Golden Rule Goes for Celebrity, Too

July 28, 2008 at 2:27 PM (Musings) ()

A few days ago, a friend and I were discussing a quote of the day, courtesy of iGoogle: “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person” (Dave Barry).  We both agreed, acknowledging that all people, regardless of social, cultural or economic status deserve the same basic respect.  Whether or not a person can help you with your own goals is immaterial.  First of all, people should not be considered tools for the success of anyone else.  Second of all, you never know when your rudeness will finally push the waiter to spit on your steak.  Oh, and he’s recovering from Mono (not likely, but let’s pretend for the sake of argument).

This weekend, a celebrity coach was in town for a local benefit, and afterwards, he and his student came to hang out with a few of us at one of our watering holes.  Both of them turned out to be really fun people, and it was great to be socialising with them, but as far as I was concerned, it didn’t really matter if this guy was a world champion or one of the many, many strangers that my coach has been known to befriend on the spot.  When engaged in conversation, I of course reciprocated, but I tried to be conscious about keeping this guy off a pedestal.  He was one of maybe 15 people at our cluster of tables, and I got along with just about everyone.  Why would he deserve any more of my attention than the person sitting next to me?  If nothing else, I was a total stranger to him.  I’m an amateur dancer, barely established in my own geographic area.  I’m lucky enough to perform with an outstanding team of people, but people will recognise the team long before they recognise me.  If we were to play the politics game, this professional does not so much as owe me the time of day.  I doubt he even remembers my name.

That evening wasn’t about politics, though.  We had all done our shows at the benefit; it was time to eat, drink, be merry, and dread 11.00AM practise the next day.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy wasn’t even thinking about the politics game.  He was having a great time, chatting with everyone sitting around him: professionals, amateurs, men, women, whatever.  My ears bled a little when someone in the group fawned over him shamelessly every eight seconds or so.  My dear, you are nothing to this man.  Your empty flattery will not earn you any points with him, or anyone who is even slightly in touch with reality.  Can one only have a set quantity of respect that can be distributed until it runs out?  If that’s the case, then it’s a ridiculous one.  If you decide to focus all of your attention and respect on one person, that person won’t know or acknowledge, “Oh, this person is giving me ALL his attention, whereas this person’s only giving me 75% of her attention.  Clearly I’m going to respond to the former more favourably.”  That said, even if someone did address situations in that fashion, I doubt I’d want to waste any energy on him or her, anyway.


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July 22, 2008 at 2:46 PM (Dance) (, )

We finally started working on Standard last week, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.  Like many people who began ballroom dancing in college, I competed in every style for which I could convince a guy to tolerate me a few days a week for a couple hours at a time (read: “practise”).  Being the charming lass I was, I managed to compete in all four styles, International Latin and Standard, and American Rhythm and Smooth.  It was all good fun for a while, but eventually, finding a college student who wanted to take the dancing a little more seriously proved difficult, and finding a partner who wanted to seriously compete in more than one style proved almost impossible.

I realised that if I ever wanted to seriously improve my dancing, I’d have to look beyond the college students . . . and that I’d probably have to drop at least two, if not three styles.  Although initially displeased with the thought of dancing in only one style, I hoped that I’d find a partner who would at least be interested in expanding his repertoire to 9- or 10-dance (dancing Standard & Latin, or Smooth & Rhythm).

When I asked Carlton if he was looking for a dance partner, I knew he only danced Latin, but I figured I’d ask him about Standard, anyway.  I explained that although I knew competing in all 19 dances was beyond unreasonable, would he be completely opposed to eventually competing in Standard.  Although he didn’t seem ecstatic about the idea, he didn’t rule it out.  After further discussion of goals and objectives, we decided to dance Latin together.

That was over a year ago.

One year, 13 competitions, several lessons, countless practises, and too many last-minutes performances later, we have come a long way . . . and we have finally taken our first Standard lesson.  I was ectstatic to be working on the most basic of Waltz figures last week.  Johnny had nothing but wonderful things to say as we went over the fundamentals of Standard technique (aside from telling me that if I want to take it seriously, I should wear an appropriate skirt — it’s in the mail!!), and I’ve been anxious to start dancing again.  Maybe it’s because it’s been over a year since I’ve touched Standard.  Maybe I always liked it more than Latin in the first place.  Maybe it’s because the dresses are so stunning and every girl has the opportunity to live out her childhood fantasy of looking like a princess.  Maybe it’s because our coach was ecstatic during our first lesson and said, “You guys are gonna be amazing” about a million times.  Maybe it’s because I see dancing so much more differently than I did when I confined myself to the collegiate circuit.  Who knows?  Regardless, I’m thrilled to have my second chance to DANCE Standard.  I don’t know if Carlton really wants to dance Standard, or if he’s only doing it to humour me.  I hope it is the former.  Either way, Carlton, thank you!

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“…and fancy dies/ In the cradle where it lies”

July 16, 2008 at 5:48 AM (Musings) (, )

I came to the conclusion tonight that remotely intelligent people are exempt from blissfully simple romantic relationships.

It began in my Shakespeare class, where we were analysing a song in Act III.ii in The Merchant of Venice:

Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
Reply, reply,
It is engender’d in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies.
Let us all ring fancy’s knell
I’ll begin it,–Ding, dong, bell.

In short, we established that fancy, or purely aesthetic interest, does not develop over time.  It is conceived at first sight, then proceeds to die once it is no longer new and interesting.  It’s very much centred on instant gratification.  On the other hand, love grows and matures over time, blah, blah, blah. 

This evening, I went out with Jill &co. to celebrate her birthday, and we wound up at a gay bar sporting wall-to-wall showtunes (of course).  Eventually, one of her gay friends finally asked me where MY significant other was, since everyone else in the group was in the company of his or her other half.  I responded with “Nonexistent,” and he looked at me in disbelief.

“That’s not right.  You’re pretty.  You should have a boyfriend!”

I politely shrugged it off at the time, but it didn’t take me long to recall that this was not the first time I’d been told such a thing.  Completely oblivious to the fact that I was about to apply what I’d discussed in class to a “real life” situation, I tried to figure out why an attractive person would be without a significant other for more than, oh, say, a week at a time.

It then occurred to me that my relationship status was a result of my being picky.  Based strictly on aesthetics, sure, I suppose I could find myself spoken for quickly enough.  Would I be happy, though?  Aye, there’s the rub.  Having my own real-life Ken doll might guarantee that I’ll never have to fly solo, but good looks will only get one so far.  Nevermind significant others; nice houses with nobody home bore me even when I encounter them in a temporary environment (class, work, extracurriculars, etc.).  How could I possibly expect to be happy being committed to one?

I guess the summary is that it’s not all about the looks.  Granted, I’ve known that for ages, but every now and then it’s good to review.  I just need to remind myself that I’m looking for someone who is worth the wait.

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