When in Doubt, Become Southern

The last time I got ditched for a guy I was twenty years old. It was at a frat house with a sorority sister who needed alone time with her hunk of the week. I thought, really? Just leave me here? I know some chicks go batshit at this behavior. Kind of a reverse bros before hoes kind of thing. I finished whatever was in my red solo and went home. Wasn’t even a clear memory until last Saturday night. Sisterella and I got ditched. For guys. No lie. We were not at a frat house. The guys were not hunky and we are in our fifties for God sake.

I’ve had a week to consider whether I am insulted. I’m not. This time I finished my dirty martini, hopped in a cab, danced in another bar and went home at 2 a.m. I know, really. I’m awake at two a.m. and it’s not due to a hot flash. Go figure.

We are going to dinner with girlfriends, five of us total. We get all prettied up, the way you do when you are of a certain age and clinging to any semblance of youth you can still wrap your cold, dead, veiny fingers around. We arrive at swanky dinner spot, also a noted older people hook up joint. Sorry, the truth hurts. Being the one who could give a damn about meeting guys, I find it amusing to watch and learn. My moves may be rusty. Scratch that–my moves are nonexistent. But to watch a roomful of balding, rounded tummy lotharios getting their groove on is hilarious. Even funnier are the women. They laugh a little louder, whip their hair back a little more dramatically and stand just a little too close. Coveted seats at the bar are few so Sisterella and I are on one side; evidently not the “prime” side we are informed. No matter. We’ve run into friends of a YaYa daughter. Just that afternoon J Number One said yes to the dress so we are thrilled to spend time with the Two J’s–talking wedding dresses, babies and being a bad ass at work.

BTW, if you need a payroll system, J Number Two is your girl. I tell her she is a bad ass akin to Claire on House of Cards and she promises to watch and see the reflection of herself. The four of us spy the action on the other side of the bar where our friends sit. Indeed, the trio that separated from us has made friends of the male persuasion. They are having fun and eating—Wait, whaaaa? We came here to have dinner together didn’t we? Sisterella and I decide–pfft–let’s order dinner and another round.

Part way through our dinner, one of the trio bounds over to say how much fun they’re having and their guys are just the sweetest. The guys invited them to go dance and they have a Town Car. Squee, evidently. I’m not quite sure what to do with this information. I smile my I’m very excited for your good fortune smile and off they go. After all, there isn’t room for two more in the Town Car.

“Have we just been ditched?” I say to Sisterella. I am new to going out without a husband and am baffled. “Looks like it,” says she. We sit for a moment contemplative. And then, as if on cue, we bust out laughing as loud as any chick in the meat market. We decide another glass of wine is in order. And then a cab. But we’re having fun. We decide on a little country bar that was a fave of myself and The Norwegian. Well, he kind of tolerated it. Me, love it. And now a secret is spilled. It is not the tidiest of places. I have an aversion to the drinking glasses there. In this instance, and only in this instance, and only in this place, ever, do I drink beer. Corona Light with a lime from the bottle. I realize I’ve shattered my reputation. The only alternative would be to bring a glass from home and I never go here until late. It’s not really a plan ahead kind of joint. Its more of a, “Oh my Gosh, lets got to—!” And everyone squeals.

So I sit, drinking beer from a bottle in my pearls and heels at the greatest country dive bar in all the world and a man sidles up to chat with Sisterella and myself. He asks to dance and I find myself following him to the dance floor. This is my first dance with a man who is not The Norwegian. Even when he was alive, I did not dance with other men. Mostly ‘cuz I didn’t care for other women touching him, so I allowed no one to touch me. Made sense at the time. Thank God my liquid sustenance has kicked in. This man is a very good dancer and I am surprisingly agile and fun. He sticks with us for quite a while, taking turns dancing with myself and Sisterella. On our final tour of the dance floor, he says, “What do I have to do to get your number?” Whaaaa?

My mouth has a life of its own. Suddenly I am Southern, no idea why. “Oh, aren’t you just the sweetest thing in all the world? But, honey, no, that’s not gonna happen. But thank you so much for askin.” Being a boy from Tennessee, he takes my rebuff sweetly and says, “But then when will I see you again?” Still Southern I reply, “You just keep comin’ here sweet thing and you’ll run into me again.” Who the hell am I? All I need is a fan and some fake eyelashes to flutter. Our cab is waiting.

Sisterella and I make our way home but have to meet in the a.m. to pick up her car from the original restaurant. We agree that, yet again, we had one glass too many.
“Were we drinking beer?” she inquires.
“I know dear,” say I. “But you certainly don’t want to put your mouth on a glass in that place.”
“Of course not,” she agrees. “And what was with the Tennessee guy? Was he for real?”
“He was sweet,” say I.

We go for Mexican food because the place we go has a magical hangover cure called Pollo Con Queso. For only 10,000 calories and a nap, you can feel good as new. We vow that next time we have two fewer drinks. And I won’t be Southern.

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