It’s been a little more than two weeks since my improv level one course ended and I’m starting level two on Thursday. Though I’ve missed my classmates and the exercises a lot this month, I’m still pretty nervous to have a clean slate and new teacher this time around. Chet was such an easygoing and friendly instructor, but from what I’ve been told, level two isn’t as laidback. As long as I’m having fun, the experience will be worthwhile, and thankfully my friend/level one classmate Sophia is taking the course with me.
One of the things I miss most about college is that it exposes you to tons of people every semester. You’re constantly meeting folks your age, and unfortunately it doesn’t really work that way in the real world. You have your coworkers, handful of close friends, and that’s it. Now that I’m studying at the Magnet, I meet new people all the time, and it’s just the community I need to feel at home in NYC.
I had a lonely holiday weekend, but felt much better last night, when I went to Magnet for The Weave improv show. A couple of my buddies were there, and seeing the performance was really therapeutic. Going to the movies solo is a rather lonely experience, but you can’t help feeling part of something during an improv skit, even if you’re by yourself. The performers’ energy rubs off on you, and you leave feeling like you’ve been goofing off with your friends all evening.
Hopefully next weekend isn’t so solitary, though. Luckily, those who couldn’t hang out called me up to see if things were OK. Crystal checked in yesterday, and Marjorie called the day after July 4. I was complaining about some of the silly things I’ve settled for in recent months and she instructed me to have nothing less than the highest standard for the people I hang out with.
“Laura, you sell yourself short in almost every way, and I think that’s why I like you so much, because I know you’re going to be incredible once you stop doing that,” she said. “You’re sort of living a romantic comedy already. You’re an editor in NYC, and one of these days you’re going to trip on the street and meet an incredible guy.”
I sure hope so, but right now, I’m keeping the focus on me. The only difference is that I don’t want to attract bad seeds or hyper-masculine dominant types anymore. I figured this out recently after I went on two dates with a finance dude. I’m sure he’ll make some perfectly manicured, equally analytic lady happy in a few short years, but after the second meet-up, I realized I was not, and never would be, that girl.
For one, he asked why I don’t wear nail polish, and the answer isn’t pretty. I’ve never broken my nail-biting habit, and I also type 80 hours a week, so the polish chips off right away. I explained this but added that I always paint my toes, as I think feet look really gross when cracked, discolored, and bare.
“People who don’t take care of their feet have no future,” I joked. “I make sure mine are clean each day, especially during scorching NYC summers.”
“You have a foot fetish, don’t you?” he asked.
That wasn’t where I was going at all, but some folks have to make everything sexual. This comment, along with earlier remarks about his “appreciation for [my] low cut tops” and inability to not look down my shirt during pool, left a bad taste in my mouth. Nevertheless, we went to a quiet bar after the movie, and all I wanted was a Stella. He thought we were going out for cocktails and was a little surprised when I said beer was my beverage of choice. Sorry to veer away from your initial plan, bro, but Stella has been my favorite drink since I studied abroad, and I can’t have hard alcohol on an empty stomach.
“I’ll enjoy this cocktail alone, I guess,” he replied, and that’s when it hit me: I’m never not going to be a beer girl. I’ll never be refined, I’ll never wear nail polish on my fingers, and I will never trot around in high heels, not just because I’m too tall for them and look like Lady Bigfoot as such, but because they’re unhealthy and, in the words of Amanda Bynes, “designed to make a woman’s butt look smaller”!
I’m not trying to trash anyone here, because lord knows I’m not the perfect girl to date, but I’d like to find someone who is just as nerdy and socially awkward as I am. Somebody who would laugh at the fact that I tripped Jennifer Lawrence-style during my improv level one show and as the maid of honor at my best college friend’s wedding, dropped my plastic sunglasses on a person’s head in the movie theater row, and almost got prison-shanked for accidentally stabbing a stranger in the face with my umbrella last week. I want to meet people who will take time to get to know me, not rush through the important stuff with crude, middle school boy observations, act like it’s totally normal to text late at night once every four weeks, or inquire what kind of underwear I have on in the middle of Union Square park. I get even clumsier when nervous, and who wouldn’t be freaking out when faced with so many oddities?
For better or worse, I’m an accident-prone dork, and I’m never hiding that or pretending to be otherwise again.