Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Modern Day Tale of Beauty and the Beast

For the past five weeks I have really put a halt on my dating. Nearly six months ago, with some friendly encouragement of others, I joined I had heard a little bit about its success and it seemed like a reasonable thing to do since I work so much, go out so little and am relatively new to the city of Los Angeles.

After five months and five lousy disappointing dates I realize that Match serves me no better than walking into a bar and randomly introducing myself to the most shallow man I can find. The results are the same and I challenge any female over a size ten to test my theory. At one point I was actually told by a “man” on match that even though I was not his idea of girlfriend material that he would still like to get together and “hook up.” There are such quality people on that site really. I have found that it is an over priced form of mental abuse.

I was on the verge of just calling up and canceling my account early when I decided to give it one last and final run through, you never know right. My constant positive outlook never ceases to amaze me sometimes.

As a user you can spend many minutes or hours filing through profile after profile of member statements that resemble the following: “looking for a caring, real woman, who knows what she wants in life, who’s independent, not shallow even though I am and looks better than I do naked.” Just kidding on the last statement but you see where I am headed with this.

On one of the last pages I was ever going to scroll through I saw an odd photo of a disfigured boyish looking man with short red hair and alienesk blue eyes; the brief intro paragraph summary struck a chord in me and I wanted to read through his profile. He mentioned that he was paying for one month of a membership as an experiment to see just how shallow and low people are. As I started reading through his profile information he seemed as though he could be a friend of mine or, heaven help me, even a match. He was witty, eloquent, educated and knew how to express the kind of person he truly was. I then looked at the rest of his photos and was shocked to find that none of the other photos on his page even remotely resembled the main profile picture he had used.

I of course could not resist emailing him. I told him that his experiment was a good one indeed and that people in general really are that shallow. This morning I received an email back from him stating that oddity of my email since he had just been complaining to a few friends of his about the shallow nature of individuals on match and how through his experiment he had not received any messages or winks. As he went to show his friends the results of his experiment there was my message sitting in his inbox. That in essence proves that not everyone is so shallow. Or does it?

I was curious about the profile because of what he wrote and also because of what he looked like. Thinking back on what was going through my mind at the moment I realize that I would not have dated a man like that but I would be open to talk to someone like that. You never know who is in need of friends or what their current situation in life is. I realized that really I am no different than any other shallow male on here. I have received winks and messages from men who just did not seem to match me. Whether it was their profession, their height, their religious beliefs, or simply their cultural make-up. I believe I did so at the time not because of shallow and narrow views but because I want to date someone who is compatible with me. Looking back at it now I realize what a hypocrite I can be.

I recalled the tale of “Beauty and the Beast.” Through most of the story the “Beauty” did not find her self attracted to the Beast, she simply saw him as a monster, something different. However, the moral to the story kids is not to judge a book by its cover.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Culture in the City – A Sunday at LACMA

Since I am a girl who grew up in the once small towns of Sedona, Ariz. and Kailua Kona, Hi going to junior high school, high school and then college in Phoenix, Ariz. was a shock to the senses. There were multiple movie theaters, malls, strip malls, freeways, an array of different cultures and local television channels. However, I never believed I was challenged in the ways of culture. That is of course until I realized just how many opportunities there are available to me now that I live in Los Angeles, Calif.

This past Sunday another Arizona import friend of mine invited me to go to LACMA with her. Having lived here for more than a year and a half I really began to realize that instead of living in LA I have been merely existing in LA. Knowing that payday was still ten days off and that my bank account was bleeding after rent had been paid I still opted to join her in the experience. I had preconceived notions that this visit would somehow resemble the half day field trips that I would take to the Museum of Science and Industry in Phoenix while growing up. I was mistaken.

We arrived at 2 p.m., parked next to the LaBrea Tar Pits and cruised by the odorous tar ponds with the statues of Wooly Mammoths hanging out waiting for their photo op. The sky continued to cloud up and fill with another day of rain and immediately I regretted wearing flip-flops. Once inside the gallery I became amazed at all of the statues, oil paintings as well as the dates on them. It is somehow hard for me to fathom that good portions of the items in the collection are more than 300 years old. Within an hour and a half we had zig zagged through the galleries of impressionism and European art to finally arrive at the ancient arts beginning with Egypt and the Middle East. For the first time in my life I saw a mummy in a sarcophagus. I was so excited that many times I broke the acceptable "inside voice" volume and would cry out in childlike joy.

We saw items used in the 700 B.C. era and my mind could not grasp that idea either, that somehow thousands of years ago there were men, women and children eating from the bowls I was looking at from behind a pane of glass. I could not imagine some of the weapons I saw in the Ancient Iran exhibition being used in wars waged over religion and land so many generations in the past. Seeing the history and beauty of it all also struck home just how important religion was to all of these past generations. It seems now I live in a generation, that instead prides you for your faith, argues with it and frowns upon it; but I guess that is a blog for another time.

While a good portion of LACMA is currently under construction, at a quick pace it took my friend and I approximately three and a half hours to walk the galleries on one floor of two buildings and the entire Japanese Calligraphy exhibition. We missed the Dali exhibition as it was sold out and it was the last day.

My friend and I finished the evening with dinner at her place and “cultured” girl talk over a few glasses of wine. It had been an incredible day and one that will remain in my personal memory banks forever. I took away a piece of culture, an experience and a thirst for more. Next on my hit list is the Getty and the Planetarium at Griffith Park, both of which I have never been to. The renaissance person that I am wants to know as much as I can about as much as I can. Some have told me that in the professional world this passion as a weakness. In the real world I see it as an absolute delight.