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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Thursday (2/25/10) 8:02pm - ... wherein Peter answers formspring questions about his love life.

Here are all the loooove questions I've received so far on formspring.

Has dancing helped you get dates with women? [2/4/10, anonymous]

Ha. I dunno. I've been on -- what, a dozen dates in my whole life?[1] -- so figuring this out would probably require L'Hôpital's Rule.[2]

But to answer the question, yes. Over my ten years of dancing, I have gone on dates with (*thinks*) two women whom I wouldn't have even met if I hadn't been in the dance scene.

Other leads put a lot of effort into picking up follows, and I suppose they do pretty well for themselves. I'm sure dancing *would* help me get dates with women if I made more of an effort. Instead, I just show up, dance around, chat with my friends, and maintain my little social network of dance people.


[1] I wonder if this surprises/TMIs anyone. I assume it's common knowledge, but one never knows.

[2] L'Hôpital's Rule is the mathematical thingy you use when you're trying to divide zero by zero.

You do know that plenty of women find you attractive and interesting and want to date you, right? [2/4/10, anonymous]

Aw. Thanks, Mom! <rimshot>

I kid, I kid.

Oh, that's a tricky question to answer.  Honestly I think my head holds on to several contradictory answers to it at once.

If I go by friendly assurances like the posted question[1], then, yes, the world is full of women who want to go out with me, and they just tend to keep that inclination to themselves (yay gender roles).[2]

If I go by my day-to-day experience... well, most of the time I'm sitting around the house or I'm working here at 'the computer monastery'.  There are no women anywhere, so there are no observers, so
that proverbial cat is both alive and dead.

But occasionally I wander out of the house and meet women.  I figure maybe a quarter of them find me attractive.

Looks-wise, I've done about as well as I can manage with the genetic hand I've been dealt (dude, have you SEEN my COAT?!).  But my personality (quiet, geeky, diffident) doesn't do me any favors, and my hobbies (artsy stuff) are only interesting to fellow artsy types.[3]

So, yeah, I know that women who want to date me are out there.  For whatever reason (hell if I know), I've shirked my duties of figuring out which ones do and which ones don't.

[1] Note: I'm still waiting for that "Peter, how do you manage to be so awesome?" question. Come on, Internet....

[2] Though to be honest, when I find some ladytype attractive, I'm nowhere near obvious enough about it.

[3] Conversely, try talking to me about booze, sports, or home renovations, and watch my eyes immediately glaze over.

Peter, how do you manage to be so awesome? [2/4/10, anonymous]


What qualities do you look for in a lady? [2/4/10, anonymous]

Like every improvisor who answers this, I'm going to say "sense of humor" and "talent".  (In other news, I breathe oxygen and am affected by gravity.)

While we're making a grocery list of desirable traits, I guess I could add "mellow".  I just don't deal well with high-strung, stressed-out types.  It would be nice to find someone passionate about something artistic.  (Does this contradict "mellow"?  So be it.)  At least then she might get why I putter away at scripts that'll most likely just gather dust.

'Mean' is a dealbreaker.  'Crazy' is a dealbreaker.  (*shudder*)

I'm embarrassed to say 'kids' are very nearly a dealbreaker, if only because I'm so not good with kids.

But frankly, all of this is a bit of a dodge.  The truth is, I'm very swayed by looks, and my tastes w/r/t looks are dull and conventional.  I'm not saying I have to go out with The Prettiest Girl Ever, but if I'm not attracted to a lady physically, that's *sigh* pretty much a dealbreaker, too.

Then again, looking over my fb friendslist, I find, a vast majority of you ladytypes attractive.  Does that mean I just find everybody attractive? or that dancers and improvisors all tend to be hot? or that I preferentially facebook-friend cute girls?

Probably all of the above.

Do you have a crush on anyone? [2/14/10, anonymous]

Yeah, there are a few crushes rattling around in my brain.[1]  None of them are too overwhelming.  There was a really bad one[2] last year, but apparent-indifference from the crushee[3] has slowly cooled it off to a comfortable level.

I suppose the next question is "Who do you have a crush on?", to which I can only say, "Oh, *there* you are, boundary-of-questions-I-won't-answer!"

I rarely fess up to crushes.  It's weird.

I mean, I'm not *always* all patience-on-a-monument[4] about stupidly not saying, "OHAI I HAZ CRUSH ON YOO".  But I *usually* am, which makes no sense.  I mean, am I afraid of rejection? -- even though rejection, in my experience, doesn't even hurt that much?  Am I afraid of seeming skeevy? -- even though I'm about as unskeevy as they come?[5]  I'm afraid of *something*, but I can't even sort out what it is.  Relationships?  My own sexuality?  The bees?[6]

Maybe some component of it is behavioral inertia.  Act a certain (repressed) way for a certain number of decades, and you just keep on keepin' on, for no reason at all.  Maybe I'm just used to treating crushes like colds:  "Eh, they bother you for a while, and you just wait them out."

*rereads answer*  Wow, that was angsty.  Could somebody ask me about kittens now?

[1] How could I not?  Did I mention that the improv and dance scenes are full of attractive women?

[2] Side note:  a bad crush, by my definition, is when I'm outright annoyed to run into some ladytype because I know I'll be stuck thinking about her for the next few days:
Me:  Okay, brain, let's think of an amusing topic for this week's Spanish post.
Brain:  <x> has really amazing eyes.
Me:  ...
Brain:  What?

[3] I don't mean to sound pejorative there; people feel what they feel, y'know?

[4] http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/twelfthnight/section5.rhtml

[5] And playing your cards so close as to seem vaguely asexual, well, that's its own kind of creepy.

[6] In all fairness, *everyone* is afraid of
the bees.

Who do you have a crush on? [2/14/10, anonymous]

Careful readers of my social-networking output will note my crush on Annie, who contends with my clumsy Internet flirting very gracefully.

Beyond that... well, it depends where we set the goal posts for 'having a crush'.  If it's the bare-minimum, "Sure, I'd like to go out with that girl", then we have (scans fb friends-list, counts) seven improvisors and, wow, twenty dancers who would fit the bill.  If it's more of a swoony, idle-thoughts-sometimes-occupied-by-the-girl thing, then we're down to maybe three improvisors and eight dancers.

If we're talking about the more intense, okay-now-I'm-distracted-and-annoyed kind of crush, then we're down to zeroes.

Does that adequately address your question?

As Lani says, *someone* has been asking a lot of love-life questions lately. Do you think this means someone has a crush on you? More to the point:  if so, how would you prefer that that this person proceed?  I ask purely for the public interest. [2/14/10, anonymous]

Do I think this means someone has a crush on me?  Nah.  Here's what I think happened:

We start with
"Has dancing helped you get dates with women?", which to me says, "Male improvisor, curious about the dance scene as an aid to getting laid."  I answer.  I'm not much use to him in his quest, so he disappears from the radar.

Then we get the "You realize you're awesome, right?" question.  To me, that doesn't look like "I have a crush on you."  That looks more like, "I think you're cute, I am in a committed relationship myself, I think you would dig being in a relationship, too, and I want to be supportive."

Then we get the "What qualities do you look for in a lady?", which is a question that's been going around the austin-improv-formspring scene lately.  Probably whoever's been dropping that one on other people decided to drop that question on me as well, after seeing my page take such a romantical turn.

"Do you have a crush on anyone?" is the most likely to be from a pining-lonelyhearts type.  But it could just as easily be a take on my first answer:  "Wow, so are you just completely asexual, then?"

Now, you'll note that in that reply to that last question, I explicitly said, "Who do you have a crush on?" was a question I wouldn't answer, so the next question was pretty obvious smartassery. 

So that's my theory.

The competing theory, proposed by the questioner, is that it's a brilliant, funny, and incredibly gorgeous single lady who has been pining away for me for years, but dared not ever speak a word of it, and now, behind the veil of the Internet, she at least finds the courage to tease out bits of information about that noble heart that could have been hers -- if only she had pursued it -- just before her keyboard shorts out from her copious tears.

(This was what you meant, right, anonymous questioner?)

So.  Obviously anonymous-girl should NOT reveal her identity.  But a-g should happen to run into me a bunch of times, adopting a 'best friend' role, while I go on my great quest to find this mystery woman.  And I'd say all sorts of wonderful things about my secret admirer, inferring all sorts of qualities the secret admirer would have, never realizing that what I was looking for was RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

Oh, then some Bad Girl, kinda slutty and mean-spirited, would TOTALLY PRETEND to be that formspring-question girl.  And a-g would *know* that b-g was lying, but of course, a-g couldn't confess to *how* she knew.  In spite of a-g's interference, an unhealthy romance would bloom between me and b-g, and we'd sort out a vacation to some tropical hideaway together, where (gasp!) I was planning to *propose* to b-g!  I would tell a-g about this, and she'd put on her best show of being happy for me, and after I left, she'd cry, alone, while listening to a heart-rending and relatively-easy-to-license pop song.

Then we're at the day where I'm due to fly off with b-g to the tropical hideaway.  And a-g finally admits everything that's been going on to her gay friend -- did I mention she has a sassy and stereotypical gay friend? 'cos she has a sassy and stereotypical gay friend -- who gives her an important speech about how "Girlfriend, you gotta be true to love."  The line doesn't technically mean anything, but a-g takes it as a cue to triumphantly RUN TO THE AIRPORT, accost me, and *prove* that it was her all along (in some cinematic way).

Then I confront b-g about how she *lied all along*, and she snarls that she never really liked me anyway and storms off, and then there's a big passionate embrace and kiss between me and a-g, as some life-affirming and relatively-easy-to-license pop song plays.

I read way too many books about screenwriting.

These have to be questions, so I'll say this to you as a question: That last answer of yours was awesome? [2/14/10 by mrjeffbritt]

w00t!  I was cackling madly as I wrote the second half; glad other people are digging it too. :)

A famous Hollywood type read the saga of Anonymous Girl's love for you, is convinced it's the next hit RomCom, and has begun casting. You will play yourself, but which Hollywood starlets will play A-G and B-G? And who plays the sassy gay friend? [2/14/10, anonymous]

Well, let's see.  (This is tricky; I follow TV casting much more than film casting.)  We could try casting Anna Faris as A-G and perhaps Mia Kirshner as B-G.  In an odd bit of casting-against-type, Vin Diesel shows up as Ms. Faris's sassy gay friend.

Seriously, though, they wouldn't cast me as me, because I'm too old for the movies.  Instead, they'd try to skew the whole story younger.

Perhaps they could go with Michael Cera as me, Amanda Seyfried as A-G, and Megan Fox as B-G.[1]  Anton Yelchin plays the sassy gay friend.

Oh, and if I were casting that romantic comedy from among the Austin-improv types, my first guess would be:  Patrick Daniel as the male lead, Jill Morris (ex-Austinite) as a-g, Kacey Samiee as b-g, and Mike Kinald as the sassy gay friend.

This is fun!

[1] Why, yes I *am* gleefully cribbing from the casting of Jennifer's Body. :)

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