I traveled to the Richmond, VA area this past week for business. I thought it’d be uneventful but it never fails…. I’m always in the darndest of situations!!
I drop into Applebees for a quick, cheap dinner. As a single patron, I always sit at the bar so I don’t look extra lonely at a table or booth for four. Usually, I can strike up a convo with the bartender or an adjacent patron. But on this night, there was a couple inhaling and exhaling each other’s breath, a group of five and then there was me. The group of five was interesting: four middle-aged women and a guy. They were performing synchronized dances to the ambient music (to which I was jammin’!!! I remember the medley included Prince, The Time and Rick James and, honestly, I secretly wanted to join in ).
I tried my usual..(speaking to the bartender) “Excuse me… You know of any good places to hang out around here?”
He: “Um, let me ask THEM”, referring to the group. He asks and the guy yells “C’mon sit with us, hell, we family! You ain’t got to be no stranger”.
Before accepting, I looked into the eyes of each woman for acceptance. Like any group of mammals, females can get VERY territorial and I ain’t crazy. Their body language said it was “cool but under their control” as the older lady put her purse in the seat between me and the guy which meant: “Yeah you can sit here… but don’t get too close to our man… MS. THANG!!!”. The tension eased up when the youngest woman drunkenly stated: “So where you from sweetie?”
Another Lady: “Oh, which part?”
Sidenote & Me (thinking): “I hate when out-of-towners ask me which part or which city. I hate when people outside the city limits falsely proclaim they live in Detroit. When I say Im from Detroit, dammit I mean it. Yes, there are good, honest, educated, hard-working people who live IN and are FROM Detroit!!”
Me (speaking, calmly): “I’m from the city of Detroit, the eastside actually”.
So we eat and drank and the youngest lady gives me her number and said “Call us on Wednesday… There’s a spot in Richmond called the Martini Kitchen. You’ll like that!!”
Nothing happened EXCEPT the train kept blazing by hotel window every 20 minutes, the kids next door where having one helluva slumber party, the full-size refrigerator motor kept running, the people above me sounded like they were having a double-dutch competition, and oh, did I mention the TRAIN?!?! Check please! I checked into the closest Hilton. Ahhhhhh!
So I’m in a class with several, handsome, well-groomed, educated, professional men, each with a pleasant demeanor and manners that most military men exude. In the midst of my admiration of this sea of men, I’m being admired by… one of the women. She’s the woman that the men told me liked women and out of the few women in the class, why me??? The funny part she conducted herself like a school-boy with a crush….asking random questions (“Soooowhat do you again?”), bragging (“Yeah, I ride a motorcycle, I like to crotch down real low and go 100, 110…”) and being extra playful (passing around the sign-in sheet but kept pulling it just out of my reach). So I did what school girls do: ignored her.
So the week really picked up steam Wednesday night when I drove downtown for the Martini Kitchen. I walked in to a cooled out, relaxed, mature crowd scattered between the bar and the lounge area when I walked in. The band was playing an array if tunes from R&B to Jazz to Pop. I sat down and ordered martini concocted WITH - Remy Martin VSOP -, but of course, lol. I ordered a steak entree that was cooked to perfection!!! It was so good, I think I may have closed my eyes so I could focus on the taste!
My moment of pleasure is interrupted by, GUESS WHAT!!! An OLD ASS MAN!!! He looked like a hat-less Frankie Beverly and Maze (because you always have to say the whole group’s name even if it’s only Frankie Beverly). I didn’t even ask his age. I asked him how old his kids were.
He responds in an old man way: “Well, let’s see here…I have one that’s 26, mm-hmm…One is 24, she just finished college you know….and one that’s almost, uhhh, 28, yeah…he’s 28”.
Me (thinking): Great, here we go again. I’m young enough to have gone to school with your kids and here you are trying to be ‘my friend’. ”
What’s worse was his attire!! Tonight seemed to the popular night and I actually felt underdressed until I started giving him a once over, but I couldn’t make it past the shirt. He on a polyester shirt with a print of a million Chinese symbols that was so cheap looking, that if translated, said probably meant “Made In China” and had the nerve to have dragons randomly overlaying this print. What is this a Yu-Gi-Oh costume??? Are you some type of Anime character with this shirt on?
When I made it to the pants, all I could think was “Excuse me, but are those Bugle Boy Jeans you’re wearing???” Then the shoes…OH…the shoes…do you know what huaraches sandals are? Please google them. Google: Men’s Huarache Sandals. And once you finish, on your mental canvas, paint a picture of Frankie Beverly (mumbling: and Maze), a Yu-Gi-Oh shirt, Bugle Boy Jeans and some damn huaraches!!!!! Google all that if needed so you can understand what I was up against. (DEEPLY EXHALES)
Sooo after he pays for my drink and dinner, LOL (because they always do, I mean, am I wrong? I offered to pay him back but he was so excited to burn his little pension check, he declined.)
So throughout the week, I was showered with “Good Morning Ms. Marilyn”, “How was your evening Ms. Marilyn”, “You look nice today Ms. Marilyn” and even the woman said “I like your hair Ms. Marilyn”. But there’s always one to be bold and brave and he stepped to me during a class break and said ” I’d like to take you to dinner if you’re free tonight”.
Me (thinking): Cool! I must have hit the dinner lottery or something.
So we meet for dinner, both casually dressed. I could tell he was quite the gentleman. He waited for me by the door, though he had already been sat at a table. I could tell he was nervous…so I tried to distract and relax him.
Me: “Hey, you know what, you remind me of an actor but I just can’t think of who…” (It still escapes me but he mentioned one with an even stronger resemblance than who I was trying to recall)
He: “Well, I’ve had some people say I look like Steve-O from Jackass”.
Me: “Yeah you do look like him…just lighter hair”
Me (thinking): How’d I go from a group of prowling cougars on Sunday, a gay crush on Tuesday, Frankie Beverly (and Maze) on Wednesday to Steve-O on Thursday?
“Oh well!”, I thought, as I ate another forkful of food and sipped on my glass of Riesling as I smiled and nodded while Steve-O nervously chatted about absolutley nothing. “I’ve gotten more action in a week than I have almost all month.”
I guess Virginia IS for Lovers!!!