After 20 years of marriage, David and I participated in the Newlywed Game. The board game. A family event where four couples are rounded up. Three of us are around 20 years of various levels of wedded bliss; one couple has been married less than a year (which didn't turn out to be the advantage you would think, they didn't win).First question: Which of your wife's friends do you think is the most attractive? My husband blurts out: What if your wife doesn't have any friends?
At that time, the only people I socialize with are a coworker and my chiropractor. When I say socialize, I use that term loosely. My coworker and I sometimes take a long lunch when I am at the office. My chiropractor and I sometimes walk in the neighborhood, she lives in my subdivision. A few years later, my sister-in-law and I find that we have a lot in common but our schedules don't always align and she lives 30 miles away.So back to last night. The Dallas Museum of Art hosted the author Sarah Vowell at a church in downtown Dallas. Hanging around the foyer doing my favorite thing - people watching - I had a thought. What if there is another woman here, around my age, alone, that I could strike up a conversation with? She would find me totally engaging and we would become BFFs and do everything together.
Scanning the group I find pickings are slim. Most of the people here aren't alone. I see one woman who appears to be alone but she is wearing fishnet stockings and is furiously typing on her phone so I eliminate her immediately. I see another woman, maybe a little younger than me but apparently alone. I walk closer to her but she doesn't make eye contact. I stand nearby trying to seem un-stalker like. Maybe 10 minutes go by and I decide that if she will look up I will ask if she has read any of the author's books. It isn't to be though, a man walks up and they kiss. Eliminated.
I would never stalk anyone in here. I have some boundaries.
I decide to try one more time and find another woman alone. She is tall like me, red hair, about my age. I go over planning to use the same strategy on her but before I get the chance, they open the sanctuary for seating. Okay, new plan. Try to sit by her. During the 30 minute wait, I will find an opportunity to talk to her.I follow her down the aisle and she sits on the first seat in the pew which would force me to go past her to sit in the same pew. A woman runs up, "You can't sit there, it's RESERVED", and it was (more on that another day). I back up and move in the pew to the left and say OUT LOUD, "You can sit here", like I'm Jenny sitting on the bus in the movie Forrest Gump. She doesn't. She sits in the pew behind me. Humiliation.
Under no circumstances were we allowed to sit here.
So my stalking is over for the night. As I casually observe her out of the corner of my eye I realize it wouldn't have worked out anyway. She is wearing ugly blue nail polish that is badly chipped. And, the kiss of death, a scarf. I don't know why this fad bugs me but it does. A scarf isn't a necklace! We aren't outside! How are you not burning up in here? I am fanning myself with the program.
The man next to me chats with me a little but we can't be friends. He has 2 1/2 year old twins and a wife and David might not understand my picking up some random man to be friends with, even if it is at a museum event. Also, his answer to my question, "Have you read any of the author's books?" concerns me a little. He turns and his eyes get huge, "Is that a requirement to be here?" It's hard to tell if he's being sarcastic or not.Just as the author comes out, man shows up and sits next to the woman I was stalking. He kisses her. My efforts were, once again, wasted.
The author, on the left, and the moderator. The author also provided the voice of Violet in the movie "The Incredibles". Her books have been described as "funny history" and no, I haven't read any of them. Yet.
I might give up stalking but haven't completely decided yet. If you are a woman between 30-60 (I am terrible at guessing age) attending an event alone and scarfless and you see a tall woman wearing manly shoes lurking nearby, it might be me. Don't be afraid. We could be friends.
See? I look like a totally normal person. Photo by Chris Woods.