Standing out in a crowd
(Photo credit source)
Sometimes in a new place it is hard to know exactly how to let your hair down to have a good time. For far too long I've been in hiding. Mainly because so many things about me stand out in an odd way - height, size, clothing choices, hair, my laugh, etc. - that I'm never sure how to use things to my advantage. So when a friend called to say lets hang out last night it never occurred to me what the evening had in store. I showed up being me - standing out in a crowd.
Had my friend mentioned we were going to go dancing later I might have made different choices in clothing. Then again, maybe not. With all the walking and bike riding in the last three months it has lead to nearly all of my jeans being too big except for one pair. Go figure that pair is in the laundry pile. Going out clothing is limited at the moment. The end choices were: a pair of beige linen capris, an argyle button up sweater in black and bold colors, a bright green scarf with white polka dots, white socks, and black sneakers. Yes my friends, this is a vision of loveliness. This is also a recipe for standing out in a crowd.
The evening begins......
First we meet up for coffee and enjoy a perfect temperature day in the Netherlands with the autumn colors. A fourth friend meets up with us to take a break from studying. We talk. We laugh. We all have a good time. We decide to meet up later for dinner. This is where it hits me that my attire for the rest of the evening is going make me stand out even more.
Dinner was a good time with the four of us. The beer is pretty good too! The beginnings of letting my hair down is starting to happen. To hell with what other think of how I look or act! The fun begins. We make our way into the bar strip.
Please understand this is an area where there are about 20 guys to one girl. I'm feeling a little more confidence than usual. The first bar was a three quarters full. The men in here were pretty good looking and tall. I was noticed several times, but the only guy with enough guts to approach me was a 60+ year old guy from Ireland. My friend's husband and guy buddy were laughing at us from afar. Irish guy liked my friend more. Ended up playing body guard for her. We made our break as soon as possible. The four of us head into bar number two.....
Bar number two was where the fun really began. My favorite element of all time - Music!! Not just any music. There was a live band dressed like the Beatles playing Rolling Stones, Beatles, American 50's & 60's music. I knew all the words to the songs. I was in heaven dancing the night away. These poor Dutch guys didn't know what to do with themselves watching two girls cut loose to dancing and singing. I was the goofiest looking one of the two of us. It didn't matter to me. My smile was as big as my curly hair! Some guys were staring at me with amusement, but acting too cool to have fun. Other guys were getting into the two girls cutting loose and started to do it too.
At some point the guys we came with went outside leaving my friend on the dance floor. They swooped in to dance with her and sort of left me in the dust. She got uncomfortable so body guard mode kicked in for me and we left the dance floor to find the guys. We left the bar strip about 20 minutes later.
Even though the night was fun overall it left me with a few interesting thoughts. First, no matter where I go in this world I will never be able to escape the concept of standing out in a crowd. It is just who I am. Nor, do I want to to change this part of me. Second, Dutch guys are shy, or maybe afraid to approach women here in this area. Not sure why either. Or maybe I was such a dancing fool with arms and hair flying in every which direction there was no opportunity to approach. Still even when you can feel the interest they never approached. Odd. Third, I truly will never know what it is like to be the beauty queen in a room. The goofball in the room, yes. The oddly dressed one in the room, yes. The one that stands out in a room for everything but my beauty, yes. Not the beauty queen. How do you use this insight to your advantage?
Every good evening ends with food. We went to a local place for Fites Speciaal. If you have never had this lovely treat you must check it out! French fries with mayo, curry ketchup and onions. Yum! An evening so worth standing out in a crowd.
Until the next installment of my adventures. Have a wonderful weekend!