Man #18, The Burner

1 07 2011

Before weighing in on Weight Loss Weigh-in Wednesday #2 and swearing to the one drink a week rule, I had met Man #18 for drinks at The Scarlet Tree.   It was truly refreshing to meet someone who was both intelligent and good-looking.  (The two attributes so rarely occur together.)

I typically don’t tend to go for the good-looking guys. Quite frankly, they intimidate me a little.  Well, maybe it’s not really that they intimidate me so much as I’ve just always been hesitant to date them.  I always assumed they would know they were good-looking, and therefore, would be players. 

I’m a very competitive person, but I try to avoiddrama, conflict, and competitions.  Does that make sense?  I get ugly when I get competitive.  I become someone I don’t really like when I get into a competitive situation.  It’s not that I get rude or violent. I just become sort of like my pit bull; I’m tenacious. I don’t like to give up.  I’ve never liked the idea of competing for a guy, so most of the time, I’ve just stayed away from the good-looking ones.

The one exception, ironically, was my STB ex. Cute, cute, cute, and trouble, trouble, trouble. Yep, my STB ex was a good-looking one, and you see where that got me.

But, I digress.

Anyway, Man #18 was good-looking, but I am not going to hold that against him.  Besides, what I was most impressed by was his mind. There were moments in the conversation where I felt like I was struggling to keep up, and it wasn’t just the Manhattans I was drinking. It’s not like I’m some dumb bimbo. I’m smart, like Magna cum Laude smart combined with some good, common-sense, street smart. (Most of the time.) It’s just that Man #18 was also very smart and some of our areas of knowledge did not necessarily intersect.

Imagine our two brains as a Venn Diagram.  The overlapping area in the middle is where most of our conversation happened. Most areas did intersect, and it was a very enjoyable date.  We talked about the business case for One Laptop per Child, how program managers have a tendency to get romanced by technical solutions when they should put more focus on user experience, and how both of us had spent time guarding the U.S. government’s secrets.  We shared similar religious ideologies, believing that Agnostics are spiritually passive-aggressive, and we also have similar political views. The conversation topic that really stuck with me though was that of Burning Man.

Burning Man is a temporary city, where 48,000+ participants gather for one week each year in Black Rock Desert. Man #18 is a burner. I have never been to Burning Man, but if there was ever a year when I should be going to Burning Man, it would be this year. This is my transformational year, and Burning Man has the potential to be, if not transformational, at least a profound kind of experience. Unfortunately, the tickets are already up to $320 and climbing, and I really can’t afford it.  On top of the financial deterrent, I have the fact that my body is not Burning Man ready.  I’ve seen the pictures.  I’ve seen what people wear, or don’t wear.

Believe me. Nobody wants to see this big ass half-naked out on The Playa!

This big ass would really like to be there though.

It turns out, The Burner has been involved with the event for many years.  He explained that it’s best to find a local group, get to know them well in advance, ask questions, find some way to participate, and then just go enjoy the experience.  Seattle actually has one of the largest “burner” communities next to San Francisco, so it wouldn’t be difficult to find other people who could school me on how to make my Burning Man experience a good one.  I actually have several friends who have participated too, so it’s not like I’d be out in the middle South Dakota or some place trying to find other burners.  I’m in Seattle: home of all great things alternative.

It’s not only that I’m interested in the participatory experience; I’m also interested in the large-scale art installations.  Check out this photo from Burning Man 2007.  How cool is that?

And that’s nothing. You should check out the Gallery on the Burning Man website. The scale and detail of the art is truly incredible.  I HAVE to go see it in person.

As for Man #18? I liked him, liked him enough to kiss him.  I won’t be dating him, of course, there are 82 others, but I should probably keep his contact information for next year when, fingers crossed, I’ll go to Burning Man.

Photo here.


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