A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

YOU MAY BE A LOVER, BUT THEN AGAIN, MAYBE YOU AIN'T

"I got sexy ladies all over the floor
You're talking to one of the greatest
Who did it before
"



Perhaps it was two nights of revelry in a row that made me a little randy, but I haven't really been behaving according to my alleged character while out on the town. Last Thursday I attended a small gathering, and last Friday I attended a large gathering, both centered around Bob Schreck visiting. This meant a gaggle of comic book folks met at a bar and took over one whole side of the room. We had a waitress, N., who had to work double-time to keep up with us, though I suspect many of the male attendees were drinking faster in order to get refills even quicker.

You see, N. possessed a staggering beauty, and many of the fellas were immediately smitten with her--myself included. I know enough people who work in the service industry to know that hitting on servers while they are at work is fairly lame, and when you introduce the social lubricant of alcohol, just about every jerk with a superiority complex finds his tongue has been loosened by a sudden realization that he's God's gift to women. There should probably be a notice placed on menus: "An automatic surcharge will be applied if you put the moves on our staff." Because you know these dudes aren't shelling out the proper tips after they get shot down.

I don't know what possessed me, then, to hit on N. myself. But I did.

It was the end of the night, the bills were paid, things were winding down. I had talked to her a couple of times already, so it at least wasn't coming out of nowhere, the quiet creep in the corner having one shot too many and deciding to splatter sweat and spittle all over the object of his desire. Still, to say I was hunting out of season would be an understatement. N. was gorgeous, and as I have been fond of saying of myself lately, I've got a face made for selling oatmeal.

(If you don't get it, google Wilford Brimley, the face of Quaker Oats.)

"I'm not the sort of guy who normally does this sort of thing, and I know you probably get guys hitting on you all night, so you'll have to forgive me, but I was hoping that maybe we could get together sometime out of this place and get to know one another."

Or something to that effect. I am pretty confident I'm remembering the wording of at least the first 2/3 of the line. That's the gist, more or less.

N. was very kind about this, told me that mine was one of the sweetest offers she'd ever gotten, but she wasn't single. We laughed about it, talked a little more, and I said, "Well, if your situation ever changes, keep me in mind," to which she replied, "Deal."

Now, before you start shaking your head, no, I am also not the guy who hears something like that and keeps it in his back pocket thinking, "Okay, I just have to wait," and a secret alarm goes off in my Fatcave whenever one of the women who have made similar sympathy promises suddenly becomes unattached, so that I can coincidentally pop up in the right place and say, "Hey, remember that deal we had?" I've known that dude, and can think of one very specific boy who actually believed it when he heard "I don't know why you're single. You're a great guy, and if I wasn't attached, I'd totally go out with you." Following up on such statements is like being given a free meal when you're starving, and then showing up at the Good Samaritan’s house on Thanksgiving and puking on her turkey. It's an act of charity, and you've picked the worst way to pay it back.

Regardless of the outcome, for a drunken sneak attack, I think I got through pretty well, and I certainly was sent on my way feeling all right about myself. Perhaps it was this mild flush of semi-success that caused me to take a second random stab at playing Casanova.

Walking myself home, I passed by a nightclub on the main Portland drag. As I crossed the street to the next block, I saw a trio of very drunk girls and one lone guy, and it appeared there was some kind of conversation that lead to the girls going one way and the guy going in the other. I don’t think I could have even told you at that moment what I thought was going on, but my sense of chivalry was flipped from medium to high and I decided to come to the ladies' rescue.

"Are you girls okay?" I asked. "Would you like someone to walk you to your car? I swear, I'm not a creep or anything, so you can trust me."

For whatever reason, they accepted this offer, and so there I was, walking three girls to their car. They were a classic trio: a tall, kind of gawky blonde with mid-length hair; a shorter, friendly brunette; and another blonde, long hair, this one the confident leader of the group. I had to catch my breath a little. We'll call her L. Though they were all attractive, L. was definitely the beauty of the cluster, and the type of personality I would be attracted to. It was also obvious right off the bat that she was the designated driver and was not in the state of her friends. The tall girl was way far gone, whereas the brunette was rarin' to go, insisting they should head back to the club despite our repeatedly telling her that the club did not want her back, that no one was going to be serving at this hour.

I went with the girls down to the underground parking lot where their car was, opening the doors, leading the way when I could. When we got to the car, I was prepared to make my farewell, but L. said they would give me a ride home. "I know it may not be the smartest choice," she said, looking me in the eye, holding in her hands the shoes that had been pinching her feet, "so, one last time, you're not a murderer or anything are you?"

I assured her that was most definitely not me, and we all loaded into the car.

L. was driving, obviously, and I took the passenger seat. There was talk of getting some Taco Bell, though the brunette, who sat behind me, was still hell-bent on getting more alcohol. I made some suggestions of maybe finding some all-night café to get some coffee, but L. had her plan. The tall girl sat behind her, and she was moving in and out of consciousness, slipping off the seat, and probably really just needed to pass out.



Before I go further, don't take any of these descriptions the wrong way. I am not disparaging any of these ladies, and was certainly in no condition to do so. These are just the details. On the contrary, I was finding the whole thing amusing, and I was really starting to crush on L. The God's honest truth is that when I approached them, I had no grander design than doing what I said I was going to do and walk them to the car. I didn't spot them on the sidewalk and devise a diabolical plan to take advantage of three inebriated young ladies, nor did I even suss out whether I'd be interested in any of them until we had started to converse more. Granted, I was once more hunting without a license or the proper ammo, but when you’re me, you just have to get used to such things.

We navigated our way out of downtown and headed for the Taco Bell on Burnside. It speaks well of L.’s beauty that as we drove up Burnside, a car pulled up alongside of us and got her to roll down her window so that some drunk college dude could act far less cool than he thought he was acting. What was surprising about this development, though, was how defensive and territorial I got, shouting across L. that she was taken care of and earning me a middle finger as the would-be suitor sped away.

This was just before our destination, and as usual, this particular TB was too crowded, so L. decided they would hit the one closer to where they lived. I told her where to take me from there, and as she drove, we talked about various and sundry. I don't remember how it came up that I was a writer, but it did, and we talked some about books. As we did so, the brunette kept reaching forward and playing with my hair. L. tried to stop her, but she said it was fun and I said I didn't mind.

I told L. what kind of books I wrote, and she asked, "Have you ever read The Secret?"

"The Oprah book?"

"Yeah. Everyone should read it. If you leave this car and go and read The Secret, I will immediately go down to Borders and buy every one of your books."

"No offense, but I don't see that happening. I'm listening to you, and I'm not judging you," I replied, completely sincere, "but I can tell you, I'm not the kind of person that would get into something like that."

She proceeded to tell me more about the book and why she liked it, specifically the power of positive thinking. I had to bite my lip to keep from saying that my philosophy tends to stray more toward negative thinking; expect the worst, and anything better is a pleasant surprise. Thankfully, the conversation veered its natural way before I could get in trouble, and in no time, we were at my place. I offered to run in and get one of my books for her, and she agreed. Again, this is probably the equivalent of "If I were single..." for when dealing with novelists, but I went with it anyway. From my experience, giving a girl one of my books never works as a suave move to win her heart. In fact, I feel like a douchebag when I do it, like I'm saying, "See? See how awesome I am?" It's the brainy equivalent of kissing my own pecs and offering her tickets to the gun show.

Thus, L. went home with Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?, and I walked in my apartment alone, baffled by the turns of event the night had taken.

I hadn't initially any intention of writing about what had happened, because as with most of my posts that begin with the "You May Be a Lover, But You Ain't No [Blank]" title, I don't come out looking particularly great when the last bit of punctuation is put on the essay. Yet, the more I thought about it, I saw a pattern in my own approach to everything that is rather interesting.

I told N. I was not the guy who normally made a move on girls, I told L. I was not the guy that was going to do anything untoward. I also wasn't the kind of guy who would read The Secret, which may not have been the right tactic to take, I should have been more "positive" in my strategizing.

I went out of my way to make it clear I was neither Don Juan nor Joe Cretin.

All of my effort went to telling the women I met the man I was not, but it never occurred to me to stop and ask, if I am none of these things, then exactly what kind of man am I?


Current Soundtrack: Oasis doing various covers, mainly the Beatles

Current Mood: confused

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All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The kind of man you want with you when drunk in the middle of the night.
Trust me, I know.

WakingLife240 said...

Agreed.

"I'm not the sort of guy who normally does this sort of thing, and I know you probably get guys hitting on you all night, so you'll have to forgive me, but I was hoping that maybe we could get together sometime out of this place and get to know one another."

Very nice, man. Did you at least get L's number?

Mary said...

The kind of guy I would trust completely.

Jamie S. Rich said...

Thanks for the comments. The answers are appreciated, though the question is rhetorical.

WakingLife-

The unused epilogue is yes, we exchanged info, but my initial contact has gone unanswered. Buyer's remorse, one presumes.

robert said...

I'm just amazed you so easily navigated around the whole Secret issue. That beats, "the Celestine Prophecy really changed my life" scenario by a long shot!

What a concept for a book. If you wish for something -- it will come to you! Why didn't I think of that!

Greg McElhatton said...

I'm trying to picture a death match between your books and the Secret. See ya, Secret.

(Maybe L is waiting until she's finished the book before contacting you? That idea is probably unlikely, but tickles me immensely.)