Left the house a little later than planned (last minute phone call) and didn’t make it to the Fireman Auction until 6:30.
The digital clock in the car on the drive home read 7:32.
Guess I chose the wrong week to give up martinis, but found a frosty bottle of Patron in the back of the fridge just now. That and too many handfuls of black pepper raw peanuts is dinner. Hadn’t eaten since the organic roasted chicken at lunch in an attempt to fight the blight and button the skinny jeans tonight. With the help of a blousy new INC top – same cornflower blue color as my eyes - I looked great sitting down. Standing I felt mostly fleshy stomach bubbling over soufflé-like.
Clothing crisis aside, on tap tonight was the tapping of a local “Fire Chief Ale” at Rock Bottom brewery, a suburban-unhip-chain-restaurant-bar like any other in your neighborhood with big metal beer silos encased behind glass. They brew their own. A charity event, the night included both a silent and bachelor fireman auction. Of course I went. For one self-conscious-how-can-such-a-big-bright-girl-be-so-invisible-tortured hour.
The dress code for the ladies in the ‘burb bars, just so you know, is pointy Famous Footwear heels under flared light-wash denim jeans. LIGHT WASH? Oh no, no, no, no the fuck, no.
Entering a social situation alone is nerve racking and embarrassing, something akin to sporting erect and unyielding nipples a) at the inopportune time and b) in an inopportune outfit. The bar was packed by 6:30 but I went in balls first and played it cool, strolling the circumference, soaking it in. The firemen were boys really, and gorgeous - perpetually dark haired and Italian looking.
Women Over 40 Appalachian Dating Rule #1:
Never date a male the age of one you could have biologically given birth to
I did the “Hey, looking around, looking for my friend” move. At one point even took a fake cell call. I squeezed and shimmied and maneuvered and suddenly felt like the biggest asshole on the planet. I stroll solo and often…movies, theaters, jazz clubs. This felt different, forced and unlike me. I’d tried to gather some girl friends to come with. Like a guy’s wing man, we’re better backed up. Braver and have somewhere to put our hands. But no luck, the girlfriends are women now, busy with homework and late soccer games or dreading driving cross-town at rush hour. I can’t say I didn’t fit in, I didn’t try. I didn’t bring the magic, the oxygen to the room. That’s been stripped away lately, too much disappointment, too much negative self talk.
I couldn’t get the attention of a fireman (or any man) if I was, well, on fire.
In the call that had made me late, I said reassuringly to the sweet voice on the other end, “It’s like that line from Pretty Woman, ’The bad stuff is easier to believe', even when we know better." I'm stuck on bad stuff. What’s inside doesn’t matter when the arms first must go around what’s on the out. If we judged by spirit and heart and emotion and wit, I’d be booked all week. I’m more angry than sad. Angry that I let myself buy into that shit again, for a moment or a month.
I think I’ll eat and imbibe until I see how large I can get and not fit into jeans anymore.