This is long, involved, and related to my personal life… I’m sure once the lessons have sunk in, I’ll be writing a general post, but carry on if it suits you. 86 is introduced.
Rewind to Valentine’s Day. I went out with all my single female coworkers to a bar we’ll call The Owl. I was making sexy eyes at something fit with salt n’ pepper hair. Lauren was befriending his friends. A kid in a backwards baseball cap came up to me and said, “hey I saw you and my friend flirting, just FYI, save your time. He’s a womanizer and treats girls like shit. He came here with that girl over there.” (Backwards Hat kid returns later in this story.) It was late at this point, so I asked Lauren if she was ok staying alone, and she was. I didn’t explain why I was leaving, and I went home. Lauren stayed and became friends with all of the guys, but especially one named Steven. Saltnpepper asked her where I had gone, said he was so disappointed I had left, and to Lauren, he seemed great. Lauren finds out what bar they work at, and she vows to friend them. It’s not until the next day I explain to her why I left so quickly, that being what Backwards Hat said to me. Lauren told me Saltnpepper was lovely, and we make him a mission of sorts.
But we don’t go to their bar. Lauren’s been shooting in LA, I’ve been busy in NYC. Until Saturday night when we end up back at The Owl.
I had actually been at The Owl the night before, on Friday. I befriended the bouncer, the security guard, and pretty much everyone who works there, except for the bartender who I saw for the first time on Friday. I wouldn’t even approach the bar. I was sober, it was 3 am, and he was exactly my type: hip hair, soccer cut, tattoos all over, but like… a little odd looking? Like the way Vincent Cassel is hot. He’s not attractive, but lord is he sexy. We made eye contact and I needed to go home.
Saturday night, with Lauren again, Bartender is working. I walked up to the bar and he came over to me immediately and said, “hi.” I said hi. We smiled like idiots until he said, “why didn’t you say hi last night?” I giggled. (I giggle?) He grabs me a drink, waves away my money, and goes to tend to someone else. The chemistry was electric. I turn to Lauren and say, “I don’t know what it is about him but I want him.” The kid next to me, beautiful, leans toward me and says, “be careful with him - look at his arm. That tattoo was for his ex-wife and that shit isn’t finished yet.”
…ok, bro. You might be smoking hot, but my fantasy for the night is booked. Why are you throwing this kid under the bus?
Right then, Lauren sees Steven from Valentine’s. She goes to say hello. I’m flirting with Bartender. Lauren, drunk, recounts the story of me and Saltnpepper to Steven, explaining how BackwardsHat threw him under the bus. Steven says they don’t know anyone who would wear a backwards baseball cap in a bar. And right at that moment, BackwardsHat walks into the bar. (How fucking small is New York? Are you serious right now?) And Lauren exclaims, that’s him! That’s the kid! Steven rolls his eyes… he clearly knows this kid. He clearly isn’t happy about it.
Meanwhile, I’m still at the bar, hitting it off with the Bartender. Lauren and Steven are conning to set me up with Saltnpepper later this week. Bartender walks away and one of Steven’s friends sits next to me. He had been listening to the Saltnpepper plan and said to me, “before you get your hopes up about Saltnpepper, you should probably know he’s still getting over his French ex-wife.” What? How many young hot dudes in this city are divorced? What is going on? And why does it matter that she’s French?
Refocus on the bartender. We’ve had introductions now, have spent half the night talking, it is clear to everyone that we’re enamored… but I get that gut feeling, that feeling that says “leave, before you make a fool of yourself.” Steven, Lauren, and I all leave the bar with Steven’s friend. Lauren asks if Bartender got my number, and Steven says, “he better not have - pretty sure he has a girlfriend.”
OK, GUYS. OK. So, let me get this straight. BackwardsHat doesn’t want me with Saltnpepper. BeautifulBoy doesn’t want me with Bartender. Steven’s friend doesn’t want me Saltnpepper. Steven doesn’t want me with Bartender.
WHO AM I ALLOWED TO HIT ON, GUYS?
I understand that at this point, it’s probably advisable to stop going to The Owl. But the bouncer hugs me when he sees me. Even bartenders not hitting on me give me drinks. The security guard saved me a seat. I have been to this bar a total of three times. I have no idea how this happened, but I’m not going to give it up just because these guys are gossips. And you know what I’m going to do the next time? I’m going to look damn good, be the sweet charmer that I am, and keep making friends. Because ex-wives and suspected girlfriends be damned, I’m not going to let them take away my favorite bar.
And because electricity like that is so epically rare and I’m sure I’ll be seeing him again, let’s number the bartender.
86: bartender at “The Owl” with suspected lady friend, rumored ex-wife, and the best chemistry I’ve had in months
May the odds be ever in my favor, you tattle-taling gossips.
And just so we’re all clear, Steven, 86, Saltnpepper, BackwardsHat, and BeautifulBoy all know each other. Ladies, if there is ever a time to show discretion, think things through, and choose wisely, it’s in a situation like this.