Never had a man send a flirtatious, anonymous drink. But once I got toast.
Chatted yesterday with an old girlfriend, one who comes with decades of memories. She reminded me of a story from a marvelous time of life, fresh out of university but still living in a college town (I shared a two-bedroom flat over a bar-and-grill and around the corner from a tattoo parlor) when friends were always available, when we had little money and ate dinner at happy hour or befriended barkeeps who fed us on the sly from the kitchen. When I worked two jobs, office temp during the day and retail clerk at night yet found the company to socialize with every night and the energy to do it all again the next day.
We never went out before 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. and often to the strip mall dance stop whose name escapes me now. Started as a gay club where the hags and artists were embraced and celebrated too (and before it was sadly infiltrated by the frat and sorority crowd).
Earlier that evening I’d been to Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall, stopped in the vintage clothing shop my then best-gay managed. He talked me into (and cut a very nice deal on) a gorgeous vintage hat, black and bowler-ish and tied with a huge tulle bow worn in the front. I wore it out that night and to breakfast at 2 a.m. Just a girlfriend and I, probably tearing into coffee and the pounder platter of cheese fries (the Denny's after-drink special, cheap but with real cheddar and sometimes chili). We hadn’t been there long when the waiter brought out a stacked pyramid of toasted white bread (what we ate then and never questioned that it lacked whole grain or fiber).
“Sorry, I didn’t order that,” I told him. “No, it’s from the gentleman over there,” he replied, neck gesturing towards a table of three young men. They smiled back with cheeky grins before one raised a cup to me.
“Love the hat,” he said. Nothing else came of it, perhaps just a smile and wave when they left.
Hadn’t thought about that story in years and it’s one of the better ones tucked away in the cranium. A happy memory. I only wish I realized then how cute I was, only wish I responded to and appreciated attention from men (or boys). I just always said they weren’t in to me (and many weren't, always been a bit of tough nut to crack). Plus I had no game; the only fellows who felt me up in the day were doormen or security (so I went to a lot of concerts. A lot.)
Worse yet I defined myself (despite the fabulous hats and pandemic personality) as white bread. That girl didn't believe (yet) how spectacular and tasty she is.
Like cinnamon toast. Or a Strawberry Pop-Tart®.