On a recent business trip to Sydney, sandwiched somewhere in between client dinners and early morning calls to my office back in Canada, I managed to catch up with my dear friend Lara. Artsy and cool in her trademark black, Lara is an amazingly talented make up artist with a wicked sense of humor. Her line of work often puts her in the company of some of Sydney’s best looking and most talented men – many of whom also happen to be gay.
To supplement the film and commercial work that often comes her way, she also does weddings. What she does is nothing short of magical as she transforms people, at least on the outside, with the stroke a blush brush. In her line of work, she has given more than her fair share of pep talks, reality checks and advice to nervous brides and even the occasional bewildered groom. So when Lara says most of the great guys she knows are either gay or married, she knows from whence she speaks.
Over a couple of glasses of Yarra Valley Chardonnay we updated each other on our respective close encounters of the sexual kind. The trouble is Lara lamented; it’s been so long that I don’t think I even know how to meet a man let alone just have sex with him. She went on to describe those “moments” we’ve all had where we pass a stranger on the street, meet in an elevator, or exchange a glance across a crowded room and we connect. And just as quickly as it happens, the connection is broken and the moment is gone.
Given her outgoing nature and her ability to talk to anyone, I wondered why she didn’t say anything. She, like many of us over 40, said she felt that it was up to the guy to make the first move. Yes but if you’re waiting for a guy to make the first move, you have to offer a little encouragement, right?
I thought about my own situation and concluded that the key to either creating or prolonging those moments is to look “approachable” In fact; the last man who approached me did so because I smiled at him when we made eye contact. However, as I explained to Lara, unbeknownst to him I wasn’t exactly smiling at him, I happened to be smiling to myself at that particular moment when our eyes met. He’s the one who took it as a signal to proceed.
I wondered if it was that easy why didn’t I do it more often? Why do I leave so much to chance? What about deliberately taking chances? Why not smile and mean it. Why not be the one to seize the moment?
What’s stopping us I asked Lara? Two things Lara said, lack of a good opening line and fear of rejection. You have to back up that smile up with something. She was right of course as my mind went over a mental list of “what ifs…” all because I was either too tongue tied or too proud.
Neither of those two issues is insurmountable. The first requires a bit of preparation and practice and the second is just an attitude adjustment. What we need is a list of opening lines that prolong the moment and lead the conversation forward Lara said. I would come up with a list and we both agreed that we would take a chance and try it out.
“What’s the worst that could happen?” I asked.
“Nothing,” she replied.
“So how bad is that?”
In the end we’d be no worse off. And if we had any qualms about what the guy thought, we quickly laid those aside because after all who cares what a stranger thinks? It’s what we think that counts. And at that moment we were thinking that this could be fun.
Coming soon…Lara’s lines
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/DNY59