09 April 2007

Four chapters on the pros and cons of being friendly (plus the chinese dragon guy).

After detailing the following events to Rachel Saturday evening, it really begged the question:

LG: Seriously? Do I look really friendly today?

R-bone: No. And usually you walk around with a permanent scowl on your face. So I don’t know why anyone would come talk to you.

LG: I know. I do it on purpose so that people WON’T talk to me.

As you might be able to tell, I had some interesting encounters on Saturday:

I. National Gallery of Art Security Guard
II. Chinese dragon statue guy
III. High-five guy
IV. Metro guys
V. Stetson’s pool hustlers

In general My “me” day on Saturday was a huge success, as I got to every exhibit I wanted to see and then some. I started out at the Hirshhorn and saw the light exhibit and the John Balderassi exhibit that I was talking about wanting to see last week, then I headed over to the NGA East Building to check out the Jasper Johns exhibit (cleverly sponsored by Target). Afterwards, I went down to the concourse to walk over to the West building for another exhibit, but not before stopping off in my favorite area- the permanent contemporary art collection in the East Building basement. It was there that I had my first weird encounter.

I. National Gallery of Art Security Guard

I was standing in front of Sigmar Polke’s “Hope is: Wanting to Pull Clouds” when I noticed I was being watched. Like a hawk. By the security guard. I thought it was weird since I didn’t think I looked very suspicious, but then I thought maybe he was eyeing my camera. So I asked:

LG: Is it OK if I take a picture without a flash?

Security Guard: Sure. You can take it with or without a flash. Just go for it.

LG: OK. I will. Thanks. (Took a picture and started writing on my pamphlet the name of the painting. Security guard is still watching me and I am starting to get creeped out. So I just walked away and said: “Thanks again.”)

Security Guard: So are you from around here?

LG: Yep. Here. DC.

Security Guard: Are you and art student or an art teacher?

LG: Neither.

Security Guard: Then why are you here?

LG: Um. I guess I just like art?

Security Guard: Why this painting?

LG: Well, I was just at the Hirshhorn and saw another painting I really liked and took a picture of and I noticed this one is by the same artist. So I want to remember to look him up when I go home. Plus, I was here for a special exhibit upstairs and this is my favorite area of the museum. So whenever I am here, I make sure to stop by and visit my favorite paintings. That’s all.

Security guard: Are you sure you aren’t an art student. I’m just, I’m just really getting that vibe.

LG: Nope. I, um, just work in DC. Nothing arty.

Security guard: Oh, well we’re always getting new stuff in here. Like that black felt one behind you. Just came in yesterday. I think it’s a piece of crap. I don’t think that’s art. I don’t know anyone who’d think that’s art.

LG: (thinking, “um, obviously the museum curator did.”) Oh. Well I guess it depends what other people consider art to be. Maybe not aesthetically pleasing, but maybe it has some sort of meaning. It depends on who you ask.

Security guard: Yeah. I just think its crap.

LG: OK. Well, um, thanks again.

Security guard: Sure! Well stop by again. Come back anytime. Especially, maybe if you’d like to go out sometime.

LG: OK. Thanks. (thinking: “Whaaaaaaaaaat?”)

II. Chinese Dragon Statue Guy

At that, I headed over to the west building to find a photography exhibit called “Paris in Transition.” Wandering through the ground level, I passed through the Chinese antiquities area and noticed a gentleman who was either extremely drunk or on some sort of illicit substance because he was having a conversation with one of the Chinese dragon statues. All I could really make out was “Ohhhh! You’re so fierce! You’re sooooooo fierce!” and was really just hoping there was someone else in the room to witness this.

III. High Five Guy
After my museum adventures, I headed home to change before heading to dinner and out for Laura’s birthday. After changing I walked back towards the metro and got a really enthusiastic high five from some dude outside the Mobil station by my house. This was apparently really amusing to the homeless guy stationed on the sidewalk there because he started laughing uncontrollably and I said “Hey! How’s it going?” and he said “Great, now!”

IV. Metro guys
I’m sure most of you know, it’s not really kosher to talk to other people on the metro. So I did find it a bit weird when the guy I sat behind turned around to talk to me. But I think he was genuinely being friendly and not trying to hit on me and we ended up having an enjoyable conversation. He was visiting from L.A. and was talking to me about the area and suggestions on what to do and what not and thanked me for the talk when he got off at his stop. But when he got up to leave, another kid sat in his spot- could not have been more than 17 years old, long hair, braces, looks like he is the dungeon master for his Magic: The Gathering Club. This kid turns around and says to me, “Hey! How’s it going? What’d you do today?” At this point in the day, I was just so baffled and could not figure out how things were so different today that strangers are approaching me. Everyone from middle-aged security guards to awkward pubescent teenagers. This “strangers approaching me thing” was getting completely absurd. At that I was just like “Um, fine, I have to get off at the next stop. Bye!”

V. Stetson’s pool hustlers

After dessert fondue for Laura’s birthday at Melting Pot and a Pop Rocks martini at Tallulah (because nothing says “I’m 25 and mature” like ordering a drink because it comes with Pop Rocks), Jen drove us back to our neighborhood where we decided to have one last drink at Stetson’s (about a block from our respective apartments). So we’re sitting at the bar chatting and these two dudes ask if they can buy us drinks. Who are we to turn down fee booze? Then they asked if we wanted to play a game of pool, but we both declined saying we were beyond terrible. They assured us that they were no good as well, but it’d just be for kicks. So since they bought us drinks, we went along. Jen and I are picking out and chalking our pool cues when I turn around to see one of the guy pulling out his cue-carrier and assembling his own pool cue.

LG: “Are you fucking kidding me? You brought your own cue? Can we take a picture of this? Because no one will believe it.”

Mark (Pool Cue Guy): “Yeah, just hang on a second.” (puts on pool GLOVE.)

LG: “Oh no you didn’t! Can I wear the glove in the picture.”

Mark: “Yeah, sure. You can wear it the whole game. I have another one.” (puts on SPARE POOL GLOVE.).

By the way, Jen and pool cue guy won the first game, me and the guy who kept leaving to get high somehow won the second (I attribute that to me pulling out my I-pod at the end to “get in the zone.” It eff-ing worked, too. I sunk the last "solid" and the 8-ball. And I REALLY suck at pool. I think it was the spare glove). Then, Jen and I got the last 2 pieces of jumbo slice at Duccini’s. Best slice in DC. And the owner gave us free cokes. I guess sometimes being friendly DOES have its perks.


C said...

A) When Connor was nine months old, Jessica GAVE HIM TO A SECURITY GUARD at the The National Gallery of Art. Her reasoning was, "He seemed nice, and Connor held his arms out." Maybe Connor, too, gives off the arty vice.

B) Levi owns his own pool cue. (I've never seen him bring it anywhere, but it does exsist.)

C) It's because you always wear bright colors. People think you couldn't possibly be unkind, because your wardrobe is happy. Problem solved. Oh, *you're welcome!*

Rachel said...

I too have my own pool cue! But its back in MA.

dragon guy is my favorite

I think "c" might be on to something about the bright colors. they take one look at you and say who is this fashionable girl, i MUST talk to her

LG said...

That's why Connor is my home slice.

joe said...

i haven't noticed you dressing more colorful than most girls, but i think i would be more likely to talk to a girl wearing unusual clothes (not that i ever really talk to girls, but hypothetically).

jen said...

I think it's the pollen in the air. It makes everyone more happy...and frisky. Your bright colors are attractin' all the males. It's mother nature's way. It's just how it works.