I have to say, I do meet some odd characters. On a recent Sunday, a new friend and I were hanging out in Williamsburg. We wanted to make the closing party of a film festival event in Long Island City (LIC). So, we left the group of friends we were with to rush off in time for this party. As it was, we were cutting it very closely in getting to the event before the closing films started.
In approaching my car, I noticed there was a preppily-dressed, diminutive man examining my vehicle from the sidewalk with what appeared to be great interest. When he realized we were stopping at my vehicle, he started a conversation by asking me if I was from Minnesota because I hadn’t yet changed my Minnesota license plates (at that time). To which, I replied, “Yes. But, I live here now.” He quickly then interjected that it was a great loss to have lost Senator Paul Wellstone before his time and that he had met Senator Wellstone when he was still alive. This statement was odd to me because this had happened so long ago and wouldn’t have been the first thing that would have come to my mind if I had met someone from Minnesota. But, he seemed like a nice enough person and I was in a very social mood. So, I continued on with the conversation letting him know that we were on our way to an event and casually invited him to join us.
It should be noted that prior to me inviting a complete stranger to join us, I had already mentally assessed that he would not be a physical threat to my friend or me and might prove to have some social merit as he had so blatantly let it be known that he was the art director or something like that of “the hottest and newest art museum in Manhattan and that many celebrities attended the events that were held at this venue.” That statement should have been my second clue with the Paul Wellstone comment being the first, that this person has more issues with his ego than I would be willing to tolerate in a “friend” within any social sphere. But in this case, I was focused on getting to the event, so I let it go.
After force Facebook-friending himself from my phone (Don’t ask, and yes, never again will I allow this!) and unsuccessfully trying to convince us to go to an event in Manhattan that he had some connection with and some further hedging, he finally decided he would join us. Phew! We could finally be on our way! However, in the course of this short 20 minute drive, my view of him went from somewhat tolerable to definitely less tolerable. He started the ride by asking us point blank what our romantic statuses were. When that didn’t go anywhere, he went on to state that he is a typical alpha male and continued to spew information about his “accomplishments” – the ivy league schools he’s attended, the fact that he’s only doing this museum gig for fun because he’s really living off of his successful fund investments, how well connected he is to the NYC social scene, how he co-authored a book, etc. Seriously, I must have been in an EXUBERANTLY good mood because I am generally not this forgiving in tolerating this type of egomaniacal personality flaw!
Sadly, we arrived at the event to find that it was sold out! Ack! Why hadn’t we thought to pre-purchase tickets?! So now that none of us could get in, we had to decide what to do. Once again, our tag-a-long tried to convince us to go to this party in Manhattan. I wasn’t particularly feeling it, but would have gone if my friend had been interested. After reading the brief synopsis on his phone, she, too, decided it wasn’t something she wanted to go to. Hence, we decided to go back to my friend’s place to re-join the party we had left. This person asked if he could ride back with us and if I would drop him off directly at his place which was a short four or five blocks from where we were going and two to three blocks from where my car had been originally parked. I almost blurted out, “Really? It’s a beautiful evening out and you can’t walk two blocks?” But, my friend had already said yes to shut him up, so back to Williamsburg we went.
His airs of pretentiousness were slightly less noticeable during the ride back. Regardless, when he got out of the car, I’m sure my friend and I were thinking the same thing, “WTF was that?!” Instead, I politely asked her if any of the information he had shared with her on the ride back was remotely useful. Turns out, none of it was profoundly interesting to her. As a result of this off-beat encounter, we decided not to re-join the party. I sent a quick text to my friend whose party it was so that he wasn’t expecting us back after all. “We picked up a dude and had to find a way to drop him. Now, we’re grabbing a drink to wipe off the ewwww.”
The rest of our evening was fun and chill getting to know each other better for an hour-ish at a nearby bar. We parted ways and I didn’t give this occurrence more thought until I got home to find that I had received a Facebook email from this character. I almost didn’t respond. But heck, my good mood had returned and I thought, “Maybe, he doesn’t realize how he comes off and I should do him a favor and let him know…tactfully, of course. I mean, with a little polishing up on his social skills, he might not be a bad acquaintance friend to have. This is surely something I can help with.”
I cautiously sent off a response. No. Bad idea!!! See the messages below. Ick! You would think that after not getting any further responses, this person would have stopped. But, no. He kept digging an ugly grave to our nonfortuitous acquaintance. And even after all this, I felt guilty for un-friending him on Facebook. Why? Ugh. I have to remember to stop being so nice to people and giving them the benefit of the doubt. Eeks!
- Conversation started August 4
9:13pm <his name removed for privacy>
9:21pm <his name removed for privacy>
Despite its sort of out of the way location the event had 16 soonsors such as jet blue and wrangler. My friends had 8 all socially concerned ones
9:50pm <his name removed for privacy>So it seemed personal
Not sure on what basis
11:14pm <my name removed for privacy>As she stated, it’s possible she didn’t convey her message correctly. We both wanted a chill and unpretentious event, which is how we viewed the film festival event. The event you suggested wasn’t what we had in mind for how we wanted to end our Sunday evening.
In addition, when getting to know new people, it’s always best to be chill and natural. You started off by name-dropping and over-hyping your self image and then proceeded to move right into romantic statuses. Just some simple words of advice, that’s not the best way to get to know people. We’re both really chill and like meeting new people. But, it seems difficult to get to know someone who was being really pushy with his own agenda.
11:59pm <his name removed for privacy>The question is the agenda and it’s qualityCall me
<phone number removed>
- August 5
1:07pm <his name removed for privacy>please call me at <phone number removed>, dont want to have a facebook back and forth
1:51pm <his name removed for privacy>
hi there. I do have a response to what u wrote, but i prefer we talk about in person. If msg u, i want u to understand at this point, my response is confidential, for your eyes only.
- August 5
6:32pm <his name removed for privacy>
By the way, I just read the brochure to the film fest, its a bit of a read, and it actually sounded pretty incredible, so thank you for that. About what u wrote, I thought about what u said and want to respond, preferably by phone, but can do so here, but expect what i write to you stay confidential
- August 8
9:51pm <his name removed for privacy>
CONFIDENTIAL, my late reply to what you wrote:
9:52pm <his name removed for privacy>
You may have felt I was name-dropping and over-hyping my self image, but everything i said was factual. As for romantic status, my question was a playfully flirtatious, not at all serious, cutesy put-on not a come on and I assumed you two knew that so I didnt think I had to address it at the time. You guys should have understood that there was no attraction in either direction beyond friendship.
You also felt it was difficult to get to know someone who was being really pushy “with his own agenda.” But my response, and this is the key point, if you go to my facebook you will see a point in the evening after seeing you both, after the event I wanted us to attend, where my friends and me are getting serious quality facetime with the guy who is the only independent running in this mayoral election, who will likely win. Your friend was all about authenticity in social issues, here is a guy who is trying to bring that to our political reality!
So on the street in front of the film fest before we got in the car, I was actually try to call your friend out (seemed like she was leading you), on how I felt she was passively aggressively manipulating her own agenda, which was really nothing at that point, she had no agenda–except for personalizing the decision making. Because I wasnt appearing to be chill, I was a bit dressy, im not in a bike outfit and her entire image was this chill, dressed down thing, she simply had to have a problem with my image.
Normally, I wear tailored suits with very poofy pocket squares, and i think you are your friend would have probably found that to be eccentric and pretentious. So that is the equivalent of an ugly package in terms of what you guys might find to be an ugly package in a guy.There is a Buddhist saying that beautiful things can come in ugly packages. But had you been open to the content, you would have found it absolutely met your evenings meet new people try new things that are worthwhile objective except for the being in the city part.
What I am doing here is questioning how really chill you guys are, even though u would like to claim and see yourself as really chill and like meeting new people. If you guys had followed my lead a bit, I ended up at four different places with many very interesting cool people and i think in a way you guys couldnt have received access to you on your own. So the agenda I was “pushy” about was something that could have benefited us all.
So your not being open to a mutually beneficial, optimizing agenda shift because my style is intense and direct (not hyping, hyping means I am promising more than i am delivering, implying i am being dishonest) was not chill and open, despite your claims. Both venues I was at in the city had ample parking then ended up at a nightspot in wburg and an after party until dawn, all with seriosly interesting people all along that we could have all gained something for meeting.
So i heard your suggestion. My counter suggestion is to really look inward and to see, especially in the case of hanging with someone who has been active socially in nyc for 21 years, you might be able to gain something. Before we even got in the car your friend was being stubborn and insistent on the urgency of her agenda which didnt even materialize. If you absorb a 3rd person, your agenda, I would hope would embrace theirs as well, creating an amended agenda which would be a consensus of all present, which she wasnt willing to do from moment one. So I realize I should not have gotten in the car after all. So be clear, she probably found me to be pretentious and hyping, I found her to be manipulative and ineffective in meeting her own stated objectives. I know you two have convinced I know you two have convinced yourselves your these chill open people…. Food for thought.