I am such a douche.
That was the prevailing thought, over and over in my head. Here I was, at an LA club, sipping on a Jack and Coke, wondering what the hell just happened. She did seem like she was having fun. We were getting along, laughing and chit-chatting. I had thought that – actually, I have no idea what I was thinking. Maybe I had thought that we would at least have fun together that night.
So then why is she nowhere to be seen?
Rewind 20 minutes. “Hey, that’s a cool bracelet!” Wait; did I just say Hey, that’s a cool bracelet? Stay composed. In retrospect, I should’ve picked up my bat and ball, and slowly walked away. If only the Game could just kick your ass like a first round Mike Tyson knockout, guys would have a better time dealing with it. But, as it is, it’ll usually torture you for fifteen rounds like Floyd Mayweather, jabbing and shoulder-rolling you to death. But anyways, I’ve opened. I can’t abort now. Be strong. Stand up straight. Alpha Male. Grow a sack of balls and talk.
She says “Thanks!” with a smile, which of course I took to mean Come flirt with me now. I strike up small talk. I ask uber-interesting questions like, Do you come here often? and Are you from around here? because, you know, I’m so clever and original and no way has she been asked these questions a million times in her life. I think to myself, “Hmm. The conversation is stalling. Quick, alcohol, save me.” How can she reject me if I buy her a drink, right? It’s a full-proof guarantee.
I am such a genius.
I’m leaning over the bar. Damn this place is packed. I yell, “Two Jack and Cokes!” to the bartender. He pours what looks like two Cokes with a splash of Jack, turns to me and says “24 dollars.” Alright, don’t be distracted by the price, you’re in the middle of something. I turn around, hand her a drink, and then turn back to the bar to sign off on the tab. I put the pen down, pick up my drink, turn around, and what do you know, she’s gone. In the blink of an eye, she disappeared like Thomas Crown in a museum.
I am such a jackass.
Fortunately, this was many years ago. I was quite the spring chicken back then. It’s experiences like these that can ruin men or make them. Instead of thoughts like Fuck her or What a bitch, I’ve come to realize that this is just the way it is. People set up unrealistic expectations. Awareness of your surroundings is a good quality, but an even greater one is self-awareness. I can see now that I was less concerned about talking and getting to know someone and more concerned with winning someone over.
And to the fellas – quit buying random girls drinks. You want to curry favor with someone – be interesting. Have fun. Listen. A drink won’t (well, it shouldn’t) make her forget that you’re still a stranger, an unknown. You’re a newde – a new dude. Yes, guys are still out there getting Thomas Crowned all over the place. Let’s not get too upset. It’s nothing personal.
As we’ve learned from The Wire: The game is the game. Always.