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I’m at a rooftop bar watching college football. It’s 53 degrees outside and all I can keep thinking is that this is all so painfully Midwestern. Hammering domestic light beers and watching a sports game that has no bearing on my life? No one in NYC or L.A. or Miami would be caught dead doing what I’m doing right now. And the sad thing is I’m enjoying myself. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I wasn’t emotionally invested in college football. Outside of visiting a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard, what do people do on a Saturday in the fall other than watch football?
I’m contributing to the stereotype that all we do here in middle America is drink heavily and watch sports games to distract us from the fact that we live in flyover territory. It all depresses me if I think about for too long so I go inside and order a Miller Lite tallboy, my third of the afternoon. I’m talking shit with the three guys I’m standing around with when one of them mentions that he’s invited some girls from his office to join us.
I hate that I’m wearing a crewneck and jeans and not something that makes me look a little more put together, but I also know that in the grand scheme of things that probably doesn’t matter all that much. Time and time again, we’re told by friends with significant others that “we’ll find someone when we stop looking” and while I don’t necessarily believe this adage, I also don’t not believe it if that makes sense.
In any case, my ears perk up at the prospect of meeting someone without the assistance of Hinge or Bumble, and I do exactly what I shouldn’t do – I go back up to the bar and order a vodka soda. An hour later the four girls show up and I introduce myself as Xavier because I’m drunk now and it makes my friends laugh. I ignore them for the next half hour or so because it’s the fourth quarter and the team that I root for is tied in a game that they absolutely should not be tied in. Eventually, my team pulls a win out of their ass and I turn my attention to a girl who looks a little bit like my ex-girlfriend.
I tell her my real name and she says she knows what my real name is because she’s seen my blogs before. I change the subject quickly, asking her if she wants a vodka soda because I’m about to go up to the bar and order one myself. At this point, I’m slurring my words and I try to overcorrect my speech but it somehow makes it worse. I don’t know this girls name but she’s only been there an hour and a half and she’s still keeping her shit together.
Fucking Blair texts me while I’m ordering the two vodkas and says “I miss you.” I don’t know what to do with that information at the moment. I think about bailing and going home to call Blair but then I remember that I’m holding two drinks. I turn my phone on silent and start talking to vodka soda girl (VSG) again. All I can think about while she’s talking is what I should say back to Blair. I’m reveling in the fact that she can see my read receipt.
I don’t love PDA. In fact, I loathe it unless it’s with someone I really, really like. But I’m standing in this bar and I’ve been talking VSG for well over 20 minutes now. Our drinks are gone, everyone else in my group that was watching the game is on the other side of the bar and so I just go for it. The drunken bar makeout lasts for about five minutes. I ask VSG if she wants to come over for dinner next week and she says Tuesday night works. She puts her number in my phone and I find out her name is Megan. I tell her I need to go home now and she says, “That’s probably a good idea.” I can’t see straight and when I come to it’s 3:30 a.m. and I’m on my couch with all of my clothes still on and the television volume on way too high.
I text Blair and tell her I miss her too, pop four Advil, and then crawl into my bed. .