I found myself asking the question, “Which is more annoying? The fact that I locked myself out of my apartment on a cold San Francisco fall evening, or that I have [somewhat unintentionally] placed myself next to two people having a first date, one of whom is a shrieker?”
A couple of nights ago, in a bout of ambition, I decided to stumble up the hill to a nearby yoga studio and take a 90 minute Iyengar yoga class. After a quick pop into the apartment to shroud myself in a warm wool cape, followed by a couple of errands (a trip to the card store for two birthday cards resulting in nine card purchases, a simple meal to cook after said yoga class), I groped for my keys at the bottom of my Longchamp - aka Merry Poppins - bag. The depth of the purse combined with its new inhabitants seemed to have swallowed the keys up. I poured the contents of the purse out so they were spilling across my stoop in the darkness. Where…are….my…keys?!?!?
After a quick call to my roommate and boyfriend (both of whom were located at least an hour away), I decided to stumble back down the hill to one of my favorite local restaurants. I slid into a two top “table for one,” which seemed to have the wait staff confused. In any case, I quickly ordered the crab cakes and a glass of wine.
I looked to my right- a couple painfully obviously on their first date. Warning signs included overzealous nervous laughter, bouts of exaggerated facts peppering their conversation, and demanding questions like, “How old are you?” [Aside: I never have liked this question; I find age oftentimes irrelevant and at best, a way to put someone into a box based on what said age range ought to have experienced in life by living for a certain amount of time, but the number often leaves me disappointed. I don’t ask.]
To my left, two locals, who certainly were friendly with the waitstaff and menu. “How was your burger,” one coolly asked me, upon seeing a plate of fries left. “The crabcakes were actually delicious,” I remarked. They recommended the burger. And sitting at the bar whenever their favorite server was bartending, and at the tables when the server was waiting in the dining room. I nodded, remembering I had seen one of them at the book store a few days prior.
Back to date on the right, Mr. Vasel (he spelled out his last name and added that it was like ‘Vaseline;’ slick- right?) was left unoccupied as his new female friend left to use the facilities. He asked about the crab cake and pointed out that he was new to San Francisco, perhaps looking for reassurance? I recommended it, and asked if they were on a first date. He said “yes” and that they had met at a friend’s bar. The woman reappeared from the restroom and he quickly got up. She introduced herself to me, naturally; I would have been confused, peeved, irked if I were on a first date and he were already making friends with women at the tables next to us. I noted that I thought things were going well, and she commented that she liked him and was having a lot of fun. Unbeknown to them, I had posted a status detailing a few of the more memorable quotes, and was fighting off periodic fits of laughter. Something about him telling her that when he was at his sister’s wedding when he was 16, there were “men in suits floating in and out of the ceremony with whom he wasn’t allowed to speak,” implying some mafia style connections. Was he for real?
After conversing with the neighbors, I decided it was time to get the check. I figured I would have done a cheap and easy dinner, but it ended up being $50. I suppose cheap by San Francisco standards, although I could have gone without that second glass of wine. On my way back, i walked into a bar where a group of coworkers was participating in trivia night. Their team name? “Quiz In My Pants.” Don’t get the reference? Too bad.
Two days later, I still have a headache. Praying I don’t get sick.
What’s the point? In summary, if I get locked out of my apartment again, I can expect an unexpectedly entertaining date night… it just might not be my own. Oh yeah, and I am officially a lightweight with a two drink maximum.