#17 Dismiss the Potential

When it comes to choosing a drinking establishment, if there’s a pub in town, that’s where you’ll find me, just beyond front row of the live band, drinking a cider, and bouncing my curls. I don’t know why I love pubs so much, maybe because I lived in England for a while, maybe because their historic community presence lends a thin mask to alcoholism, but we have a lovely Irish pub here in town, and half the time that’s where we spend our Friday nights.

Last time I dropped by Nelson O’Donnel’s, I went with my roomie Summer, her boyfriend, and my best friend Anne. I was anticipating a good time, but I don’t always know what that means when I go out. Going out for me means trying to strike a weird balance between quality time with the friends I went with and getting to meet someone new. And in truth, a bar [or a pub] is not a good place to talk to anyone. The music is too loud, and my processing skills are… sluggish.

Since I was out with a couple and my taken best friend, I anticipated a low key night. And I didn’t mind. I hadn’t seen Anne in nearly a week and was looking forward to catching up.

Summer had other plans.

“So, who you going to hit on tonight?”

“What? No, it’s not going to be like that tonight.”

Summer crinkled her nose at me. Like my behavior was some how reprehensible.

“Why not? You look hot, there are lots of hot guys here, go get ’em.”

I protested. I wanted to talk to Anne. It was loud. I didn’t see anyone cute. But most of all, I wasn’t interested in losing out on talking to people I actually know and love to hear about some MBA student from Ohio who likes watching NCIS and going to the gym in his free time.


Well, friends, guess who got to eat her words.

Mere minutes later, I laid eyes on a tall, scruffily handsome, built, tattooed, tall guy. And I turned to Summer, poked her in the ribs, and said, “Well, if I was going to hit on someone tonight, it would be him.”

Tell me that if you saw that smile from across the room, you wouldn't be interested.

At which point she started incessantly taunting me to go talk to him. At THIS which point I realized–

I have zero game.

I couldn’t talk to him. I couldn’t. Even after I made eyes at him, after him and his wingman walked by, HESITATED by me, then kept walking. Even though I wanted to, I couldn’t think of what to say. Summer threatened to do it for me, and I’m pretty sure the only thing worse than being unable to construct your own opening is to have your friend do it for you.

But I turned my back on her, and when I glanced over at Mr. Tall and Tattooed again, Summer was there. And I barely had enough time to grab Anne and whisper, “WHAT DO I DO?” before he sauntered over.

Let me tell you, friends, he was no MBA student from Ohio.

Jake was a veteran, lived in Germany for two years, did two tours in Afghanistan, and currently lives in BAGHDAD as a BODYGUARD for American diplomats. He works three months, then gets a month, and had just flown in that day after spending a few days on the way back in Dubai.

One would almost think this was too fantastic to be real. But it also seemed way too complicated to make up.

He was nice and funny and interesting and tall. And then, at the end, so lovely, he asked for my phone number, which I hope I programmed into his phone correctly [don’t laugh, it sometimes happens when I’ve been drinking]. And he said goodbye, then leaned in, kissed me twice, and walked away with a swagger and confidence that left me dizzy.

I’ve met boys at bars before, sometimes nice and interesting, sometimes boring and kinda rude. I’ve kissed boys at bars before, somethings the nice and interesting ones, sometimes the boring and rude ones. But this was the single most perfect bar encounter I’ve ever had. And I didn’t even mind if he never called me, either because he wasn’t interested or because I had accidentally given him a wrong number, because, as a completely contained moment, I found it wonderfully surprising, refreshing, and satisfying.

I didn’t need a follow up. I didn’t need to go out with him. I didn’t need to hope for more and be disappointed [cynicism is integral to single shiksa-dom]–and even if it did work out, I didn’t need to be involved with someone who was only available one month out of every four. What I need was an excellent hope that there are interesting boys out there who can keep up with me, ones worth meeting, ones who would want to talk to ME, and who know how to execute a perfect goodbye.

Intimidatingly attractive, and he wanted to talk to ME. Not gonna lie, I'm proud to brag.

Later I found out Summer’s opening line had been, “Hey, my friend over there needs a new drink.” And while it wasn’t the suavest opening, it sure made possible one hell of an ending.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lizzie
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 21:29:16

    YES! I recently had one of these moments myself and it was just… wonderful. It helps keep the spirits up, for sure. Here’s hoping he calls…


  2. Simmarah
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 20:01:20

    I love this post. It’s a great new perspective on expecting nothing but a great time and letting the rest happen with the flow of the evening.

    And as for hottie mchot hot, hopefully he calls, and if not, well, at least you have your new best bar experience 🙂


    • Judy Rocket
      Mar 07, 2011 @ 22:32:13

      I think this was so wonderful partially BECAUSE I was expecting nothing. There was no pressure to meet someone and have fun with them, because I was already having a blast with the people I was with.

      Never did call. I’m not sure if I want it to be because I gave him the wrong number or not. If I gave him the right number, he just never called. But if I gave him the wrong number and he called, I’m an idiot. :p


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