There are many good reasons to walk around public places with a large Azure sign reading "ASK ME." I do it because it's what the Seattle Art Museum asks me to do when I volunteer. And I imagine that beyond simply advertising my purpose in the galleries, the sign lends me a certain air of ridiculousness that makes people more comfortable approaching me.
Unfortunately, along with restroom and Botticelli requests, I've recently received a number of more personal requests. I don't mean the nerdy older men who embarrass their teenage sons by asking me to marry them. No, I mean the younger men with more interest in eyeing women than the Andy Warhol.
I brushed it off when one followed me to the coat check two weeks ago, but this week my attempt to escape a more leering man into the minimalism room failed, and he followed up a compliment to my my sandals with the very cultured. "I like the way you look, very sexy, that's my friend from LA there, why don't you come with us and tell us about the city?" Here I am, completely appalled, spending as much time in the more secluded galleries as possible.
Later, I spent 45 minutes wandering the third floor avoiding another man, who's very basic questions about art made me think he thoroughly lacked any mind for creativity, or he was aiming for a date, or both; either way, I had no interest in repeated conversation with him. I clung to a few security guards as much as possible, listening very attentively to histories of their relationships, details accounts of their moves across the country, and review of every movie they've seen in the last 6 months.
If you're looking for a date, or just some art, feel free to join me at SAM. You can find me behind a big blue sign, wearing my frumpiest outfit -- maybe I can find a big sweater with a cat on it -- and making eye contact with only elderly ladies.