Over the past couple of weeks, I've been corresponding regularly with The Morrigan,
the columnist of "I'm Not Bitter..."
over at Heartless Bitches International.
The Morrigan and I have been admiring each other's work from a distance for a while now, but I was prompted to email her directly when I found out that she was very ill and had been hospitalized.
She emailed me to let me know that my blog had been keeping her company during her convalescence, and I was happy to hear that I'd made her laugh a little during a difficult time.
Writing has been keeping her sane while she's cooped up and healing, so I invited her to be a guest poster on my blog. She's got a couple of unpublished stories in her archives, and this one was too good to pass up. See, The Morrigan and I have similar difficulties with men, in that something about us inspires seriously bizarre male behavior. She thinks it must be our fate as redheads. You be the judge. Here's the first installment of her nightmare date.I met up with HRH last evening ~ 5:30 and we chatted until about 7 or so. We met at the same place where I first encountered Dr. Love, who in fact wandered in and eyed us curiously from the bar. I pointed him out to HRH and told him the tale, which he found vastly amusing.
In any case, it was a lovely chat between two friends. It was nice to see him again.
After he left the premises, I stuck around to write and somehow wound up at the bar, being hit on by Dr. Love's protege, a rather belligerent fellow of about 30 whose romantic style reminded me very much of those old Wild Kingdom reruns where the elks are running around showing off their antlers and headbutting each other pointlessly in an attempt to catch the attention of some cow who was either in the vicinity because the grass looked tasty or she because was a spy and would lampoon them all later in a column.
With Dr. Love Jr. ('DLJ') was an acquaintance who was not much older (about 35) but MUCH older if you get my drift. He was covered in tattoos (including one on his neck, which made me wince: it must've hurt getting it done) but this one didn't say much. This second fellow (whose name was Adam) and I rolled our eyes at DLJ's views on women, which are somewhere between neolithic and single cell organism. Hard to imagine why Dr. Love Jr is single. Ay carumba.
In any event, after regaling me for about an hour with his plans to purchase a wife, some vestigial synaptic connection was finally made – i.e. DLJ realized that there was no way I was going to do him even for practice, no matter how many bags of Doritos he dangled in front of me – and he left.
This left me with Adam, who began talking. And turned out to be rather interesting. He looks exactly like a big scary biker – OMG, that's another thing! On no less than 4 separate occasions, I was offered a variety of illicit substances – weed, mushrooms, hash. This MUST just be Lasalle. Surely to God I don't have the furtive look of a dope fiend to the extent that complete strangers are approaching me of their own accord to freely suggest that I partake of controlled drugs/substances. I'm telling you, if this place were within the WPS purview, one undercover guy on one night could net at least a handful of arrests. It was unreal. And all very friendly too. This appears to be Lasalle's version of the Welcome Wagon. 'Hi! New in town? Have a blunt.' And this wasn't just being proffered as a romantic gesture either, like a civilized man might bring me flowers. This was being suggested by old timers, knitting grannies, the waitress. Maybe living with my mother has taken more of an obvious toll on me than I'd realized.
But back to my evening.
At some point around 9, a woman named Bern came in with her friend Jeanne. Bern was not quite 50 and Jeanne was well into her late 60s.
*BTW: Adam is surreptitiously buying me beer all night long and I'm drinking it.*
There are three things with Bern: One – she just lost one of her three children at the age of 21 and is obviously quite deeply mired in the grieving process; two – her husband is a cheating shitbag and three – she hasn't figured out she's a lesbian yet.
She and Jeanne and I talked for about 90 minutes and by this time, it must be said, I'm accumulating quite a snootful. I'm not drunk by any means, but I don't do this often and one is generally my limit. I'd say by this time, I'd had about 3.
Bern and I discussed the nature of loss and grieving for a while and once that got too obviously upsetting for her, we moved on to women's golf. (And I rest my case.) She kept insisting, puzzlingly and right out of the blue, that she was straight though you could see from space that this woman was as gay as they come. Which is fine. But admit it to yourself at the very least, woman, for the love and honour of God. It cannot be fun living a lie like that.
I heard all about her cheating husband, who was a shop steward in one of the car factories and how he was carrying on and what THAT whole experience was like. Specifically, she expounded at great length about her suspicions and how he was 'pulling away from her' physically and emotionally for the year and a half before they split, which I found absolutely fascinating.
Don't ask me why people tell me these things: they just do.
By this time, it was getting on to midnight and I knew I was in Big Trouble with my mother. All of a sudden, I'm 17 again, but really: what am I doing wrong? I'm sitting in a bar, talking to a closeted lesbian, a pot smoking grandmother and a lavishly tattooed guy who keeps buying me drinks. Apparently this is how people pass the time in Lasalle when Dancing with the Stars isn't on.
Bern and Jeanne leave and it's me and Adam again.
Even though this guy looks as scary as hell, he strikes me as a gentle giant. A mechanic by trade, he is newly divorced with 3 small children. I get him to stop buying me drinks. We talk about Bern's son, whom he knew. Some old timer staggers by and offers us a joint, which we decline. (I'm telling you: I don't want to harsh anyone's buzz but I don't think Times Square sees this much action.)
OK, so it's past 1 now and the thought of facing my mother has instantly sobered me up. Adam asks me out to lunch (today at noon) and after warning him that I stay single deliberately as a public service to men everywhere and extracting from him an undertaking that he is to have no romantic illusions about the nature of 'lunch', I accept. He offers to walk me home. I accept. I'm pretty tuned in to danger when it comes to the male of the species and this guy is not ringing any of my bells. Besides, it's a few blocks along a well-lit route.
You can tell he doesn't quite know what to make of me. He laughs a lot over the course of the entire evening, but says nothing either stupid or inappropriate. This makes him nearly unique in the world of men. Apart from asking me out to lunch, he does not hit on me. Eye contact is maintained at all times. He never tries to lay a finger on me. He speaks well of his ex wife, which is heroic considering that they've been broken up for less than a year and his youngest isn't quite 2 yet.
So he walks me home, but he questions me at least twice about whether or not I'm actually going to show up at lunch. I remind him of the friends only terms, he agrees to them again and I assure him I'll be there. I leave him at the corner a block from the house in case my mother is peering out the curtains (a distinct possibility, even though it's now at least half past one in the morning and she usually goes to bed at 10).
I am not intoxicated.
I've had 5 beers over the course of as many hours but the fragrance of the tavern is thick upon me. I slip the key into the lock and BANG! my mother's on me like a tigress, flicking the light on and standing there in her outrage and loud cotton nightgown asking me the following questions: Do I know what time it is? Have I been drinking? How did I get home?
I breeze past her, somewhat surprised that she doesn't have a breath tech cooling his heels in the kitchen, but she follows me. She scrutinizes me with the intensity of a commandant at a POW camp, so of course I blame the whole thing on HRH and blithely claim we've been out this whole time having deep discussions about Reasonable and Probable Grounds and s.8 of the Charter. I go to the bathroom just to check the status of things and discover that my eyes have turned Eraserhead red, which no doubt has piqued her suspicions.
Again: I've done nothing wrong. But she's making me feel like I've spent the evening trolling for customers along Wyandotte. She's not sure she's buying the whole chatting with a judge angle, but by this time it's the middle of the night and she's tired. She makes a strategic retreat and I go to bed.
It's nearly 7 now and I haven't slept yet. As mentioned, I don't do this often.
A word about hangovers.
Normally, one sleeps first and wakes up to the awful pounding head and the parched mouth. I've stayed awake and felt mine grow, kind of like being cast in one of those horrible fast motion Chia pet commercials.
I knew I was going to be subjected to the third degree the next day if I didn't beat her out of the house. I already knew that if I tried to sleep this off, she would only barge into the room with the vacuum and busily begin 'cleaning'. The woman's a fiend who knows no pity.
But because she's so suspicious and is an expert interrogator and has devoted her life to torturing me, I've developed a few tricks of my own. For instance: I didn't allow her to get much information out of me last night. While I maintain that I wasn't intoxicated, I wanted to make sure to Keep It Simple so as not to contradict myself when she put me to the rack today.
Soon I will flee. This is not by choice.
What I really want to do is take a flamethrower to my head and make a vow before some congregation or other that I Will Never Drink Again then sleep for a day, but I appear to have a lunch date.
My lunch date...OMG.
I got to the restaurant early because I wanted to read the Globe coverage on the rough ride that Congress is giving Bush over the proposed buyout. Although it's ridiculously crowded, I find a table. I sit down and start reading though I'm so hideously hung over that focusing is difficult.
Adam shows up and joins me. We begin to talk.
Almost immedately, the walkie talkie he's carrying crackles to life with 'Hey Dude, did that hot chick you picked up last night show up?' This inquiry is broadcast at concert volume throughout the entire restaurant. Tune in for Part II, this week!
Labels: Dating, Guys sure are funny, WHAT THE FUCK