Saturday, February 7, 2009


Fielding relationship questions from drunk people, particularly when you're not certain of the answers yourself, is always awkward.

Last night I went with The Contender to a birthday party for a friend of his. It was at a big, noisy bar on the LES, and I get the feeling that on a week night I would probably love it. Kick ass jukebox playing lots of old punk and grunge rock, decent beers on tap at reasonable--for Manhattan anyway--prices, and a pool table.

And I must say... my pool table mojo has been seriously lacking lately, but last night? I was on frikkin' fire. And it was awesome.

But, back to the awkwardness.

It started with a guy that we'll call Bad Pool Player, or BPP. BPP showed up shortly after we did, while we were playing pool to kill time waiting for the birthday boy to arrive. BPP was also there for the party and so we started playing doubles. A few beers in and BPP starts quizzing me.

BPP: So, how long have you two been dating?
Me: Oh, um, a couple of weeks.
BPP: A couple of weeks... couple of weeks... okay. He seems like a nice guy.
Me: Um, yes. He is.
BPP: Okay, okay, so how'd you meet?
Me: Er, online.
My Internal Monologue: Fuck! Fuck! Why didn't you just lie, dumbass??
BPP: (knowingly) Ah... Which one?
Me: (weakly) Match...

Fortunately the Contender returned to my side at that moment and saved me. It was my turn to shoot and I think BPP was giving him the same third-degree he'd just given me, and all I could wonder was... Why does this guy even care?? Seriously, we met 10 minutes ago, give it a rest...

Later we were talking to another party guest and the Contender had stepped away to shoot. The girl was introducing me to her boyfriend and then pointed out the Contender saying "And this is Froggy's... boyfriend? Is he your boyfriend?"

ACK! The dreaded B-Word!

Avoiding my committment-phobic instinct to shout "NO!!," since he was a few feet away from me, I gave her the "er, sorta, maybe, okay, no, not really, but maybe eventually" wiggling hand gesture... and quickly changed the subject.


I should clarify that I'm not against the idea of a (gulp) boyfriend, or even the possibility of the Contender eventually holding that title... but once such words have entered the picture, any going-of-separate-ways automatically becomes a "break up" rather than an "oh, it just didn't work out," and I'm not quite ready to contend with that possibility.

Shortly after this last awkwardness, the bar began getting painfully crowded. The placement of the pool table showed VERY poor planning on the part of the bar's owners, being set back in an alcove that also housed the floor's only bathroom AND the entrance to the basement where bands were playing, and hence the line to pay the cover charge to get into the basement... and every single 19-year-old-with-a-fake-ID in that line? Completely fucking OBLIVIOUS to the fact that people were trying to play pool.

Now, I am a non-violent person by nature, and firmly believe that violence never solves anything... yet when I've got a pool cue in my hand and people start pissing me off? I have to stifle the urge to get medieval. Seriously. So I made a rule... if I ask you to move three times and you remain oblivious? It's your own damned fault if I hit you with the cue.


So at any rate, when we had both reached our breaking point with the dumbasses crowding the table, we grabbed our coats from the coat check, I bummed us a couple of cigarettes from one of the 19-year-olds-with-a-fake-ID, and we hopped a cab back to Brooklyn.

All in all, I'd say it was a good night. Fleeting awkwardness at the hands of strangers aside, I'm a little wary of how easily this appears to be going, and keep waiting for the axe to drop.

What can I say? Old habits die hard.


Bridget said...

Oh. My. God. I am going through the same thing right now. I don't know what to call him and frankly, until it becomes necessary, I'm trying hard as hell not care.

So much for being a journalism junkie. I now hate when people ask me questions.

Enjoy your time with him :)

amy said...

When the question "is he your boyfriend?" popped up and it was awkward answering, I used to make it more awkward by responding, "We f**k." That usually stopped all conversation. And I wasn't lying. So there. Problem solved.

Hope said...

Can you teach me the "er, sorta, maybe, okay, no, not really, but maybe eventually" wiggling hand gesture? Seems like it could come in handy.

Also, I'm all with you on this. Labeling these things so early gives it a certain degree of permanence that I'm not comfortable with.

At least, you're not choosing my tried and tested route of sabotage. So maybe your old habits are dying a slow painful death instead? :)