Sunday, January 27, 2008

Come On, You'll Have Fun...Really

I'm known for dragging David to all manner of social events that he knows absolutely nothing about. Despite his predictable initial reticence, he almost always comes away well fed, intellectually and creatively stimulated, and glad he went. Since I've been working at the Foundation, a lot of the choice social encounters we've shared have been related to work. Like the time in 2005 when we smoked cigars with two of the annual conference guest speakers, a dred-locked visual artist and a Nobel Peace prize nominee from Cyprus. Or when we spoke at length to a set designer from the Sorpranos or like this past Friday night when we had dinner with a documentary filmmaker from Pittsburgh and her young, very talented, very handsome and charming, three-man film crew from New York. It's not that we have to have out-of-towners come in to make for fascinating conversation (there are plenty of people right around me that I enjoy talking to), but it's the element of newness--them to us and us to them--that makes the excitement factor rise. Us asking them about their childhoods spent in Paris, and them inquiring about how David and I met.

Having David there is always better for me in these types of social situations because we play off of each other, and in a strange way are two for one. If you're talking to David and know that I'm with him, essentially, you're also talking to me. Whenever I'm in the presence of interesting, funny, creative people (especially if they're tall), I immediately want to lay the cards down about David's endeavors because he's all of those things too. It embarrasses David when I gush about how his successful High School artist best friend still credits David as the one who inspires and is the silver spring overflowing with raw creativity (oops, I did it again), but I can't stop myself because the world needs to know.

At work ,we often talk about mixing successful academicians, artists, and mental health clinicians with "plain old people" at our events and gatherings. I have no problem with being one of the "plain old people" but it is fun once in awhile to be in the presence of those who are not.

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