Since I'm used to this reaction by "beauty queen" types, I found the incident to be more hilarious than humiliating. It showed me how ugly a physically beautiful lady can be. It made me think of women who are beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside. I also thought about women I thought were plain or not physically attractive at first, but once I got to know them, their inner beauty made them appear beautiful on the outside as well. When you can see one's inner beauty, that is the quality that matters the most. So, this pretty girl might look great on the outside, but the ugliness she displayed only makes her unattractive. I feel sorry for people like her...to dismiss someone so easily after a couple minutes of conversation.
As I walked home that night, thinking about what happened, I had the thought to challenge "the universe" (or God, if you will). I requested to meet a French lady with dark hair and a scarf around her neck by Friday, April 16th. I wanted to meet her in Portland. I knew it was a tall order and I didn't really expect much to happen.
Wednesday night was the biweekly World Affairs Oregon -- Young Professionals discussion group. The facilitator had emailed me on Monday saying that he couldn't make it and asked if I could fill in for him. He even asked what I might want to talk about, so he can do a write-up for the blog and to send out on Facebook. I mentioned that I wanted to talk about the situation in Burma, as well as recent events in Kyrgyzstan and Thailand. As I went to the meeting, I was hoping the two Russian ladies I had met in the past couple months would be there. Unfortunately, there was low turn-out. Just one guy Brandon, who has a similar worldview as me and a great sense of humour (and animated manner of speaking, like a professional actor). We talked for a bit until another guy showed up.
The other guy, Bill, is known as the "agitator" of the group. While most people in the discussion group tend to be liberal / progressive, Bill often plays devil's advocate and speaks in a frustrating style that includes codiciles, caveats, circumlocution, and other bureaucratic bullshit. He often shies away from talking about anything related to the media because of his "broadcast media" job. I think that's also a bullshit answer, because our conversation began with a discussion about the verdict in the trial. Even though I work for the organization in the media spotlight and even though the head guy told employees we aren't allowed to discuss the case, I most certainly did (via phone and email with my friends as well as on my blog). No one tells me what I can't talk about. In fact, telling me that I can't talk about something GUARANTEES that I will talk about it (example: in the Navy, we were briefed before arriving in Sicily for a port visit that we could not mention the word "Mafia" or "Mafioso." While a group of us were eating in a pizzeria in Augusta Bay, Sicily, what did I do? "Mafia this, mafia that!" See? Nothing happened).
After we talked about the case and even compared the organization I work for with the Catholic Church (and its recent scandals involving the cover-up of pedophile priests, who were sent to new parishes rather than excommunicated), I brought the group to the topic of Burma, Thailand, and Kyrgyzstan. However, none of us seemed too interested in talking about it. I wanted to talk more about Burma, since I did not know the full details of what's going on in Thailand or Kyrgyzstan, and was hoping that the other two guys would share their knowledge, but they were equally uninformed with this news event. Somehow, the topic turned to the media, which seemed to piss off Bill. When Brandon mentioned the unreasonable arguments of teabaggers comparing President Obama to Hitler or calling him a fascist socialist communist, Bill mentioned that liberals were just as guilty in comparing Bush to Hitler.
When I fessed up to being one of those who jokingly referred to Bush as Hitler or "Bushitler", I stated that I only did that to rile up the blind Bush supporters. I did see some interesting parallels between the two, but mentioned a cool comparison chart I saw in which Bush was compared unfavorably to Hitler. My favourite comparison was: Bush isn't Hitler because Hitler had charisma. I also like: Bush isn't Hitler because Hitler served in the military on the front lines. Well, Bill seemed to get mad about that and said that Bush has charisma, which I then refuted. He thought I was being partisan, so I mentioned that both Reagan and Palin have charisma, but no one really believes Bush has charisma. Charm, perhaps, but charisma is a different characteristic. Even die-hard Bush supporters couldn't stand watching his speeches in the last few years of his administration, and people who listened to him didn't react the way one does with a charismatic person. Then we got on the whole Glenn Beck / Rush Limbaugh tangent and whether those men believe they are entertainers or opinion shapers, and the responsibility for being honest in how you present facts and history.
Just when the conversation began dying (around 8:30), two ladies showed up for the discussion group. We did a round of introductions. The ladies were sisters. One of them is doing her medical residency at McGill University in Montreal (the same university where the good doctor Howard Dean did his residency, if I'm not mistaken) and is in the process of becoming a Canadian citizen with plans to settle in Vancouver BC. Her sister currently lives in Senegal and is looking to move back to Portland. She has also lived in Paris recently (she was living there on election day when Obama won, and told a great story about how even French people stayed up late to watch the results of the election that night at bars all over the city).
In talking with the lady who currently lives in Senegal, I was struck by the scarf around her neck and her dark hair and awesome looking eye glasses (its very French style). I also noticed that she kind of looks like Nadya "Octomom" Suleman (pictured above). That might not be considered a flattering comparison, but I think there's nothing wrong with Nadya's looks (just her psyche might be a bit off). Its an attractive "look" for me.
With the addition of these two ladies to the group, of course I was interested in hearing their thoughts about universal health care in Canada and France. The lady who lives in Montreal said that she prefers the Canadian system, even though its not perfect. Her sister said that France had the most impressive health care system and I pointed out that the World Health Organization had rated it as the best one in the world (the U.S. is ranked #37, a number to be proud of for all those "America's #1" crowd of teabaggers). Both of the ladies followed the debate going on in the U.S. and did not understand why their fellow Americans were so against universal health care. I mentioned that most people who are against it don't really know what it is that they are against, because they just heard from Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh that universal health care is "communist", so therefore "it's bad." If they experienced for themselves what Canadians, Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, the French, the Dutch, and the Germans have, they'd wonder what all the controversy is about. No one should be denied critical medical care or fall into bankruptcy because of a medical crisis.
I think the critique of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh drove Bill away, which was fine. It was great to get to know the ladies and to laugh when Brandon told a story about his experience trying to communicate a medical emergency in Italy without knowing the language. He is so funny in his expressions and had all of us laughing like crazy. When he excused himself to use the restroom, it was just the two ladies and me. A part of me was worried that they wouldn't be interested in talking to me, but that wasn't the case. They actually started asking me questions about my life experiences, like where I interned. They also said the magic words: both of them voted for Gore in 2000 even though they liked Ralph Nader a lot. Whew! Believe it or not, its an issue with me, as I have a low opinion of "purists" who believe that Nader is a perfect saint and Gore is a tainted corporate hack.
The conversation continued until 10 p.m. (an hour longer than usual). I love that. Both of the ladies are flying back to their respective current residences today, but the one based in Senegal really wants to move back to Portland. She has a ring on her finger, so she could be spoken for. But, that doesn't matter. When I deprocessed my day after getting back to my apartment, it struck me as funny that my "request" to the universe did kind of come true. So, the lady wasn't French...but she is fluent in French and that's important to me. I'd love to practice my college French with a lady. She said that she will be involved in the group when she gets back. I hope so. Even though she's American, her manner of dress was classic French (the scarf around the neck is just sexy and stylish to me. I learned this in college when I took a French history class with an attractive cougar-ish professor with a worldly European way about her).
What a contrast from last week! One beautiful young lady was too snobby to talk to the likes of me and rejected me with a simple turn of her head, while two ladies with international experience seemed equally fascinated with my life experiences as I was with theirs. This might be a social class issue, as I'm noticing that my friends and the people I click with fall into the same mold. I can be friends with many diverse people, but I seem to gravitate towards those who are as internationally experienced as me. Whatever happens will be interesting, but I am maintaining this vibrational direction. Please, universe...more of this! This year, I am determined to meet the lady who will be my wife by 2012.