Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Uberprologue

I broke up with my ex-girlfriend last October. I’ve never been the best at breaking things off cleanly, and for all intents and purposes, I kept on seeing the “ex” for several months afterward. My close friends knew that it wasn’t healthy for me, but there wasn’t much they could do to convince me of that. The holidays were painful – I spent Christmas and New Years without her for the first time in several years . . . went to Vegas with the ex over MLK weekend . . . and then she started seeing somebody else in March. Maybe even as early as February. I found out in March. A guy who treated her so poorly that I could count on a semi-weekly phone call from her in tears over something he’d done to hurt her. My “leave the cage door open” philosophy got to wear on me pretty harshly as time progressed. So it goes.

Frankie and the Kaiser were two guys who were there for me from the beginning of this experience. I day-drank with the Kaiser and his lady through many a Saturday, and Frankie was always available for a bite. Of our group, Frankie and I were the last two not in a long-term committed relationship. We hung out at the Pub by my house, and around St. Patrick’s Day, we decided that we were going to use the Pub as “training wheels” to hone our “game.” For most of our twenties, we had been out of the game so to speak, due to long term relationships. Neither of us felt particularly confident at the time. The Pub was a perfect place to experiment, as it is frequented by a truly diverse clientele: teachers, Goths, lawyers, eurotrash, hipsters, lesbians, Mexicans, etc. As I mentioned before, our ground rule was “there is no failure, only feedback.” For at least three nights a week for a few months there, we honed our game – played wingman for each other – good cop/bad cop, etc. We hit the most success with the “sit in a high traffic area – if possible, on the way to the ladies’ room – strive for eye contact (even if it's an inappropriate leer) and follow with a 'hello.'” We encountered rejection mostly, but sometimes success. Back to the drawing board no matter what. After all, all human action fulfils a positive intent at some level – and we had merely to show that we could be that positive intent. We got to the point where we could run certain “plays” by rote – like our “Iowa” pitch. Introduce me and Frankie to a single girl from Iowa; I’d bet on one of us pulling a number from her by the end of the night.

Frankie ended up dating one of the waitresses from the Pub for a while. It was a “be careful what you ask for” experience for him, and we really don’t hit the Pub much anymore, but that’s a story for another time. It does, however, have a little bearing on the story at hand, as you will soon note.

On Saturday, July 28, 2007 Frankie called – he said it was time for us to switch-up our game – time to take it to the next level. No more dive-bar shenanigans. It was time, he said, to go to one of the happening bars or clubs in town – one with a scene – time to take a ride around the block without the training wheels so to speak. I hesitantly agreed, as much as I hate change, and left it up to him to pick one. He chose one of the trendier new bars: Carpe Noctem. We decided to get dinner before the outing, and opted for the food court at the closest mall: I treated myself to Panda Express. Good stuff. Around 8:30 we headed to the bar.


Jamm-o-rama said...

Okay, you've got me interested. Can't wait for chapter one!

Unconscious said...

First off, i hate dating, its always annoying to spend and invest all that time on people only to find out they suck or are stupid, shallow etc...

But about striking out, like the mind set I had with hunting for my job, not everyone is going to say yes...1 in 10 will say yes to you. You just have to get though the first 9 chicks that sy no, eventually you will hit one that says yes!