This one time when my mother set me up with a Fridays' bartender and he took me on a semi-romantic stroll only to use the "I'm so honest that even though this honest statement is fucked up on so many levels, you are still going to sleep with me tonight" tactic. Give me a sweater instead, give me the whole goddamn store, because this is a true story that is half-funny, half-scary, and all too odd, so cuddle up, drink some hot cocoa, and enjoy this read.
Pullover Vest Sweater - SHAE NY // Skirt - Farfetch // Lace Up Heels - Zara // Nishi Earrings - A Peace Treaty // The Ellis Choker - The Break Vintage
Date 02: Baby Doesn't Equal Bae
My mom and I are sitting at the bar section in Fridays. Yes, Fridays, the TGIF food establishment that scars every single suburban inhabitant and is unfortunately the space that more likely than not has been the location of a significant event in one's suburban life. I am no exception. We are quite parch and are feigning for something adult-like, something with alcohol, of course, and preferably in a nice glass with a stem. I flag down the bartender. When I am around, my mother never orders for herself. It is honestly quite brilliant. You would have children, raise them for 13 to 18 years, have them set up all your online billing accounts, skim important documents to you and then have it elementally summarize to you, they download music and put it in your phone, set up all your devices with wifi even if you have had the same password for the past five years, and yeah, they will order for you because you, as a parent, have put up with their pooping, food inhaling, crying bullshit for way too fucking long. Parents inherit regal titles. Anyway, I flag down the bartender with a no-teeth-smile. It shows that I need him and I'm also friendly...but only if he comes over to do his freaking job and get us white girl wasted. As he approaches, I lock eyes with him.
"Aren't you too young to be sitting here?"
"If I was too young, would I be really sitting here?"
"NOOO! I'm 21"
I can feel my face turning hot. I don't even get the asian glow though. I hand him my ID as I try to decipher the flirtatious exchange. Do I actually enjoy this flirtation or do I just want to use this exchange for a free drink? My next move depends entirely on the answer to that question. He is pretty cute. My mom agrees. My mother's friend walks in. She is beautiful and looks not a day over 33. I smile at the thought of looking like my mother one day. She's pretty hot. I have nothing to worry about.
I must have not returned to Fridays for a year or so. Obviously, this is a conscious decision. I don't go there unless someone on my priority ladder wants to go, like my mother for example. One evening, my mom tells me that she bumped into the bartender from Fridays again. She has been back frequently after I had accompanied her friend and her many moons ago. Whenever the bartender would serve them, he would ask about me. Cute, but it never left an impact on me. However on this particular situation, I was in a different place in my life. I am three months newly single and am thirsty for adventures, especially ones with strange boys who asks a woman's mother about her. She continues to tell me that she didn't bump into him at Fridays while he was bartending, he was actually sitting at the bar. He had left his job because he landed a position as a police officer. Whatttttt? The moment I decide to jump in and finally do something about it and he is now impossible to find? And she hands me a piece of paper with 10 digits on it. "He told me to give this to you," she smirks.
I am with my best manfriend at a corny yet very popular sports bar off Route 1 in Woodbridge. We absolutely hate it, yet amused at the very Jersey fulfilling stereotypes before us. The guidos, the fake-tits guidettes, the nerdy guys, the hard-to-look-at-for-an-extended-period-of-time people, the slutty chicks trying to sell water-downed colored test tubes they call shots. It is a wreck, which means it is also very hard to look away. Fridays guy and I have been consistently texting. He has been amusing enough that I invite him to view this wreck with me. He obliges and brings a couple of his pals. We have a decent time. Nothing memorable, yet nothing off-putting either. It's hard to get to know one another when you're surrounded by weirdos, and not the fun ones, and very loud music. After several "HUUUHHH? What did you SAYY?," we devote our energy to chugging beers, people watching, and pointing out funny crap. When my friends decide to take advantage of our now more sober selves and head home, Fridays guy and I decide to grab a coffee and hang out for a bit longer. I figure we could chitchat in front of a stoop, play some music from our phones, and I can get into his brain a bit. He felt the brilliance in my plan. We head to the 24 hours QuickChek and then I follow him to a spot he suggests would be best to talk.
I follow his car carefully, closely, and attentively. I had a couple drinks but it isn't the beers that is now making me nervous, it is where he is taking me. I find comfort in holding on to my own steering wheel, sitting in my own car, my little red Acura RSX, the one that I affectionately name Amy and in turn gave me the name "the girl with the red car" as I spent nights at my friend's house and Amy spent nights loitering outside their homes. I have all the control. You have full control. And following this guy I briefly know into Perth Amboy, New Jersey--a not so safe urban town--and turning into what seems like an apartment complex seems even stranger. He parks. I park. "Where are we?"...."I want to show you where I grew up." Awwww. Okay, so this may be the cutest thing ever or he's going to kill me and dump my body in that truck size garbage can tucked behind the apartment...as we conveniently walk by it. He shares stories of how he ran around with his friends, getting into trouble, kicking rocks (literally), and share sweet random facts about his mom, his father who was never around, middle school, and why he wants to be a police officer. My hands are cupping the coffee while the tiny marshmallows floating crowdsurfs towards plastic hole as the liquid touches my lips. I am intrigued.
"I want to be very honest with you, Lynn."
I like where this is going. "You can be honest with me."
"I just recently had a child"
He continues to tell me that he recently became a father. I'm talking about, like, a month ago. That he is no longer doing his baby momma but they do speak and live together. He continues to tell me about the baby, the baby's name, show me pictures. Because I ask to see it. Because I'm curious, because I'm mortified, because I'm so freaking confused. She is precious though. I ask more questions. Because I am still curious but I am now filling the awkward silences while planning an escape route while still trying to figure out what in the bloodyfuck is going on. We walk back towards the car. I execute my escape plan--"It's getting late...so....goodnight?" He looks at me. He looks at me with the face I know all too well. Except the face he is giving me is inappropriate in this situation. "You know you want to kiss me," he said with such utter confidence and cajonas. I could punch you in the face. "Actually, no...," taking the smart girl route so I don't become a wrangled victim in the garbage container face feet away. I quickly walk-run to my car, lock the door, start it, and drive off. I run the night over and over again in my head. If this is some sort of come-on tactic, this is nuts. I bet it works. However, that girl will not be me.