Friday, March 09, 2007

The Art of Mingling

I discussed The At of Mingling: Proven Techniques for Mastering Any Room with Sandy and Erik today. So in many respects, I was actually mingling using the topic of mingling. Ironic...or just sad. I bet you can make a scientific guess.

That may be as much as I get out of this book as I absolutely hated it. Why? Because the art of mingling is pretty much making crap up and lying. Can you help me find this person at the party? Can you tell me what color this shirt is (even though I don't care, or may actually know because I bought it from Land's End and it said "Purple Fusion" in the catalog)? Where did you get those earrings? Can you watch the punch for me? Can you watch the punch for me? That's right, two people watching the punch, now you have them mingling. Ever see that episode of Seinfeld where the gang goes to a party and they all get jobs like stowing the coats or watching the fish so no one taps on the glass? Yeah...that's a way to encourage mingling among your non-mingling friends.

I was hoping to learn something about mingling, because I recognize that I'm not very good at it. I prefer to know someone a bit via other avenues, like work or gaming or blogging, before I engage in witless banter. What I learned is that I already know most things about mingling, I just refuse to engage in 90% of them because they're insipid or dishonest or involve blatant suckuppery. I'm also not very good at laughing pretentiously. For instance, would you ever offer a toast at some function, just because...just to mingle? "Simply pick out someone else in your group and make a toast to her..." (p. 98). Strangely, I know someone who does something very close to this. I think they may have read the book. If you don't know someone like that, I toast your good fortune.

I think the best information I got out of The Art of Mingling was a factual tidbit or two. For instance, girl "wingmen" are called "pivots". Seriously, just Google it. And here's a whole 1999 annoying exchange on pivots via the Pick Up Guide (warning - offensive unless you're comfortable with a lot of using the word "bitches").

And there are classifications of drunks (p. 137): "hilarious, lachrymose, loquacious, taciturn, argumentative, magisterial, belligerent, sentimental, amorous, and vomitous", at least according to Alice-Leone Moats book No Nice Girl Swears. This is good information, as it allows me to categorize myself in ways I hadn't previously considered. Although any drunk worth his weight in Summit would need to mix and match his (or her) drunktypes, just like you mix drinks. I think I may be a loquacious argumentative with a touch of magisterial (that last one is a nod to my friend's ex-wife), which is an evolution from the loquacious, argumentative, amorous drunk I once was. It's an improvement. Just ask Pooteewheet.

When I mentioned the book to Mean Mr. Mustard, I accidentially typed "minging". There are two well-known Mings in our area. He was pretty sure that's something only they could get up to with any validity.

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