Another friend and I were walking on a street in Chicago when we ran into Jenny (not her real name, but that will be her name in this journal). She was with a man who I gathered was her boyfriend, and he seemed like a pleasant enough fellow. I hadn’t seen Jenny for several years, so we chatted amiably for a few minutes and got caught up on each other’s lives. I mentioned that I was in Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding and Jenny squealed with delight about how she’d simply have to come see me in it. A couple months later, the folks at TnT announced that we were being given extra comp tickets for one of our performances that weekend. I thought of Jenny and gave her a call to invite her to the show.
After I had extended the invitation to her, there was a pause on the line before she replied. She finally said, in a low, detached voice, “You know I’m married now.” I offered my hearty and sincere congratulations, but she apparently wasn’t buying it. “Look,” she said, “I don’t think it would be appropriate.” and she ended the call abruptly. She offered no thanks for my offer and very much left me with the impression that I should not call her again.
OK, time for a little more background on Jenny. I’ve known her on and off for over 20 years. We’ve never dated or anything remotely close to it, but we’ve worked on a few shows together and have hung in a lot of the same social circles. I’ve always enjoyed her company and she’s always given me the impression that she felt the same way about me. One thing I’ve always known about her that seems to bear mentioning is that she has always considered herself to be quite the hottie. She’s always been notably vain about her appearance and has always seemed extremely confident that men would find her attractive. As a matter of fact, she’s right – she is quite the head-turner. Though with all due respect to Jenny, one meets a lot of attractive women in the show business world. I don’t make friends with most of them, and it has nothing to do with their appearance. My friends cover a wide range of body types and face types and map out all over the spectrum of conventional attractiveness. Yes, a few of them are visually stunning to the casual observer; it’s equally true that a few of them are undeniably plain by conventional standards. I’m not about to pretend that I’m not aware of these societal definitions, but I rarely concern myself with them when it comes to people I like, because if I like someone, they tend to become attractive in my eyes, and if I don’t like them, they tend to become unsightly.
I’ve gone over my words and actions with Jenny and I’m satisfied that I didn’t do anything to bring on this rejection of my non-existent advances. Nope, I’m putting all of this on Jenny’s shoulders. I have to say that I was utterly flabbergasted when she said those words to me – “You know I’m married now.” As many will attest, I am rarely at a loss for words, but the presumptuousness of her statement just floored me. I’d offered her tickets to a show, not the keys to my apartment! In fact, I offered her two tickets, SO THAT SHE COULD BRING A DATE IF SHE LIKED! What I would like to have said – what I perhaps should have said – is “Fer chrissakes, get over yourself!”
I have not heard from Jenny since that day. I suppose I will next speak to her when we are once again walking the same sidewalk at the same time. I will be curious to see how that goes.