We are standing in the corner of the bar (nursing our G&Ts, of course) when I notice a guy and his friend sitting at the bar who keep looking over at us. After a double take, I realize I know him. We went to middle school together…and I haven’t seen him since. After a few more minutes of staring, he and his friend stand up and walk over to us. As he approaches, I yell “Hey Middle School Guy!” He looks slightly taken aback, then confused, then the light clicks on…”Oh, Circe! Wow, how are you?”
After a few minutes of obligatory recent grad catching up (Where did you go to college? Are you still living with your parents? Do you hate your job too?” MSG begins bashfully, ”Ok, so I have to admit something. I didn’t exactly come over because I recognized you. You look totally different! And great! (Yea, last time he saw me I was probably a foot shorter and had not hit puberty…he, however, is the exact same height and looks exactly the same). But honestly, I came over because I saw two cute girls and figured I’d give it a shot.” I do my usual brush-off for a guy I’m not really interested in: “Oh stop!” while doing the limp wristed hand flick. Before Maven and I head out to our next locale, I exchange numbers with MSG so we can get together and catch up soberly.
Flash forward to the next weekend
MSG invites me to his place to watch the football game with his cousin. (He is a really sweet guy, I feel very comfortable around him, he insists on paying for everything, has one of those family first, slightly mob-esque Italian mentalities…maybe I should give him a shot as more than friends, right?) He greets me at the door, and I step into his condo. First impression: very well kept and tidy for a twenty-something bachelor. Beautiful tiled floors, dark wood table, dark furniture… masculine yet tasteful.
Then he opens his mouth.
MSG spreads his arm wide, turns around, and proudly proclaims, “Welcome to my humble commode.”
I look at him for a moment, studying his face for a hint of a smirk or a twinkle in his eye, but nothing. Nada, zip, zilch. Just pure, unadulterated, genuine eagerness for my approval. I bite my lip and dig my fingernails into my palms in an attempt to keep a straight face. The poor guy is too sweet and sincere for me to call him out…it would be like kicking a puppy…so I put on my best fake smile and simply declare, “It’s a very nice place!”
No need for test words…he’s already failed all on his own. Looks like it’s strictly friend zone for this wayward wordsmith. And maybe a dictionary…