A few Fridays ago: I’m at a Meetup at a dive bar, after a long, stressful week at work. I’m alternately chatting with Meetup members and dancing with a girl who was the only other person in our group who wanted to dance. She was like me, though — just wanted to cut loose and get her groove on. Cool.
The band was decent. I bought myself a few whiskey/7s. There was a cute guy there, whom I remembered from speed dating, a few months ago. (More on him, in another post.) But there was this “other” situation…
[There was another storyline playing out over the weekend, one in which I increasingly felt I was being inadvertently sucked into someone else’s negative place. Only, at that point, I didn’t recognize it yet; I just instinctively shied away from it. Later, when I told my 17 y.o. daughter about this whole weekend, she rolled her eyes and commented, “Mom, guys get like that sometimes.” Yeah, bingo. It’s familiar to you, darling daughter, because you’re in high school. And this felt like high-school-drama-gone-bad. Ugh.]
As the night wore on, and the “other situation” turned sour, I backed away and sauntered over to Cool Girl. “Hey, let’s do shots!” Cool Girl was down with that: “Yeah! Shots!” She headed toward the bar. Before following her, I, being in a pro-girl/anti-male state of mind, grabbed the two other women I’d met in the group that night: “Shots!” One woman said she didn’t drink, the other woman was all up for it and followed me and Cool Girl to the bar. We ordered our drinks.
“That’ll be $6.50 each,” the bartender said. (It was expensive, for a dive-bar.) I pulled out my money, Cool Girl pulled out hers. That’s when Other Girl held up her hand and said, “Oh, no. I don’t pay for drinks.” Huh?
I stared at her, Cool Girl stared at her, and the bartender stared at all of us, waiting for his money. Other Girl was crushing my girl-power moment. Okay, I guess I’ll pay for your drink…. I sheepishly pulled out the rest of the cash in my jeans pocket, feeling somehow responsible for the bartender getting paid, since, after all, I was the one who’d said, “Come on, do shots with us,” to this woman. The bartender took his money. We downed our shots.
Then I realized I was pissed.
“So,” I said, following her away from the bar, “must be nice to not have to pay for drinks.”
“Oh, I never pay for drinks,” she bragged, apparently having no clue of my pissed-ness, and not having perceived my sarcastic tone.
*Cocked eyebrow.* Reeeeeally.
“No!” she answered triumphantly, as though she thought she were some sort of sage, about to become my mentor. She pointed. “You see [him, him, and him (all guys I knew in the Meetup group)]? They’ve all been buying me drinks tonight, even though they all know I’m dating him!” She pointed to a fourth guy. “He’s my boyfriend. And they all know that. But they’re all buying me drinks. I don’t pay for drinks.”
O…. M…. G!!!
What. A. Bitch!
She then proceeded to give me dating advice. Which I hadn’t asked for. She seemed to assume that I was interested in HS Drama/”other situation” Guy. (Oh, no. He’s a nice guy, good looking and all, but… oh, no!) I tried to stop her.
“Hey, listen, I’m in a place where I’m not exactly dating right now. I’ve been through some stuff, and –.”
“Oh!” she interrupted. “Whatever you’ve been through, it’s nothing compared to what I’ve been through.”
I blinked. Whoa! Really?!? You don’t know jack-shit about me and what I’ve been through, but you know that your story is worse than mine? Just wow.
Before I could get a word in edgewise, she proceeded to tell me about how awful high school was for her, because she’d been bullied and had felt ugly, because she’d had horrible acne. I felt bad for her, on that count. Yeah, I can see how that’s pretty devastating and would leave emotional scars. Of course, the rub is that the reason I can empathize is because of what I’ve been through, myself. (Not acne and high school bullying, but other, personal hells — which I can’t mention here, since it’s only a semi-anonymous blog. 😉 )
Apparently, her scars were enough for her to justify allowing everyone else to have to pay for her drinks forever, even though she was long past high school. (At least, age-wise.) All I wanted was to get away from this woman and her one-sided “Dear Abby” session.
She kept talking and basically made it clear that she “owned” these guys, her friends in the Meetup group. I felt as though I was the outsider in some weird, Alpha-female-staking-her-territory scenario. At one point she admonished me “not to hurt” HS Drama Guy. This was both hilarious and sad, since I wasn’t interested in him, nor in “threatening” her Alpha-female status in any way.
It also made me pissed: all of these guys were buying her drinks — even HS Drama Guy, who was allegedly into me — and I was buying my own drinks. (Sooo not impressed, Dude!) And now I’d also inadvertently bought her a drink. I felt myself channeling my inner-Rihanna (bitch still owes me money!), and I became sarcastic. She, however, didn’t seem to pick up on my sarcasm.
Me: Wow. You’re very knowledgeable about dating. You should write a book.
Her: No. [Smiles, seeming tickled at the idea that she’s soooo knowledgeable.] I just wanted to tell you.
Me [straight faced]: No, really. Maybe a blog, then. You should write this all down somewhere. You should blog this. [In fact, you should save this all for a blog, and stop talking. Because I really don’t want to have to stand here and listen. Even though I will, because I’m “polite” like that. But I may blog about this, later, myself…. Did I mention that I’m a blogger? No? Well, guess I’ll just omit that little tidbit, then, since you’re not letting me get a word in edgewise….]
Her [considers]: Well… no. It’s just something I wanted to tell you.
Wow. I’m so privileged.
I finally managed to extricate myself and left shortly thereafter. HS Drama Guy offered to walk me to my car, but I got out of it with a, “That’s okay, I’m just across the street,” and he didn’t push the issue. Thank goodness some guys don’t know The Rules! It was a relief to get away, alone, into the cool, dark rain. (No, I didn’t make that up, Bulwer-Lytton watch-guards — it really was cold, dark, and raining. 😉 )
Then, that Sunday night, cute Speed Dating Guy messaged me….