Monday, February 26, 2007

A Thing for Blondes (Saturday Night, Part Two)

These days, it's not a normal weekend without a visit to Cozy Bar. Polly had other plans after the play, but Willow and I ended up there some time around midnight.

Every time I go there, I see more and more familiar faces. First, I ran into a friend of Sophie's, then a group of people who were also at Ben's play earlier that night, and then--of course--Magazine Mitch. He was chatting with a couple of women and I wasn't about to interrupt his game, so I waved and left him to it.

A minute later, he called over to me and made a motion like he was smoking a cigarette.

"You want to go for a smoke? Sure, let's go." I started to reach for my coat, but he pointed to the back.

"Let's go to our place." He led us to the ladies room.

"Even better."

In the bathroom, I fumbled for my lighter while he opened the window.

"So I was at Ben's play earlier. He gets naked in it. I nearly died."

"Oh yeah, we were supposed to see that together." He nodded, remembering.

"We were, but you never called."

"I know. And I have your number right next to my bed."

"Well, if you still want to go, I'll see it with you," I said, taking his flakiness in stride.

We smoked our cigarettes and before I knew it, we were making out again. There's something about being tipsy that makes me really crave kisses. It may have been a smooch of convenience for both of us, but it was fun, and what I needed in that moment.

"I think I still miss my ex," he sighed.

"So you keep saying. It's funny how we're both hung up on other people."

"Are you going to start going on about Bloody Ben again?"

"No. But you cannot ever, ever tell Ben that we kissed. This has to be our secret. If you ever tell him, I will cut you."

Mitch laughed. "Did you just say you'll cut me? Nobody's ever said that to me before."

I giggled and we kissed again.

"You're a great kisser."

"Thank you," I replied. "You're pretty good, too."

Someone knocked on the door.

"Just a minute!" I called out.

"They're going to either think we're in here doing coke, or I have you bent over the sink..." he got lost in thought a moment. "When are you and I going to get it on, Dolly? We bloody well should."

"I don't think that's going to happen."

"No, really, we should just pick a day and do it... Are you wearing a g-string?"

"Yes... Mitch, you need to stop grabbing my ass."

When we went back to the bar area, Mitch pointed to a gorgeous, Elle Macpherson-looking woman at a table chatting with some friends.

"Ben's in love with her, but she's married. He's got a thing for blondes."

"He does?" My eyes grew wide. "That's awesome!"

Mitch and I went our separate ways. Willow ended up leaving after about an hour, but I stayed and talked to anyone and everyone, including a recent Italian immigrant who works in a nearby restaurant, a couple who owns a shop down the street, and one of Polly's lawyer friends who I met last week. I also spent some time chatting with a young, adorable, but overly cocky Edward Furlong look-a-like, trying to give him pointers on how to be more successful with women (lesson one was to call them "women" instead of "bitches"... yes, it might have been a hopeless cause).

At one point, Furlong-ish was chatting up Elle-y right next to me at the bar. I don't remember what foolish things he said, but she and I rolled our eyes and smiled at each other. I leaned over and said,

"I'm trying to help him, but I don't think anything I'm saying is sinking in."

She turned to Furlong-ish and said, "You should listen to her."

Then the two of us started chatting. As is the case with nearly every female I bond with at the bar, it was a matter of minutes before I confessed my crush on Barman Ben.

Her eyes flashed with anger. "That guy is a player. He knows I'm married and tried to make out with me."

"He what? I think we should discuss this over a cigarette."

Elle-y, her married friend, and I went outside.

"She likes Ben," Elle-y told her friend, who shook her head.

"I know it's not a good idea," I sighed, "But I really can't help it."

"He's a player and he's probably bad in bed," Elle-y spat out.

How did she know?! "How do you know?"

"I can tell, just by looking at him, just by the way he carries himself. You know a guy like that is going to be bad in bed."

Elle-y's friend nodded in agreement.

I asked what happened the night he made a pass at her. Six months ago, she and a couple of friends closed out the bar and they (along with Ben) were all going to share a taxi. She and Ben happened to be in the back room of the bar and he kept trying to kiss her, which pissed her off.

As forgiving and open-minded as I am about some things, going after someone who's married is something I find utterly despicable. This woman really was beautiful, though, and part of me couldn't blame Ben (I'm as straight as the day is long, but another drink or two and I might have wanted to kiss her myself). Still, it was inappropriate of him, and doesn't bode well for his character considering he also hit on Mitch's girlfriend.

"I wish I could forget about him," I told the married friends. "I've tried dating, kissing, even sleeping with other guys, but nothing has worked. And I think I might even have a chance with him."

"You just need fuck him and get him out of your system," Elle-y said. "He's not even that cute."

"I think he's one of the best-looking men I've ever seen. And I don't want to fuck him, I just want to kiss him," I replied.

"I'll tell you what you should do. Wear lots of black eye make-up. He has a thing for Bridget Bardot. The night he was hitting on me, I came from a club, wearing tons of eyeliner, and he kept saying how I looked like Bridget Bardot. Trust me," she nodded knowingly.

Here I was, playing it demure and understated all this time. I'll say this much, though. On Saturday, I was showing cleavage for the first time in ages, and I loved how sexy and confident it made me feel. Yes, I did have to tell Furlong-y to stop staring down my dress and attempt some actual eye contact (that was... lesson four?), but after spending the last two months shedding close to 20 pounds (weight I had put on as a result of the depression), it felt great wearing something more body-conscious. If there's anyone who can rock the buxom, smokey-eyed blonde bombshell thing, it's me. I've played it too safe, too sweet, but no more. Ben won't know what hit him.

At this point, some might argue that I should come to my senses once and for all and give up on Ben. I told my mother about meeting Elle-y on Saturday, expecting her to tell me I can do better, etc.

"I think she's jealous," Mom replied.

"Of what? She's gorgeous and happily married. And Ben wanted her. She could've had him."

"I don't know, there's something about her anger. I think there is some jealousy there."

"Why? Because I'm available? Because her marital status prevented her from doing anything with him?"

"Maybe."

"Mom, I'm so surprised you're not trying to dissuade me from being with him. You're usually the first person to tell me, 'he's not for you.' This man made a pass on a married woman!"

She laughed. "So what? Does that mean he doesn't deserve a second chance? Does that mean he's not good enough for you?"

Why is my mother, the perennial voice of reason, rooting for me here? Aren't I sabotaging my emotional health and stability by falling for someone like Ben?

I considered what she said, mentioned Warren Beatty and what a playboy he was before Annette Benning.

"You see? She tamed him," Mom answered.

That she did. But how the hell did she do it?

27 comments:

Vicious said...

It's like the more bad things you find out about him the more you want him. I wonder if theres a lesson to be learned here? Perhaps I should start spreading negative rumors about myself?

Dolly, have you ever wanted to be with someone specifically because of something bad you've heard? Or your attraction to Ben still based on looks alone?

-Vicious

Dolly said...

Vicious,
I'm not one of those women who likes the bad boys. And I don't like him more after this, in fact, I think my level of smitten-ness is down a big notch. Down, but not out. It's not based on looks alone. He's a charmer. But now that I know these other things about him, maybe I won't find him as charming the next time I interact with him. Maybe it's a conquest thing. We'll see.

Vicious said...

Do you think that, perhaps, after being so successful with getting men over the past year (probably lifetime, your blog isn't that old) you need some sort of challenge?

Or, maybe you want to build someone up to break them down later? Finding no one good enough for you right now, so you make someone up? Someone who is, at first, a mystery, then a disaster.

I've said too much. You know better than anyone else, that I don't know the first thing about sex or attraction. Nevermind...

-Vicious

Matt Savage said...

Honestly, I'm becomming more and more impressed with Magazine Mitch over Barman Ben. He seems like a cool guy, not needy, and apparently a great kisser. I'm a Mitch fan from now on; Booo to Ben!

Dolly, do you see anything more happening with Mitch other than making out in the bathroom?

-Matt

CHICAGO'S GOLDTOOTHCHIMP said...

ask the guy out would you. this is so tiresome. You sound like a 5th grade girl with a crush. This has become a downright obsession. You're obsessed with someone you've not spent any real time with. Chicks!

CHICAGO'S GOLDTOOTHCHIMP said...

Do you want to date the guy or not? If yes, do something about it. You did learn something about pickup PU right? I'm sure he knows you're interested but who wants an endless flirt?? It probably comes across like you are playing games. Not attractive. You're a trained pickup artist right?

Charlie Brown said...

"He's a player and he's probably bad in bed," Elle-y spat out.

How did she know?! "How do you know?"

"I can tell, just by looking at him, just by the way he carries himself. You know a guy like that is going to be bad in bed."

Elle-y's friend nodded in agreement.

Wow, this is probably said out of bitterness, but if she really does have a list of those maneurisms, I would really like to know.

Aphexcoil said...

I've been in situations in my life where I met a woman who I just could not get out of my mind. The problem originates when we develop subconscious ideas about that person and then block out, ignore or excuse those things that challenge our subconscious view of that person.

It is a form of cognitive bias -- confirmation bias.

How or why certain people end up in that situation is beyond me. What I have noticed is that when I fall into this trap, it is often because the other person had a quality that I admired so much, that I couldn't possibly accept that they we were genuinely incompatible.

It becomes a waste of time in the end and eventually you realize that you've wasted a lot of your precious youth chasing an image in your head and not a person. The phantom is a mere "echo" of the person we chase but it takes a great deal of will-power to break the cycle and move on.

Sorry this is so long.

Aphexcoil said...

I forgot to mention that my choice of the word "echo" came from the Pond of Echo, which is the pond that Narcissus stared into the pond and saw only a reflection of true love. That story is great because, to me, that pond can be considered our subconscious and by staring deeply into the pond, we are liable to eventually fall in love with a reflection and not a real person.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

You're smart, charming, sharp, and yet I feel like you are letting yourself go completely. You've already got BB's attention, but now because of this elley-y stranger you've decided to start amping up the lowest common denominator attraction techniques?

And what exactly is the making out with magazine mitch? Then asking him to keep it a secret? You're leading him on, you're driving a wedge into his friendship with BB, and you've sabotaged any chance that you can kiss BB with a clean slate.

These things that are the opposite of being positive about yourself, about treating yourself (and your partners) with respect.

I like you kid! Been rooting for you since the beginning of the blog. And I know you gotta do what you gotta do. But this feels more and more like you're going back into that zone you were in a year ago....

Hoping I'm wrong.

Jack Roy said...

I don't have anything to contribute (other than congrats on the 20 (!) pounds---the only way I could do that would be to lose part of a limb in an accident, I think), but wanted to chime in and say that I've enjoyed reading the Barman thread of posts. Good ftuff---more please.

Dolly said...

Matt,
Actualy, Mitch comes off as way more of a player than Ben. He's made it clear that he just wants to get me into bed. Considering that he's flirting with a different woman every time I see him, smokes a lot of pot, and has made it clear he's hung up on his ex (which he admits he was with for shallow reasons), the mind boggles at why you'd consider him a suitable prospect.

Charlie,
There's a widely held belief among women that men who are particularly good-looking and overly confident are going to be lazy in bed, because they have spent so much of their lives merely relying on their looks instead of developing bedroom skills. I don't necessarily believe that, because the best-looking man I have ever been with was someone I had amazing sex with.

Aphexcoil,
Yes, the Ben I created early on, the one in the short story, is proving to be different from the one I'm discovering more and more things about. I think my fixation on him stems from the safety it provides while I work on other aspects of my life. This way, I have a fun crush, without the time commitment and emotional involvement of a real relationship, which I would probably not be able to handle right now. At the same time, there is something about Ben himself that I am very drawn and cannot resist, that I have found compelling since I first met him in December. I don't know what it is...

Stranger,
I don't think I'm regressing. There's nothing wrong with my using my feminine wiles to get Ben's attention, especially since he already knows a bit about my personality, through our interactions and through my writing. Now that I'm getting back into shape, I'm feeling more confident about my looks, so what's the harm in flaunting them a little? If it was incongrous with who I am, I wouldn't do it, but I have been suppressing the more sensual side of myself these last 4-5 months, and it's time to explore it again. Besides, don't you guys go on about how visual men are and how important replication value is?

Jack,
Thank you! And I'm glad to know there's at least on person out there who isn't tired of my never-ending crush on Ben.

Gwendolyn said...

i totally agree with stranger, who is one perceptive chap. your antics are really sounding....well pathetic to put it bluntly. what are you 19?! fooling around with his friend? vamping it up? you're so blinded by your fascination with this guy that you are completely failing to see just how quickly you are shame spiraling. you're disrespecting yourself over and over again for this bloke and it's very sad. you seemed better than that. of course you'll deny, deny, deny all of this because who would want to admit all that and deal with it, but as soon as you do, the better off you'll be.

Dolly said...

Gwendolyn,
I'm not going to deny anything, but just to clarify, Mitch is not Ben's friend, he is Ben's customer, a patron to Cozy Bar, same as I am. We had a couple of drunken kisses, what is the big deal?

As for vamping it up, I'm not talking about going into full-on slut mode, I'm talking about ditching my turtlenecks and baggy sweaters for something a bit more feminine and sexy. I think I'm entitled after getting myself in better shape and feeling good about the way I look. But if you want to interpret that as shameful and pathetic, that's up to you.

Aphexcoil said...

As for vamping it up, I'm not talking about going into full-on slut mode, I'm talking about ditching my turtlenecks and baggy sweaters for something a bit more feminine and sexy.

When can we go shopping together? Muhahahaha!!!

clarissa said...

i guess my one concern is that the more people you tell at cozy bar that you are interested in BB (or using words like love), the higher likelihood that it's going to get back to him (either that or the bathroom escapades)..if only because that could make things awkward since it sounds like you've been trying to portray yourself as not terribly interested (since say, you didn't call him bac when he called you or didn't respond to his mass email)...he might read into those mixed messages the wrong way, you know?

though i think i am generally not as optimistic about having faith in my fellow man when it comes people gossiping as you are...

do you know when BB is supposed to come back to the bar?

Dolly said...

Clarissa,
It's a concern for me, too, though I never use the L word when I talk about him at the bar. Also, I've been doing most of my blabbing while he's been away. But yes, Mitch might be a concern. I don't know him well, so I have to assume he'll tell Ben about the kissing (oh well).

As for not seeming too interested, I've made an effort not to be all worshipful, but there are a number of interactions and incidents I have not chronicled in the blog, and let's just say, apart from the short story incident, he'd have to be totally dim if he didn't know I like him. At this point, it would be nice to have the chance to get to know him, to see if we have any true chemistry or common ground, but I know that might never happen. I think I'm okay with whatever the outcome is going to be.

clarissa said...

see i don't think the kissing is so much an issue really, so much as the whole "omg she likes you" type chatter that might ensue, though i have no idea if people still act like that or not once they get past what, highschool or college?

would you ever entertain the idea of emailing him to try to speed up the whole "we should socialize" angle? or do you think it makes more sense to wait till he returns to the bar?

Dolly said...

I'm going to wait until he returns to the bar. He's busy with the play, I'm busy with getting ready for my trip, and I want to see how things go when we see each other in person again. It's been so long, who knows? Maybe all that fairy dust will be gone.

Doc Love said...

Typical. We want more what we can't have. My friend texted me to say he thinks you're an attention whore. I agreed. We also agreed that we'll keep on reading. So I guess you're doing something right. Keep up the good work.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

Hey Dolly -

Well, I really like what you've been writing in the comments. As usual, you have a nice clear line on what's up.

Sometimes it is hard from your posts alone to understand the level of intensity/seriousness of your feelings. It's easy to read many of your posts about Ben as tinged with obsession. Not love, just obsession. Like one would have for a great pair of shoes - even though one owns 100 great pairs already.

But your comments here bring out another side, that you are sort of playing a game in the minors for awhile. Trying to get your 'game face' back on. Warming up to the hunt for bigger game.

It occured to me that one reason your mom might be so encouraging about this whole (clearly not very promising in the long run) story with BB is that she has seen first hand just how depressed you were a few months back. She knows you need to get out and shake your thing and wake up and get back to life. If this is the first guy who gets you going, she'll take it.

Again, hoping that my more critical or confrontational comments from time to time are helpful, not hurtful. - SITP

Transformer said...

I feel like I'm reading about an addiction. Most likely, because I've been there in the past, and had to treat my romantic feelings for others like an addiction so I could sek out those who were avaialble the way I needed them to be.

Not saying your an addict, just saying reading this reminds me of my own experiences.

Aphexcoil said...

Not saying your an addict, just saying reading this reminds me of my own experiences.

Everyone is addicted to something. That's life.

Dolly said...

Doc,
You and your friend discuss a stranger's blog via text message? Awesome.

Stranger,
Maybe in my posts, I don't emphasize that I'm having fun with this crush, and that I'm still out there enjoying the rest of my life. And, I don't know, I do feel a slight diminishing with Ben. I pretty much expect criticism at this point. The only time it bothers me is when I feel like people are being harsh or judgmental without paying attention to what I write or because of some hidden agenda (neither of which was the deal in your case).

Transformer,
It has felt like an addiction, though it seems to be lessening. I have a pretty addictive, all-or-nothing personality, so that might explain it.

Aphexcoil,
I think especially passionate people are particularly prone to addiction, human or otherwise.

CoatMan said...

How do you do it? How do you have such superb dialogue in real life? The way that you write this 'blog makes your life seem like a tremendously well-written romantic comedy novel. I'd buy you.

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