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Two Free Birds

Shit happens and sometimes sharing it with strangers is better than therapy.

The other night was my annual birthday dinner with grandma.  I picked this quaint neighborhood wine bar for it’s convenience, delicious bruschetta, and darkly lit romantic interior.  Not that I need the soft glow of candlelight while dining with family, but everyone appreciates a little ambiance, right?  My mother tagged along too, even though said grandmother is actually her ex mother-in-law… just to give you the gist of the dynamic.

When the three of us arrived, the patio was packed despite the light drizzle of rain, so we settled on dinning inside.  As we made our way past the dimly lit bar to a 3-top near the patio’s edge, I noticed the man at the next table was full on staring at me.  Not in a creepy, unblinking, I’m possibly on drugs kind of way, but in a I think you’re hot and I haven’t noticed you caught me staring kind of way.  I went to take a seat and quickly realized my mistake.  From my chosen spot at the table I had no view of this sexy stranger, so I decided to “make a power move.”*  I did some quick thinking and offered up my seat to my mother because it was closer to the heater.  Boom, I was now in his direct line of sight.  So I sat there, between my mom and my grandmother, exchanging increasingly long glances with this guy.  I never realized just how helpful a wine glass is when you need a little cover for your obvious eye raping.  My favorite is the I’m just casually taking a sip as I peek over the rim glance.

After a while, I decided to make another “power move.”  No guy is going to hit on me in front of my grandmother.  I casually excused myself and walked to the back of the small restaurant to use the lady’s room.  Unfortunately, he didn’t seize the opportunity to get me alone.  I felt a little bit like Larry Craig in my botched attempt to send a signal.  Although, in his defense, my signal was just me leaving so I could see how he might not catch onto that (hey, guys have literally followed me to the bathroom in order to get my number, I thought this behavior was universal but it might just be universal for guys who are secretly out with their girlfriend and can’t hit on you in plain sight).  I sauntered back to my seat where he continued to make eye contact, which transitioned to full on flirty smiles and I started to find it hard to conceal any sort of laughter over the whole charade.  It got to the point where I just started smiling and shrugging as if to say, “What are you going to do about it?”  Cause you know, I already gave you a chance to do more than stare at me, idiot.  That was my inner voice, in case you were wondering.

After half an evening of communicating through body language and awkward glances, the final moment had arrived.  He was getting up to leave.  It was now or never.  This guy gave me a deliberate I’m looking at you and I like you look and I gave him a nod towards the back as I excused myself from the table (yet again).  Only this time my mother and grandmother caught on and started asking questions.  I could hear them say things like, “does she know him” and “what’s going on” as I walked away.  Poor guy had to walk right by that if he wanted to find out who I was.  He did.

Maybe I should go out with my grandmother more often.

When I got back to the table, grandma made a toast about how there might be hope for me yet.

~m

* “Making a power move” is a term coined by a friend of mine.  I like it because it sounds better than “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

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