Lee. I’m almost positive this was a fake name anyway, so let’s just keep it.
In my wilder days, I had mostly co-ed evenings out. I was lucky enough to be part of a somewhat large circle of bar-hopping friends who as a whole felt very comfortable in just about any place that sold alcohol. Mostly because we would swarm in somewhat early and by halfway through the evening, everyone in the place would know us. More or less. This dynamic was fantastic for having a good night out, but not the best for meeting new guys. Because our guy-girl ratio was fairly even, most other guys wouldn’t bother making moves because the assumption was always that we were there as couples. This wave of going out en masse lasted a good long while, but when the swell died down so did my desire to go to bars at all, let alone meet new men there.
Enter the Girls Night Out.
One weekend I had some friends visiting from out of town, plus their friends, plus a group of girls from various smaller local friend circles get together to celebrate that age-old tradition that ends up with at least one raunchy story. I happened to be the star of this one.
We spent the whole evening in our circle, dancing, laughing, and drinking who-knows-what, and taking bomb shots at a time when they were at the height of their popularity. The difference between me and most of the lovely ladies I was with this particular evening was that I would be going home to an empty house and they would either be going home to their boyfriends, fiances, or husbands, or calling their boyfriends/fiances/husbands as soon as they got back to their hotel rooms. No fair!
I realized around midnight that I was a tad jealous and began to scan the bar for some testosterone of my own to sample. And when I say scan, I mean look around and try to figure out if the haziness was either the smoke in the room or my being far too drunk. Spoiler alert: It was my being far too drunk.
Rookie Mistake #1. Never get THAT drunk when you’re planning on having a one-nighter.
But it was too late. I was on a mission. At some point a guy who was with someone I checked out a few times came over and started talking but it was loud and I wasn’t listening to him anyway. And being the perfect lady I am, I turned to this fine gentleman and asked him his name. Let’s call him Jack.
“I’m Jack,” he said.
“That’s great Jack. Hi. I really haven’t been listening to you at all and I don’t care. Who’s your friend over there?”
“Him? That’s Lee.”
“Lee. Is his girlfriend here?” ***I learned from a mistake. See entry: Wes.***
“Lee doesn’t have a girlfriend.”
I get up and sit next to Lee and do whatever it is I thought was a sexy move, but having been drunk the exact details elude me. It must have worked because next thing I know we’re making out in the bar, which is something I actually can’t stand to see. Ever. And here I am committing the same crime. Oh well.
At this point the girl code kicks in and my ladies come over and try to save me from poor decisions by explaining how it’s time to go. I was already invested in this boy. “It’s time to go home,” they said. “I’ll go home,” I said. “But not with you. I want Lee to take me home.” They were very much against this idea, but his boys assured them that everything would be fine. There was a significant amount of back-and-forth and I finally managed to convince my girls that I wouldn’t die this evening.
Rookie Mistake #2. Never let your friends leave without you when you’ve got no other way home, save a random guy you’ve known for 20 minutes.
We all left together, my friends getting in their cars while Lee and I got in a cab. We were heading to his place.
Rookie Mistake #3. Keep the O.N.S. on home turf.
You never know what you’re going to walk into at someone else’s house, but you’ve got plenty of home court advantage at your own place. Some may disagree with me on this one. But I’m sticking by it. Especially because when I stumbled into Lee’s place I thought I was done for.
The place looked like a frat house and was definitely shady. I’m thinking he had about 3 or 4 (thousand) roommates. I immediately changed my mind. I regrouped in the bathroom and when I came out I asked if it was okay that we went to my place instead. I told him his place was scary and we’d have much more fun at my own. I don’t know if that was entirely truthful, but at least I didn’t have to worry about roommates sitting by the bedroom door giggling at their friend’s conquest.
In the morning, I realized how stupid I had been the night before and how my friends were probably so mad at me and scared that they just let their friend go off to certain doom. I began the text parade. When Lee woke up we said hi to each other and I complimented him on his tattoo. Then it was awkward.
Rookie Mistake #4. There was no exit strategy.
I was new at this and hadn’t thought that far ahead. It was Saturday now and I had absolutely no plans. No big work meeting to get to, no pressing errands to run, no real reason to kick him out. He floated around the bedroom like a ghost, probably also trying to figure out the nicest way to make a run for it. In the end, my texting is what saved us from the awkwardness. When he saw my phone, you would have thought he had an epiphany that suddenly gave him the cure for cancer. “Oh! My phone. I should probably call ____. Is it here? I think it’s in the car…I should go get it.” As soon as he was out the door I rushed over to the window, kind of hoping he would just drive away. He didn’t. He just sat in the driver’s seat. For a while. When my phone rang I nearly jumped out of my skin. It was Lee.
“Hey. I think I’m just going to go home…?”
“Yeah that’s probably a good idea. Are you good with directions?”
“Yeah, I’ll make it back okay.”
“Good. Give me a buzz if you get lost.”
And he was off.
Rookie Mistakes #5,6,7.
I didn’t delete him from my phone.
I ended up going back to the same bar fairly shortly after our evening. I didn’t see him (thankfully) but I did recognize a couple of friends. Turns out at least one of them worked there. I could no longer go back to this bar. Bummer.
I texted him a few weeks later because I was out in his neighborhood and wanted to meet up again. He said that sounded like a good idea, but later flaked out. I spent the rest of the evening sulking and feeling rejected. Ugh. What a lame-o.
I made plenty of mistakes with Lee.
And I learned at least one lesson: your phone can be a lifesaver in some situations, but in others, it’s your own worst enemy.