Lest everyone thinks that I have absolutely no idea how to flirt or jive or be with people without sticking my finger in my nose, I give to you this story from a recent Friday night:
I’m with a group of ladies from work – one of those things where the fact that we work together 40+ hours a week somehow mandates that we need to spend a few more hours together to make sure we’re super-excellent BFFs, and you can see how enthusiastic I am about the whole concept, but anyway – at this slightly snooty pizza joint. The joint isn’t so snooty as much as their ideas about pizza are snooty -- they make snooty, gourmet, fancy-pants pizzas. This is the kind of place that has a whole category of pizza called “chicken”, which includes things from the darkest corners of asia and exotic chili peppers. The place is HOPPING and everyone at our table is loud and obnoxious, as is the rule for any table of over 6 women.
All evening long there’s this big guy who looks like he MAYBE works there, but different from the others who OBVIOUSLY work there, and he’s patrolling the restaurant constantly, so I peg him for management. Every time Mr. Manager walks past our table he takes a good, long look. Eventually someone at our table makes comment, along the lines of “what is the deal with the big guy in the black shirt who keeps looking at our table?” I explain my management theory, but still the “why” becomes a topic of goofy, giggly girl conversation, and eventually our table has narrowed the reasons for his constant drive-bys to two:
He wants us to get the heck out of dodge
He’s thinks we’re a table of hotties
For everybody else the speculation is fun, but I'm not speculation-girl. I'm forward, direct, no-sense-of-shame girl, and so I offer to just ask the guy. And the next time he comes by I share our expert hypothesis (as well as the scientific method used to identify these options, which consisted of mixing estrogen, vodka and beer and shaking well) and ask him to select option A, option B or an option C of his devising.
He chooses option C, which is this super-safe combo platter of equal parts "hot chicks! Woohoo!" and "for the love of Pete, please free up my table!!!" Problem is we're waiting for a to-go pizza still baking, which is when he offers to give us our “to go” order for free if we’ll leave, which some people would be offended by but I’m all “hey, free pizza!” He doctors the check and we place the order and eagerly await free pizzas wafting out of the kitchen!
So lesson number one here: hang out with amusing people with no reasonable sense of personal boundaries = get free pizza!
Now, I mentioned that it was busy, right? OK, so we ORDER the pizza but it takes a stinkin’ long time to cook and in the meantime there we are, all occupying this table that the guy specifically wanted us to FREE UP. And sure enough, eventually he comes by and notices how not gone we are. (because we’re something like 85% not gone. So not the deal he made!) And he complains that we’re not doing our part (but he’s joking here) and that he’s gonna have to give us something else to make us vamoose (funny, funny guy still all jokish) and “next you’re gonna want a date!”
He keeps talking, I keep talking, many pithy, ironic and super-clever lines are bandied back and forth, and really it isn’t until 5 minutes later, when the pizza arrives and we depart, that I start thinking “hey, did that guy kind of ask me a little bit sort of out?” I've since decided that he didn't, but where as most people figure these things out as they're happening, it takes me (apparently) at least a WEEK. Apparently I have the reflexes of a stoned turtle! The response time of the Titanic making a U-ey! I'm slow and stupid!
Don't get the wrong idea: He wasn’t my type and I wasn’t looking for a date. But with this attention to detail I'll be married for three years before I realize some dude thinks I'm cool.