Sunday, October 31, 2010

Human interactions can be hilarious

My nature is shy and introverted and perfectionist. If you catch me at the right moment, sitting in Starbucks or at a park reading All Story, my favorite literary journal, you might get a glimpse of this more introspective girl. I will get wrapped up in the story, laugh, and occasionally look up to ponder something the author has just written. I will be having a constant inner dialogue. If it’s a particularly well-written story, my disposition will change based on the scene being described. When you see me drawing, or walking down the street listening to music, you might recognize that I am perfectly happy to be alone.

And while I am perfectly happy to be alone, over the years I have come to value human relationships more. Often in a comfortable and familiar setting, I am fairly passive when it comes to meeting new people. I’ve learned to be a bit more outgoing, and living abroad by myself has pushed this to the extreme. Now I actively seek out genuine, honest, down-to-earth, laid back people, who are like me but challenge me.

Throughout my experience of meeting different types of people. I’ve become better at reading people and judging from first impressions, body language, and attitude if I will get along with someone. I have also come to thoroughly enjoy other people’s interactions.

Names have been removed from the following example to protect the unaware.

One evening out, while sitting at the bar, I was introduced to my friend, J---’s close friend, H--- and two girls that were acquaintances of J---’s. Particularly attractive, especially for an Asian, H--- spent much of the night scanning the bar for women, despite having two interested girls, M--- and G---, sitting right next to him. My first observations of H--- established him as intelligent, confident, aloof, and aware that girls find him attractive.

After spending a bit of time talking to J--- and getting acquainted with H---, I went to talk to the girls, M--- and G---. They taught at an art school, and I wondered if I could possibly make some good connections. While this didn’t pan out because the school mainly taught performance arts, I gained quite a bit of entertainment from the situation that followed our brief conversation.

I sat down between M--- and H--- at the bar, and M--- quickly told me that H--- was her boyfriend in a flirty, cute way. Because I didn’t know either of them, I accepted this statement at face value and quickly suggested that maybe we should switch seats, so she could sit next to H---. She shook her head coyly and said it was alright. Then, she looked at H--- and asked him to give her a kiss while gesturing to her cheek. At this point, I just thought perhaps she was a slightly territorial girlfriend that was a bit nervous to have me sit between them but not willing to take my seat from me.

After a few retrospectively hilarious minutes of H--- denying her a kiss, and M--- letting me know she wasn't actually his girlfriend, she was just flirting, I got up to go to the restroom. Because H--- had seemed moderately interested in her, though he didn’t want to lean over me and kiss her on the cheek, I suggested that she sit next to him, of course, in order to flirt more properly. When I exited the restroom and looked across the bar, M--- was sitting next to H---, hugging his arm while H--- scanned the room. For all intents and purposes it was as if the girl hanging on him was invisible.

As I walked back over to the group, I laughed.

Disregarding the comfort of either party, it was quite a comical scene.

Picture it. An attractive male, uninterested in the girl hanging on him and talking up a storm, while the girl is completely oblivious to his obvious lack of interest. The situation appeared as a caricature of similar situations that happen all the time.

Because of the new seating arrangement, M--- having occupied my old seat, I chose to sit on the other side of H---, next to J---. H--- continued to scan the room and occasionally make comments to M---, while I shared my observation with J---. As soon as M--- left to go to the restroom, H--- quickly turned to J--- and me and said, “She keeps trying to get me to kiss her.”

“What did you say?” I asked.

“I told her I was shy.”

I laughed and said, “You are not shy.”

“But I am.”

“No, you aren’t. I can tell. You just aren’t interested in her, right?”

He admitted to having been interested from afar, but upon closer observation he had lost interest. Regardless of why he suddenly lost interest in the girl, I was quite entertained by his extreme change in body language, and let him know that I could tell he wasn't interested in her because he was scanning the room.

While this exact scenario has not occurred again, I have run into H--- on other occasions, and observed him looking up from his conversations for extended periods of time to glance around the room. Because most guys are a little less picky or a little less obvious about their lack of interest, it has been quite entertaining to run into H---. It almost seems like a bit of a performance, and I have let him know how hilarious I think his interactions are.


  1. I heart your blog. I wish I had something great and clever to say, but all I can think of is I miss you!

  2. Many of us "wish" we could be the "fly on the wall"...and it seems all it takes are acute observation skills! Your story reminds my of many of my own "observations". Although I have to admit that I haven't always admitted "observees" as to my private world of discoveries! I'll have to try it sometime and watch the reactions that ensue!