Ever been through a really long dry spell and made a bad judgment call as a result? Yeah me neither. Except for this one time… In consideration of the fact that my definition of a “dry spell” and your definition of a “dry spell” may be quite different in terms of actual amount of time passed without having sexual intercourse, “hooking up,” or “getting some,” I think we can all agree that dry spells are no fun, and they sometimes fuck with your head a little bit (aside from other, obvious body parts.) Well, that was me on this particular Friday. Enough time had passed that my standards had been lowered. I was going out to a bar with my girlfriend, I didn’t have anything I had to do in the morning, and I was determined to find a guy at the bar. And I did.
His name was Ian. He was not conventionally hot, but there was something about him that I liked. He was on the thin side, with long salt and pepper hair (PS: apparently I’m going through a long-haired guy phase), a weird hat that I guess could be described as somewhere between a fedora and a boater hat; it had a brim all the way around but was flat on top. What do you call that? Anyway, he was also wearing a weird hoodie that looked like a poncho with sleeves. Yeah, it was a look. But he had this cute smile and he kept catching my eye from across the bar.
My girlfriend Steph was not a fan. I told her I thought he was cute and she chuckled, “We do have different types, don’t we?” We ended up moving around the bar and were standing closer to Ian, when an old guy approached trying to squeeze into the bar to order a drink. We helped him order and started making conversation and he said he had a single son we should meet. He just couldn’t believe we were both single (!), and looked around the bar to ask us who we wanted to talk to. Quite the wingman, if I’m being honest. Coincidentally, Ian and a friend were standing right behind our new old friend, and he tapped them and introduced us all. And bam, we were off to the races.
Ian and I talked for a bit and I discovered that he’s a skier. So THAT’S what it is! Maybe I could tell he was a kindred spirit? Or maybe his outfit just suddenly made sense to me; he was dressed like a ski bum in LA. Idunno. But naturally, we talked about skiing for a while. He got a little competitive and arrogant though, which was annoying. He automatically assumed he was a better skier than me, even though I was practically raised on the slopes of Squaw Valley and my sister was literally a pro-skier and he was a weekend skier from SoCal. But I digress… This isn’t about skiing egos. This is about me not walking away from a guy who is clearly annoying me.
A little while later Steph decided to call it a night. This was after she’d had two vodka martinis plus a vodka soda and I’d had two Manhattans plus a whiskey soda. She asked me if I was good to stay and I said yes. I wasn’t that into this guy, but I wasn’t necessarily out either.
I stayed and talked with Ian for a while and then I asked him if he was staying or going. I was ready to leave. I was drunk, I had found a target, the target was seemingly interested, and I was ready to move to the next step. Why stay at the bar until 2am when you already found your contender at 10pm? He was a little weird, a bit awkward, and I had to be real straight forward with him. So I asked him point blank, “Do you want me to come home with you?” And he said “Yes.” Then he added, “I’m just going to go home and listen to old music. Do you like old music?” And I said, “Yes I do.” I didn’t realize that he meant that that was literally ALL he wanted to do.
When we got to his place, I was a little surprised. Ian had mentioned to me at least three times each that his parents were wealthy when he was growing up and that they both had died very close together. So, I was expecting a pretty nice place. No, that’s not why I went home with him. I wasn’t planning on knowing this guy long enough to reap the benefits of his so-called wealthy deceased parents, but the expectation had been set. So when we arrived at his apartment and it was small and dark and had a bit of a weird smell, I was surprised.
I can’t even express to you guys just how much this guy talked about his dead parents. Look, I have a dead parent, so I get it. It sucks. But he just kept bringing it up. He would mention again that they had only died a few months apart, that they both had cancer, that they were the best parents a boy could ask for, that they paid for his college and when he dropped out they weren’t even mad about him wasting their money, then they paid for him to go to music production school or something like that, and now he works as a ski boot fitter so I don’t know how he ended up there but that would have been a more interesting addition to the story than him telling me for the umpteenth time that his parents are both dead. He literally had tattoos on both of his forearms with the day, hour, minute, and second that each of his parents had died. I’m all for honoring their memory and whatnot, but that’s a bold move, Cotton.
When we arrived at his place Ian walked over to his wall of records and asked me what I wanted to hear. I was in no mood for trying to impress some hipster with a record collection, of which I would never have sufficient knowledge to impress him, so I just threw out some of my old favorites that my Dad used to listen to; Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, Fleetwood Mac, Mamas and the Papas, etc. I really didn’t care. I wasn’t there for the music anyway. But boy, was Ian laboring over this music selection and slighting me in the process. He said my preferences were just like every other woman’s; based on what my dad liked, blah blah blah. I jokingly told him to stop judging me and then he got all defensive about me judging him for being judgmental. I dropped it for the time being. He put on Paul Simon and finally joined me on the couch for more backhanded comments and awkward conversation about his dead parents.
I went to the bathroom and had a moment of reckoning; IS THIS WORTH IT?! I stared at myself in the mirror, a little disheveled and drunk but not bad. I wanted to go home. But I also really wanted to end this dry spell. I had come this far right? I looked at myself in the mirror and said (yes, outloud) “You’re staying.” Then I walked back out into the living room to join him on the couch and immediately regretted it.
He said something else judgmental, reminding me that he was superior to me in all ways, and I told him I was just going to leave. Then he got all sad and tried to get me to stay, and I told him I’d almost left four times. “FOUR?!” he just kept repeating, shocked that his cynicism and arrogance weren’t sweeping me off my feet. He walked over to me and kissed me, and then I was really confused because he just stopped after a second and walked back around the coffee table to sit on the couch and never touch me again. I was growing impatient. Not that I had to have it right then and there because I couldn’t resist his charms, but because if we were going to do this, I wanted to get to it and either get it over with or be pleasantly surprised and actually have an orgasm that I didn’t give myself.
It was not to be. He just stayed on the couch next to me and didn’t kiss me again. I ready to go home. Done hearing him talk about his dead parents. I had even mentioned that my dad also passed away from cancer while he was talking about it at some point, trying to connect with him, and moments later he asked me if I still had my father. “Um, no. He died of cancer. I just said that… Well, I think I’m going to go.” I pulled out my phone to call a Lyft and he smacked it out of my hands like a flirtatious 11 year old. But still, no moves were made. I was done. I picked my phone back up and called my Lyft, and Ian wanted to make a game out of trying to guess the license plate. (In case you doubted my complaints regarding the caliber of conversation we were having.) I played along, gave him hints as to each letter and number, and when I arrived at the letter ‘K’ I thought, this should be easy.
“Okay, this is the first letter of my name.” He didn’t say anything. He sat paralyzed on the couch next to me, facing forward, not looking at me. I turned towards him and raised my eyebrows. “The first letter of my name.” Still nothing. And then, a very uncertain “L?” I didn’t say anything at first. I legitimately couldn’t tell if he was just slighting me again a la “The Game,” or if he really didn’t know my fucking name. Turns out he really didn’t know my fucking name. Not even the letter it started with. Not even like a “I know it starts with a Ka-sound, like Katie?” Nothing.
“Do you really not know my name?” I looked at him. He was so uncomfortable I almost laughed but I was too annoyed to laugh. “Seriously?” He was racking his brain. “I did know it at one point in the night but I forgot it.” Wow. “Okay well I’m going now.” Good thing I called that Lyft already.
“I’m so sorry, I don’t want you to be upset. I like you too much for you to be upset.” Clearly, I can tell how much you like me by the fact that you’ve been insulting me all night and you don’t know MY FUCKING NAME. He stood up and insisted on walking me out. I told him there was no need. He followed me anyway. The Lyft driver went to the wrong street, of course, dragging out this awful farewell. Ian was feigning concern over the driver’s ineptitude and saying he liked me too much to let me get in the car with someone so incapable. Once the driver arrived, I just walked away from Ian. No hug, definitely no kiss, no nothing. I saw him open his mouth and thought for a split second that he was going to ask for my number, but then again, what would he even save it under?