We were juniors in college and the six of us rented a house on Mill St. Around the corner was a dive bar that sold beer by the pitcher and amnesia out of cheap liquor bottles. They didn’t ID.
It wasn’t a college bar, it was a neighborhood dive and they had karaoke every Wednesday. The winner won a pitcher.
Every Wednesday, a few of us would go, the more adventurous two or three, and we’d down a pitcher, some liquid courage before I’d get up and belt out a song. We’d get a free pitcher. Now, I’d like you to believe it’s because of my stellar singing ability, but actually it was a blue collar working man’s bar, and we were a group of young girls. Of course I’d win.
This one particular night, after a few songs, a younger man approached me and told me how much he loved my voice. His name was Sean and he seemed nice, so after much convincing I agreed to go out on a date with him. He called the next day and we confirmed plans.
I got dressed up and we went to a country bar. Let me clarify. I thought it was a country bar, but it was a trucker country bar. Imagine my surprise years later when the bar was featured on Oprah during a segment on Truckstop Trixies. At the time, I couldn’t put my finger on what was awry and I was all of 19. I was overdressed and drinking beer out of a Mason jar which in some bars would be kitschy. This was not that bar. I was being watched from the moment we walked in which made Sean proud, and me feel like a shrimp invited to a cocktail party. Sauce anyone?
He didn’t want to go, so I finally convinced him that we’d have more fun at my house. I knew that’d get me home safely. Sure enough it did.
Of all nights, no one was home. I flipped on the TV on the way in, telling him to make himself comfortable, and rushed to the bathroom. I locked the door. Now the guy himself didn’t make me nervous, I just didn’t know how to get rid of him at this point. I had planned on giving a roommate the SOS look, which any girl from any culture will recognize immediately and formulate a plan. I had to go to Plan B, the stomach issues excuse.
I came out of the bathroom and he was not on the couch. I glanced around, unsettled, but still not out of my zone. The karate I had been taking gave me a small level of confidence and I didn’t run around telling people I knew it. I sat on the couch where he had been watching MTV. I heard the toilet flush upstairs, but stayed rooted to the couch, hoping it was a roommate, disconcerted that it was him and he was wandering around my house enough to find the other bathroom. I saw his sneakers and jeans descend the steps before I saw…his naked chest? He raised his eyebrows twice. He must have practiced in the bathroom mirror. Did he think he was in a porno?
He swaggered over to me. Did I mention he was a thin, Irish guy, cute in an anemic sort of way, but someone who should never under any circumstances swagger? He came over, kneeled in front of me, put his hands up in the air and started swaying to the music. His torso writhed like snake. He started rotating his hands around in a circular fashion and then thrusting his hips at my knees.
I sat dumbfounded. When the surprise passed, I bit my lip trying not to laugh. That was a mistake as he then bit his lip, some sort of mating dance had begun.
The screen door opened and in walked my roommate. L. is the scholastic wonder, the yin to my yang. She looked at us, he turned his head, saw her and continued. He really did think this was a porn movie.
I gave her my widest-eyed look whenever he shut his eyes, which was most of the time in this particular love dance. She shook her head and headed up the steps. She thought I wanted him there. Lovely. She didn’t catch the look and I was too afraid of hurting his feelings to make it more obvious. I was initially concerned about the situation, up until the dance. But then I realized how socially inept this poor soul was and I just wanted him out without humiliating him.
“Oh Sean, you have to go!”
He opened his eyes, puzzled. How could he leave when our love was so clear?
“That was my roommate who is so pissed at me. We aren’t…supposed to have men in the house. She’s very religious. Very religious. I’m so sorry, but you really have to go.” I hopped up on the couch where I was sitting and scrambled over him. I ran upstairs grabbed his shirt, ran back down and told him how we’d do it again, but with school and all I didn’t really have time to date. But boy, oh boy, this was so much fun.
I talked quickly as I ushered him to the door, locking it behind him, his shirt only half on.
I went up to L.’s room and we explicitly discussed signals, why the female population has them, and how important they are. I explained that the look of rapture on my face was a look of shock, and she needed to brush up on these very basic things. I drew her a facial signal diagram for reference.