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Wherein I question my own indulgence of my guilty conscience.

In light of recent events that have more to do with proving other people wrong (my parents, no less) than actually garnering up some cojones and embracing my bold femininity, I’ve found myself rather aggressively (for me, anyway… baby-steps) pursuing romantic leads.   Of course, I’m well aware of the fact that success in proving-wrong will also result in success in my love life, and so it’s not exactly a chore.  But it certainly ain’t easy.

Two recent instances of pursuit created some internal conflict, because my desire to be daring and devastating (I am not opposed to the adjective “saucy”) was met with doubt regarding my approach, all because of some ill-defined notions of formalities and etiquette.

In one case, I met a feller in my professional realm.  I felt the spark of a crush nearly the moment I saw him, and 15 minutes later, had convinced myself we were meant to be together.  The fact that he lives in another country (albeit one I consider my second home, bonus!) and was leaving town the next day I considered to be only temporary hurdles, easily overcome by the power of our yet-to-be-discovered love.  Since we work in the same industry, and I opted to approach him as such.  I donned my proverbial Producer’s Hat and set out to “exploit my professional prowess.”  My initial congratulations and adulation towards his work was genuine, but … I did not jump through hoops to reach him just to talk about movies.  I wanted to talk about the adorable children we might have one day (yes, the crush hit me hard).

Thus far, my “exploitation” has been a relative-success, because I’ve managed not only to get in touch with him, but a handful of emails have exchanged with little time lost in between.  When it is my turn to write, however, I become completely caught up in the formality of the “professional” email.  How do I go from “I really enjoyed the complexity of your film” to “I think we’d make beautiful music together”? Or, from “tell me about the projects you’re working on” to “tell me about what you’re looking for in a relationship”?  I live in fear of the day there’s really nothing else for me to write other than “I like you.  I think you’re real cute.  Are you keen on a, erm, long-distance producing partner?”

Is there any way to naturally segue from the formal, professional email to the friendly and flirtatious?  How do I move from the kind of email that’s signed “Best regards” to kind that’s SWAKed?  Is there a way to do it without compromising myself, professionally?  Or, upon giving myself away as a crush-monger, must I abandon all sense of professionalism and risk losing the connection all together?

I hate risking losing the connection altogether, she whined.  Alas – sigh – such is boldness.

Not one to limit myself to just one possibility (for “when it drizzles, it sometimes rains” – the my-life equivalent to the popular rain/pour idiom), I decided last week to approach a new flirty friend with whom I get along really well (and who is almost obnoxiously good-looking) for a number exchange.  My decision do to so alone prompted much support from my friends, most of whom know me best as being shy to a frustrating and fruitless fault.

Once at the bar where, indeed, my hottie was also spending his evening, I proceeded to fortify myself with a few doses of liquid courage while reading into each and every interaction with him.  I was feeling positive about it, too, and decided to get an outsider’s take on things to test my confidence – a newly befriended fellow bar patron, who knew the object of my interest seemed like the perfect source.  “So listen,” I began to him.  “I’m kinda keen on that guy.  I think he’s been flirting with me.  I was going to ask him for his number.  Have you noticed any… vibes?”  My new friend shook his head, almost sadly.  “He has a girlfriend,” he leaked.

“Oh.  Poo,” I replied.  That put a kink in my plans.

I assumed, right then, that I’d take the route I normally do when disappointed about guys – sulk home and drown my sorrows in low-fat crackers and copious amounts of cheese.  (How two delicious things like cheese & crackers became my romantically un-satisfied go-to snack is somewhat beyond me.  It makes me a little sad.)  This night, however, I chose not to get bogged down in what I’d normally do, and in a very, very un-me-like moment, I approached my crush.  I told him of my plan to ask him for his number, and then of my newly-gleaned intel that he was taken.  “Is it true?” I ventured to ask.  He admitted this with a slow nod.  “That’s a shame,” I said.  “For me.”

The next day, I wondered if it was inappropriate for me to put that out there to him – after all, for as much as I’ve previously been a party to infidelity (although never knowingly), I feel like it’s not my place to actively entice you out of your relationship.  (If you just so happen to be enticed, well, then, that’s another story.)  I’m still not sure if that’s even what I did.  I let him know I was interested.  That’s a positive thing for me.  He let me know that he was off the market… a positive thing for him, I suppose.  Yet every now and then, a pang of guilty-conscience surfaces, as though I’d violated some single person –> not single person protocol.  I ease my concerns by harping on the enormous feat I felt I overcame by being honest with him.  There was, actually, a sense of maturity to our little moment, accompanied by a kind of mild intimacy.  It felt good… but would have felt better if I’d actually gotten his number.  As it was, he commented on how well we got along, how nice our conversations always are, and that we pretty much know where to find each other.  I leave the idea of “So should he ever find himself single…” purposefully unfinished in my head.

The way I see it, in addition to the attempt to prove my parents wrong about the activity of my romantic life, these experiences are part of the uphill battle of learning how to know who I am exactly, and know what it means to challenge myself.  Is it worth it to adhere to formalities for the sake of comfort, but not productivity?  If so, why don’t we just reintroduce bows and curtsies?  Can abiding by those formalities ever eliminate this creeping self-doubt that wafts in to your psyche and plants itself somewhere between your head and your heart – or would it only aggravate it?

Maybe it’s just like waiting on your bike for the light to turn green before making that left on to a traffic-less street.  It may be the right thing to do – but perhaps it’s just delaying getting you from point A to point B.

On formalities

15 May, 2010

Wherein politeness sinks to new depths.

The other day, riding my beloved bicycle Clark Gable home from work, I took the rather slow-moving traffic into consideration and proceeded to make a smooth, swift left turn from one one-way street onto another, always moving in the direction of traffic.  The light was about to change (admittedly, I don’t know for which street), so I caught the magic lull of 2 red lights and no cars.  As I sailed through the intersection, a nice lean into the turn, I heard a voice from a car shout out “It was a fucking red-light, Miss!”

I can only assume he was talking to me, or at least my guilty-enough conscience was aware of the red light that I had run.  But there was little time to waste thinking about the legality of my turn, as I realized that the end of the admonition was followed by an awfully formal title.

“Miss.”

These being the mean streets of New York City, there are many names that I would have expected to follow the motorist’s exclamation.  None of them are ones you’d expect to see on an envelope.  I laughed as I wondered what possessed this outraged citizen – who felt some wrong had been done to him when I sped through the light he had to wait for – to qualify his outburst with such a formal title.  Had his speech not have included the F-bomb, I could have chalked it up to his own sense of manners, politeness, and righteous approach to do-gooding.  Instead, I am left with the absurd, amusing memory of  a perfect Brooklyn – and perhaps more specifically Cobble Hill – moment of gentrified moral conflict.

I’m glad he didn’t call me “Ma’am.”  Or “Missy.”  Or any word beginning with A, B or C.

However, I wouldn’t have minded a well-executed “Lady!”

Two-week Tribeca Film Festival recap:

  • reading
  • meeting
  • design class final
    • {applause, blushing}
  • party for “the two escobars”
    • {paul sorvino, johnny walker black label, resurfacing of old flame, bad diner food}
  • party with bobby deniro
    • {mistaken as iranian, subsequently pitched screenplay (sadly, not by bobby d)}
  • ditmas park bike ride
  • game night
    • {7-layer dip, baked brie, LIFE sucks, fireworks}
  • screenings x3
    • {remember smooching with one of the stars of one of the films.  am pleased with myself.}
  • advice session @ abilene
  • argentine drama @ soho house
  • crash IFC’s party
    • {become bff with actor richard schiff, old-flame sends ambiguous text, retro-glamor-shots}
  • get hit on by local bookstore owner in his 50s
    • {he thinks it’d be nice to hold me, i wonder why i keep attracting middle-aged guys instead of anyone in my own age-range}
  • see the same movie 2x in one day
    • {develop crush… on someone within my age range}
  • breakfast shift x2
  • watch incredibly depressing turkish film as it wins TFF
    • {thank hope davis for the tip… i think}
  • more TFF partying
    • {console filmmakers, laugh at dancers, friend’s gf tries to make out with me}
  • gal’s night out
    • {promenade sunset, yummy dinner, egg creams, flirting}
  • qt-silliness with beck til 3am
  • coney island
    • {bike down, trash-can painting on boardwalk, OD on unhealthy coney island grub}
  • discover my grandmother’s childhood home is now a trendy cafe
  • “creditors” @ bam is cancelled
    • {the hunt for mint juleps}
  • nolan ross montalbano’s baptism
    • {employ too many modes of transpo to get to nj, employ catering skills, 2.5 hr commute home}
  • drinking with the ogc kids in carroll gardens
  • sleepover with marm
  • syndicated tv insanity
  • sleep.
  • start all over again.