20 May 2007

the creepy chat-up

I'm reporting live from swank downtown café that has a tendency to be frequented by Locally Famous Shiny People, that also happens to have a great internet connection. Perfect for polishing off that work report along with a dish of excellent lobster pasta and a glass of white. Makes the work go down easier.

However, I am finding myself far too distracted by the tableau to my right. Two blonde girls, the kind that create the famous reputation of Icelandic women- platinum blonde and not dressed like Americans. They're so perfectly groomed it's hard to tell if they're pretty or just glossy- intentional eyebrows, perfect matching smooth bobs, thin stiletto boots. This guy sitting with them is probably 30 years older, with shaggy artiste hair, calculated nerd-glasses, and oo, my favorite- jewelry! He's sporting an earring and a loong silver chain over his purple shirt and casual-man blazer.

They're speaking English- he's got some Brit-posh-foreignman accent and he's telling them how he's a producer and they should be doing a talk show together with their shiny matching hairdos. He's full of earnest stories of relationships, his sensitivity, and his amazing travels. He's taken a photo of them all squeezed together, and next I'm waiting for the business-card handout. I can't believe I'm seeing the producer-pickup at work. I didn't think it actually happened anymore, that people fell for it!

Maybe it's because I'm a foreigner, or maybe it's due to all the people that seem to be passing through this town, but I often find myself on the opposite end of this kind of conversation- the earnest somebody or other who's trying to impress with travels, titles, and touching feelings. Some are depressingly unshakeable, like the American guy who was so proud of living in Japan and how unique he was, some turn out to be interesting, most are just part of the texture of living in this little town with its island mentality, its fascination with people who are Not From Here.

*half-hour-later update* Turns out they are both hairdressers, and now he's pulled out the psychology testing about wandering in a field and finding strawberries. Somebody's read The Game!


Djaddi said...

Glossy is a good description for many of the women here. Dressed-for-the-80s is another one :)

What is this strawberry field thing you mentioned?

ECS said...

djaddi: dressed for the 80's is quite true at times! A friend of mine said that was the popular style here a few years ago, before I'd even moved here, and it has been proven among a certain subset of women here. As for the strawberry thing, it's just the same old thing as most of those "psychology tests". They all go something like this:

"you're walking through a field, and you come across __insert object here__. What do you do?"

target girl answers with this that or the other response, and then the guy goes,

"well, that indicates that you are an outgoing person, who is not afraid to take risks but is still cautious. You like to think things through ..blahblahblah (whatever psych babble he's made up or read in 10 min on a website)"

Professor Batty said...

... in the seventies we had The Luscher Color Test still around on the internet...