Friday, June 27, 2014

Mantal Health update: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Salvation

Andy Dufresne, who crawled through
a river of shit and came out clean
on the other side. Andy Dufresne,
headed for the Pacific.

I hope people recognize my Shawshank reference.  Otherwise, the whole thing will sound silly.  Keep reading, though.  It's still good.

A couple years ago, I begrudgingly entered back into the online dating world after a long hiatus. This time, I promised myself, would be different. I would not be the desperate hunter that I had been. I would not contact every woman whom the website gurus had said was "checking me out!" I would not contact every woman they told me was a match just because we lived in the same city and both liked pizza.  My initial plan, in fact, was not to contact anyone at all, and just see if I received any messages.  I ended up breaking that vow, of course, because I was very weak, but much more discerning.
One message I did receive was so short and weird that originally thought it was spam. Something like, "I like your profile. We should get a drink." I looked her up and she indeed seemed like a real person, and she even said she was a writer, which I found even stranger because you would think a writer would be able to come up with a better email than that. Still, she was brewing beer in one of her photos, so I responded, but weeks went by and we kept missing each other (partly because my heart was not in it.)
Meanwhile, one day, my friend, Heidi,  told me, "I may have a girl for you."  I instantly told her to shut up, that I was done with women, and that I was "retired." a joke made even funnier when my friend John remarked, "Yeah, you've had a pretty bad run, so I guess it's a good time to hang it up."
I was told that this girl and I had a lot in common, and that she would be at my friend's sister's upcoming wedding, and all I had to do was introduce myself.  So, the wedding day came, and I did indeed introduce myself, and even chatted with this girl some more at the post-reception beer-fest.  However, I still left thinking simply, "Nice girl," and that was pretty much it.  I was staying retired.  I did send her a facebook friend request, and even commented on a few posts, just to stay on the radar.  Turns out we did have some common interests, so at the very least, I thought, we could be pals.  Then, one day, she asked me out for a couple drinks, and we met up and had fun.  Although I was still unconvinced.
While all this was going on, the online girl was still messaging me, so I finally gave in and gave her my number and said to call or text when she would be around and I would try to be there. Naturally, the next day, she texted me and said she was at a bar downtown with her friends and I should meet them. I thought this was weird, but she assured me I shouldn't worry because her friends were cool. I figured that she was maybe just nervous about meeting a new person and wanted her friends there in case I walked in carrying a meathook.
I finally arrived (for the record, it took about 45 minutes by train to get to the bar where she was) and was introduced to her and her friends. Mere seconds after meeting her, this girl says, "I hope you don't mind, but I just smoked some paahhht." She was also obviously very drunk, and it was only 5:00 on a Saturday. I was sure I was in a horrible situation, but I've been in them before, so I knew how to make the most of them.  I ordered a beer and chatted a little.

After telling me several times that she worked at "Hahhvid" and that I was getting major points for coming out and hanging out with her and her friends (even though, let's face it, I wasn't the one who needed points here.), my confidence started to wane. She even went to the restroom for several minutes and when she came back she told me that she had just smoked some more.  I was at the end of my rope, so I went to the men's room and texted some friends for advice. Christine asked if I wanted her to come get me.  Heidi was even more direct, saying "Get the Hell out of there!"  So much for sisterhood.

I returned to the table and contemplated my next move.  because I'm a man, I basically had two devils on my shoulders, as opposed to a devil and an angel.  Devil #1 was saying that this was "a sure thing," that this chick who is bombed out of her skull could not possibly resist my charms, silly as they are.  Devil #2 was pondering Heidi's advice.  Meanwhile, one of the friends asked why I was in the men's room so long ("Did you poop?" was in fact her exact phrasing.) When my "date" went to the ladies room, probably to blaze up again, I snaked towards the bar, which happened to be close to the door.

"Can I do this?" I wondered.
Putting all rational thoughts out of my mind, I walked casually towards the door.  As i felt the open air on my face, I took two more steps, and bolted.  Like Andy in Shawshank Redemption, I ran and ran as fast as I could until I was sure I was free (Some of her friends were male, and big, and I had horrible visions of them chasing me down and dragging me back to the bar.)  After losing myself on the streets of Boston, I texted Heidi again to tell her that I had indeed run, and asked her what do i say to this boozie, pot-addled girl.  Heidi gave me a very political answer about her friends being there, blah, blah and I didn't feel comfortable.  And then she said to get to her sister's house, where there was strength in numbers.

(Side note: Boozie returned my text saying, "No problem.  Do you want to reschedule?"  Has she no dignity?)