I shared with you a couple weeks ago that I’ve been reading books by K.M Weiland. She eludes that the protagonist should have some complexity to him/her. That is what I’d like to discuss this week. Charlie. What’s going on with Charlie?
A lady walks on stage and grabs Charlie’s attention to the point that he can’t let go of the woman visually. What’s going on? What I didn’t bring out in the story, hoping it would be a subtext, is that Charlie had been through some pretty tough relationships in his time. But it may have gone back farther than that.
If you think back, have you noticed that the kids we grew up with all seemed to have the perfect person for them pictured somewhere between nine and eighteen years old? The mysterious lady (let’s call her Karin for the purpose of brevity and simplicity for this blog) Karin had represented that woman for Charlie.
Now, stack that on top of the fact he’s not been on a date in six years and asked countless women out in that span of time. What an ego killer! Wow! Alice eluded to the fact that Charlie was getting up in age when she mentioned that he has the wisp of gray at the temples. He may see that as a flaw. Aging is scary these days. The thoughts going through his head could have been; “Who’d want an old codger like me in the first place?” Or could it have been the simple fact that he just had a poor self-image?
Fact is, we just don’t know really. It could be any one of these reasons. And for whatever reason it was, Charlie still had to fight to get himself up to talk to another adult. I mean, c’mon. It’s another person. A human being just like Charlie. He had it built up in his head that he was going to fail so big, it almost kept him in the chair. Indeed, off his feet.
I want to take a moment her to make a point. Have you ever felt that way? Ever felt so afraid that you couldn’t speak to another person? Why? We, as human beings, are on a level playing field. Nobody is better than anyone else. If you want to get to know anyone, go say hi. I promise you this one thing; Nobody will die if you say hello.
A quick story; I can walk out to my car from my apartment and I can pass a number of the other people who live in this building. It absolutely amazes me when I am ignored by some of these people. It’s like I’m not there. Yet I walked along the waterfront in Tacoma today. I spoke to six or seven people. All strangers. All but one responded pleasantly. The one pretended I was not there and another woman with her child immediately vacated the area when I showed up on a fishing pier. I have to laugh and wonder about people like this. What is going through their heads?
I also believe this; if you are nervous about meeting a new person, chances are, they’re feeling the same way to some degree.
Don’t be Charlie. Be you. Be a brave you, though.
Want to be a really brave person? Make a pleasant comment about the other person. Compliment something about them. If they have a dog with them, say something nice or even funny about the dog. Say something nice about their clothes, anything to make the other person feel good about themselves or what they have in their possession. You just may be amazed how far it’ll get you.