Embarassing Moment #547: How I Ruined a Romantic Moment

I am not a very good romantic person.

It’s not that I don’t necessarily enjoy the idea of romance. After all, I’ve read more than my fair share of trashy love novels in my time. I know how it’s all supposed to go down. Provided I have honey gold locks, a creamy complexion and violet eyes that show my spirited and untamed passion that’s waiting to be unlocked, one day my Scottish laird will come down and I’ll find myself beguiled by his bronzed acres of chest. See? I’m romantic.

It’s just that I’m not very good at being romantic. In the movies, they always have that sappy music playing that lets them know it’s time to say something meaningful, or move in for that first kiss, or whatever. The problem with my life is that it doesn’t come with its own soundtrack, so I usually find myself wandering around in a state of confusion, trying to figure out what the next appropriate move is. The whole awkward dating scenario only compounds my normal social stupidity. Frankly, I think there’s a part of me that wouldn’t mind being “trapped” in an arranged marriage, or even banned from the dating world altogether. It’s a wonder I’ve managed to hang onto my current boyfriend as long as I have. I think it must be because he’s just as socially inept as I am. Sweetie, if you’re reading this… I love you! And honey, now that I have your attention? Uh… quit paying attention, because I’m about to talk about me and another man. Have you checked your email lately? I bet there’s something really interesting that someone sent you! Quick, go look!

So, now that I have the boyfriend safely distracted, let me share the story of the WORST ALMOST-FIRST KISS EVER.

Many many moons ago… like, say, maybe about two and a half years worth of moons, I was a single young college student living up in Northern California. I had become addicted to an internet dating website called okcupid.com because of the endlessly fun user tests. No, really. You’ve got to believe me. I really WAS on there because of the user tests. The fact that there were profiles of good-looking Christian guys who lived near me just happened to be a nice little perk. Using my special, keen girly sensors, I honed in on one particular young gentleman who I found particularly interesting. We shall name him “Luke” for the sake of anonymity. Luke was an extremely high match percentage, seemed like he had a strong walk with God, appeared intelligent and moderately literate… and had a great smile in most of his photos. So, we “chatted”. Over the weeks, and then months, the emails flew between us. We hit it off pretty well, and we both seemed really interested in each other. There was only two main problems:

Number one, he lived about 600 miles away, and number two, there was NO WAY I was actually going to meet up with someone off the internet. After all, everyone knows that the people on those websites (except for me, of course) are all homicidal maniacs. We’d meet in person, shake hands, and then the next thing you know I’d be chopped up and placed in carefully-labeled little ziploc baggies. He probably had a collection of little ziploc baggies that he kept in his freezer, from all of his internet-conquests. The little frozen bags of BECKY would no doubt be filed alphabetically between “Stupid Internet Girl Named ALICE” and “Stupid Internet Girl Named CARLA”, and taken out only on the anniversary of my death. Nooooo thank you.

Unfortunately for my safe plans, I had a pushy friend who I shall call “Mary Lou”. Mary Lou thought that Luke had a GREAT smile, seemed completely genuine, and saw absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t meet up. In fact, she hounded me relentlessly about it. Luke could stay at her house, with her parents (her dad was a big ol’ hulking guy). Luke had a four day weekend coming up. I could take some time off of work and get to know him, in the safety of her parents home. She thought it was a great idea. Luke thought it was a great idea. In fact, her parents even thought it was a great idea.

I folded. After all, it was kind of a fun idea. The day he was coming I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off. I cleaned my room. I fed the horses and set up someone to take over while I was gone. I tried on dozens of outfits. I wanted to look good, but not the kind of good where you seem overly-interested… Pretty, maybe even a little modestly sexy, but uh… not rapeable.

Since I don’t want to bore you with unnecessary details, let me just sum up our first four days : we hit it off, well enough that I knew I would be seeing him again when he came up the following weekend (he managed to find an absurdly cheap plane ticket, and Mary Lou’s parents said they didn’t mind.) In fact, we hit it off so well that I *knew* that sometime before the next weekend was up, we would probably indulge ourselves in a first-kiss.

Now, don’t get the wrong impression about me– I’m not in the habit of running around and kissing strange guys. Just… call it a gut instinct, but somehow I just knew that it would happen. Now that I think about it, I have no idea why I suddenly latched onto the idea that I would be kissing a nearly complete-stranger before the week was up. Nevertheless, I just knew it. In fact, I knew it so well that I was beginning to get a stomachache just thinking about it. I don’t know how many of you out there know this about me, but I HATE ANTICIPATION. I hate it. Rather than heightening a moment, anticipation just makes me feel nervous and nauseous. I can’t even open biscuit cans, for goodness’ sakes, because I’m so busy getting all worked up over the little “POP” that’s coming…any….second…. that when it finally does happen I tend to throw the biscuit can to the floor with a scream. Like I said, I HATE ANTICIPATION.

So, there I was with Luke, on the last day of our four-day date, sitting in his car while we prolonged our goodbye. We were parked in front of Mary Lou’s parents’ house, chatting away contentedly… When IT happened. Some of you guys out there know what I’m talking about. IT. “IT” is that look that happens right before a kiss, when conversation drains away and time stands still. You find yourself suddenly unable to look away from the person in front of you, frozen as IT begins to take over and the two of you lean in slowly for a kiss. Like I said, IT suddenly happened, and Luke and slooowly leaned in… those last, few breathless moments of anticipation drawing out to a torturous halt…

And Mary Lou’s dad suddenly came out of his house to get something out of his car. IT’s spell was broken, and we began to chatter again nervously.

About ten minutes later, after conversation lulled slightly, IT happened again. And again we leaned in slooowly, drifting towards each other inexorably…

And Mary Lou came out of the house, to get something out of the garage. It was broken again.

And so we talked again. And IT started again. And Mary Lou’s neighbor decided to come over to their house for a visit, killing IT. And we talked again. And IT started again. And Mary Lou’s mom came out and grabbed something from the front yard before returning to the house.

By that time, the anticipation from IT had turned my stomach into a raging mass of nauseousness. In fact, after having undergone the whole ordeal four or five times, I had had enough. Luke had started back in on some nervous conversation (I can’t even remember what), when I decided to take matters into my own hands. Leaning across the console in his car, I rested my weight on my elbow, looked up at him, and spilled out my idea as fast as I could, purposefully not pausing to give him any chance of interrupting.

“Look, I can’t take it any more. I can’t. We’ve been almost kissing now for about half an hour, and it’s driving me nuts. I’m serious, I can’t handle this ‘almost’ junk any longer. I’m actually nauseous. I feel like throwing up. You should have been on the road twenty minutes ago, and if you leave without kissing me, we both know we’re just going to end up kissing next weekend, right? I don’t feel like spending the whole week freaking out about it. I just don’t. So, rather than sit here and worry about it any longer, why don’t we just get this whole ‘first-kiss’ crap out of the way, and then we won’t have to worry about it any longer?”

He looked dubious at this point, so I hurriedly added, “It’s like a band-aid, right Luke? I mean, you can take it off slowly, or you can just rip it off all at once and get it over with. Right?” (Of course, now that I think about it, it was kind of a hypocritical little metaphor for me to use… It usually takes me two to three hours to work off a band aid.)

There was a moment or two of silence, during which I truly expected him to lean down and get that dreaded first-kiss out of the way. Then…

“So… let me get this straight. You’re saying that the idea of kissing me makes you want to vomit, and you want it get it over with as soon as possible, like ripping off a band aid?” His eyebrows were hitched almost to his hairline, his whole expression incredulous.

At this point I should have just laughed and said something like “Psyche! Just kidding!” Instead, I took the stupid route. I decided he just needed convincing.

“No, Luke. That’s not it at all. It’s just that I don’t LIKE first kisses. Heck, I don’t even like first dates. There’s just too much anticipation involved. So, why not just get rid of the anticipation? I mean, it doesn’t even have to be a good kiss. Just, you know, kiss me, and get it over with. After all, let’s face it; a first kiss is never really romantic. It’s too nerve-wracking to be romantic. So why should we even bother?”

At this point (and I can’t believe I’m sharing this), I actually leaned even further across the console, to make it easier for the kiss to occur. “Let’s just get it out of the way so we don’t have to think about it anymore, okay?”

What followed was the copyrighted, trademarked, patented, official, etc, etc, etc World’s Most Uncomfortable Silence. There I was, half-lunging over the console in my attempt to be practical about IT… and there he was, with that incredibly shocked expression.

“Luke?”

The questioning tone in my voice kind of shocked him out of his, well, shock.

“Uh… Becky? I can’t do this. I mean, uh…” He gestured at me, at the car, at himself. “This is not romantic. I can’t kiss you like this. You may want to get it over with, but I’m not really ready to. I’m sorry, but… uh… I just can’t.”

You know, if switched the genders, the depiction below is pretty much exactly how that moment in time looked:

Can I say that the dawning horror of OH-CRAP-I’M-AN-IDIOT that began to coalesce in my mind was one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever been through? And may I also say that the trip back across the console was also one of the uncomfortable journeys I’ve ever made? There’s nothing like pure, unadulterated shame to make you feel truly uncomfortable.

So, there you go. That’s probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. I dare you to try and top it. Conversation, as usual where my embarrassing stories are concerned, never really recovered. It kind of limped along for another fifteen minutes or so before I bid him goodbye (No, no goodbye kiss.) It took me quite a few months before I was ever able to share that story with Mary Lou, much less anyone else. I’d have to say that ranks right up there in my mental Top Three most embarrassing stories. Maybe I’ll be able to share my Number One story with you one of these days, but I doubt it.

Oh, and for the record? I still think I was right— we should have just gotten it over with.

Huh?

After enough years of serving food/libations, you kind of get a feel for what a person is going to order. Skinny little blondes tend to eat salads, chubby people order fish ‘n chips (and three thousand refills on their sodas), and so on, and so forth. (For the record, I have nothing against fish ‘n chips.)

That said, I had one of those rare customers the other day at work that completely threw me for a loop. It was a fairly slow day-shift at the bar/restaurant I work at, so I was actually a little excited to see a customer walk through the door to sit in my section. Now, I realize that it’s not very politically correct to refer to him as a “big ol’ black guy”, but I’m sorry. That’s exactly what he was. He was very big, and very black, and very tattooed. I’d say he was somewhere in the vicinity of 6’6″, and maybe weighed around 350 lbs. Of course, that 350 lbs wasn’t necessarily fatness. He was big in a linebacker kind of a way, with a powerfully imposing thickness that only Samoans and black people tend to manage. (Really big white people just look kind of squishy and jiggly to me.) Anyhow, much to my delight, his voice actually matched his appearance. Deep, gravelly, and with the faintest hint of a deep-south drawl and dialect, he immediately ordered a double order of hot wings and chili cheese fries. I kind of figured that was about what he would order, and was busily jotting it down…. when he completely and totally surprised me.

“I wanna order me something fruity.”

Confused, I looked up from my waitress pad. “I’m sorry… What?”

“I said I wanna order me some kind of fruity drink. What you got?” He looked at me expectantly. For a moment, I was so confused that I couldn’t manage an answer. I mean, the man had just ordered grease upon grease upon grease, with a side of ranch dressing to wash it down. Wasn’t this the point where he was supposed to ask me for some scary, manly drink that matched his tattooed, gigantic exterior? Something like a bottle of whisky, or maybe a beer with a couple of chest hairs thrown in to spice it up?

“Ummm…” It took a few moments before I could come up with anything. “Maybe a strawberry daquiri? Would you like one of those?”

He looked thoughtful for a moment before replying, “Is it slushy? I want me a fruity, slushy drink.”

“Oh, yeah. You can order it frozen. It’s basically a frozen, strawberry alcoholic drink.” In fact, before I discovered how tasty a margarita could be, strawberry daquiris where the only alcoholic drink I could stand the taste of. “It comes with whipped cream on top!” I added, brightly. Who could resist the lure of whipped cream? “Of course, you can always try a pina colada.”

He looked at me doubtfully. “What’s in that?”

I listed the ingredients both both drinks before adding, “You know, strawberry daquiris are my personal favorite.” I really wanted to add at that point that they were my favorite because I was a girl, and unlike him I could get away with liking foofy drinks like this without being ridiculed, and wouldn’t he like to try a manlier drink? I thought better of it, of course. I didn’t want to put him in a bad mood. Besides, even without his scary-looking tattoos he might not have to worry about people making fun of him for his drink choices. Once you’re 6’6 and 350 pounds, people kind of ridicule you at their own risk.

Well, since I’m sure you’re all dying to know, he went with the strawberry daquiri. The food order came up first, and when I was finally able to bring his foofy-girly drink to him, I made sure to nestle it in between the mountain of buffalo wings and grease-laden fries. It stood out quite conspicuously, looking absurdly pink amongst all that macho-ness at the table. I think I found that placement a great deal more amusing than it actually was, but what can I say? It was pretty slow that day at work, so I was getting my kicks where I could.

On being a cocktail waitress

I never thought that I’d be praising God for a job in a bar, but lately I’ve been doing just that.

After a couple of weeks and a few thousand resumes, I finally found a nicely lucrative position as a cocktail waitress (Oh, wait, excuse me: “Server”) in a nearby pool bar. While I may not be a brag-worthy job, I am excited to report that the other “servers” said that I should average about $250 in tips on Fridays and Saturdays. Mind you, that’s$250 per night. Had I only known that jobs like this existed in the past, I would never have wasted my time as a regular waitress. Today was a very slow night, and even so, I would have walked away with about $90 if not for my usual ability to lose money. How did I lose this money? By being me.

I, more than anyone I know, misplace things. What kind of things, you ask? Everything, I reply. I think it’s moved past an art form, and more into the realm of magical ability. Really, I think I’m magically gifted in this area. Of course, I’m not really sure what kind of benefit there is to being magically gifted like this, but hey. Who am I to complain about being gifted?

Anyways, while I can’t be entirely certain, I have the distinct impression that I managed to lose somewhere in the vicinity of $40 in tips. Either it slipped out of my pocket, or someone stole it out of my pocket, or I just plain counted change back incorrectly. My inability to count money is actually one of my biggest embarrassments. Until I started working in the food industry, I was one of those people who couldn’t count their change to save their life. If you gave me the amount I could perform an inverse square root on it, or apply it into the quadratic formula, or even write an essay about it… but count i? Nope. I think there’s a whole bunch of people out there in the world like me, who have change-counting dyslexia. I can add all the numbers up in my head, but when I start trying to apply that to the money in my hand, everything gets all confusing. Of course, I figure I’m in good company with this inability— It’s rumored that Einstein suffered from the same problem.

So, what I figure really happened to the money is that, in my nervousness to count the change back correctly, I probably gave the people back their $20 in addition to all the change. Since the people I’m dealing with are, for the most part, drunken males in their mid 20s, I’m not exactly surprised that I didn’t have any honest refunds.

So I’m poorer than I should have been after 8 hours running around grabbing drinks for people… but on the other hand, my self-esteem has never been better. I’ve received so many heartfelt, thankful compliments during this past shift that I feel like I should be turning sideways to fit my head through doorways.

Just for fun, here’s a list of the pet-names I was called tonight:

Mama
Sweetie
Honey
Hun
Kitten
Sugar
Babe
Sweetcakes
Sweetthang

Two Hot Gay Guys

So today, despite my moral upbringing and overdeveloped guilt complex, I almost abandoned the boyfriend and ran away with two strange men. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. And before any of you guys start thinking about throwing any stones, let me assure you: You would have done the exact same thing.

I was walking home from the video store, slowly meandering down my busy little street. Traffic from a nearby street had been diverted down my own little residential area, leaving the cars backed up for quite a bit. I was threading my way between two stopped cars to cross a street, when suddenly…

“Excuse me, miss?”

I know it doesn’t sound like much of a statement, but did I mention that the statement was spoken in a pleasing baritone…. AS WELL AS WITH AN AMAZING ACCENT?
I mean, I know it’s completely cliche, but I am a COMPLETE sucker for accents. It’s pathetic. I know it’s shallow and dumb, but I can’t help it.

I mean, something like this could be walking down the street towards me:

And do you know what? If it started talking with a sexy little accent (preferably something from the UK), I’d start fluttering my eyelashes at him with my best HeyBaby look.

Like I said, it’s pathetic. It’s shallow. I’m a moron. Shall we get on with the story?

After a frantic scan of the area for the source of the brogue (please be talking to me, o’ mysteriously-accented One!) my eyes found the source of the comment. There in that line of cars, seated in a top-down convertible (BMW? Lexus? Something expensive-looking), were the two most insanely handsome men I have ever seen in my entire life. It was like something out of a movie. Forget that— these two were better looking than most movie stars, and I’m not exaggerating. Mr. Stunningly Gorgeous #1 was behind the wheel of the car, giving me an encouraging smile (dimples! He had dimples!), and Mr. Insanely Handsome man #2 was in the passenger seat, trying to motion me over. I fought the urge to look over my shoulder, or point at my chest in the classic “Who, me?” It’s not often that I’m confronted with two model-type 6’2″ men with Irish/Scottish brogues, chiseled features and muscles, shiny white teeth, and charming smiles.

What followed was a completely normal conversation. They were a little lost, and wanted directions to a street I didn’t know. I smiled, said that I’d love to help them out, if only they would let me into their car, their hearts, and/or their lives. They in turn laughed and told me that they were only pretending to be lost, and had decided to ask me directions in the hopes of being able to talk to me. They admitted that they’d never seen a woman as unbelievably stunning as I was, that they could tell I was intelligent and charismatic, and that the only thing that could make me any better was if I had cellulite hiding beneath my jeans (they had a secret cellulite fetish.) Flattered, I climbed into the backseat of the convertible, admitting that I did have an unsightly amount of cellulite rapidly accruing beneath my jeans, and that I would love to accept their proposal of marriage, and when would we be leaving back to Scotland/Ireland/Wherever they were from?

Sigh. I wish.

What really happened is that I stood there with my stained shirt and unbrushed hair and stuttered out completely incorrect directions. I had a completely ridiculous grin on my face the entire time, and I’m ashamed to say that I think I even giggled a couple of times. In other words, I behaved like a complete moron. I’m absolutely positive that they were gay, because they were absolutely too-good looking and clean to be otherwise. After all, has anyone but me noticed that gay guys now-a-days all tend to be perfect (aside from their penchant for being gay?)

The second they were gone I was completely mortified by my behavior, and called up the boyfriend to confess that I’d almost left him for some hot gay guys. He was amazingly forgiving, especially considering the fact that I admitted openly that I was planning on screaming out “Take me with you!” I’ll go with you anywhere!” if they were to ever return.