“Em, I just don’t understand why you aren’t going out to bars and giving boys your number.”
This is an excerpt from a conversation I have with my mother every few weeks. She’s seen too many episodes of “Sex and the City” and gets worried that i’m wasting the best years of my life sitting at home on a Saturday night painting my nails and watching Gilmore Girls reruns. I usually respond to these allegations by saying that i’m pretty sure that heading down to Harpos and handing out my number is not the best way to find a boy who is going to build me bookshelves and talk about The West Wing, which is all I really want. This is when she sighs loudly and tells me i’m impossible. While I think I make a valid point, i’m starting to realize that the real reason i’m never going to be that kind of girl is because I make really awkward small talk with strangers.
Case in point:
I was in an airport recently on my way to New York City. I had gotten up at 5:00 am to make the 7:30 flight, only to find it delayed 30 minutes once I arrived at the gate. All the passengers were anxiously crowding the gate in a futile and annoying assertion of the very little control passengers have in airports. I ended up wedged next to a boy carrying a giant cello case that immediately interested to me. In fact, it was so interesting that it took me several minutes to realize that, in addition to being musically inclined, this boy could have been easily mistaken for a cast member on “Gossip Girl” having been blessed with prominent cheekbones and carefully tousled hair. I kept sneaking glances at him and the cello for longer than is socially acceptable before finally working up the courage to ask what I really wanted to know.
“ummareyouallowedtocarrythaton?” I asked.
I could see him separating the string into individual words before answering “No, I actually had to buy it a seat.” He went on to explain that he was from St. Louis and it was $4000 ($4000!!!!) cheaper to fix it there than in New York where he currently lived. The answer satisfied my curiosity and I resumed looking at my cup of coffee. But, to my surprise, cello boy started asking me questions and giving me recommendations about where to go in New York. We were making totally normal small talk like totally normal people!
I kept up the facade of being a totally normal person who can make totally normal small talk right up until the last second. As cello boy slid into his seat I asked, appropo of nothing, if he would start playing his cello if the plane crashed, like on the Titanic. He immediately looked confused and the tiny spark I had kindled all the way down the jet bridge was extinguished with a soft hiss.
“Huh?” He asked looking confused and sort of offended.
I managed a “Hahauhhnevermindnicetomeetyoubye!” and ducked down the aisle while he was still untangling my words.
So there it is, the true reason I will never go to bars and start giving boys my number. Unless that bar happens to be full of boys who would appreciate slightly morbid and obscure cultural references and if it was a actually a coffee shop and not a bar. Sorry, mom.