Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Friday, October 28, 2005

2 shots, 1 shirt and a dance

I’m starting to remember why I quit going out so much — and also why it was once so addictive. The thing is, I have weird bar mojo. Every time Girlfriend #4 and I went out together — be it to Irish Pub or elsewhere — we’ve have adventures. One night one of the drunks from a trio some band guy we’d met had invited along to our after-last call brunch picked up my keys thinking they were his. It took a day and some clever sleuthing before their return. And then for a time my camouflage tank from Urban seemed to be the secret to men sending drinks to our table ... anonymously. Only two times I’ve ever had that happen, and I was wearing that shirt both times.

Apparently my new mojo garment du jour is the swank “Chaste party girl” T my friend made. Monday night I wore it in hopes of snagging a Mediabistro pic like this one — to the latest all-media party. Met some folks, had good conversations, but got away unsnapped. Well, I’ve had a good run with their photogs, I figured — and thought I was done for the night.

But when I got home, I had email. Not so odd: I’d passed out a few of my cards. People rarely fall through on their promised emails, though, and certainly not this promptly. Such attentiveness smacked of a male writer. Sure enough: Nice to meet me tonight ... funky shirt ... Would I like to have drinks? Signed, Mr. Persistent II. I scratched my head. Mr. Persistent II? I didn’t recall anyone by that name. Who on earth could it have been? I didn’t have that much to drink, despite the bartender’s promise to get me rather drunk.

Then I remembered. The guy whom I talked to first! The one I barely spent five minutes with. No way! But it had to be. Well, no sense stringing him along. I waited a suitable number of hours, then sent him my reply:
Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself the other night. Without presuming too much about the intentions behind your offer, I think you should know that I'm not really dating right now — and the last real date I had was chaperoned by my parents (this summer I asked them to field all inquiries from suitors). While I'm flattered by your offer, I don't think drinks would be a good idea.

Thanks for understanding,
That should settle his hash — er, cool his jets, right? Oh, he’d picked a crazy one! Chalk it up as narrow escape, move on to the funky pink-shirted girl.

Or maybe not. Sixteen minutes later, a reply hits my inbox. Wasn’t drinks a fairly minor commitment? I could check out his online dating profile ... and so on. Well then. He’d lived up to his name! This called for action. So last night I asked Mom if I could give him Dad’s email address since he was so bent on having drinks. Surely there was no chance he’d follow through!

Mom was not so sure. “Is he a Christian?” I doubted that very much. Well then why not respect poor Dad’s time and just send the serious ones their way? “But you see,” I explained, “If I just tell him about the involvement of my parents it would be less judgmental than bringing in the whole God thing” — in which case explanations tend to get sticky. And then I have to say things like, “I’d really like a man with whom I could talk to strangers ’bout Jesus” — and really, are such drastic tactics called for? Though it may be true, telling him about the parents is not only truthful, it’s what I’d say to even a man whose babies I’d happily bear! I.e., less scary. Or at least: scary less because I mean it to be and more because he just wanted drinks with a party girl. (I guess he missed the “chaste” part.)

When I told Blogyenta* the saga tonight, she thought I should really make a man who asked me out go door-to-door beforehand. Yeah ... maybe not. She had dragged me out to Tribeca — the CD release party for some woman best described as a post-80s Jersey Italian. Picture cleavage, no tattoos and an all-male band we’re betting she’s “bonded” with some members of. For the record, our money was on Barefoot Boy, the curly-haired, shoeless guitarist with tight cords who could’ve played backup for Bruce twenty years ago (except that he’s too young for that). Oy.

Between this strange scene and my t-shirt mojo (though hidden beneath long sleeves most the night), we were due for a little commotion. Which we got shortly after relocating to the even-classier Patriot Bar nearby. Within minutes, our equally bosom-confident waitress brought out two shots for Blogyenta and I (though we had her male relative in tow; guess he didn’t look up for pounding the house cough syrup). I’d just been talking about how I learned to drink tequila — “Well, mention shots, and they will come,” I declared.

Or dance on the bar and get shots — that was rule #2 for the night. We couldn’t help it, really. The bar just kept playing decent music. And when the umpteenth CCR song began, I urged her up to dance (just by our table) in practice for next week’s planned karaoke. Just standing to dance got us grabbed by some girl, who dragged us toward the bar (we had been eyeing it all night; perhaps the real rule was, “Mention bar dancing, and it will come”). And once we were on the bar, a second round of shots appeared in our hands.

Too soon CCR was finished, leaving us a painfully lengthy silence before Johnny Cash started in straight and somber: “Man in Black.” But as the two less-than-libertines we are (she’s married, I’m practically a spinster), it was reassuringly far from the sort of music we’d really shake our booties to. Instead we gamely marched about on the bar, while the patrons watched us gleefully (some long-haired guy was snapping picts on his phone). We even linked arms for an orderly turn before my boot bumped a wayward shot glass and the barkeeps called it quits on our pas de deux.

Ah, well. Two (free) shots, cheap PBR, a brief bar dance, and I’m blogging before 3 a.m. — with a fully clear head. I might have to leave my party shirt at home this weekend ... I think I’ve had enough for a week.

Don’t forget to enter the contest! Three days left. And September winners, don’t forget this is your chance to advance in the series!

*Girlfriend #6 renamed, because she set me up with my editor.