A common misconception about ridiculously attractive people is that they think they’re better than you. Better at life, out of your league, pretentious, whatever. Whenever someone walks into a bar and sees an absolute stunner, I get the impression that most people automatically think that they have no shot with them, because they’re so attractive. It’s understandable. I’ll be the first person to tell you that I’ve been shot down by people who are conventionally more attractive than myself.
The thing is, it’s not always because they’re hotter than you. In my travels, I’ve come to learn an important thing about drop dead gorgeous people: they’re just people. They were either born with fantastic cheek bones, or they worked their ass off to get those sexy abs, but the fact remains that they’re still humans. Flesh and bone. Once you move forward and realize that you should treat hot people like, you know, people, it opens up numerous doors.
When Lizzie smiled at me from across the bar and I saw her brush her bangs out of her stunning blue eyes, I had to take a second to remind myself that she is just another person.
And that this wasn’t a date.
As I approached, I tried to decipher what kind of night I was in for. She was wearing leggings with a blue sweater. She was holding a 24 oz. Dos Equis, wrapped in a koozie that she brought herself, planning ahead. The koozie read “you look like I need a drink.” After studying her projected disposition, it took everything I had in me to not think she would judge me.
Look, I’ll be honest. I’m pretty self-aware. I’m a hard 7 on a good night. If we’re doing rankings (which I hate, but they’re a point of reference), she is a Chicago 9. How do you open to someone like that?
Like this, apparently:
“Hey…Lizzie!” with an upwards inflection at the end.
“Charlie! What do you drink?” she responded.
“Something local. What do they have on tap?”
And we were off. She recommended a Papago Brewery lager that tasted like a creamsicle, and wouldn’t let me pay for it. Her treat because I was just visiting. We got to talking about what we actually do for a living and how we got to where we are. She seemed pretty normal, which was what probably prompted me to say, “You know, I’m really impressed. You don’t seem like a serial killer at all.”
I finished my drink.
“I mean…not yet…” she responded. There was a pause while we stared at each other.
“So this is probably a good time to let you know that I’m sharing my location with my friend. If you decide to skin suit me later, they’ll know the exact coordinates of where I died…probably.” I revealed my cards.
“Jesus, dude. I’m kidding.”
“I’m sorry…I just…I’m in a new city, I’m kind of drunk…I don’t know. I just wanted to set that expectation right off the bat and didn’t know how to go straight to it.”
“Okay, well if you’re concerned at all, let me give you a quick rundown,” she said. “You told me that your flight leaves at 11 a.m. tomorrow. My intention is to get you so drunk that you’re barely able to make it on the plane.”
“From this bar alone?” I asked. I was worried. I don’t fly well, and the thought of being hungover on an airplane was a fucking nightmare.
“Nope. I have a plan. You think you can hang?”
We each ordered another drink. Me, a whiskey ginger. Her, a whiskey Coke. We paid separately because, and I can’t emphasize this enough, this was not a date. I didn’t want her to pay for me strictly because I was new in town, and I didn’t want her to think I was looking too far into things when I shouldn’t be.
Lizzie told me that her friend, Sarah wanted to meet up with us at some point in the night at another bar. The place wasn’t in Scottsdale. I asked her why and she explained to me the dynamics of the town. Apparently, the daytime bar scene transforms into nightclubs come nightfall. We mutually agreed that this was something that neither of us wanted to engage in.
We left Gilligan’s at around 9:00 p.m. As we were on our way out, we made a deal that I would pay for the Ubers if she paid for the drinks. Being used to Chicago where everything is close together, I thought this was going to be a one-sided compromise. Lo and behold, Phoenix is a spread out city. We did a quick lap around Old Town Scottsdale and grabbed an Uber to the next bar, Little Woody.
Little Woody was significantly smaller than the first bar. I’m chalking it up as a Dive, despite the fact that it doesn’t have a jukebox. There was a pool table, a Foosball table, multiple arcade games, and several barrels that truly have no business being in a bar.
I lost Lizzie on the way in because I had to run to the men’s room. I peed, went to the bar, ordered an Old Fashioned, and after 3 minutes, I was given an Old Fashioned and some local IPA.
“Courtesy of the lady across the bar,” the bartender told me. I looked over and sure enough, Lizzie was smiling and waving at me. I winked at her and we both tipped the bartender, moving away from opposite ends of the bar to meet in the middle. However, when we intercepted, I was greeted by Lizzie and a blonde haired stranger.
“Double fisting, I see,” the stranger said. “Trying to turn up tonight?”
“I am!” I replied, not knowing who the fuck I was talking to. Luckily, Lizzie was there.
“Charlie, this is my friend, Sarah. You care if she hangs out with us?”
“I mean, do you think I’m going to say no? Welcome to the party, Sarah!” I wasn’t really sure what else to say, so I ran with that.
We took some time for introductions, grabbed our second (or third) drinks from the bar, and made our way to one of the “game rooms.” Lizzie nudged me.
“What does your Foosball game look like?”
“Absolute garbage, but I’m feeling confident, tonight.”
“Sweet, got any quarters?”
“All good. Hey, Sarah, could you grab us some quarters? I have to destroy Charlie in Foosball.”
Lizzie handed Sarah a dollar prompting her to leave for a few minutes. We compared hardships, which resulted in both of us advising each other on ways to lighten the tension with friends who are going through horrible things. We actually got as far as to talk about our parents until Sarah got back.
I lost in Foosball. We don’t need to get into it, but just know that Lizzie plays dirty.
After a few drinks at Little Woody, we decided to close out and make our way to another dive bar, this one called Dilly Dally. It was definitely another dive; the kind of place where you walk in and feel like you might get into a fight while you’re there.
As we were on our way over, Lizzie asked me if there were any songs that I wanted to hear. Without a second thought, “Say It Ain’t So” fell from my lips. “By Weezer!” I added.
“Really? That’s the one?”
“Yeah, I need that chorus in my life. Why, you trying to give me the wick?”
I pointed to the empty hole where the aux cord should have been.
“Yeah, because if I plug into the aux cord, I’m burning this place down.” Swing and a miss.
“No, you idiot. This place has a jukebox. I’m taking requests so that I can queue them up when we get there.”
“Oh, solid. Yeah, ‘Say It Ain’t So’ by Weezer. I’m sticking to it.”
We walked into the bar and ordered drinks. 24-ounce beers for the ladies, whiskey ginger for yours truly. We grabbed a high top table where they told me a little bit more about the bar. I noticed a pool table and the jukebox. They explained how Dilly Dally is one of their favorite spots because they do not have to wait in line for drinks. Surface level stuff, but I felt like I was getting a very local experience of Phoenix, so I wasn’t too upset about it.
It was right about this time when I decided to give a call to my best friend who lives on the east coast. I wish I had a good explanation for that move, but for some reason, I felt the need to tell him that I loved him a bunch of times over and over again at around 10:30 p.m. MST. Either way, I stepped outside for about 15 minutes to talk to him, and by the end of it, I heard and felt the opening chords to “Say It Ain’t So” play over the P.A.
I rushed back inside the bar only to see Lizzie sitting by herself at the table.
“I’m so sorry, I had to take that. Best friend shit, you know?”
“Yeah, I totally get it.”
“So, is Sarah in the bathroom or…?”
“Oh, she left. It’s just you and me now.” We both finished our drinks.
“Well, should I order another or—” I started.
“Nope. Next bar. We’re heading to the Linger Longer Lounge. I have plans for you,” she said.
And so I ordered the Uber and off we went. .
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