It all began one night at my favorite now defunct bar in Georgetown, land of Vineyard Vines, boat shoes, and a strong sense of entitlement. I had befriended the bartenders at this particular bar and was a regular on the weekends. And weeknights. And during the day. I got a lot done in grad school obviously. This particular bar had kind of an Irish dive vibe with a lot of dark wood, slightly sticky floors, and the layout of a multi-level probably historical townhouse that created lots of dark corners and bad decisions.
I and a friend were there on a Saturday night celebrating how responsible we had been that week (read: we only drank four of the available seven days). I was cruising around in my sundress and wedges accepting shots from the bartenders when a particularly suave and heavily gelled blonde gentleman approached me. I looked over to see my friend similarly occupied with a particularly short suitor, and decided to humor his advances. He had a strong accent that drunk me perceived to be Boston, but which I now acknowledge could have been literally anything from Chicago to Long Island.
At some point, he persuaded me with his wit and intellect (muscles and rolled sleeve button down) to accompany him home and assured me it was walkable. We were quickly joined by another slightly shorter guy who bore a vague resemblance to him that he claimed was his cousin. As it turns out, he was only in town for the weekend and was staying at his cousin’s apartment, and would that be okay?
At that point, I didn’t think anything was weird and said it was fine, although I was not looking forward to the couch sex I assumed would result from him being a guest. On the walk home, he and his cousin began jabbering heatedly at each other in Italian, which completely caught me off guard since they had no trace of any accents whatsoever other than the Boston/Chicago/Long Island American. “This is fine and normal,” I thought to myself as we arrived at the apartment. “How cool that they speak another language at home!”
The Italian escalated into finger jabbing, which was apparently an expression of agreement (?) because my suitor turned to me and informed me they had been arguing over whether or not he was allowed to have the bed instead of the couch. “Oh, don’t worry about it, I’m sure we can make do on the couch! I don’t want to inconvenience your cousin!” I insisted, trying to remember my good manners when a guest in someone’s home. My mother would be so proud!
“No, don’t worry about it, he agreed to sleep on the couch,” my guy informed me, leading the way back to the bedroom. “He has to defer to me because I outrank him in the family.” Ummmm… what? “Do you mean like… you’re older?” I asked. “No, he’s older than me. I just outrank him,” he replied nonchalantly. “We’re in business together.” At this point, we started hooking up but all my drunk little brain could focus on was trying to unravel this entirely illogical statement. He never offered any clarification, and I declined the sleepover offer, not wanting to further inconvenience his poor cousin regardless of familial rank. Or get involved in any “business.”
Okay, so he didn’t come out and say straight up, “WE ARE IN THE MAFIA,” and I’m sure some of you will say I’m jumping to conclusions. However, if that’s the case, I have some questions. Like… what kind of fucked up family are you in that ranks its children? What are these rankings based on? Is this like a Hunger Games scenario where you make them fight to become stronger people? Is their grandfather some sort of megalomaniac who can’t decide who to leave the company to so he makes his grandchildren compete in a weird Willy Wonka style contest to see who would make the best CEO?
Yeah, you try and come up with a scenario with an innocent explanation for this. I’ll wait. And that, friends, is the time I went home with a guy who may or may not have been in the Mafia. And they all lived garbagely ever after. .