Hi there! I thought I'd introduce myself. You probably weren't expecting me—so few do—and yet since I've been so often on your tongue in "Psychology Today," I thought I'd just pop in.

I'm neither elusive nor a mystery once you get to know me—and I certainly hope you will. I'm not mythological, Darling. I'm not like a ghost or like Bigfoot. I actually do exist.

When can you expect me? Are you asking me to make an appointment? It doesn't work that way. I like a good time. When I know people are relaxing, having intimate conversations, really enjoying themselves both cheerfully and intensely, you'll find that I'm drawn to the moment.

Contrary to what you might have been told, I don't need a big party, a lot of decorations, too much to drink, or a whole lot of fuss; I don't need a red carpet, so to speak, because I carry my own with me, all rolled up and tucked into place. I don't need a big limo, either, or a Hummer. If I need to, I can walk and get to where I'm going.

Despite what you may have heard from someone who's never known me personally, I'm not all about making a scene. You might have seen me and not recognized me. There are times I hardly know myself, to be honest. There are times I'm all about shouting my name out loud and there are times I'm snuggled under a sigh.

When too much is going on, or I'm distracted by a tense situation or something unfamiliar-a deadline, new place, a new face, the sound of a car alarm or a baby's cry-try as I might to show up, there are times I can't make it. I'm not good under pressure. Sometimes I'm best when I'm alone.

My pet peeve? Impersonators. Those clowns who pretend to be me. When I see them caricature my genuine passion and make fools out of themselves doing bizarre imitations of what they think I'd be like under those weird circumstances—cameras, light banks, 15 people in a hot tub, and a G-string made out of dental floss—I want to call a good lawyer and sue.

But I have too much else to do and too many other places to be to worry about the fakes and the phonies. I just feel sorry for those people who fall for the bad acting and confuse a terrible performance by a second-rate wannabe for the real thing.

And, like anybody who gets more than her fair share of gossip and comment, I'm always secretly fascinated to read what others say about me: where I come from, how I've changed over the years, who needs me, who wants me, whether I'm just a sidekick or the leading lady, whether-ultimately-I really matter at all. Scientists say I don't count; glossy magazines say it's all about the glad-handing. Usually I just laugh, but I thought it might just be time you heard it from me directly.

So let me leave you with one though: Darling, the last thing I am is elusive. All the girls know me—or have known me at some point. If I'm I'm elusive or mysterious to you, Sweetheart, maybe you're not doing something right.



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