Thursday, 27 January 2011

Please...Don't Ever Be This Guy

 If you've just run across this blog, check out my first post, it might explain this a bit more.

I always mention that I spent most of my young adult years in the hospitality industry and continue to have many friends and even the odd business opportunity in the "industry".

Because of this I have pretty good perspective into both worlds, the one where you work/live/party, and the other where you are just a purveyor of the services provided.

What I have found by speaking to friends who have never been in the industry, is that they have an odd perception of what its like, and more importantly how they are viewed as just customers.

It had been years since I'd actually worked at a bar or club by the time I became single, and I'll have to say I was a tad rusty as I hung out with more and more friends that I didn't have the chance to when I was all hitched and stuff. And during this "transition" period, one event transpired that illustrated how much of an outsider I had become.

The benefit of having amigo's in the bar industry is that you get an automatic "in" with all of the pleasant looking staff that generally populate most bars and restaurants. Normally picking up bartenders and waitresses is effing hard, they get hit on for a living, but if you can crack the barrier between "dude that comes in all the time" and "so-and-so's buddy" then you can actually get a good shot at hanging out with some of the delightful people that work in these places.

On one occasion I happened to be hitting it off with a pretty young lass who happened to bartend at a friends restaurant. So, arrangements were made to spend an evening watching a game, having some pints and exposing this lovely young lady to the "me and my friends" version of me while she worked. Perfect.

Well, a few pints turned into many many pints, some vodka and some Jack Daniels. I went from Zero to DANCING ON THE BAR TO MICHAEL JACKSON AS A CROWD FORMED OUT ON THE SIDEWALK in about 4 jaegerbombs. 

Yup. I became THAT guy. But it gets worse.

As the night dwindled down and people filed out of the restaurant, the "party" became a few staff hanging around, me, and this nice young lady. Who was not only sober, but trying to clean up her bar to close down.
This is where many of you non-industry gentlemen need to pay close attention

Leave. Right then. Unless you have a dated and notarized "you're coming home with me" signed affidavit, you need to bail. 

Why? Well let me tell you what happens next.

Everybody leaves. And you're left there as the guy who nobody reeeally knows, pestering a girl trying to close her bar. You will forever be known as "Oh, that's the guy that was still at the bar at 3 AM last week?"

You do not want to be that guy. Because that guy happens more than you know. And nobody likes that guy. It doesn't matter how nice you are, you will transition from charming dude to a biiiit of a weirdo really, really fast. 

And nothing feels or looks worse than having to get up and leave, by yourself, as the staff watch you exit alone. Drunk.

Here's the truth, it will always be better to be forgotten forever than to be remembered for a minute as "That Guy"

Thursday, 20 January 2011

We Got a Runner!

If you've just run across this blog, check out my first post, it might explain this a bit more.

My first REAL "night out" after becoming single was an astonishing eye-opener. I hadn't gone out and put myself "out there" in years. I certainly wasn't looking for a GF but WAS looking for a bit of freaking attention.

For me the most difficult part of a break up was convincing myself that I still had some awesome on the table. Not so much in the  "Do I still got it?" kind of way, but more like the "Oh crap am I a hopeless, lonely, pathetic has-been?" sort of way. 

Very different.

So out I went. Boys night out. Half the guys are married. (What the hell am I doing?) But to my delight, some of the guys had literally never been out like this with me before. So after we crushed 30 gin and tonics (Lost the credit card roulette on that one...kept the bill...ugh) off to the club we were, and as the guys milled about, chatting and drinking some more, what came to be known as the "Secret Weapon" unleashed.

Its a funny thing if you can dance a bit. You not only stand out, but its refreshing to a lot of girls. "Oh, a dude that can ACTUALLY dance a bit? cool!" It also isn't too bad that most drunken dudes look like complete donkey's at the show a bit of rhythm and you end up looking like M.J. to the rest of the place.

And depending on the night, and available stable of better looking guys around, you can actually ATTRACT girls!

I've mentioned, I'm no super model, so having women come up to ME is freaking rad.

An extra side order of awesome to go with the night was the dudes I'm with LOSING their minds as my dance card filled. (Post traumatic break-up syndrome ego boost? Check.)

With my confidence and blood alcohol level at an all time high; I'm dancing, I'm impressing, I'm of the boys decides its time to head to an Irish Pub down the street and proceeds to think I'd be the best wing man of the group. So off I go. From dancing super awesome attention Irish freaking pub.

I like to always mention that I am a lucky guy. Especially in friends. I have a group of brothers that are like none other. This is awesome in so many ways, especially that they insist on taking care of me in my new found single-dom. 

Their diagnosis of my condition? He's sad. Why? No girl. Solution? Get him another girl. Simple man-logic. Sincere, though slightly misguided.

Now I'm a polite guy. I genuinely like people. I am rarely rude and tend to find something I like about everybody I meet. 

But on this particular occasion, what was paraded to me by my friend was a line-up of women do I put this...were the only ones left still single at 2 in the morning at an Irish Pub?

I remained polite, but was now quite inebriated, no longer in my little dance utopia surrounded by people who thought I was awesome...and though I was not sure I wanted one, I was clearly not in a position where I was going to even have a good drunken conversation this evening at the least.

And then I saw her. She was small, wearing a floppy paper boy hat, (I'm a sucker for girls in hats) and talking to some dude...but...she was a looker! But dammit, how am I going to even get a chance to talk to her? My mind raced!  Is that her boyfriend? If not do you think she has one? Do I  just immediately ask her? I really want a Big Mac.

And as I stood their gawking like a stalker, my window of opportunity opened, she said something, frustratingly picked up her coat and stormed away from the guy! Eureka! I exclaimed. (ok I didn't, but you get it) I cut her off and attempted to say something witty.

Now I'm normally quite the silver-tongued rapscallion, but at this point in the evening I was a blurred, slurring shell of my normal self. What I said I dont know, but she stopped, and started talking to me. In my drunken state of course I thought I'd NAILED it.

But the fact was, I was dealing with a bit of a pistol on this fine evening. This lil filly was a freaking Firecracker. I don't know if it was her "schtick" when meeting dudes (you know those girls that are kind overly vulgar and extra brash trying to come off a bit more like "one of the guys' in hopes she'll land "one of the guys"?) but she was a bit...annoying?

At this point, being a tad disappointed at how my night had ended up, instead of being my regular, polite self, I responded to her with about the same level of douche-ocity she was brangin' at me.

Now I dont know exactly how the entire conversation went, but I do remember one specific thing that I said to her which immediately ended the conversation...ahem..."I hate your face." Yup. Totally said that. Her reaction though, well that was the kicker.

She reached up,  grabbed the back of my head and starting kissing the hell outta my face. Like I was a drowning victim. Keep in mind that even though I was relishing the attention I was getting this first ever time out, but c'mon, I was  still a tad green behinfd the gills (anybody know what that means?)

It's like having your water wings off for the first time and then some kid pushes you off the high diving board. Exasperatingly terrifying.

So I did what any 30 year old newly single drunkenly confident lad would do. I fucking bolted.

Right out the door of the pub. No thanks. No goodbyes. Just ripped my head out of her makeout death grip and gone. If the door had been locked, you'd have seen my Wile E. Coyote cutout and a trail of smoke down the road.

It was an overwhelming feeling of terror. That was the first mouth that had touched my mouth since the last mouth. And that was the same mouth for 4 and a half years! It was a WEIRD mouth! And it felt like I was cheating on somebody. That was the essence of the moment. I was totally single. Very single. But it felt like I was cheating. And it was nuts.

When I spoke to the friend that had dragged me there later in the week he said I just looked up from my angry little makeout machine with a blank stare, did an about face and went straight out the front door. Like I'd just remembered I left the iron on and needed to race home to make sure my house wasn't on fire.

I do remember two things immediately after while I was walking alone up the street. One, I said to myself; "Welcome to single life. Holy crap." and Two, I went straight to McDonald's and ate a Big Mac.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Welcome to Charm-ageddon - Unleashing my Social Freedom on the Masses

If you've just run across this blog, check out my first post, it might explain this a bit more.

I figured out at an early age that if you're funny, everybody will like you.

Don't be the class clown, be the class comedian. I sometimes think that I might just know what people like to hear, but in my heart I think I actually give a crap. About people. And love to make them feel good.

Put it this way, I couldn't roll up to a group of plasticy night club bottle rats and have any hope of them giving me the time of day in the middle of a loud, crowded night club.

But, put me at a table with the same group, at a party with an hour at my disposal, and they have no chance. Not that I'm going home with any of them, but I'll be contending for BFF status within the hour.

For the better part of four years this wonderful chunk of my personality has been stuffed in a garbage bag, duct taped, chained inside of a trunk and sunk to the bottom of the ocean with Dexter-like anonymity. And when I realized I could still be like that. Well was on.

Its an interesting feeling when you have unwavering confidence in your abilities. Don't think for one second my ego isn't held in check by numerous painful and humiliating failures...but I think true confidence isn't blind and nonobjective, its knowing that you CAN do something while having enough perspective to realize that sometimes you might not.

This was me when I was corralled from the pits of pseudo depression by my amigo's, and sent out into the big bad world of single-dom.

Like being shot out of an awesomecannon with two six-shooters full of "Fuck-yeah!"

Needless to say, these stories are all as true as they can be while protecting everybody involved. The essence remains intact but they're simply the ramblings of a dude that looks around sometimes and thinks that he is the only one in here.

In reality, I'm just single, struggling and like to meet people. That's it.

One thing I need to mention is that I can dance. Kinda well. I'm not "formally" trained but have a lot of practice. If I'm in a club full of white dudes, I can generally get the "Where the hell did THAT come from!??!" reaction from people. None of my siblings can dance, not sure about my parents, and I am as anglo-saxon as they come...and for some ridiculous reason I can just move.

If there's one single piece of advice I can offer to any Dads that want to give their little dudes a leg up in their future social lives...especially with the opposite sex...drag their assess to a hip hop class. Trust me. You could be ugly, shy, overweight... but if you can shake it, you'll do ok.


Many people who have known me in my past know this about me; a couple beers and a good song, and I'm off. One of the most amazing experiences you can have with a person is to dance with them. Like lose yourself dance with somebody. So many of my friends can't relate to this and unfortunately I'm not inviting the dudes over to my pad to show them what its like to grind to a Lucy Pearl they'll never know.

Girls on the other hand, well, the vast majority of girls can shake many of them know this feeling...and really like to find it. Let me explain:

A fresh haircut, a new shirt (T-Shirt time!!) some friends at my apartment pre-drinking, laughing our faces off, go to a lounge, half-cut, appy's,  a few more drinks. Feeling POPPIN' and head out to a Its dark and hot and sweaty and you're faded and having an amazing time, feeling good &  looking good and then....then your song comes on. BAM! You're in a goddamn music video.

THATS the feeling I chase. Like a freaking drug.

THAT 3 minutes where you and whoever are with are literally on another planet completely lost in that moment. You can't buy that feeling. Thats is why I started dancing, and thats why you need to learn. Also. Girls really like it.

I have only ever had a relationship with one person that could keep up with me on the dance floor. And I'll tell you, that's a way to keep the spark alive. You've had a long work week, you're grumpy and tired.

Get faded and go dance. Dance your asses off. And if somebody can really feel it with you...holy shit people. That is an attraction you can't fake.

So, this little adventure of mine began with the realization that I haven't danced in over four years.

The girl I was with couldn't dance well, and wasn't keen on me seeking out that type of connection with anybody else. Fair enough. Result; No dancing.

Could I call this a regret? I think a Fuck ya is in order. there a lesson learned here?

Relationships are about compromise, communication and sacrifice, but if somebody is making you sacrifice a fundamental part of your personal identity...shit ain't good. Change it.

I dance now. As much as I can. One of the best parts of being single. I chase those moments and it keeps me going through all of the crap.

They say you should dance like nobody's watching...screw that...put on a frickin show, and sell tickets 


Monday, 10 January 2011

The Life & Times of a Single Social Butterfly

The most difficult part of being single and over 30 isn't the perpetual loneliness, the redundant regurgitated "get to know" me lines or constant potential for rejection and humiliation.

It's being "that guy".

Its being the one guy at the end of the dinner table who whose (married or coupled-up) friends most certainly pre-introduce him to other singles as, "Oh, my friend [so and so] is going to be there, he's sooo much fun!'


I feel the glances as people survey the room at the party or join the table, like they're picking out the person from the ad in craigslist to buy a dvd player and agreed to meet at a coffee shop...and I can't help but hear them all thinking, "Oh he's kind of cute, seems funny, why's he still single?"

Why does it bother me?

Because "that guy" is the charming permanently single ladies-dude that is fun, relatively handsome but ends up being 45, still single, less handsome and growing more pathetic with each weekend out attempting to squeeze the last few ounces of charisma out of the garlic press that is his former personality. Ya, that guy.

I don't like that guy.

And also, I don't prefer to be single.

I'd like to think that after a few minutes I genuinely come across as a sincere & respectful gentlemen, but due to being blessed with what can only be described as an "infectious" personality coupled with an uber-friendly demeanor and an undying need for adventure(attention?), I fear I am often lumped in as just another one of those "fun" dudes just out for a good time.

Now don't get me wrong, I DO like to have a good time, and I LOVE to take people along for the ride, but within all of my wild adventures and spontaneity, I'd much rather just have somebody rad to wake up with every morning.

I have had that before.

Radness I mean.

I can safely say that in 30+ years I have been in love 3 times. One was a high school sweetheart. 5 years. But as the poster child for attention deficit disorder it was a mish mash of misguided feelings and fulfillment of the deep seeded need for a family.

Another was the most passionate, perfect, blissfull amazing 2 years I have ever experienced with another human. But being so young and inexperienced in life, it obviously blew up when we were faced with legitimate life lessons, and it traumatized me for...well...ever I think.

And lastly, this story begins with me as a newly single thirty something after close to 5 years of a relationship that abruptly ended at the exact point it was going to begin gettin all fur real n shizz. And honestly, I'm glad it ended..

But now I am faced with a strange and terrifying predicament:

I don't know how to do this! 

I've been thrust into a world where I'm no longer me and somebody... I'm just me.

From waking up alone,  to defining what a home is, to putting myself "out there" for....shit....whatever...this has been the most challenging personal experience of my life, and most of it has been hilarious.

This isn't advice, this isn't the answer to anything. I'm just a dude. Trying to figure it out.