I think I’ve got a decent amount of self esteem. Above average, for sure, and certainly several orders of magnitude more than I had when I was in my 20’s.  That being said, occasionally things happen that leave me wondering just how other people perceive me.  Occasionally people say and do things to / about me that just do not match up with my own conception of who I am.

Earlier this week:  I met a girl on Match.com . She seemed cool. She replied to my email, which set her apart from the vast majority of women on Match.com who won’t reply to my emails.  I realize that this is not, of itself, a high standard, but hey – the potential for adventure was there, so we went out.  First “date” was meeting for a beer. She was very cute –  much more attractive than her photos online.  This is always a nice surprise.  She only had about 30 min to hang out, which is perfect – enough time to drink a stein of beer, and I can conjure 30 min of conversation with just about anyone, and make it seem rather enjoyable, even if it’s not. This is ideal, because if it sucks, you only have to wait out a few minutes until sweet freedom. If you are having a great conversation, the “second date” becomes a no brainer.  Anyway, we met up for our 2nd date earlier this week. When she came into my place, she said she was “relieved that I am normal”. She thought I was going to be more snooty and “perfect”, with a perfect place – spotless stainless steel appliances, vast granite countertops.  She was relieved to find that I have normal appliances and formica counters.  What she doesn’t know is that my apartment is more clean than it typically is. My new life of self employment finds me spontaneously cleaning more often. Bonus deal. Anyway, it was remarkable to me that she had imagined that my living space would be so uppity and snooty, and that I might be a bit that way too.  I’m still kind of at a loss for what to say about this.  I am so painfully aware of the mess that I can be, that it’s strange to think that someone would assume me to be so opposite.  I really do not understand what it is that I’m putting out there that makes a person think this.

Last night:  I was shooting at a local night club. One of the main promoters walked in, strutting his stuff, lackeys in tow. He always has an outstandingly beautiful woman on his arm. Tonight was no exception.  She was gorgeous, but I did not spend much time making eye contact with her or otherwise checking her out, in deference to the fact she seemed to be with the promoter. Stepping on the promoter’s toes is just bad business.  Regardless of my personal opinions of them, it is critical to have a positive, productive working relationship with them, as they can push business toward or away from me.  Rule #1 of being a club photographer: Do not flirt with the promoter’s girlfriend.

I took a few photos of them together, then drifted around the club for a while shooting other people. I came back around, and he asked for me to shoot them one more time. The room was very crowded, and one has to squeeze past people to get around in there.  As I was squeezing past him and his girl, she grabbed my attention, took my hand, and kissed me. Nothing was said.  The promoter was RIGHT THERE. As in, my head was 7 inches from his shoulder, because my lips were on his girl’s lips, who was leaning against him.  Did I mention how hot she was?  I walked away like nothing had happened.  Here’s the breakdown of why I was able to just coolly walk away:

25% Bar behavior filter: This kind of thing sometimes happens at the clubs. She’s not the only girl who has kissed me without ever having met me.

25% Realization that I was in impending danger- just lay low and get the fuck out of there:  I was at a house party a few weeks ago where a fight broke out. The hostess’s kitchen was severely damaged in the course of this fight. I didn’t see it, but I do know this promoter guy was in the room and seemed somewhat culpable as the dust was settling.

50% disbelief.

Did this beautiful girl just kiss me? What?  HUH?  ME?  Doesn’t she know who I am?  Doesn’t’ she know that I’m that awkward, ugly, band geek kid from Logan, Utah that sucks at sports, that got marginal grades, that got married too young out of insecurity, that has no fashion sense, with no sense of humor, possessing zero cool factor,  that is afraid of girls?   What is a girl like THAT doing kissing a guy like ME?

I made up my mind that I had to at least follow up on this girl in some way.  After I collected my thoughts for a few minutes, I returned to the scene of the crime, but she was no longer there.  I spent the rest of the night looking around the club for her… but… she was no longer there.

Lesson learned: Miracles happen when preparation meets opportunity. In a split second, an opportunity can arise. Had that 50% disbelief not been working against me, I might have possessed the wherewithal to engage her in some short, sweet, banter and figured out how to take things to the next level.  It’s like Deider Esch from Wilhelmina told me: “Always be doing your best. You never know when your lucky break will show up… and when it does, you must be found doing your best work, doing what you are passionate about.”

I Must purge demons of my past.

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