Sunday, November 8, 2009

Who's a Huge Loser?

It’s been a weird and difficult month. Difficult because work has been…trying (we had another reorganization – for those who are counting that’s 3 in the past year - and we had a trip to Germany thrown in there, and an executive retreat last week which was…um, strange). It was also difficult because I lost 3 people in the past month – 2 coworkers and 1 close family friend. The family friend was actually my nephews’ godmother; she was in her mid-30s, had gotten married just last year, was kind and accomplished, and she died. It hit everyone hard, struck me as profoundly unfair, and it affected me in some truly unexpected ways.

Which leads to the weird. You see, when someone so young and wonderful passes away, it really puts things in perspective. For me it gave me a feeling of ‘seize the day’, ‘no regrets’, ‘you only live once’, etc. etc. And I did something I’ve NEVER done before in my life – I asked out a complete stranger.

I blame it on Paris. Actually, I blame it on sitting down and re-reading the book, Blame it on Paris. The book is a memoir of sorts. In it the main character, Laura, finally gives in and asks out a guy that she has had a crush on for a while. She doesn’t even know his name. And as I was reading the following passage (after a couple of cocktails), I lost my mind.

(A brief set-up: Laura leaves her name, number, and a party invitation for her waiter – a guy she’s liked from afar for months – under the tab at his restaurant. She expects never to hear from him and is in complete shock when he calls. She goes to her friends – the very people who talked her into doing this – to tell them.)

At work, Valerie and Giulia stared at me as if I had just shown up in a beret. “You actually DID it? You asked out some man you didn’t even know? I’ve never known anyone to do something like that before!”

I counted to ten. “You told me French women did that kind of thing all the time. You told me you wouldn’t hesitate a second. You told me I was a wimp, you-“

“Are you kidding? I’ve never seen anyone do anything like that in my life. We just made all that up to encourage you! We didn’t think you would actually fall for it!”

I folded my arms. “Why is it that all my friends have a vicarious taste for adventure for which I’m always the damned patsy?”

Valerie grinned at me. “Well, it worked, didn’t it?”

I don’t know what it was, but it stuck me while I was reading – if she can do it then why the hell can’t I? So I emailed a guy I’ve had a crush on from afar, and I asked him out. (You get no more info from me on this – just know that he was a complete stranger.) I didn’t actually think I would send the email. I did.

When I woke up the next morning all I could think was, ‘Oh no. No no no no no. I didn’t, did I?’

I did. And he had emailed me back.

Shockingly, he was very nice about my moment of insanity. And being the bravest man in the world (apparently), he agreed to meet me. It was both amazing and embarrassing. And of course, now I actually had to go on the date.

I won’t get too into it, but I was nervous. Now you guys know that I don’t get nervous over guys – men are easy for me. I don’t mean that in a conceited way, but since I generally don’t give a shit about them, I tend to come across as pretty cool. I’m fun and I have my shit together. I don’t panic, I don’t worry, and if I want to see them again, I normally do.

That is not what happened. I blame some of it on the fact that I felt pretty pathetic and stalkerish over what I had done, and some of it on the fact that I had sort of built this guy up in my mind over time. In other words, I already liked him – he had all the power before it even began.

Long story short, it was like I had taken a truth serum before we met. I was a fucking spaz, tossing out information about myself that I NEVER talk about. Hello, I’ve been writing this blog for years and never once have I mentioned that I used to be an actress. That’s because I feel stupid talking about it. He found out within the first hour of meeting me. I talked…a lot. He was actually pretty awesome.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone (least of all me) that he hasn't exactly been jumping at the opportunity to see me again. But it’s bothering me. I think it’s bothering me for a lot of reasons. Top of that list is ego, of course – you like someone and you want them to like you, and when they don’t…it sucks. There’s also confusion (with myself, not with him) – I mean, why do I care? Why am I thinking about it so much? When did I regress back to high school, a time when I hadn’t figured out guys (or myself) yet? So what that it didn’t work out – at least I gave it a shot, right?

Well, yes. But I think what’s really bothering me is that after the month that I’ve had, I feel like it should have turned out differently. I mean, why do something so completely out of character for nothing? If I’m going to grab life by the horns, shouldn’t something extraordinary happen? If I’m going to put myself out there and actually care about the outcome (for once), shouldn’t I be rewarded for that? And then I think, ‘What, are you 16 years old? Cut that shit out!’

Since when do I believe in fate? Since when do I care about a first date? Since when do I even notice if I haven’t heard from someone in a week? What the hell? Where is my dignity and can I please have it back?

OK, self-therapy session over. As you were.

Other than that – GO YANKS! (At least that part of the month was awesome.)


MCBias said...

You emailed a perfect stranger and asked him for a date? Crazy! But I like it. I've done some stupid things of my own lately, so I can't judge.

BTW, I owe you an email. I was at work, digging through the printer stack, when I came across a shirtless full-page photo of Christiano Ronaldo. Reminded me of your crush on him, ha. I put it up on the fax machine as if it was waiting to be sent. The person who printed it out would thus make eye contact with the photo when they entered the room, haha.

Redhead said...

Like I didn't already feel stupid enough - thanks.

Ah, Cristiano Ronaldo. He really does look best without a shirt on. Still, I'm more or a Frank Lampard girl now.

Anonymous said...

Your post gave me the courage to email someone I kept seeing and locking eyes with at the bar. While on one hand, the whole tracking her down without knowing her name proved difficult, with the modern social networking sites it wasn't too long before I found mutual friends and a mode to email. I was afraid I would come across as a creeper, but I figured what the hell, if she thought I was a creeper, then I don't want to date her. Because the right girl would think it's cute I went to an effort to find her after many shy, longing gazes at each other.

Still waiting to hear back... but I am thrilled I even pushed myself enough to do something so out of character for me, and your post helped me with that. Even if it doesn't end up in my favor, I'm still happy with liberating feeling of taking a risk and throwing myself out there.

Thank you.

Redhead said...

Oh my God - now I'm inspiring people. Everyone needs to keep in mind that I'm a spaz. But having said that...I think it's awesome that you did it too. Who cares what the other person thinks, at least you had the balls to give it a shot. Let me know what happens.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to update you as requested... since getting the guts to email the mysterious woman from across the room, things have been going splendidly in the right direction with her :) We talk almost every day, and even if nothing substantial comes of it, I have made a new friend. However there is amazing chemistry and I think things are going to continue to get better! I can't thank you enough for the inspiration.