Last night a friend and I went to the quintessential Hollywood party: it was at a fabulous house in the Hollywood Hills with a pool and a view that was just begging to be on a postcard.
It was attended by attractive men and women in cocktail attire, an aerial acrobat performed on scarves above the pool, and the waiters and waitresses were clad in scraps of black leather and lace.
If there was ever a time and a place to shuck inhibitions, this Hollywood party was it.
Instead of donning my black face mask and approaching a man I found attractive, however, I found myself looking away the moment he glanced over at me. And not just at this party—that’s what I do in all social situations. I’m the ultimate passive-aggressive—without the aggressive part. But if I’m always waiting for a man to intuitively know that I’m interested, he’d have to pretty much be psychic with the non-existent signals that I give out.
Where I really shine, though, is in the opening conversation. And I don’t mean small talk.
Once the man has shown he’s interested, I’m the verbal equivalent of Cirque du Soleil: a dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment.
It’s just getting to this point that’s difficult for me. So what’s a gal to do?
Do I set up a lemonade-type stand with a handwritten sign that says “Conversation 5 Cents”? Do I find myself a wingwoman to lure them in and then take over from there? Or do I simply dress in a way that says what I can’t: come hither. But once the man is enticed into my personal hemisphere via a skin-tight dress, ample cleavage, and a faceful of Kardashian-worthy make-up, isn’t it false advertising when I then open with a joke?
I wandered around the party, enjoying the free cocktails and other people’s inebriation, determined to engage with at least one guy.
My friend introduced me to a man with whom I hit it off, so I decided to take this opportunity and ask him what it was about a woman that made him approach her.
He said that in his twenties he would’ve made a beeline for “a woman like that,” pointing to someone who could’ve easily passed for a stripper, but that in his thirties he was now drawn to women who were not only better (or maybe just more) dressed, but who were also clearly able to have an intelligent conversation. I perked up. Until his wife came along and whisked him away.
As a marketing gimmick, there was a photo shoot set up for anyone who wanted a fun picture of themselves in bed with a sexy man or woman (or both). With nothing to lose, I hopped into the bed (fully clothed, of course; haven’t you read a word I’ve written here??) and struck a pose with a barely-clad male model: both of us clenching the same long-stemmed rose between our teeth (think sexed-up version of that Lady and the Tramp scene).
When the photo shoot was over, what did I do? Shook the half-naked man’s hand, thanked him, and hurried out of the room.
Never mind trying to shag him in one of the twelve bathrooms—if I couldn’t even say a few seductive lines to this guy, there was no hope in hell for me.
So I went back to the bar and ordered another Cosmo from the very cute bartender. At this rate, I figured, only brain-numbing intoxication was going to help me. When he accidentally spilled some on me and I told him that he’d gotten me all wet, he gave me a mischievous grin and said, “Oh yeah?” to which I immediately replied, “No, no, I meant the booze on the arm.” Later when my friend remarked how he’d been flirting with me, my response was to pull out my smartphone and fill out an application for the nearest convent.
The cruel, not to mention celibate, irony is that when I finally get to the point of conversing with a guy, I’ve been told that I’m a big flirt, even when I’m not trying to. So why can’t I do that without words? How hard is it to catch a man’s eye, hold his gaze, smile, and refrain from editorializing the moment in the often-unnerving first-person plural? (“We like your two-toned vintage Oxfords!”)
As my friend and I waited for a cab in the front of the Hollywood house, I witnessed something that I very well could have written in one of my novels:
A woman approached a man and, after asking if he was here with anyone (no), said, “Would you kiss me? That’s all I want, one good kiss to end this night and then we’ll go our separate ways.” After looking around to make sure he wasn’t on Candid Camera, he gave her the perfect Hollywood movie kiss. I just about melted from libidinous envy.
Well, all I can say is that it’s a good thing I’m a writer, because that is the one place where “all talk” actually works. Now, if only I could find a way to write myself into one of these fantastic scenes in real life.
Selena Templeton is a blogger with JenningsWire Online Magazine. For more posts by Selena please visit here.
The post is presented by the National Publicist, Annie Jennings of the NYC based PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR. Annie Jennings PR specializes in marketing books for getting authors booked on radio talk show interviews, TV shows in major online and in high circulation magazines and newspapers. Annie also works with speaker and experts to build up powerful platforms of credibility and influence.
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