Monday, November 12, 2007

Wilma, Speechless

Back in the day, somewhere in the lost mists of time that was the '90s, Wilma was hot. Wilma was slim, young & sexy. For those of you who only know me now, this is for real & for true. My one niece had known me for 3 years before she saw me without lipstick ~ bright red lipstick. My cousin's kids called me "The Auntie with the long cigarettes & fingernails". There was a time when I would not appear in public without full-on makeup, hair & manicure.

Now, I'm all old, fat & married & could give a horse's patoot. But, in my 20's...sigh. Those were the days of breakin' hearts & takin' no names.

Picture it, university, circa 1991. Puffy & I are on another one of our Ross & Rachel "breaks". FancyPants & I go out to enjoy some great music at a marvelous little place we knew {ok, everyone knew} & a couple drinks with friends.

The band is fabulous. I was grooving & drinking & laughing & having fun when suddenly, FancyPants points out the bass player to me. "He's got a Tom Jones thing happening!" she exclaims in my ear. I look. She is, in fact, quite correct in her assessment.

Now, it's become a car wreck. I can't look away. Is it real? Is it fake? I just don't know!

A word to all the young girls out there ~ if you happen to be in a bar or nightclub type place, & you happen to want to become a groupie, don't pick the lead singer or lead guitarist. Too much competition. The drummer, bass player or keyboardist never get any attention, so they are easy pickings for anyone out there who so desires to pick them. Just an FYI... now, back to the story...

I am staring like a slack-jawed yokel at this poor man in his snug, stone-washed jeans. Seriously. I actually stopped drinking for a few minutes. He notices me noticing him. How? Well, for one thing, my hair is bigger than a doorway {what can I say? the '80s just went on & on for me}. For another, I'm staring at him. Now we start staring at each other. He smiles. I smile. FancyPants is watching the action like a tennis match. I can see the gleam in her eye that says "This is going to get interesting".

The band takes their break. He makes his way over to our table & introduces himself. I tell him my name. He starts chatting, asking me questions about uni, etc. I am stuck dumb. Not dumb as in unable to add 2+2, but dumb as in unable to speak. He tries, vainly, to engage me, to draw something out of me other than "Yup. Nope. Arts." I am incapable of saying more than one-word answers to this man. I think I may have even blushed {for those who know me, I believe this was the last time in my life}. He valiantly presses on, continuing to try to strike up a two-sided conversation. A look of disbelief passes over FancyPants' face as she struggles not to laugh while keeping up my side of the convo.

I must come off as either dim-witted or snotty as hell, cuz he gives up & moves on through the crowd, chatting with the ladies {& I use the term loosely} & grabbing a beer.

I turn to Fancy in horror. "What the hell was that?" she says to me. "I don't know!" I wailed. "OMG, I just couldn't talk to the man!" I dropped my head onto the table & banged it a couple times. She burst out laughing. "I never thought I'd see the day when you couldn't talk to a guy!" she forced out, through peals of laughter. I giggled a little, with shame & self-consciousness.

The band starts playing again. I chain-smoke & chug beer, wondering what the hell just happened. Since when was I intimidated by a mere BOY? FancyPants keeps chuckling, saying "I just can't believe it!". We make eye contact a couple times during the last set, but I can see the pity in his eyes. It makes me determined. I SHALL speak to this man, I vow silently, I will NOT have this curse hanging over me.

When the show is over, & we're heading for the door, we pass by him, chatting with another chick in the crowd. I ask him where they are headed next. He tells me. I ask him when they'll be back. He's unsure, & looks at me with puzzlement, as if to say "Now you talk!". FancyPants is ready to go, so I say something absolutely brilliant, like "Great show! Will be sure to catch you next time you're in town" or some other such rot & we leave.

Now, believe me, I have analyzed this night, this moment in time, over & over again. I've looked at it from all sides & still can't figure out for the life of me what happened. It is the only time I've been willing to talk to someone {a boy} & been physically unable. Did my childhood shyness creep up on me & take over my unsuspecting brain? Is my charm & wit directly connected to the amount of alcohol I consume? Or was I intimidated by his, um, talent?

The answer to these questions, along with the secret of the universe, shall remain unreachable to us mere mortals. Only the gods know, & they're not telling.

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