there's this non-profit organization called RISE that is dedicated to inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs, so when they were searching for volunteers during RISE Week Austin, i figured it would yield some great information, if not some interesting stories.
so here we are- and i'm trying to write this specific story as if i'm talking to my best friend about it- natural and hilariously open and critical. it's hard to do when a dance version of "do it like they do on the discovery channel" is blasting in your ears. not only that, but the swirling thoughts of SXSW, the quitting of my job, and a never-ending list of creative projects are constantly fighting for my attention.
my job for the awards ceremony at the end of the week was to guard the VIP doorway and make sure to filter out all of the sneaks. overall i felt pretty unnecessary, as there were other people doing most of the talking and directing, but i couldn't complain. i was able to join the hot shots upstairs and indulge in some "very important person" food and atmosphere. i was just hanging out trying to listen, making close friends with the wall, when a crisp suit walked up to me and asked if i'd like a drink. when a beer, no matter the brew, is $6 a can, i think there's a rule that you have to accept. "a shiner bock would be wonderful." "spoken like a true texan." what can i say? i guess i adapted quite easily.
the conversations that transpired in the following couple of hours are pure hilarity to me, whether they were to him or not.
this guy... this guy was THAT guy. the one that didn't have the best grades in school but was definitely the high school jock (which he openly admitted). the guy that lived to partypartyparty. drinking, smoking, football, nascar, girls, money, more drinking. he's the guy that's all about stature and keeping up a specific appearance tailored to certain crowds. he might be the guy that likes to travel for vacation or for work, but not really for culture. for living.
so, mr. THAT guy, let me inform you of something: i like compliments on how i look, sure. i don't think anyone can deny that. but for the most part i'm not a big fan of it. i feel like over-flattery, even if being totally honest, is trying too hard and showing too much of a shallow nature. telling me that i look hot in my skirt may make me blush, but it doesn't make me swoon. someone who challenges me creatively or mentally- now THAT'S when you really shoot up the attraction meter.
but in between all of the caramel flattery, he hit me hard in a few ways. and while they may not have been in any romantic way, he made damn sure i was never going to forget him.
this character was talking about how in the Middle East, when dealing with business luncheons, etc., you needed a "perfect" woman who was going to be a lady- who would behave... be predictable. he could never, ever escort me in on his arm because i was, ahem, "untameable". for every count that he was perceptive, it seemed he was way off course on another. for example, he kept mentioning that i was really digging on him. or... maybe by telling me he thought that, he was trying to convince us both?
still, i can't discount the fact that he kept surprising me. like the fact that his tone did a curve into seriousness when he spoke of how he's always been a monogamous man and how he's looking for the right girl- the real love. he went on to point out specific girls in the room that, sure, had the classy dresses, the "s" curves and the (typical?) long, shiny hair that for some reason the opposite sex goes gaga over (and dear heavens, can we at some point please talk about how ironic and disgusting lady gaga's name is??), but knew they were the ones were trying to get an "in" with the band, the ones that were all about the money, or they were the ones that were, well... boring. at least to him. and i have to be honest here, i agreed with him on all accounts.
when he asked me what i was doing, i straight up said "i don't know. i have so many ideas that, as a whole, i really don't know hat i'm going to be doing for the rest of my life." in his reply, i could see the mark of sincerity. "i really admire your honesty. that's a rare trait these days- a great quality. not many people are willing to admit they have no idea what they're doing." i have to commend him for recognizing it for what it was. it wasn't a confession that i'm lost in life or that i am lacking ambition or dreams. he not only saw it at face value, but he preceded to simply say "you're going to be famous some day".
if i told you, dear reader, to take THAT for what it's worth... how much would that give me?