We all have places in which we feel at home. Comfortable enough to be ourselves and laugh at others who aren’t. Or, others who are themselves, but their selves are such a caricature of a personality that it’s just hilarious. I was fortunate enough to find myself in my own natural habitat, observing many out-of-towners who were not. Unfortunately, I was alone and without someone to bounce my witticisms off of. (I hate that previous sentence but I’m too lazy to figure out a different way of saying it.) So I texted myself little reminders and smirked like a cocky idiot all evening. You’re welcome.
Yesterday was a long work day and as is my usual coping method, I headed to my favorite bar after work. I did not realize that there was a concert at the local arena (Pink Floyd). If I had known, I would have avoided the entire downtown area at all costs. However, since I was already there and had already found parking I decided to stay. I quickly scanned the floor to see if any of my kindred regulars were in attendance but I was alone. Alone among the “pre-concert-goers”. Given the projected fan base of Pink Floyd, you can imagine the age group I was dealing with. Sure, there were a few twenty-something stragglers with hippie sandals and red, squinty eyes but the majority of the crowd was 40+. This is not typical of this particular bar. It was not their natural habitat.
I had a great vantage point from the end of the bar and was able to shroud myself in “don’t talk to me” vibes while I observed. The group of men nearest me looked to be in their early 40s and were excited about life. They ordered drink after drink and attempted to make small talk with me. I shot them “the eyebrow” and buried my attention once again in my phone. I wasn’t even doing anything with it. I was just arbitrarily dragging my finger across the screen. Don’t act like you’ve never done it. Two of the men appeared to be twins, although one was definitely “the fat one”. Each of them stared at me unabashedly. Right in the eyes. Even when I was clearly looking back at them, once again using the eyebrow to indicate impatience. Stared right at me. For long periods of time. Both of them. I heard one of them say that he was happily married about seven times, and then I watched him sidle over to the middle of the bar and pounce on two small town cougars. It was at this point in the early evening when I stopped trying to conceal my amusement.
I noticed these women immediately when they came in and knew they would offer some form of entertainment before the night was through. They were dressed to the nines for their special night out to see Pink Floyd. “Nines” meaning extremely low-cut halter tops, too much makeup and honest-to-god glitter. Glitter. I didn’t realize you could even buy glitter anymore, unless it came in a roll-on tube with her teenage daughter’s Taylor Swift CD. They were both sunburned and had used too much face powder to try to deny it. They were a mess but weren’t letting that stop them from throwing out the giggle-vibes to the enthusiastic-twins. Taking a cue from the creepy brothers, I was now openly staring at the debacle unfolding before my eyes. They were whispering, giggling, leaning in and flipping their crispy-blonde hair. All of their best moves were showcased and I almost felt privileged to see it. During one of the lean-ins I caught a glimpse of Tammy’s upper arm. (There’s an 85% chance that her name was actually Tammy.) There, etched into her doughy flesh was a tribal arm-band tattoo. With a butterfly as the centerpiece. Tell me her name isn’t Tammy. I scoffed, of course, but chalked it up to a white-trash 90s mistake. After all, I have tragedy-comedy masks on my hipbone (where a bone presumably is) from 2003. Then I noticed that it was glistening. Not glittering like her browbones, but glistening. As if it had a sheen of Bacitracin to protect it from infection in its infancy. It was a NEW butterfly-tribal-armband tattoo. NEW. I can forgive the Nick Lachey’s of the world for their ridiculous tribal armbands because they were slaves to the aesthetic trends of the 90s. I cannot and will not forgive a modern choice to tattoo that on one’s body. I just can’t. It wasn’t even done ironically. Not unless she was living her entire life ironically. If that was the case then she’s the best hipster I’ve ever seen. Ever.
Growing bored with Tammy and company (and a little nervous one of them might try to fight me, trailer park-style) I turned my attention to two gentlemen who had been standing on my left. One looked normal enough, although he was wearing a Pink Floyd T-shirt to a Pink Floyd concert, which is an obvious indicator of dorkdom. The other was an older man, probably in his 50s, with an overgrown bowl-cut sitting underneath his dirty trucker hat. He had 80s-style glasses, a pedo-stache and the biggest pot-belly I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure he was wearing Wranglers. I said a quick hello and put a napkin over my wine to indicate that I would be back to my seat after I went to the bathroom. The molestache man leaned over to me and said, “Don’t worry hun, I’ll watch your drink for you” in a soft, breathy voice. I’m sure the irony was lost on him.
I should have cut my losses and gone home after that, but then people I know and like started trickling in and I lost my will to make good decisions. People I like rarely make good blog-fodder so I’ll leave you with only the early portion of my evening.