(This is the second part of a multi-part entry. Check out the first part)
One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard:
“Power belongs to you, God,
and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”;
and, “You reward everyone
according to what they have done.”
Psalms 62:11-12 (NIV)
The boisterous young woman from my first Georgian party had a name: Ansley.
And she had a little not-so-secret surprise too: she was also bisexual.
I met Ansley for the first time three times, because after each of the first two instances, I immediately forgot who she was. I mentioned the first interaction previously, but for those of you in need of a refresher:
[I pour a glass of what I thought was “communal” wine at a party]
ANSLEY: Are you drinking my wine?
ME: I’m sorry… [blah blah etc]
ANSLEY: Are you gay or what?
ME: Um… [blah blah dodge whatever]
Suffice to say, this aforementioned party (and odd interaction) did not satisfy my making-friends needs, but it did provide the catalyst towards some of my first friendships in the South. I didn’t learn Ansley’s name that night, and why should I have? In my mind, I had deemed her the boisterous, young woman, who – among other things – announced quite angrily at the end of the party “I’m leaving, it’s gross in here!” Memorable, sure, but not something I logged away for future interactions. I sincerely thought that our little story would begin and end there.
Then an outdoor Shakespeare event brought us back together. Through a series of handshakes and handoffs, I became friends with this devilish twosome – Wendy and Tyler. He was the confident, sassy petite gay guy, and she was his equally witty cohort – peas in a pod, looking for their new plaything. I liked her and liked him, so when they offered some drinking on the lawn of a park while watching community theater actors “try their best” at Taming of the Shrew, I replied, “of course I want to go.” We laid a blanket down on the thirsty weeds and cracked the wine. We all spooned under a comforter. Others joined us after a while. A woman who had joined the group said, “Hi,” to me. We all chatted a bit. I fell asleep, because apparently the actors’ “best” was not engaging enough. Sobered and sleepy, I drove home afterward.
Yeah, that woman who said “hi” to me? That was also Ansley. I still did not know her name, nor did I connect her to being the same wine protector from weeks prior.
The third instance brought the other two into a snapped focus. Eager to keep my energies moving in an unknown city, I decided to audition for a local theater’s production of The Laramie Project. It seemed completely benign – I had been in the play in college and knew the material – plus it would keep me busy and I would meet new people. Perfect. They called my name and I walked up to the audition table to meet the director and stage manager.
“Nice to meet you,” I cheerfully said, reaching out my hand for an equally cheerful handshake.
“Yeah… we’ve actually met before. Twice.” The stage manager quipped back immediately. “Don’t you remember me?”
Nope, not even a –
Wait… female stage manager… the woman… the young woman… boisterous young… shit.
“Oh yes!” I overcompensated. “Of course I remember you!”
I walked away convinced that my faux pas would mean certain failure, and that I would not be cast. Take it in stride and learn, I supposed.
But then I got a call. From the boisterous wine Shakespeare blanket stage manager woman named Ansley. They wanted me to join the cast.
And that last introduction ended up sticking.