In case you ever wanted to know how many gin and tonics it takes for me to morph into a dancing fool and have a raging good time on a Tuesday night, the answer is three. And if you were wondering how many drinks it takes for me to unabashedly and enthusiastically throw myself into potentially awkward social situations, and then go home and puke in the toilet afterwards, the answer is three and a half. I think. It seems that living the ascetic life of a poor grad student for the last year and a half has reduced my tolerance to dangerously low levels.
It was quite a night. Here's what I remember:
I wore a dress. I avoided the club photographer all night, turning my head and ducking out of photos at the last minute, until he showed up directly in front of me, his camera inches from my face, saying, "Smile."
"Oh, no," I protested. "I'm really unphotogenic."
"Yeah," he said. "Right."
"No, really," I pleaded. "It's true."
"Just smile," he said.
I threw my arm around the girl next to me, and smiled. He took the picture, and then, looking at it, frowned and said, "Uh, let's do that one again."
"See!" I shouted triumphantly. "I told you so!"
"No," he said, "she closed her eyes. She fucked up, not you. Now, one more time."
I once more assumed the standard deer-in-the-headlights picture pose. "No," he said. "No, don't do that."
"Don't do what?" I said.
"Don't duck down like that. She's shorter than you, that's a fact of life. Deal with it." Interesting theory. I stood up straight.
He finally took a picture that he seemed happy with. Then, as he melted back into the crowd..."You're not unphotogenic," he yelled over the music. "You have amazing cheekbones."
I felt like I was floating. Amazing cheekbones! A girl waits her whole life for a compliment like that. Perhaps that compliment was the small ego boost necessary to bring about the events of part two of the evening. And here a little background info becomes necessary.
I don't know if you followed the comments on this post, but it seems that I was found out, my cover blown, my blog discovered by an unidentified former date from the internet. Horrors! Naturally I frantically went through a list of potential suspects in my head, narrowing the choice down to two, and beyond that burning in the agonizing suspense of the unresolved mystery.
And, still glowing from the cheekbones compliment, who did I see across the dance floor in one of those 'only in Cambridge' moments, but Suspect Number One. "Holy shit!" I yelled. "I went out with that guy!"
"Ok," my roommate said, "what do you need us to do?"
"Dance me over there!" I said, and they did, my roommate and her friend, dancing me across the crowded floor to the other side of the club, where I "accidentally" bumped into Suspect Number One. "Hey, I know you!" I yelled over the loud, thumping music. "We went out!"
"Whoa," he said. "Hey!"
"You never called me!" I said.
"You never called me!" he said.
"Have you been reading my blog?!" I blurted out.
He looked first taken aback, then bashful, and then he laughed. I took that as a yes. "I knew it was you!" I said. "I can't believe you're here!"
"I can't believe you're here!"
We danced and caught up a bit, screaming at each other over the music. I remember insisting that he buy me a drink. Not that I'm incapable of buying my own drinks, mind you, but my purse was all the way over on the other side of the room. He very nicely complied, although I am quite certain that I did not need that last drink. We danced closer. We kissed. At some point he suggested leaving, and I went with him. We walked the mile or so back to his apartment, which I remembered from our first and only date. When he asked if I wanted to come up though, I declined, this time. He offered to walk me the few more blocks to my apartment, and I said ok.
Then he called me Jen. "What?" I said. "Did you just call me Jen?" Suddenly a couple of puzzling moments in the noise and confusion of the club earlier became a bit clearer. "You've been calling me Jen all night, haven't you?"
"Yeah, well, that's your name, isn't it?"
"So what's your name then?"
"Heh. No seriously, what's your name? Are you sure it isn't Jen?"
"I can't believe you don't know my name! It's in my blog! Have you even read my blog? You say you have but now I'm not sure."
"I know your blog's name..."
"Oh, come on, why are you getting so upset about this? We went out so long ago, and I've gone out with other girls since then..."
"How many dates have you gone on since we went out?"
"I don't know, ten?"
"Ten? I scoffed. Ten? I've gone out on so many more, and I still remember your name."
"Come on, tell me your name..."
Of course, not thirty seconds later I fucked up and said my own name. I don't even remember the context, but I think I was quoting something someone said to me. Also, I was quite drunk.
"Rachel! Of course, I knew your name was Rachel!"
We reached my street, made up (and out), and said goodnight. Then we parted, walking in opposite directions. When he got to the end of my street, he called out. I didn't hear what he said, so I turned around, and as I did I tripped rather spectacularly over a (quite large and, one would think, noticeable) pile of Tuesday night garbage on the sidewalk. I cursed, forgot why I had turned around in the first place, and concentrated on walking in something approximating a straight line and getting safely into my house without tripping over anything else. Once inside, I washed my face, brushed my teeth, had some special quality time with my toilet, and then fell into bed and didn't get up until noon today.
But I still don't know what he said.