Monday, March 19, 2007

Taking a poll

Okay, I’m going to take a poll. I tortured myself most of the day yesterday trying to decide what to do about a certain situation, and rather than playing the back and forth debate in my head over and over again, never reaching any resolution, I’m going to take it to the wisdom of the internets.

There is this woman. Ah, you knew that’s where I was headed, didn’t you? We’ve had several occasions to meet, but never much opportunity to talk. The first time we met, she blew me off. The second time, she was cordial, but the occasion offered no real opportunity to talk. The third time was her birthday party, a big open house kind of deal that I went to with some other friends. We actually had more opportunity to talk there, but still not much. She was friendly. She’d finally made the connection that I was the new woman in town that a mutual acquaintance (a guy I met at the boy party my neighbor had awhile back) had told her about. She led a workshop at church yesterday and I got myself out of bed early to go to it. I shyly sat down at a table a safe distance from the front. She was talking to several people when I walked in, but she saw me and waved. I waved back and sat down.

Now, any normal, thinking person would have seen that as a clue to walk up and say hi. Not me. I couldn’t think of anything to say. You who are of the shy people know what I’m talking about. Small talk is terrifying to us shy people. So, I thought to myself, I’ll wait until the presentation is over and then I can go up and ask her a question. Trouble is, I worried about asking her a question through the whole presentation, so I didn’t pay very close attention to it. And, when it was over, I had nervously drank so much coffee that I was very uncomfortable and had to make my way to the restroom post haste. When I got back, some friends caught me in the hallway outside the room where the workshop was held, and while I was visiting with them, she left, waving to me as she walked out.

I admit it. I’ve googled her. She is an academic who teaches at a state university in another city. Her publication list is a mile long. She’s also a leader in the local community, and frankly, all of that intimidates the life out of me, while at the same time fascinating me. While she was presenting yesterday, I had a new thought about the whole thing and asked God or the universe or whoever it is I pray to these days, “Help me see the person, not the image.” Yeah, it didn’t work. I’m still intimidated, but it did at least give me a glimpse into what might be a good thing for me to concentrate on.

So here’s the question. What do I do next? A. Email her and tell her I liked the presentation and see how she responds. B. Call her and tell her I’m curious about some things she’s doing in the community and was wondering if we could get together sometime to talk about it. C. Wait to see if our paths cross again. D. Something else.

15 comments:

Yankee, Transferred said...
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Yankee, Transferred said...

Sorry, that was me with too many typos.

I'd do a combination of A and B. I'd email her and tell her I enjoyed the presentation and tell her I'd love to have the opportunity to talk to her in person.
Whatever you decide, I feel sure it will be right for you.

JM said...

I agree with YT; give her your number and thus the opportunity to _either_ email or call back.

What Now? said...

I'd say "C." The problem with using the presentation as a pretext for contacting her (which otherwise would be a fine idea) is that you said you didn't actually pay much attention to it, so I wouldn't bring it up! If she's really active in the community, your paths will definitely cross (and indeed you can make sure that they do).

I'm also a fan of group events as a pretext for seeing someone; it's like dating without so much pressure. So look for opportunities in which the two of you can be together in larger group settings that will still allow for conversation.

Her long publications list just means that she's good at her job. You're good at your job also; nothing to be intimidated about.

And enjoy the frisson that comes with being interested in someone!

Marie said...

I agree with What Now about the frisson. Or maybe I just like the use of French. I also agree with not using the presentation as a pretext, but mostly because that's not completely honest. Can you call her up and say something like, "Our paths keep crossing and I'd love some time to just chat with you. Would you like to go for coffee?" Or email with the same sort of proposal and your number, which has the advantage of what jm said.

KLee said...

I third YT's statement. I would email her, let her know that you enjoyed the presentation, that you're very interested in some of her community efforts, and you'd like the opportunity to talk with her when she has some time available.

Linda said...

It sounds so simple when you all talk about it. ;-)

Songbird said...

I'm on the "C" team. You've got a trip coming up, right? See how you feel when you come back. If she's involved at your church, your paths will cross again.

Rev Dr Mom said...

I am good friends now with someone who TOTALLY intimidated me when I first met her. It was a context in which our paths crossed often and although I am not good at small talk I found opportunities to talk with her often enough that I was no longer intimidated and then our friendship progressed naturally.

So I might combine an email saying how much you enjoyed the presentation and noting that you are interested in her community work with waiting for your paths to cross again.

Linda said...

You know how you write an e-mail, and you labor over it to get it just right, and then you hit send, and immediately you start thinking, "Why did I say that? That sound stupid. She's going to think I'm lame."

Yeah, that's what it's like being me right now. Don't worry. I'll be okay in a little while.

Linda said...

Oh, then there's the, "It's been 30 minutes since I sent the e-mail! Why haven't I heard back? She must think I'm a stalker!"

Does this happen to anyone else or am I really that neurotic?

Linda (FM) said...
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Durango Valdez said...

I was going to vote for door #C and explain why, but I guess it's moot now?

Good luck, Linda!

Kathryn said...

Linda, yes I do that so often....But by way of crumb of comfort, my absolutely best friend in ministry, without whom I probably couldnt get through some stuff in my life right now, is alarmingly brilliant, high profile, one of the Great and Good in the diocese and scared me into little girl sillyness for -oooh, about 3 years, I think.
So the gulf can be bridged, specially as you're rather a good thing yourself.

SpookyRach said...

I would totally cop out and wait for your paths to cross. Maybe you try some actual stalker tactics? hee hee.