench into my annual routine but I was so excited to go.

I won’t speak of the lounges I attended because honestly, I realize that this happens everyday around the world no matter how unfair and hurtful it can be.

Gifting Lounge #1

The first lounge I went to was amazing where the PR Reps were hospitable and almost over the top accommodating.  However, upon my departure, I walked out with another individual who was given a gift bag while my friend and I were simply told “goodbye and enjoy the festival.”

hmm..I thought to myself.   I was a filler.  That whole “feeling worth it” vibe I was experiencing was quickly washed away.

Gifting Lounge #2

After reluctantly agreeing to go to this lounge, I was looking at my watch knowing that I’m missing some fun things around town.  I made a point blank statement that if I was a filler, I would be walking out.

Sure enough, the elite were given blue bands and exclusive tours to brand rooms while others were left to mingle.   I walked out.

Melissa DiMarco’s Out There Lounge

Now this was a lounge!!  It was everything that they promised it would be; drinks and food.  I didn’t stay long but I had the opportunity to wave at Melissa, have a glass of wine and speak to her social media manager.

I was very impressed with the lounge and how welcoming it was.  People, whether interested or not, took a vested interest in you.

PR Reps-Social Media-Brands
These girls were with me at TIFF. They are the future.  The only brand that they were informed of after my afternoon as a “filler” was Melissa DiMarco because her lounge simply rocked.

My Gifting Lounge Experience Summary

My reasons for attending gifting lounges and events like TIFF is for one reason.  This reason is to share with my readers and offline friends the amazing experience, products, and brands that I met during my time at TIFF.  Just being an everyday ordinary person, who attends TIFF yearly and reports on it, I feel that I am worth the bag, the wristband, and the tour.  To feel any other way would mean being untrue to my brand and myself.

I hate sounding callous and unappreciative, but I can’t explain to you how horrible I felt being considered a “lower class” citizen.  Then I look at this from another perspective.  Is this a stepping stone to something greater?  Is this what it takes to truly get over the hump of typical lifestyle blogger to something more enriching?  Is this particular moment where the grin and nod comes in handy?

I don’t know, but I’m almost 40 and I just can’t do it.  It’s taken me 37 years to break through the barriers of believing in my worth.  Self value means so much to me because of the struggle to find it.

I’m much too stubborn to be taken down that quickly.  So for now, I’ll say Cheers to the D-List!


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