Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Colin Firth" and the Crush from Afar

I didn't exactly sleep late this morning. I woke up at a very reasonable time. My delay in starting the day came from thinking late and not realizing how much time had passed. I mentally composed about a week's worth of blog posts, added a few elements to the Plan for World Domination, debated with myself over whether the current project could be rewritten into a cozy paranormal mystery (I think if it goes into a series it has some of the right elements, but it would have to lose a lot and the first book wouldn't fit) and planned today's housecleaning project.

I'm getting a jump on my annual New Year's resolution to get my house in order, and this year's tactic is to create a job jar. I wrote all the areas that need to be cleaned, decluttered or organized onto little slips of paper, put them in a jar, and I'm drawing one (or more, if I'm bored or inspired) a day. Yesterday's task was the cabinet under the kitchen sink, where I found that I'm apparently hoarding Swiffer cloths (or the Target brand equivalent). I just bought a new box because I'd used the last one from the old box, but in taking everything out of the cabinet I found two opened -- and almost full -- boxes. Now I should have clean floors for a while. Today's fun task is to tackle the laundry room. I already have some ideas of how to organize the things in there that tend to produce clutter, thanks to this morning's thinking time.

In discussing the things that were great about Christmas Eve, I forgot to mention an important one: I had a "Colin Firth" sighting. This is sort of like the church edition of "Where's Waldo." From the choir loft, I have a good view of the congregation, and I find myself looking for familiar faces, especially on those Sundays when I have to sing in two services and I'm getting round 2. Playing these little "Where's Waldo" games helps me look alert and focused. A few years ago, I noticed a man sitting alone in the sanctuary. That's actually rather odd. In my years of observing congregations from the choir loft in various churches, I've found that men seldom come to church without being accompanied/dragged by a woman. When they're younger, it's their mother, and that influence may extend into the post-college years. But then if a man isn't married by his thirties and being dragged/accompanied by his wife, he tends to have this big realization that his mom can't make him go to church anymore and he doesn't have to answer to anyone, so he then drops out until he marries someone who makes him go to church. You may see older men alone -- most often widowers who keep going -- but it's very rare to see a man in his 30s-50s sitting by himself in church unless he's the spouse of a choir member. That makes dating very difficult when you're over thirty and one of your criteria for choosing someone to date involves religious faith. It's nearly impossible to meet men in church since they're not there, but outside church it's hard to tell the difference between religious but lazy, lapsed but not entirely gone, and not interested in that sort of thing. So, one Sunday I noticed this man, and I thought he kind of had a Colin Firth thing going on. Not so much of a lookalike that I wondered what Colin Firth was doing in my church, but he's kind of that type (though more Love Actually or The King's Speech than Mr. Darcy). Then when I passed him during the recessional, I noticed he didn't wear a wedding ring. Since then I've made a habit of looking for "Colin Firth" in church. I didn't see him Christmas Eve, but it was too crowded to spot individuals, but then I saw him during communion, with a much older man who had an almost identical profile, probably his father. They seemed to be in the overflow seating in the foyer.

Of course, I haven't done anything wild and crazy like introduce myself during all this time. I am the queen of the Crush from Afar. A lot of that has to do with the fact that I'm extremely shy about that sort of thing, and the crushing disaster that has been my dating life thus far doesn't lend much confidence. I find that when I talk to someone I find interesting, I get loud and shrill and talk too much, too fast. It's like what happens to me with singing stage fright, where I'm aware of what's going on with my voice but have no control over it. That means I'm likely to avoid my crush objects because I figure it's better to come across as aloof and mysterious than as loud and obnoxious. At least he might be intrigued by the mystery, while the loud and obnoxious might repulse him. A friend used to joke that I needed to get cards printed up to use at parties or other events. One would say "I'm sorry if I've given you the wrong impression, but the fact that I'm talking easily to you means that I have zero romantic interest in you. I would enjoy being friends, though." The other would say "The fact that I seem to have been avoiding you other than casting numerous glances your way means I fancy you madly and am afraid of making a fool of myself. You are welcome to initiate conversation with me, but please be patient until I can get over my nerves." The latter card is important because the same behavior can also mean I really am avoiding someone who irritates me, and it can also mean I'm trying to cool things down from someone who took my easy conversation the wrong way (which is why that first card could come in handy).

At the same time, the Crush from Afar may just be for fun, not something I want to do anything about. Having a little crush on someone I see regularly but don't know can give me a little charge that lifts my spirits. Actually meeting him might ruin the fantasy. I haven't decided where "Colin Firth" fits in. He is the exceptionally rare man in my general age range who attends church with no woman in sight, so that gives us one important thing in common, but I don't know anything else about him and I haven't had too many opportunities to get anywhere near him, since I'm in the choir and he's usually at the back of the church. He wouldn't have any reason to have noticed me (other than maybe my looks and my voice) since my being in the choir gives no clues as to my social or marital status. I don't have to sing in the choir on Sunday, so if I can drag myself out on New Year's morning and if I sit in the right area, I might have an encounter (that is, if he drags himself out on New Year's morning). Otherwise, I'll just have to keep acting like I'm in junior high and have a crush on a boy I pass in the halls. We're getting a church directory made, and I'll have to search it for his picture, then draw little hearts around it in my copy.

And now I think I need a viewing of Love Actually. I didn't watch it before Christmas because I needed to sing and that was already precarious, so watching a movie guaranteed to make me bawl would not have helped matters.

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