At the After Party following the recent Winterfell 5th Anniversary celebration, I had the high honor of dancing with Lady Twilight.

It is always dangerous to dance with your boss. You have to be on your toes at all times. And you certainly don’t want to be on hers. And you don’t want to drop her either. No, that would not be good. And when your boss is a head of state, well it is pretty much the ultimate in dangerous. The possibilities for a screw up are mindboggling. You can’t even think about the possibilities or you will surely embarrass yourself. You just have to watch your own feet, smile at her and keep the conversation light – no work-related topic unless she brings it up. That’s the hardest part. Now, if she says, “So, Ambassador, where are we with…” such-and-such a diplomatic issue? Well, that is easy, you go straight into Ambassador-mode and give your report. But otherwise it is up to you to bring up something interesting without talking about anything, anything important that is. Because this is an After Party and Miss Serra is here to relax.

But you can’t go too far in the direction of nothing important. “Quite foggy here in Winterfell lately, don’t you think?” will never do. BOR-ING. You must do better than that. Small talk under these circumstances is much trickier than you might guess. What to say, what not to say, how much to say – when she has everyone at the party talking to her. And you must keep up with what the others are saying too and chime in from time to time. It does tap all of one’s diplomatic training.

It could be quite nerve-wracking. But not with Miss Serra. She has a way of putting people at ease immediately. Whether they are newcomers on their first visit to Winterfell or old hands in the realm. I did marvel as I watched her chat with the other partiers, with the DJ, with me and with those just arriving or leaving and all the while smiling and dancing away.

Me? I survived. And I didn’t say anything stupid.

At least I don’t think I did.

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