"That's because we're both romantics."
"You're right. Damn it."
This was after Coworker Chris and I downed specially concocted blue tequila shots. What better time to discuss the sorry state of our love lives. Chris has been dealing with a dramatic break-up that occurred nearly a year ago but still haunts and stings. I'm dealing with... well, nothing, which is its own problem, I guess.
I haven't talked about Coworker Chris much, but he has become a dear friend ever since we bonded at last year's company Christmas party playing Spot the Trophy Wife. Whenever there'd be a development between Chris and his ex we'd have an extensive discussion, and he was always one of the first people I went to after meeting a new guy or having a date or getting involved in a minor newspaper scandal. He's the Harry to my Sally, except that we're never going to date. Mind you, he's of the endangered Good Guy species, has a heart the size Montana, and gives good banter, but we are not each other's types and are too different in many ways (though I am not allowed to mention our conflicting music tastes, because Coworker Chris yelled at me about that last night and then went on about his love for The Cure, so I stand humbled and shamed). It's also nice to have a male friend to flirt with.
So there was alcohol flowing, there were cigarette breaks, there was banter. The bartender looked like Chris's ex, which was a bit upsetting to him, though he was holding steady.
After one of our cigarette breaks, when we went back into the bar, there was a jacket and bag on my chair.
"I'm sitting here," I said to the California-looking guy the next seat over.
"Yeah. I thought the jacket draped over the back of the chair and the drink were indicators of that, but I guess not."
He didn't reply for a while. A minute later, he turned to me and Coworker Chris and asked how we're doing tonight. Small talk ensued and I asked his name.
"Just don't be a David."
"I'm not David. What's wrong with Davids?"
"They're trouble. Long story."
"So what's you're name?"
"Give me the first letter."
"I'll give you the second letter."
I guessed correctly on the first try. Let's call him Realtor Rick.
After some chit-chat, he mentioned a book he's working on. Bartender Betty told me a bit about it.
"Do you have a blog?" I asked Rick.
"You should start one. I've been a writer for 20 years, but it wasn't until I started a blog in the last year that agents started contacting me."
"What's your blog about?" Bartender Betty asked.
"Dating. Sex. I'm also friends with pickup artists, so I write about the seduction community from time to time."
"Wait, are you Dolly?" Realtor Rick asked.
My jaw dropped. "Yes. How do you know?"
Turns out Realtor Rick is a bit of a PUA himself. We talked shop for a bit and laughed at the coincidence, pausing to down another tequila shot from Bartender Betty. He invited me to the NYC lair meeting this Sunday, but unfortunately I can't make it because I won't be in town. I have to say, it was pretty cool being caught out like that. A first.
Rick emailed this morning: Let's keep in touch. You'd be a healthy addition to my entourage.
It's funny, because I recently ended my affiliation with Project Manhattan and didn't expect to have much interaction with the seduction community for a while. Then the other week, someone I know from PickUp101 emailed to let me know he's moving to NYC in January, and I heart the PickUp101 guys, so there will be hanging out. Then last night I met another freakin' pickup artist. Just when I think I'm getting out, they pull me back in.
Maybe this is a new everything-happens-for-a-reason chapter, maybe being around upbeat, flirtatious guys will pull me out of my slump. Unless it makes me more cynical about dating and courtship. Who knows. I mean, I find some aspects of pickups shady and manipulative and condescending and just plain lame, but it's not all bad. And hey, at least these guys are having the guts to put themselves on the line and approach women (unlike, oh, most of the male NYC population). Realtor Rick started up a conversation last night, and because of that I might have made a new friend. We should all talk to strangers more.