Ack my head.
Went to a book event last night. Featured 5 authors, one was Jaidree’s who was doing a reading. Open bar where I drank too much before leaving (note: No I did not get drunk at the event. But dirty martini for the road = not a good idea. Esp if the recipe they’re using is pure vodka. [p.s. gin is yummier.]) so my head currently hurts. It feels like there’s crap in the pipes of my brain and while I know what I want to edit next, it’s a “tough morning at work” at the moment.
Regarding the event, because there’re book people there I didn’t want to alienate I wanted to bring my a-game, just in case my work came up in a chitchat. Does everyone know what an elevator pitch is? Because I spent an hour rehearsing mine mentally to the point that I can say it as fast as eminem raps, but I hate rote memorization and speaking from it. Necessary evil though. And while I was doing that, I wanted to make sure I was dressed nice. It’s true that, aside from weddings and stuff, I haven’t gotten to wear suits for most of 2017. Decided to do all black, and a mirror inspection made me think that my favorite black tie going with it made me look like a bouncer, so I did the open collar instead, and when I saw my reflection it was one of those “Yep, that’s your look for the night.” moments. I was content. Left.
After the reading, when the bar opened and it was time to schmooze, while I’m right next to Jaidree I noticed a really pretty gal standing at the wall and scanning the room herself. And let’s be realistic, this is nyc (where there’re so many beautiful people that even beautiful people can make themselves feel ugly) but she’s standing out because she’s got unique and slender features with a bit of that edginess that sort of particularly makes her my type and as I’m thinking this and not staring I accidentally did the eye contact bar flirt.
What’s the eye contact bar flirt thing? (No, it’s not really flirting. And for the record, I’m absolutely unwilling to mess around on Jaidree) But I’ll tell ya: the eye contact bar flirt thing is how babies were made before the 1980’s. The eye contact bar flirt thing is something I’ve gotten to witness VERY FEW TIMES when I was bartending because nowadays for some reason, those in mid-20’s don’t respond to it or are clueless or whatever. Or maybe I’m just a dork. I don’t know, in my history I’ve usually had to do something to work up a schmooze besides look.
And I do know about myself, esp, since rereading my old blog, that apparently a beautiful gal in proximity to me used to register like some sort of stupid challenge. I know, it sort of sucks. I think that used to make me put too much pressure on myself when I actually was interested, which maybe people could read? But last night, I’m next to Jaidree, and because I’m at ease and waaaayyy more worried about doing something that’s indecent to my rising authorship than rejection or something, I did this.
For this is how you eye contact bar flirt.
You look. You make eye contact. You make an expression with your face that reveals that you don’t think you’re looking at food, or something ugly, but a human who could be interesting (you have to do this all in one expression) and then you continue looking about the room and move forward with your life.
Usually, this resolves in both parties moving forward with their life. Sometimes a bit of an ego boost on both ends. Sometimes on one end. Sometimes the opposite.
But last night the second I did my study-smirk and continued eye roving, something in my brain clicked and went “Yeah, you just did the thing.” (to which I immediately thought “Oh well.”) but then in 3 seconds, my eye was drawn right back because: movement. Gorgeous gal is making a beeline right for me and Jaidree, and I have to admit it’s ballsy too. She introduced herself to Jaidree really smoothly, really normally and really well because within 10 seconds she establishes that she’s there for personal interest while jaidree is there for professional reasons. Gal turns to me and “and how come you’re here?”
And my brain did something like “Oh man. You gotta abort. Abort.” and my face did the smile and I said “oh me? I’m attached to this one at the hip.” And the gal’s face changed and she was soon out of there like friendly lightning. Am sure she still had a good night.
So, about that ego boost, it’s nice to know that a well dressed bearded me is sometimes able to inspire the second prettiest girl in the room to come talk to me even when I’m already with the prettiest girl in the room. I’m getting old, and probably don’t get to enjoy things like that forever.
I’ve experienced people who want to know if Jaidree and I are related, which is weird cause I’ll put my arm around J in unsibling-like ways when it’s kosher, but it’s also not weird because we’re both tall, people who aren’t like us probably think we look similarly ethnic (which is silly but ok.)
Gal proceeded to move on and mingle well. All in all it was a great event in that sense.
Now, regarding these events, I wanted to make a couple more notes.
In this case, where we were was for a rather prestigious first novel award. So I was expecting more …..bookish, promotion stuff going on? I guess I was expecting sales, and people wanting to meet the author. This was neither of those, and it was interesting to see authors who read wandering around and looking ready to go home. (It’s as if authors can exude that introvert at the party vibe too, or something) and all in all, the scene made me realize it was more to promote the award itself, and the awarding body, more than the author. Readings are quirky too – you just get to pic any section that’s supposed to be captivating from your book? Think about it, if you write a book and someone asks you to share a minute of it, which part are you going to pick? Because I’d say some people picked their selection better than others, in that some things read out loud better. You can’t read a url unless it’s really funny or poignant in some way, and even if you do, saying ‘www.mybutt.edu/-a/wordplay/tellingarchive.exe WILL overshadow the rest of that paragraph.
The other part of this food for thought about the event was the demographics. For example, estrogen. Holy crap – what a disproportional amount. I guess most people there were book professionals, but when I say 80%, I mean 80%. You know what else estrogen does early in life? It makes people tall. And you know what else was amazing? Everyone there was pretty tall. I mean it, I think there’re endocrine differences in that sample population that sort of designated these people as having no choice, but live a future related to books. There’re industries where the average height among gals is 5’4, but book related ones are certainly not one of ’em.
Anyway, that’s the end of my blah blah blah. Brain is feeling better, I mostly just wanted to wake up and get the rust out of my neurons. Now thinking it’s time to get back to polishing.