Some time ago, I worked on a short film for a few days. Nothing about this job was particularly memorable (standard locations, a decent A.D.... It was all kind of boring, really), save for a particular Dolly Grip.
We got along rather well. We were about the same age, had a thing for tacos, and were living in the same part of town.
Plus, he was really hot.
Carrying around those sticks of steel track on his shoulder while wearing slightly dusty jeans, a black tee and Top Gun sunglasses, he was the kind of guy a girl wouldn't mind sitting on a porch all day, watching him work with a glass of innocent lemonade in hand. Not to mention how well organized he kept all the dolly pieces that weren't in use (have I mentioned how neatness is sexy?) and how much concentration and grace he put into every shot. That just made him even more appealing.
By day three, we had a routine of witty banter and inside jokes going, and by the time the show wrapped, he suggested that we "hang out" sometime.* Of course, I readily agreed.
After a week or so of trying to get our schedules to match up, we finally make an arrangement to meet for coffee one morning. I threw on a pair of jeans and a cute-but-not-too-cute-that-it-looks-like-I'm-trying tee shirt and headed out the door. I had some fun chats with this guy on set, and was looking forward to seeing him again.
So imagine my surprise when someone looking totally different than the guy I met showed up at the coffee shop. The black shirt and jeans were replaced with slacks and a button down shirt in a nauseating pattern. The Aviator sunglasses had turned into obnoxious looking Oakleys** and his fluffy brown hair that I've been fighting the urge to run my fingers through was now sleeked back with gel. Eww.
And the jewelry... Oh my goodness, the jewelery. It was was gold. It was chunky. It looked like it belonged to one of the Guidos on Jersey Shore. And he had that odd habit of fiddling with one of his (multiple) rings while it was still on his finger, perpetually drawing attention to the fact that he was wearing more jewelery than I was. (Note to guys: That's a big turnoff.)
What happened to the fine specimen I was observing on set?
Throughout our conversation over lattes, I find out that the clothes he wears to work are ones he doesn't mind getting dirty, the glasses he wore are cheap ones he wouldn't mind losing or getting scratched, there's no point in doing his hair for work and it's obviously a bad idea to wear unnecessary jewelery if you're a grip. All were very valid points that I wholeheartedly agree on. I myself am in the habit of wearing "disposable" clothing and droppable sunglasses while on set. But there was such a drastic change from the hot tamale I was drooling over to who I was sitting across the table from, it was almost baffling.
By the time we finish our coffee, I'm no longer as attracted to him as when we were loading up the grip truck a little over a week ago. And as shallow as my previous paragraphs may seem, it wasn't just his misguided fashion sense that turned me off. Over the course of our conversation, I also realized that we didn't have much in common after all and the witty repartee we had going on at work was mainly based on, well, work. Without the distraction of a camera and a film crew around us, we didn't really have anything interesting to say to each other.
That said, it wasn't a particularly bad afternoon. It's just amazing how sometimes the people you meet on set can be so different when you see them in real life. Kinda like if you secretly follow Santa home from the mall. Sometimes, it's an illusion you don't want to see broken.
* Side note: I hate it when guys say "let's hang out sometime" because most of the time, I don't understand what they mean. Is it literally "hang out" as in "let's grab a beer and play Mario Cart with some of my other buddies" or is it "hang out" as in "I think we should go out on a date"? More often than not, I'm be interested in doing one but not the other and I get headaches trying to find the perfect ambiguous answer to the ridiculously ambiguous question. Save us both the confusion and just ask what you mean!
** I'd just like to note that not all Oakleys are gaudy, but these were. You know what mean.