The Ruby Room.
Waiting for: E, 31.
In all my excitement over the BTSSB, I think I’d forgotten what dates were like; how they make you nervous and uncertain. And you wonder what it will be like and what you will talk about.
I’d also forgotten to follow my standard pre-date procedure:
1. Go to the gym. It makes you feel good.
2. Make a list of three relevant questions.
3. Make a list of top ten do-not-by-god-bring-up topics.
So there I was, unprepared, at the right side of the bar trying to down my v&t so that I might order another before he walks in–whoever he is–and right then he walks in.
I knew him immediately. He knew me too. Right off the internet, into the Ruby Room.
(For the next few weeks, I propose that we measure awkwardness by the total number of minutes that I stare into my v&t plus the seconds I distractedly chew on my straw divided by the total number of seconds the date lasts.
Tonight: I stuck it out till about 10:45….about 5 minutes were spent staring into my v&t, and about 4 were spent distractedly chewing my straw. Let’s add in the five seconds when I recovered from learning of his obvious familiarity with my Super Sponge Selling History and multiply that by 9/5 cause it was really bad and that makes the math easier, and we get:
2/5 of the date was awkward.
See? Handy system.)
After about fifteen minutes I was trying to figure out–mostly while chewing my straw–how I was going to possibly extract myself from this duo, and seat myself back at my party of ten who were merrily enjoying the second hand smoke and drinks which make the Ruby Room my favorite bar in Downtown and who were a mere three feet away. We were pretending not to know each other.
I had intended to say to him, whoever he was, “Okay, well, it’s 10:30, and I have a group of friends over there, so either let’s join them, or goodnight.”
Instead I turns out I have an eight o’clock meeting tomorrow, but then…well, it was actually going to start about 8:20… I’ll have time for my coffee…
God that silence was deafening. I’m not that good with silence, I learned tonight, once again.
I finished my vodka tonic, and it was time to go. “I’m sorry…,” I said when he asked to hang out again, but we agreed to give each other favorable reviews. I managed to leave the bar, and was standing outside talking to some dudes** when he also exited. I walked around the block… Wondered if I should walk all the way around the block, but I’d gone about seventy feet and I’d already been asked for change twice and it’s not really the best neighborhood to be walking around in in the middle of the night…
…so I was chilling. Kinda dancing around in my post-date haze where the anxiety just kinda oozes out your pores like microwaves.
And around the block he comes.
Luckily, by that time, I’d started walking back to the bar, convinced that he couldn’t have been standing out front that whole time.
Cheerily I called, “I forgot where I parked my car!”
*Julia says that that’s what makes me interesting. I’m paraphrasing.
**I’m good with strangers. But so much depends on context. Obvs.