How I Met My Match
June 10, 2014 § 2 Comments
In honor of my FOUR YEAR (gasp! that’s a lot in kid years!) Anniversary-ish/thing with Mister Red, I wanted to reprise a post from 2010 about the day we met. The day we now call Double Wink Day (aka Game 6 of the NBA Playoffs). What a fantastic muse he has been. I look forward to a lifetime of adorable antidotes about this goofy human. Okay, they aren’t all adorable, but they are all at least funny.
Sometimes you meet a man, and within the first 30 seconds your posture sinks, your head tilts, and you need a handkerchief to wipe up the drool. Most of the time it starts with his sly, corner-of-the-eye smile. It’s subtle, but you know it’s just for you.
Hold on, while I peel my chin off the floor, try to form actual sentences, and attempt to remember my name, and my age. Ahem, definitely my age. It was just a little ol’ smile. Total swoon. It’s the trifecta of the charming man, and no woman is safe from his spell.
These men glow with God-given charisma, a twinkle in the eye, a gentle nod, saying the punch line at the exact right moment even if it is about farts. Suddenly, all the women in the room are running into walls, tripping over their own shoelaces, and kissing babies who aren’t their own, spontaneously blinded by the stars in their eyes. All the single gals engage their claws.
He becomes a trophy synonymous with a bride’s bouquet. Never underestimate the ultimate power-move: the bouquet toss. We have all seen enough America’s Funniest Home Videos to be aware of the danger in this sport.
The trifecta is a perfectly balanced cocktail of boyish charm, old-fashioned sensibility, and sharp whit with hints of kindness and worldliness. He’s the man who will buy you a drink, subtly reveal a past heartbreak, crack jokes about current events, and at the same time weave in his admiration for his mother, love for animals, and desire to be a daddy one day. All while telling you that you are the most gorgeous woman he’s ever laid eyes on. You believe every word. Lap it up, kitty. Think 007, Jack Dawson (never let go), Danny Ocean, Batman, Will Hunting, or anything Jon Hamm has played recently. Okay, maybe just Jon Hamm, the person.
I experienced such an encounter with a striking ginger-haired bartender. You know I love a red beard. If I had a type it would be: Irish. With an Irishman I know what I’m getting: maybe a temper, most likely a drinking problem, but for certain, a fun loving guy with a sensitive side. Not to mention, Irishmen are the most loyal of them all.
I was meeting some Celtics fans to watch the battle in Game 6 of the NBA playoffs against the hometown heroes, the LA Lakers. Having lived in Boston only a short while before moving to Los Angeles, my allegiance didn’t lie what-so-ever with the shamrocks and as a Michigan girl, the Pistons weren’t doing much for me either. But a former flame was rumored to be in attendance, so… Go Celts!
Regardless, I love a game of ball with a beer and old friends. Boston fans are fiercely devoted (most of them Irish, case in point) therefore innately the Beantown Bar we were attempting to cram into was at max capacity. Plan B: throw a stone, hit an Irish Pub, order a pint, and you’ll be in the good company of loud Mass-holes.
I searched for my friends at the second pub. My scan of the playoff crowd was pleasantly interrupted by a tall Irish bartender. Pleasant is an understatement. It was magical; slow motion, soft focus with a wind machine. He was a blonde prince charming. Not a hair out of place. Perfectly coiffed, as though it had been taken out of one of Mattel’s fine Ken molds that morning. His shoulders broad and strong, piped with budding biceps. This boy ate his spinach. He was sure a tall drink of water too, really long legs. Hello, blue eyes! Oh that group of loud bumbling Boston fans harassing you? Yeah… unfortunately, I’m with them. I’ll just take my Guinness and be over here, mortified, if you need me.
One could assume I no longer was there to watch the game. The the former flame, the Tall Musician? Oh, at that time, I couldn’t have told you what instrument he played. Maybe the obo? Of course I tried to play it cool as I watched the ginger’s every move, gracefully dancing from one end of the bar to the other, sharing his winning smile with lucky patrons. Certainly, I wasn’t the only one who noticed his charm. Even the burly couch jockeys I came in with were making side comments and developing man-crushes. Good, so it’s not just me, he actually is making it hot in here. This man possessed the power to turn straight eyes gay.
Every once in a while we would make eye contact as he slung beers at my end of the bar. When I got up from my stool to graduate to the bathroom, he winked at me. Yup, he winked right at me.
Normally, winks from strangers are a kind of creepery I avoid, but the guy had the trifecta. I had a grandfather who would pass me pieces of candy before dinner with a wink. There’s a special place in my heart for a good winking, and I felt satisfied I had received special attention.
“I think I just got winked at,” I exclaimed with a pre-pubescent delight.
“You got what?” my friend, Ms. Pepper, was confused.
“I think the hot Irish bartender just winked at me. Do you think he winks at everyone?”
“He must be into you, because that outfit does not make you look like you have deep pockets,” she counseled and insulted. Sound advice, I had to wait for a second sign of reciprocated attraction before I made any aggressive plans to marry, and I put my jacket back on to aid my suffering ensemble.
At the end of the game we closed our tabs and collected outside the bar. The place was still packed inside. I resolved: one wink was all the attention Mister Handsome could give me.
As we waited for stragglers, my group started talking about him again. That’s the thing with a charming man, they leave a lasting impression. Just as my friends denigrated me for not striking up a conversation with Blue Eyes, speak of the devil, he walks outside to assess the area, and manages to look busy with the outdoor chalkboard displaying the specials. Our eyes locked. Another wink. Okay, now my knees were weak. I almost melted like the wicked witch. Oh what a world, what a world.
“He came out here just to wink at you,” Pepper encouraged.
“He didn’t do anything but move that sandwich board two inches. Literally picked it up and set it back down. Literally. He was looking for you. Go give him your number.”
Once under the spell of the Charming Trifecta a lady must make a bold move to prove she’s worthy. Fortunately for me, I was surrounded by enough clear thinking people, and had the consumed the right amount of liquid courage to make that bold move.
I, like any good soldier, am prepared for anything as long as I have my big purse. I tore a piece of paper from my notebook and with careful tact, legibly scrawled my number (the real one). Without allowing too much time for second thoughts, I marched into the bar and right up to Mister Handsome.
“I know you probably get this a lot, but… here’s my number,” I blurted out trying to disguise my fear, certain I was venturing out of my league. I’m only a seven at the beginning of the night, sober. I was probably down to a five at that point after a full day of work, a few brews and a cheap outfit. I held out the wishful piece of paper. The handsome ginger smiled and took my number.
The bar erupted into a celebration as the game ended. I forget who won, I was memorized by blue eyes.
“ACTUALLY I DON’T GET THIS A LOT,” he shouted above the loud bar, “I’M GLAD YOU CAME UP TO ME, I THOUGHT I MISSED YOU.”
Never has not hearing a man made me so tongue-tied. My nerves were eased as the trifecta took hold of me. The intoxication of his small talk sent me over the edge and into a poppy field. Although, not much was actually communicated because we couldn’t hear each other.
“WHAT NIGHTS DO YOU WORK SO I CAN STALK YOU IF YOU DON’T CALL?” I must have been mad to admit I would be all private investigator if he came to his senses.
“OH I’M GOING TO CALL YOU… BUT IF YOU WANT TO STALK ME ANYWAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, AND SUNDAY.”
I just smiled, engraving his schedule in my brain; positive he wasn’t going to call.
“BUT I AM GOING TO CALL. I’LL CALL YOU FRIDAY.” With that he winked at me, a now signature move. I smiled broadly, turned on my heel and tried to play it cool.
It took all my power not to shout with delight as I skipped out the door in celebration, which was a total fail at coolness. I actually skipped, like a 3rd grader at recess after trading a chunky peach yogurt for a chocolate snack pack. I may have even thrown my hands up in triumph.
I didn’t care if he saw me frolicking. I just thought, “if nothing else, it was truly explosive to make the acquaintance of the striking ginger-haired Irishmen with the trifecta of a charming man.” Maybe unnecessary celebration. Whatever. It was a bold move for me.
And he’s still winking at me, four years later.