Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why my life is a series of cautionary tales

In the aftermath of my food poisoning adventure, my very dear friend Erin has generously volunteered to step in and relieve me of my bloggerly duties for a day, an offer which I gratefully accepted. By way of introduction, I have to start by saying how proud I am that Erin is my oldest friend (but that face cream is really working for her!) But seriously, we go all the way back to the third grade, which when I do the math means we've been friends for twenty years. Holy crap. Her mom was my Girl Scout leader, her dad was my softball coach, and her sister once rode next to me in the back seat of her mom's station wagon for over two hours with her hand on my thigh the entire way. True story. Erin and I have been on more than one adventure together, and the long and short of it is if you give us a compass and a map and tell us to go one mile southwest, we will without fail end up three miles northeast. But it turns out that we get the last laugh, because now we live in the age of Google maps and navigation systems, and pfffffft, who needs you, orienteering course? But I digress.

Erin joins us today from the City of Brotherly Love, also known in certain circles as the City of Brotherly I Just Like You as a Friend. Without further ado, here she is, in her own words:

Rachel, my dearest darling. I wanted to let you know about a recent event in my dating life that could serve to amuse you and your devoted readers.

The basic story is this: while enjoying the local nightlife with my gal pals and definitely not looking for love, I met someone very charming, and tall. This meeting was, like, five months ago, and we had some brief chat and then over the last five months, have had other warm-but-innocent encounters at this particular bar, which we all agree is a great place to be on Friday nights. Of course the information obtained at these meetings was a bit hazy, but I made sure (as I noted how much I was beginning to look forward to them) to find out if there was a girlfriend in the picture. And was told there was not.

But then I got busy and missed a few Fridays. In February, though, I showed up there once before I got hold of my ladies, and enjoyed a friendly reception by mano y hermano. So this past end-of-workweek…I ventured there alone to see what magic I could conjure out of the dusky night. Please keep in mind, dear sensitive readers of Rachel’s public thought, that I am an entirely incorrigible hedonist, who is subject to particular torments of fantasy, and it was my intention to inflict these very torments upon the object of my desire. Still, this going alone concept is a bold move, even for me. I was disappointed upon arriving to find that the man of the hour was not present, but maybe a bit relieved as well.

Until...he was there. Oh my. And happy to see me and eager to converse and pleasant enough not to notice how often I licked my lips, after biting them to avoid uttering the extremely unladylike words in my mind. Alas, I succeeded too well. The conversation was sparkling and the beer was swiftly replenished and the lights came on all too soon. I thought, oh, I’ll get him outside and smooch it up! …or bum a cigarette and walk back to my car, offer a ride, and get a hug instead. Go home to bed and wonder so intensely if I should have done SOMETHING that I finally do. In the form of a “missed connection” missive posted the next day on my favorite free classified repository.

It read (generalized for anonymity):

Fridays at the Bar... - w4m - 28

…are what I look forward to all week. Because it's reliably good music, great service and fine beers aflowin'. And because you might show up and smile and choose to sit next to me and tell me about SciFi shows, your take on atheism, and how to craft a witty pun. So I get in my car and head there alone, because this time I might tell you that all I'm really thinking about is being pressed up against you in some even more dim and cozy place, or I might be too shy...again.

When I asked you "do you know what time it is?" I was so close to confessing that it was time I told you how sexy you are, but you pulled out your phone and shattered the subtext.

Well, close your eyes, give me your hand, darlin' do you feel my heart beating? Do you understand? Do you feel the same? Am I only dreaming? Is this burning...just that bummed cigarette in my lungs? I wish there were more Fridays at the Bar like last night.

How could I write something so precious and vulnerable and awfully cheesy? A Bangles reference? I must have been drugged! But at least it’s anonymous and I’m sure he’d never read this…

Response (received within 4 hours of posting!):


I'm guessing this is you, Erin (that how you spell it?). As flattered as I am with your message, and quite surprised, really, it's rather unfortunate that I have to tell you that I am already in a relationship with a very nice girl. It's a very young one (relationship, not girl), but a good one...so far. I hope I didn't lead you on in any way. I just thought we had good conversations--I'll still be looking forward to them. I feel, however, that my girlfriend will be checking up on me every half-hour while I'm out on Friday nights, now...as she is the one that located this "missed connection" (she reads them regularly)...yeah, that phone call was not a pleasant one. "Bar Cafe", "SciFi", "Friday" and "cigarettes" sort of gave it away. So, don't be weird or anything when we're both in the B.C.--I hope we can laugh this one off...and I hope you're not gonna be pissed off at me. Till next time, my friend.


My re-response (swathed in silent, hilarious mortification, insert *wince* for every punctuation mark):

Hey Guy,

Hee hee, no worries. And that was fast! I always wondered if anyone made the connections via CL. Sounds as if the lucky lady knows she's got a good thing, and can't really fault me for wondering. Anyways, I am looking forward to laughing about this. And glad I got to take a relatively easy road to rejection of advances so that “casual friends” can be a more comfortable possibility. Things that would make a reasonable girlfriend happy (if she needs to know):
- he wouldn't let me give him a ride home
- he didn't lead me on in any way
- he did check his phone regularly
- he stuck to entirely dorky subjects that most chicks wouldn't be into
- I am positive he had no idea what I was thinking, or he would have set me straight

And I am happy to have had a lively conversation, and hope there will be more platonic fun to come, because I certainly don't intend to avoid my favorite nightspot. Cheers!


So, after collecting the trampled remains of my dignity from that taproom floor, contemplating whether a cringe could kill, and remembering that the people who do love me would be thrilled to hear every twist of this saga (they have come to expect this sort of awkward series of events and my wry discomfiture in the aftermath) I modified my public posting.

The revised CL ad:

Fridays at the Bar... - w4m - 28

are what I look forward to all week. Because it's reliably good music, great service and fine beers aflowin'. Hooray for weekends!

In the end, I got what I really wanted – an adventure – and avoided what I didn’t need – exposure to the STD’s that CL-trolling ladyfriend is likely riddled with. Not that I’m bitter.

Thanks for sharing that, Erin. You know, men may come and go, but an intimate relationship with your friendly neighborhood bar doesn't happen every day. Hold on to that bar, Erin. Sounds like you've got a good thing going there.

So what about you, readers? Have you ever done something truly cringe-worthy in the name of love/like/lust? Do share. Everyone knows embarassing stories are never quite so mortifying after they're shared with good friends/strangers on the internet. And a big bowl of ice cream. So let's grab a spoon and dig in!


  1. Oh! Erin! At least you took the leap. Good for you!

    As for my own mortifyingly embarrassing leaps, I fear I'd run out of space in this little comment box. I know it scrolls down, but I fear that it could never scroll down far enough.

  2. The Internet is not large enough to record all of my social gaffes in re the female gender. Let us just say that the worst moment was being taunted by the new(est) boyfriend of an ex-lover as we raised our tails at one another in the public hallway of a U.S. Senate office building in front of friends, random tourists, and total strangers alike. It was enough to put me off women for, oh, at least a month.


  3. I had made-out with his band mate multipe times AND he straight-out told me he had a crush on my best friend, yet I still thought it was a good idea to tell him (via email, of course) that it was actually myself who had the crush on him. He was very sweet about letting me down...but let me down, he did. Sometimes I think my "you only live once" attitude has more to do with wanting something interesting to blog about.

    But seriously, you only live once.

  4. oh erin...i like fridays too. you are such a good person. i miss you and love ya! thanks for cheering me up like always!