Charming, but single

A journal in dates and drinks


Tonight we're gonna party like it's 2001

Note: This is an almost 1700-word post. I’d break it into two, but that would mess up my structure. Je suis désolé. “My head is big and then small. It’s big and then small. Big, small.” I blinked my eyes and felt my head. “See, it’s big and then small. Big and small,” a man on the couch across from mine repeated, describing his hangover to his friend via cell phone in sync with my own throbbing head. I stretched and looked around. I was fully clothed in jeans and a satin camisole and Enzo Angiolini sandals. My purse was on the floor next to the couch. The night had started out so promising. A group of eight of us traveled out to the restaurant where Party Girl’s boyfriend recently started working. It was out on a river or a lake or a canal or something that held water and boats. The food was amazing – huge crab cakes, any sort of seafood prepared all ways imaginable. My dish came served with fresh pecan butter oozing down the top of it and had it not been served on a cast iron plate taken directly from the oven, I probably would have lapped the melted butter up. We had rounds of some good local microbrews and split some of the lightest cheesecake I’ve ever tasted. Then we headed down to the pier and took in the freshness of it all – the kind of crisp feeling air you don’t really get in even a (slightly) more urban area. All in all, a perfect grown up night out. We talked of splitting the cost of a houseboat one weekend later this summer and packing sandwiches and beer and crusing down the waterway sunning ourselves and lazying about before heading up to the restaurant for dinner. I then had a choice. I could ride home with the people I rode there with, end my night around 9 p.m., apply a facemask and give myself a pedicure before drifting into blissful sleep. Or, I could continue on with Party Girl and her boyfriend and head back to his place, where a birthday party was roaring and it was sure to be a long night. I could be the reasonable 26 year old I am or I could be wild child 21 year old I used to be. I chose the latter. Because I’m too young to be old. And because Party Girl’s boyfriend dangled some sort of Grey Goose plus pineapple plus cranberry plus a few other things drink in front of me. He had me at the Grey Goose. Thirty minutes later, we pulled up to the house. I had actually been to this house before to watch a sporting event on the large screen TV, which is flanked my two smaller TVs, so that during football season you can watch three games at once. Now, if this sounds like something you’d expect at a nice house, then I must clarify. Four bartenders rent this house. And the lease has been passed down from bartender to bartender for several years. It is a glorified frat house, complete with about 15 cars parked in front of it and 19-year-old girls smoking on the front porch. And it is in the middle of a calm, residential neighborhood. I turned to Party Girl. “I don’t know how you stay here,” I told her. “I don’t have much choice. I only get to see him once a month or so now that I’ve moved out of town and this is where he lives.” I sipped my Grey Goose as I navigated a sea of bartenders from half of the dive bars I frequented during school. The place reeked of whiskey and cigarettes and I felt old. And overdressed. I spoke with B’s old roommate for a few minutes. Her friend looked at me with wide eyes. “I love your top. I need a top like that. For my birthday. I’m turning 21.” I just about died right then and there. A mud mask was sounding pretty good at this point. Party Girl came over. “This is ridiculous,” she grumbled. “These people will be here until 7 a.m. and they’ll be loud the whole time! And what is it with these kids and their terrible outfits!” She was right. We were surrounded by T-shirts and faux vintage pants worn to be ironic, when really they just made the wearer look like a moron. And girls with jet black dyed hair or bleached out blonde, clearly done in the bathroom sink of their dorms to make themselves look more hardcore and less like the insecure sophomore who will quickly find that her undergraduate degree in Sociology qualifies her to do little more than go to grad school. And the girls had hair shorn short, but pulled back into obnoxiously small pony tails that were maybe a centimeter around. I smoothed my own hair, which was pulled halfway up with the bottom layers flowing down to my shoulders. I checked my bobby pins to make sure they were all in place and looked at Party Girl. “What’s the plan?” “We’re going to [Random Bar]. Wanna come?” “Yes, because it is near my apartment and I won’t have to come back here afterward.” “Smart Girl.” We traveled cross-town and headed into the bar, only to find that most of the party had joined us. I sidled up to the bar, plopped my purse on top and smiled at the bartender, a high school classmate who tended bar a few nights a week in addition to her job as a computer programmer to make some extra fun money. “Whatcha having?” “Vodka cran,” I said without hesitating. I hadn’t had vodka and cranberry out at a bar in years. It was my favorite poison, next to Jager shots, during those self-destructive years of living at a certain bar three or four nights a week and eating cold pizza and bad diner food at 4 a.m. Though I still appreciate the taste of the vodka cran, I drink it now in the more grown-up Cosmopolitan variety of drinks. “Three bucks, darlin’.” Seriously? I’d paid $8 for a much smaller Cosmo two nights before. Maybe being 21 has its perks. I went through more vodka and listened to a really terrible acoustic duo that pretty much ruined every song they touched – including, but not limited to, Pearl Jam, Jack Johnson, Tenacious D and Bush. And I almost fell off my barstool when, during an abysmal performance of “Creep” by Radiohead, the singer screeched out “RUUUUUN” with such startling force that I am quite certain that I lost at least a year or two off of my life. Even with vodka laden blood. Thom Yorke this guy was not. At some point a free shot of Patron was placed before me. I am morally opposed to shooting tequila and haven’t done so in years. But I wasn’t 26 last night. I was 21, and damn it, 21 year olds don’t pass up a free shot of Patron. I licked the space between my thumb and forefinger and applied salt like a pro. I snapped my head back and poured the alcohol down my throat before following up with the tart tasting fresh lime. I slammed the shot glass down and shook my head. “That was a bad idea.” I then started with the phone calls. B, B’s roommate, The Bride, College Roommate, BFE, Married Friend from College. All got calls. Me singing “Brown Eyed Girl.” Me letting the guy sitting beside me sing Steve Miller to voicemail. Classy. “You seem to be enjoying the music,” I said to him during “The Joker.” “The music, it doesn’t come from the heart. It comes from the soooooul,” he slurred, motioning from his lower regions up through his chest, gesturing the route of the music coming from him. “That looked more like it came from the groin.” “Music, it comes from the d—k.” “What?” “From the d—k.” “Did you just say d—k to me?” (Yes, I know that was a blatant rip off of the “Did you just say crotch to me?” line from the Sex and the City episode where Ms. Bradshaw meets Mr. Berger. But seriously, that was pretty much all I could say.) Then someone ordered a Jager and ROCKSTAR shot. (Back in my day, we did this shot with Red Bull and liked it, but when in Rome … ) He ordered an extra for the bartender, who gave it to me. I used to do four of these shots a night, but this one barely made it down my throat. After another vodka cran, I was done. Like a moron, I agreed to go back to the party instead of home. Some of the same people were there, this time watching Orgazmo. I wanted my bed badly. Instead, I curled up on a very dirty couch, underneath a somewhat suspect blanket and passed out. Hours later, I woke up to some guy talking. “My head is big and then small. It’s big and then small. Big, small.” This house was bad. Movie posters, the kind you buy on campus from those travelling poster people to cover the walls of dorm room, decorated the walls. The usual suspects, like Pulp Fiction and The Dark Side of the Moon covered the dingy wall that had several oddly located holes. The birthday boy was busy recapping the night’s festivities to his friend on cell. He had turned 28 and found himself sleeping on the floor when he awoke. Party Girl came out of her boyfriend’s bedroom and yelled because all of the Diet Coke was gone. “Want me to take you home?” “Immediately, if not sooner.” She laughed. “You need to do something about your hair. And why’d you sleep in your shoes?” I motioned to the well worn, terribly stained carpet. “I didn’t want to even risk that my feet would touch that.” We headed to the car. The sun hurt my eyes. My head felt big and then small. “You know, it’s been awhile since I had to bring someone home from a night out,” she said. “It’s been awhile since I’ve slept on a stranger’s couch.” “It was kind of like being young again,” she said, almost wistfully. “Except for that $50-a-person meal we had before the party,” I deadpanned.



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Charming, but single is 25 26 27(!), lives in the Southern part of the U.S.A. and likes both her drinks and her boys tall. E-mail (listed below) her and she may respond. You can also IM her in AIM/AOL. (If she ever remembers to sign on.)
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Former taglines of this blog: "A Journal in Dates and Drinks" and "A Dateless Journal of Drinking."




Those Particulars
Some Backstory
Memories of the Way We Were
Updates and Towel Snapping
One Year Wrap-Up
Just As She Is
An Open Letter to Myself
After 26 years, she HAS learned something
An Open Letter to the Men Who Message Me Through Match
Sharing a smoke



Associated Content Interview with Charming
The Hindu: Blog Sisters are here

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