As the “bitches” (named by my friend, not me) rolled in and introductions were made, the douche-hats by the juke grew quieter and quieter. The tide was turning in the basement. Turning gay, that is. Eventually, there were too many women in our group to continue sitting at the bar, so we ever-so-industriously moved some tables together and proceeded to take over the joint, both in our minds and via the jukebox. As I took in all of these new people, I mentally assessed their appearances, making judgments at will. Everyone looked normal enough, but of course that’s not what we’re interested in. I made assumptions about their sexualities, based on their outward appearances and they did the same to me. (Upon hearing that I was hetero, one of the Legioners exclaimed, “Really?!” with a look of pure disbelief.) There was only one woman I was sure fished from the dude pool (wrong on that one), and the rest were, in my humble opinion, queer as left-handed scissors (true). The legitimacy of my mental claims were unimportant, since their sexualities had nothing to do with their personalities and we all got on famously.
Throughout the evening I learned many new things. I tested the waters and found that I am allowed to make stereotype-based jokes even though I’m not of the “U-Hauling” persuasion. I learned that people sometimes drink vodka-&-water on purpose and that women are trouble. I had suspicions of that last one, but it was confirmed after listening to a rant about random ex-girlfriends and their complete lack of aptitude for life. For once, being the token straight girl didn’t seem so bad. After another round of drinks was ordered, a straggler joined the group. She was a conundrum in flannel, with makeup and gorgeous long hair. I glanced at her shoes and decided inwardly that she was, indeed, a member of the prestigious group for which I was so quickly becoming a mascot, of sorts. As my friend introduced us, I realized I was wrong. It went like this, “Bettie, this is *Lettie. She’s straight too.” Lettie looked at me, asked me to repeat my name and extended her metallic-polished hand. I said, “Hi, we rhyme and we’re both straight” and was met with an enthusiastic high-five of solidarity.
It was only after several Legioners turned toward Lettie in surprise that I learned her hetero-nouncement was recent news. As it seems, Lettie had just gotten out of a six-year relationship and had been openly gay since high school. (That explains the shoes.) What followed was an interesting look into what it feels like to jump back in the closet. Including surprising parent reactions and a complete lack of information about the opposite sex. She was all a titter about a guy she was crushing on and concerned about his lack of textual response. When she mentioned that he hadn’t contacted her for three days after their initial meet-cute, I had to smile. She didn’t know about the rules. The arbitrary rules men concoct and force upon one another when they meet women they actually might want to see more than once. I assured her that the mere face that he did get a hold of her after three days means that he wants to see her again. And again. I instilled the most important piece of wisdom gained throughout my years as a single gal: men are simple creatures. Women are complicated, emotional and sometimes needy. Men just want to be fed, talked to nicely and banged. Not necessarily in that order. Easy!
She was beyond grateful for this piece of information and expressed an interest in learning more, and perhaps even being best friends. I quickly agreed to both. One can never have too many bffs. Especially one who is literally BRAND new to dating men. Prepare to take note after cynical note, my dear! This new friend is entering an exciting (sometimes) new world of push-up bras, stacked heels and stubble-burn (although, without making too many crass assumptions, would be possible on the other side of the closet) and I can’t wait to see how it pans out.
The rest of the night was a blur of Christina Aguilera singalongs, musical chairs and a quick bout of business card trading punctuated by a round of, what else, but “One Legged Lesbian Kickboxer” shots. The bravest of the group moved on to end the night at the bar in my own basement and had to fend off a strange old man who wanted to debate me and marry one of my more attractive companions. Upon learning that he was barking up the wrong tree, he grew more interested and more gross. The hottie-McHot-Hot friend was regal in her apparent discomfort and luckily barricaded in by our table. I wasn’t so fortunate. We eventually had to enlist the door-man’s help and were able to enjoy the rest of our stay in peace and PBR.
*Name changed to rhyme with my fake name.