My adventures started by going to LUSH with a bunch of straights! I went to high school with Cory and Charlie and we used to do a radio show together. I quit doing it, but they revamped it and have done a great job with it, and I shall shamelessly plug for it here (no, it was not called Macho Men Radio when I was co-hosting, but a boy can dream). Cory and Charlie love LUSH because they know one of the bartenders, who happens to be nominated for a local bartender award (which you can vote for here. This link also made me realize that I need to go to other bars besides LUSH and The Saloon, because Minneapolis really does have a lot to offer, gosh darn it. I voted for Chris and T.J., my imaginary husband).
It was a Friday night, and that is when LUSH does their girl night, so I put a minimal effort in my appearance (not much foundation and a long-sleeve Ralph Lauren shirt from the kids' department). It turned out there were cute boys there, too, dammit! Cory and Charlie are longtime Green Bay Packers fans and lost a bet, so they were in Vikings jerseys, and maybe that's why they decided to go to LUSH. If they're going to be Vikings fans for a night, they might as well pretend to be gay.
There were three other men in our group, and one of them was a very tall and boisterous man named Tony who graciously bought me shots all night. I had enough to dance. The lesbians were dancing like middle-schoolers, creating a circle and waiting for somebody to dance in the middle. Charlie (who, it should now be noted, is very much a bro-ski jock) had enough liquid courage to do one-armed push-ups, and then he picked me up by the waist and we did what I can only describe as the "slutty Channing Tatum move", in which my legs were around him with my chest at his face and he was jokingly thrusting. It was all in good fun, until a gay in a red shirt decided that Charlie was lunch.
And the poor boy. He just didn't get it. Red Shirt started talking to Charlie, and I decided to go mingle. I admit, too, that I was being selfish and immature and decided that I was going to let this bar think Charlie was my hot boyfriend for the evening. He was straight! I was never going to see these people ever again! This was also why I was fine with Charlie talking to Red Shirt, because I definitely didn't want these people to think that I was one of those jealous, clingy, always-on-him type of boyfriends (and these boys do exist. I saw one of them last night).
Charlie is friendly, outgoing, and only sees the good in people. I don't even think he understood that Red Shirt was hitting on him. "I'm with Jakey," Charlie kept saying. "This is Jakey. Talk to Jakey." "I don't want to talk to Jakey," said Red Shirt. "I want to talk to you." Then Red Shirt took off his red shirt to reveal a hot gym body. Then Charlie started flexing. Then Red Shirt started flexing. Charlie, I was trying to communicate telepathically. He's totally doing a mating call!
While this all went on, I had another screwdriver and was that girl at the bar who was crying about a break-up. And I didn't even have a break-up! I had a doomed emotional affair that was doomed from the start, and this shit started in May! Tony was a very good listener and encouraged me to not settle.
Well, the romance ended, and Charlie and Red Shirt got mad at each other. Then Charlie got into defensive fake boyfriend mode. "If he gives you shit, I'll fuck him up," he kept saying. Cory could barely stand. It was time to go. I was able to calm Charlie down, and then right when his mood alleviated, Cory acted like a Bravo housewife and stirred shit again. "There's the guy in the red shirt again!" he yelled. "GOD DAMMIT!" I yelled.
Cory and his bros went home, and Tony, Charlie and I got a town car to the 19. Tony wanted to sit in the front, but he decided this after Charlie and I were in the back seat. Charlie still sat in the middle seat. "I'm serious," he said. "Anyone gives you shit, I'll take 'em down. No one fucks with you." Tony and the driver showed each other pictures of their children.
We got to the 19 and I put "Silver Springs" in the jukebox. I HAVE BEEN OBSESSED WITH SILVER SPRINGS. My father bought me Stevie Nicks' Greatest Hits for Christmas but I haven't even opened it. I have loved "Silver Springs" ever since a lady sang it at Big Louie's karaoke in November, and I have been especially obsessed with it since this latest emotional debacle.
Charlie, Tony, and I mingled. People still thought Charlie was my boyfriend, but I was mature enough to admit his heterosexuality. It's the 19. We met a nice man, and Tony insisted that I go on a date with him. He was getting his Ph.D and will probably rule the world in ten years, but I wasn't attracted to him in any physical sense. God knows I am not Channing Tatum, but there has to be an initial spark there, even if I don't put out. Seriously, the only time I get a 69 is at bingo. (Ba da bum bum CHING.) A nice man drove us to my apartment where the town car picked up the boys. As sad as I was, and as drunk as Charlie was (I kept feeding him Listerine strips), I realized his prototype is not what I am necessarily holding out for, but what I will always hope for. Not Charlie himself (he is happily in a relationship and is, in the words of my father, "a thousand percent heterosexual"), but a boy who will do one-armed push-ups at the bar and will sit in the middle seat next to you in the town car even though he could have slid over to the passenger side.
The next week, my adventures started with a comedy show at the University of Minnesota for a gay-identified fraternity. Heaven, right? It was hosted by a drag queen who guessed I was 110 pounds, and Joey came to cheer me on. He brought a cute boy with him. Joey has encouraged me to start dating, as he goes on dates often as a way to meet new people, whereas I go on Grindr and then never write anybody back. The show itself was very inspirational, with a mix of comedians, spoken word, and music. I did a bit about the Kevin thing ending, and when I got to the line about how all the warning signs were there -- "He was rocking a pouka shell necklace" -- a gorgeous 19-year-old gay audibly groaned. Validation!
I have also flirted with the idea of going to the U in the fall, but it would all have to make sense, and I would have to tell myself that I would not just be going to look at cute boys.
"But what would you go for?" Erin asked me.
"Bro-skis," I answered.
"No, what major," she clarified. It is a big life decision.
Anygay, the show was on a Wednesday, so Joey and I both agreed to end our night at LUSH. He didn't bring the boy with him to the bar, but we still recapped the evening.
"I liked him!" I yelled over the music. "He was nice!"
"Oh, you think I look nice?" Joey asked. "Thanks!"
"No, the boy was nice!" I yelled. "But you *do* look nice! Did you have fun?"
"Yeah, we had a great time!"
"Oh, good, I'm glad it was a good show!"
"No, I meant when we went to get wine!"
"But the show was good too!"
We have clearly mastered conversation.
The usual suspects were at LUSH that night, and at one point J.C. walked up to us and started poking me, to the point that I thought I was going to be pushed out the door.
"Is this your move?" I asked. "You're trying to talk to Joey so you're gonna push me outside? That's actually really funny."
"What? No," J.C. smiled. "Why are your hands so soft? I like you. You actually talk."
J.C. has a crush on Joey, which is totally fine. I mean, who doesn't? My mother probably has a crush on Joey. Anygay, at one point eight of us were sitting in a booth. I was sure to say hello to Quinn, because I want him to make sure I don't have animosity towards him. I ended up across from Philip, who doesn't say anything and doesn't always say hello to me. Amidst all that awkwardness, J.C. was jokingly flirting with me to make Joey jealous. I saw right through it, but it didn't keep me from turning red like a fire hydrant when he had his arm around me. Flirting is fun!
The next day, I went to LUSH with straight guys again! Drew is a boy that was in the play Joey and I were supposed to be in (the play got cancelled, but Drew and I still had to rehearse our kissing scene four times. That was most of the action I got in 2012, I think). I wanted to go to LUSH for karaoke. First I did "Work It" and then I decided I had drank enough to actually sing "Silver Springs". But I can't really sing! I am totally tone-deaf! Despite the shots I had, I was frantic and asked a girl to sing back-up. "You'll be fine," she re-assured. "And the karaoke guys will back you up if they need to."
"Just be with me," I told the bar. "I can't sing, but I have a lot of feelings. If it's terrible, I will just do stand-up."
The crowd was totally with me, even when I changed the words at the end!
TIME CAST A SPELL ON YOU BUT YOU WON'T FORGET ME
I KNOW I COULD HAVE LOVED YOU BUT YOU WOULD NOT LET ME
I'LL FOLLOW YOU DOWN TO THE SOUND OF THE VOICE THAT HAUNTS YOU
YOU'LL NEVER GET AWAY FROM THE SOUND OF THE GAY BOY WHO LOVES YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
After that triumph, I convinced Drew to drop me off at The Saloon. J.C. cornered me at Danny's bar.
"Hey," he said. "You're really good friends with Joey, right? Have you talked shit about me?"
"Huh?" I eloquently asked, remembering that Joey drove me home Wednesday night. Of course we talked shit.
"What did you tell him?" J.C. asked. He is 6'3".
Well, there's nothing more annoying than being fake. I decided to be genuine. "I told him that you are in the Pretty Girl Mafia and you're the only one that actually talks to people," I confessed.
"Wait -- what?"
"The Pretty Girl Mafia!" I cried, and then I named names. "It's your whole posse and most of them can be really clique-y and stuck-up, but you're the only one that will actually make an effort to talk to people. I talked to you a year ago when I only went out once a month and didn't know anybody. You were working on a farm or something."
"Okay," J.C. smiled. "That's actually really funny. When I was younger I always wanted to be in the hot group."
"Well, now you are," I said, and I ordered another drink. The Pretty Girl Mafia is totally gonna take a hit out on me, and when I am killed, I am to be buried in a hideous argyle sweater. That's their calling card.
Then I flirted with Ryan Robertson. "I have to go to the bathroom," he said at one point. "You can come with me." I didn't know what meant, so I went back to T.J. I wrote my name on a napkin like a slut.
On Friday, Chuck decided he wanted to go to Jetset! Jared met us there and I schmoozed with Dennis, but I still did not talk to strangers. I don't know what I am so afraid of.
After three nights of going out and working nine days in a row, it is no surprise that I had my second sinus infection in four months. Because I am a space cadet and lost my insurance card, I had to go to the clinic by my parents' house. I ended up getting a dreamboat for a doctor, but I tried my best to be mature.
"Stick out your tongue," he said, and I resisted getting lost in his blue eyes.
"Hmm," he said. "I'm going to have to get out my stick." Then I blushed. So much for being mature. Then I thought I lost my keys at Walgreens and made my father come get me from his office, and after two trips to the house and back, I realized they were in my pocket the entire time. My brain has holes in it, I swear.
Chuck and Peter broke up over the weekend.
If this were a real show, we would see the whole thing. They would have their own Emmy clips.
But it's not a real show. It's only my fake show. So I shouldn't talk a lot about it. I will only say that they both reached out to me after it happened and told me they didn't want me to pick sides. I value both their friendships equally. They helped me turn into more of a grown-up, especially over my magical summer of 2012. I think they will both be okay, but I still talked to food about it. Divorce is always hard on the children.
Erin and I hung out last Thursday to watch the 30 Rock finale (we have often joked that I am Liz Lemon and she is Jenna Maroney). I was surprised by how sad it was!
After that, we went to Jetset for a tarot card reading despite the facts that it was 20 below zero and I was still fighting my sinus infection (sniffling is SEXY, y'all). I went first and asked about career and romance. The reader drew a card that looked like a wand with light emanating from it. Well, that's what I thought of it, anyway.
"What does this look like?" he asked.
"It's very phallic," Erin admitted.
"I have another deck that has actual nudity," the tarot card reader said. "Other than that, this is the most penis-like card I have in my possession. You are very focused on this, aren't you?"
"I'm very boy-crazy," I admitted. He was talking as if I was being promiscuous, but I am only emotionally promiscuous.
"I don't see anything about career," he said. "Only romance."
"But I may be in between careers," I said.
"I think if you focus more on the hard work, the romance will come," he said. "You're what, 23?"
"26," I whispered.
"You do not look it," he said. "You have a youthful appearance and youthful energy and that is going to serve you well. I see a lot of creativity here. You need to be in a job that needs that. Your emotions run hot and cold. Some people like that. Some people don't. I think that, in either career or romance, you need to go where you're valued. If someone texts you and asks why they haven't heard from you in months, it's okay to tell them, 'You have a phone'."
Erin enjoyed her reading as well, and when we sat back at the bar (where our bartender was delightful! Like a therapist!), a young man joined us. He had a well-groomed beard and was dressed nicely. "I've never been here before," he said. "But online said this was one of the best bars in Minneapolis." Was he straight?
"I'm here on business," he explained. "I'm originally from Phoenix."
"And you came to Minneapolis during this week!" Erin cried. "You must be miserable!"
"I'm here every month or so," he went on.
"Who do you work for?" Erin asked.
When he said the company name, my eye started twitching. When he said what city their headquarters were in, my other eye twitched.
"I'VE BEEN THERE!" I cried. "I WAS AT THEIR CHRISTMAS PARTY!" Then I finished my third Goose lemonade.
"We should dance," he suggested. He swing danced with Erin while I realized that the bartender had put on the Purple Rain soundtrack.
"Is this 'The Beautiful Ones'?" I cried. "Mariah Carey covered this on the Butterfly album! I have a lot of feelings."
I went to fake cry in the bathroom, and then I got ridiculous. I did not want to talk about Kevin but then you know I did.
"Have you been on the third floor!?" I asked Phoenix. "His picture is on the wall! If you see it, try not to fall in love with him!"
"His picture is on the wall?" Phoenix asked. "What, are you in love with the CEO of the company?"
"He probably will be CEO in ten years!" I cried. "And then he's gonna marry some 20-year-old with a tan and I will still be booty dancing at The Saloon but I will have a walker!" Then I think I started real crying.
We found out that the tarot card reader lives right by my apartment and is also in the lottery for the Minnesota Fringe Festival!
"I have a question!" I cried. "Is it a sign if Phoenix works at the same corporation as the boy I am trying to get over?"
"Hmm," the tarot reader said. "There is a difference between a sign and an incidence. If it happens, like, ten times, maybe it means something."
"I'm not stupid," I said. "When I was 18 I was in love with someone from the University of Texas and I thought every Longhorn hat was a sign, but then I realized that everyone and their dog has a Longhorn hat."
Erin dropped me and Phoenix off at The Saloon! I met up with Madison and her boyfriend as well. Liam was there and was stone cold sober! He looked adorable in a hooded sweater and I felt bad that I was so sloppy drunk. In my defense, I had overdone it on Claritin and Mucinex, and therefore my brain was probably doing jumping jacks. I wished I had said good-bye to the man from Phoenix, as he was very handsome and good-natured. I tried to talk to Ryan Robertson, but he wouldn't even turn around! He is hot and cold like my tarot card.
Tonight I find out if my one-man show is going up! I am going to start drinking at 4.