Sunday, October 11, 2009
Don't screw with my ketchup
A few years ago I was a little more vile, a bit misogynistic and much more of a asshole. What I’m about to disclose is all true, no liberties with creative writing. There is a time in most men’s lives when you care about one thing and one thing only. No it isn’t sex, it’s themselves. This story is at a time when I was living that selfish life to its fullest, it was full of sex, debauchery, vanity, stupidity and lots of alcohol. How I survived those years are still a bit of a mystery, perhaps one day I will find a few clues on YouTube as I am sure some of my adventures were filmed by someone’s camera-phone.
It was a warm summer night by the time I returned home from a long day working to find my roommate in a particularly good mood. Not to say that he was a morose fellow or a person depressed from repressed childhood of not getting the bicycle that he kept asking for as a boy. In fact he was a rather cheerful guy, but this night he was as a child who was just informed that the bicycle that he has been begging his dad for all year was just told it was sitting on the front porch. “What are you doing tonight?” Craig asked. “No plans as of yet, probably head to Jerry’s and see what is going on down there, you?” Craig gets a big grin on his face that clearly gives away that he has a date with one of the girls he recently met online via Myspace. For those women out there who are insane enough to read my blog let me advise you of one thing you should already know, DON’T EVER MEET ANYONE FROM MYSPACE! “So who is she and why do I have a feeling you are about to ask for a favor?” Craig laughed and told me of a girl he had been talking with on the internet and that she wanted to meet up but would only go if she had a friend come with her, she also requested that Craig bring a date for her friend so it could be a group date. Now the idea of a date with a potentially good looking girl without even so much as flirting at a smoke filled bar was one that brought that same bicycle grin to my face. I shower and cologne myself up and out the door we go. The plan for the night was rather simple. Meet the girls at a local restaurant that had a bar in it for dinner and drinks then see how everyone was feeling then perhaps venture on to a club or other activities. Let me pause here for just a moment and tell you that if you are expecting a steamy date story and hot romance or even that a friend is made from this situation, you are very wrong. This story doesn’t have a happy ending, it has a train wreck of an ending and to be honest I wouldn’t change a thing about this night if I had it to do over again. The restaurant is a local haunt that I spent many nights in and miss to this day. They brew their own beer and let me tell you, it’s a damn fine beer! Craig and I are seated at a corner booth table; this booth is a rounded table with a wrap around bench. So no matter where you are sitting you are next to a person. This is usually conducive to a date and so neither Craig nor I were abject to having this as the table for a double date. We are seated and order a couple beers and chat about this girl is that he is meeting for the first time. I learned that this would be the first face to face meeting that they would have and that he was actually interested in this girl for more than just a notch in his belt; so good behavior was requested on my part for the evening. If you are wondering why he actually had to ask me to behave it is because I am very outspoken and can be crass at times. I will be the first to admit that I don’t have a filter in my head that stops my mouth from spilling out the thoughts that formulate in my brain before they escape and offend those they are directed at. I have little to no regret about anything I say as nearly everything I say is complete honesty from me. Those who are my friends, are my friends by choice and have either learned to ignore this part of me or embrace it and are no longer offended by my linguistic disability. Craig asked me to behave because he has been a friend long enough to know that if I don’t put forth great effort to curtail my tongue that bad things sometimes happen. Though I have brought more girls home because of my blatant conversation than I have been turned down by, I understood that tonight wasn’t about me. It was about him meeting someone he had invested time in and wanted the evening to go well. I hated to tell him there is a flaw in his plan, that flaw is me. Craig should have known that when it comes to meeting people there are very few who can tolerate me and even less I tolerate. At that point in my life I had a very real issue of putting up with ignorant or stupid people, and to me most people were one or the other. Don’t worry, I’ve mellowed in the last few years a bit and I have learned that not everyone falls in one of those two categories. I learned that there are many more that needed adding to this list, like people who smell, the annoying and the stuck-up too good for everyone else, also the religious zealots who can’t seem to get through their heads that there is more to life’s questions than “god wants it that way”.
Waiting on girls, Craig and I sit and converse between ourselves and the waiter in friendly banter. I behave myself with waiters because I know they can spit in my food or drink and I would never know. The girls were supposed to meet us at 8pm which as I looked down at my watch was now half an hour ago. “Did you tell them eight or nine? I ask Craig who reaffirms that it was supposed to be eight. We wait another twenty minutes before I decide that these girls are stupid and are standing us up, I wasn’t about to let two inconsiderate twats ruin my evening in one of my favorite places. (Yes I had emotional displaced anger) I place an order for a burger and fries along with another beer, what Craig ordered escapes me at this point. The order takes roughly half an hour to arrive, and as our food is placed on our table guess who walks in? The two women who think that mimicking Sex in the City stars would impress a couple of guys who worked for FedEx. Little did they know that both of us hate that show, so the imitation Sex in the City girls saunter to our tables like divas and I want nothing more than to take the salt bottle, uncork the cap and toss it in both their eyes for being late and acting like it was no big deal. Their arrival came at the worst possible time for them as I was already annoyed that I had wasted my evening waiting on a couple girls who dressed like they couldn’t figure out if they wanted to be sexy or old ladies, lets just say I had no interest in them and had passed up meeting up with other girls that I regularly spent time with at Jerry’s bar. By this point I was hungry and I had given up on behaving, the combination of these things culminated in an annoyed anger at the girls showing up over an hour and a half late. Craig on the other hand was excited and happy to see them walk in, I on the other hand wanted to tell them to piss off and never bother showing either of their faces anywhere near me, oh and if they could be so kind as to die on the way out the door it would be appreciated. But being the friend I am I bit my tongue and smiled as they arrived. Introductions were made Marie was whom Craig has been talking with and her friend was Jennifer. (No not the Jennifer from my other stories, this is a different one) We settle into our seats, Marie and Craig then Jennifer and I. We wave down the waiter and order drinks for the girls, both order cliché cosmo’s, I was even further annoyed. Marie and Craig waist no time in chatting and I was quickly informed that Jennifer was a good Christian girl. Jennifer quickly confirmed this and was quick to ask if I believed in Jesus just as I pick up the bottle of ketchup and proceed to pat the bottom to extract the red contents to smother my fries. I can’t remember what else Jennifer said after the Jesus question as I was engrossed in my ritual of getting the ketchup out of the bottle, plus by now I hate her. It takes a patients and tenacity to get ketchup out of a glass bottle when it is brand new. Something I have learned is it is always worth the effort to gently pat the bottom of the bottle at a downward angle. Some people will swing the bottle at their plate like they are attempting to stab their fries while picturing that they are stabbing the face of the girl next to them who just asked if they believed in Jesus. This usually ends with an enormous splat of ketchup landing on the plate, fries, burger and people around the mock murder scene. I think this is funny to watch as it is a little retribution for those jackasses acting like they are stabbing something so as I pat the bottom of my bottle I crack a smile while ignoring Miss moderate, because lets face it that is exactly what she was. So as I gently pat my bottle of ketchup next to a girl who caused me to miss out of my friends and delayed my dinner time greatly I feel that urge to tell her to “fuck off I don’t care about your last church trip” but I don’t, instead I smile and act like I’m interested…I’m a good friend. This girl was moderately attractive, not something that would catch my attention at the bar or mall, but was thin and tall. She had a face that was less than desirable but again I was here as support for my buddy and not trying to score a one night stand. About thirty seconds into me patting the bottom of the bottle Jennifer stops mid sentence and says to me “Give me the bottle, I will get the ketchup out” in a slightly annoyed voice. “Great” I think to myself “she is already pulling this shit”. I remembered that I promised to be nice so I simply reply “It’s ok this is a new bottle, it will just take a minute”. This was completely unacceptable to her, “no just give it here I’ll use the knife to get it out.” I look down at the steak knife on the table, it is one of the extra large knives that are far bigger than needed to cut through a piece of beef, in fact I think these knives might actually be better suited to triage amputation on a battlefield in world war two; or to stab the girl demanding a ketchup bottle… anyway it is simply much too large to fit into the small spout of the ketchup bottle, so I state the obvious, at least to me. “The knife is too big, it won’t fit, don’t worry I got this”. She was not happy with my show of independence and must have determined that I was inept and incapable of caring for my own ketchup needs, she reaches for the bottle and that was the final straw and the camel’s back broke. Say goodbye to me playing nice, the filter that I had worked so hard on for the last minute crumbled and melted into a seven simple words, words that if used in any other sentence would not carry much power, words that said in a different tone would have been cause for a slight laugh. This was not the tone I used and as I pull the bottle away from the overbearing woman then continue to pat the bottom and without looking at her I say plainly in a near monotone voice sprinkled with a tiny bit of hatred “fuck off, who made you my mother?” Silence envelops the table and a light goes off over my head. I glance up to Jennifer mortified that I would speak to her in such a tone, my eyes move to her friend who was now starting to stutter while terror was plainly etched into every pour of her face. Craig on the other hand just starts laughing and says “and this is Adam”. I cock on eyebrow up and continue patting my bottle of ketchup and within a couple more pats the ketchup was flowing freely onto my plate and for that one moment with two women stunned to silence and my friend laughing all was right in the world. The sense of accomplishment I had from the ketchup made me feel completely vindicated in stating what I stated to the overbearing bitch who decided that I was just a stupid man who couldn’t take care of getting his own ketchup out.
I have been over this story with many people, the first thing out of many people is “Adam, she was probably just trying to be nice and be friendly”. I thought about this and I have to say no that isn’t true, if you were there you would have wanted to use her head to pat the bottom of the bottle of ketchup. If she was trying to be nice she would not have tried to take the bottle away from me for starters and she also would not have spoken in an annoyed and condescending tone. Now I know I’m an asshole and I should have handled this situation better, but like I said at the beginning of this story I feel that if I were to be in this situation again I would respond much the same way. I don’t take well to people of any gender speaking to me as if I am ignorant and incapable of handling simple tasks, the tone and situation was one that setup the outcome, so I blame her and her cosmo drinking ass. Perhaps if the girls had been considerate enough to call ahead and say that they would be running late I might have been less annoyed by them. Perhaps if the first thing out their mouths were not statements that indicated that they believed the only thing Craig or I were interested in was taking them home and fucking, things may have gone differently. I know that many men can think of little else, but I was not one of those men. I was in fact the man that only thinks of himself and at that particular moment I wanted ketchup and food, not a piece of miss moderate. To say the rest of the evening was awkward is an understatement, at least on their part. I was too pissed off by the girl that now had moved as far from me as possible and sat quietly scowling at me sipping her fruity drink to feel awkward. I ate my food (which by the way my fries with ketchup were awesome) and I looked at Jennifer and knew that I had to just sit and bide my time. Idle chit chat happened between the four of us, but it was nothing more than courtesies. The time they spent was rather short before Marie and Jennifer “had” to leave. To which I simply waved and said “have a great evening, nice to meet you” with the biggest smile and asshole written on my face. I turned to Craig and say “god you can find the biggest bitches in the world to meet up with. Her friend wasn’t even cute enough for me to fake being nice too so I could sleep with.” Craig burst into laughter and says “my god you are an asshole, I mean I knew you were an asshole but really you outdid yourself by telling her to fuck off.” I shrug my shoulders and respond by ordering another round of beers to try to take the edge off.