Wednesday, August 09, 2006


My mom released me from Bridal Shower Bootcamp at 10:00 pm on Saturday night, just in time for me to go to the bar with Colin.

He wanted to take me to the new bar in town, the latest investment for the men who own Colin’s all-time favorite bar (and Tuesday night staple) that’s a few cities over.

At this point, I know that I shouldn’t even bother. But I can’t say no, and since I have successfully reduced my expectations of him to nil, I accepted his invitation.

We sat down at our table after he exchanged pleasantries with all of the staff – he’s good at that, being friendly and learning names and whatnot – and ordered our drinks. We talked about nothing in particular for a bit before we were joined by Sarah, one of Colin’s friends from Way Back When, who waitresses at the bar.

She’d been off the clock for a while, drinking at the bar, before she came and joined us.

I’ve met Sarah a half-dozen times before. She’s a nice enough girl. Definitely not the slightest bit intelligent, and not what I’d call classy, either, but an okay person. She’s decent. She has a good heart. Her head is what does her in.

Sarah sits down with us and launches into some story about Colin’s boss (who she knows because, at one point, she worked part-time at Colin’s humble place of employment) that I could care less about. I sit there, quietly, with my eyes glazed over and a placid smile on my face.

Then there’s a conversation about the menu test that all of the wait staff at the bar were taking the next day. Colin said that he could probably do as well on it as Sarah. Sarah and him discuss the various cheeses on assorted sandwiches. I try really hard to be engaged by the topic. It doesn’t work. And I really, really like cheese.

All of a sudden, Sarah says, “are you still seeing that one girl?”

And things get totally awkward.

Colin doesn’t say anything at first. I have my chair turned at an angle where I can’t really see his eyes, and I didn’t want to draw attention to myself by moving around. He’s staring at Sarah, though, and I’m moderately certain that he’s giving her the “Oh My God Please Shut Your Big, Drunken Mouth” eyes.

He shoots a quick glance at me and Sarah says “no, no. Not her.”

And the topic dies there.

Two seconds later, Sarah, Queen of All Tattlers, says, “hey! What was the name of that girl you came into the bar with the day after St. Patrick’s Day? She came in here the other day, at lunchtime, with some friends.”

Colin’s like, “uhhhh. I have no idea who you’re talking about.”

Sarah replies with, “yes you do! You came in with her and your brother. You were totally still drunk from the night before. You played pool. You shared a pitcher of beer. Come on! What’s her name?”

Colin claims, again, that he doesn’t know her name.

“You totally do,” I piped in. I couldn’t help myself. It felt like he was playing dumb for me and, quite frankly, it was unnecessary. Please. Like I can’t read through your pathetic act.

The Mystery Girl remained the topic of conversation for a few more minutes. Colin continued to insist that he had no recollection of this phantom girl. I fluctuated between being bummed and not giving a shit.

Eventually, Sarah left and we returned to more comfortable ground. Colin told me about how he was going to try to go back to school – despite his miserable grades the first time he attempted community college – and I urged him to do it.

We talked a little about work. A little about Lucy’s wedding shower. We touched on this and that. Caught up a bit. I don’t call him just to chat anymore (see? I am getting better!) so we had all of that day-to-day stuff to discuss.

And, as we were leaving, I teased him a little more about The Mystery Girl. He kept up the act. I still didn’t buy it.

And, mostly, I didn’t even care.

We were never a real couple. We never will be.


He’s fun to hang out with. He can just be that.


Anonymous said...

And that's good as long as you don't invest too much in it.

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