As most of you recall, Thursday marked the first of a series of experiments meant to elucidate my "approachability factor". Now, some have called into question the parameters of the experiment (coughDancough), but I feel like we have made real progress. I'm also pretty sure I won this round, but Pen insists that at most it was a draw.
The evening did not start off quite as smoothly as I had hoped. For instance, a drive that is normally 15 minutes took 50. At first blush you would assume that this put the "sitting alone at the bar waiting for Pen" portion of the experiment in jeopardy. Not so! When I got to the hotel, I told her to hide. Let us all take a moment to appreciate what a good sport Pen is. Just when you think your days of hide-and-seek are over, a friend needs you to hide in a bathroom while she tries to get noticed.
So, I arrived, albeit a bit frazzled, and I sauntered into the bar. I smiled at people. Seriously, I smiled at people. Yes, it was a genuine smile. Stop, it Chloe, it was too a genuine smile. There was nothing maniacal or plotting about it. During the entire circuit through the room (hey, those heels are high, it takes a while to navigate in them), I thought to myself, "I am open and welcoming—wait, does the concierge think I'm a hooker? He does. He totally thinks I'm a hooker. These aren't hooker boots. Jimmy Choo does not make hooker boots. Do you know … uh… right. I am open to new experiences and welcoming."
When I finally made it to the end of the bar, I glided into place. Maybe not so much glided as tried to sit. Then I realized I still had my coat on, so I hopped down from the stool, wrestled the coat off and hung it over the back of the chair. This was followed by a halting walk around the bar stool to figure out if the bar had hooks for my purse-- nope. I saw no hooks, so I was forced to drop the purse on the bar and then awkwardly hop up on the bar stool because even in 4-5 inch heels, I'm too short to just drape myself in any sort of elegant fashion. Yes, my grace still awes me, too. On the upside, no one can accuse me of being inconspicuous.
I was placed in perfect position—close to two television sets so I could watch the game, but also in the eye line of the gentlemen also watching the game. You can imagine how much attention that got me. Yep, none at all. They were watching the game. But the bartender did smile at me… when I ordered a drink. He was so captivated by my every utterance that he brought me the wrong drink (well, I held his attention through the first word—I ordered a Pinot Noir and he brought Pinot Grigio). It was at this point that the magic happened. The man next to me recommended one of the bar food items. Pen has decided that this is proof positive that I do not appear to be invisible to everyone. I will now state for the record that the bartender began the conversation by asking my new neighbor if he needed the menu—which I then took. So, she is correct; I am not actually invisible. When I take something from someone, they notice it. However, I was hoping to save the actual turn to larceny for my golden years.
Pen appeared shortly thereafter and rescued me.
I'd love to tell you that David Tennant wandered into the bar, bought us a round of drinks and then asked us to work on his next project. Sadly, this did not occur, though Pen and I managed to entertain ourselves in a surprisingly festive fashion given the lateness of the hour (6:30pm).
And just so I couldn't be accused of failing to properly push the boundaries of the experiment, I did take another turn about the room (hoping Darcy was waiting in the wings to admire me, of course). Sadly, no Darcy was present, and the two men I did smile at promptly looked away. Perhaps they were with dates and did not want to be inappropriate in their presence. In fact, I'm certain of it (ok, not really certain at all actually).
So, dear readers, what do you think? What is your approachability factor?