Monday, June 25, 2012

On networking

It's been a while.

I entered the fray and scanned the vistas.  The place was packed and, like all the trending places in Jakarta when they've just opened, felt like it wasn't in Jakarta.  The girls were not overly pretty but were dressed up nonetheless in business dresses that are quite fashionable it seems at the moment.  I was wearing a silk blouse and a loose tie, because I had felt like it when I left for work this morning.  I forgot to wear my contact lenses too, so ended up wearing my big hipster glasses. Pangs of regret and insecurity, but I sallied forth into the throngs of savvy future-contacts nonetheless.

My first targets were a hit.  One girl was from Peru and the other girl from Mexico.  Perhaps I notice kindred spirits first and foremost, perhaps some maddening radar I had not realized existed beneath my ignorant skull.  But they were of course lovely, happy, and charming. They made me want to talk about beaches and dancing, which of course we ended up talking about.

The next targets were old friends whom I knew from all sorts of places on so many different occasions but who happened to know everybody else on that one occasion. Default exclamations on how the world is so ridiculously small. One happened to be a colleague of Mr. Nine and we had a good laugh at how I used to date him. We both laughed wholeheartedly for reasons unclear to the other. Another offered me an exciting  project, which actually rendered my official task for the night completed, much to my disturbance. What have I become if I join events to meet new projects instead of new friends?

The last targets were the business school types: one boyish young American, one fast-talking Indonesian Chinese with an American accent, one tall Chinese girl whose posture slunked in the sexy way that comes from having had a fourth drink and plenty of nonsensical things to say.  We accused the American of not looking like the Hawaiian he apparently is, because he wasn't wearing a wreath of flowers around his neck. 

The drunk girl put her arm around me before she knew my name and asked the American: "Is she your girlfriend?"

The American said, "No, she's not my girlfriend, and I believe she's engaged."

I laughed warmly and held up my telling hand.  "She is engaged," I said.  The girls tittered over how he noticed.

I felt charmed at how I felt charmed about being engaged.  This was apparently a test that I had unwittingly bestowed upon myself tonight and only realized post-hoc. If I had been single it could have been a game that I had not played in a while. Would I miss it?  As it turns out there were no awkward tugs at my heartstrings.  I was actually longing for Mr. Right to finish his meeting and pick me up from that glitzy place.

They were apparently going somewhere else for the night and asked what I was doing.  I told them I was waiting "to be picked up".

"You're waiting to be picked up?  Girl you should do something about that ring if you hope to succeed in that."

We laughed like college kids and went our separate ways and now I don't remember their names.

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