Last night was a first for me. A dude actually told me that he didn’t like me, as a person, and begged me to just stop talking.
Generally, people find me charming. They find me charming, because I do my best to make them find me charming. I ask considerate questions. I tell funny stories. I’ll even do a little dance, if I think it will help. I am excellent at getting people to like me.
Provided that I’m trying. Because sometimes, y’see, I run into someone who’s, well, maybe the merest bit silly. And then I feel honor-bound to expose him.
The evening started well enough. I met my pal Aaron for drinks at some bar that may or may not have a name, but did not have a sign. I was so pleased with myself for finding it based on Aaron’s description that I bought the first round. Aaron was so pleased with that, that he bought the second. The bartender was so pleased with us, that she bought the third. We talked about all the important things: our careers, how fucking expensive this city is, how much we love it, boys, and the sort of girl I should be looking for, when I find Aaron a wife. All was well.
Then we went down the street to his friends’ house, and all hell broke loose. There were two guys living there. One was a nice guy, with a mohawk and fiance and a charming cat. He took a picture of me to paste on his door, where he kept pictures of every guest who ever visited his home. It was all very cute.
The other dude had an attitude problem.
Dude with Attitude, first of all, was a white guy wearing a bandana as a hat. His name was not Little Stevie, and at no time was he playing with the E Street Band. He also had a thick, obviously cultivated, lower class New York accent. Every other statement he made ended in “…I’m from Queens!” As in, “Hey, don’t tell me about the homeless problem. I’m from Queens!”
(As an aside, I told this to a coworker today, who is also from Queens, and she nearly wet herself laughing. “But I’m from Queens!” she said. “It’s a suburb! Is he crazy? ‘Yo, I’m from Forest Hills! I have lots of money, and so do my folks! My Dad plays golf! I own a lovely home! REPRESENT!”)
D with A also exhibited one of my other least favorite personal characteristics, which is a need to tear people down in order to make himself feel big. For example, I was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a Russian woman with her finger to her lips. It’s an old World War Two propaganda poster, and I bought it on Prince Street, as you do. D with A immediately busted me for buying a t-shirt on Prince Street, and further informed me that the guy who sold it to me was an asshole, and that he knew him.
“Actually, I bought this from a woman, and she was lovely.”
“Well, then, she works for this asshole. I hate that asshole.”
I smiled at him sweetly. “Heavens to Betsy, you’re sort of a negative person, aren’t you? My t-shirt sucks and the guy who sold it me is an asshole. Do you like to point things like this out to people, to throw them off balance a little bit?”
He looked at Aaron, who was grinning and holding his hands up in surrender. “She’s definitely one of your friends,” he said. “She’s a smartass. I don’t like that.”
In retrospect, I should’ve left then, but no. I was out, and I was gonna stay out. So we left the apartment and went to another bar. On the way, Dude with Attitude got into a fight with a homeless man, informing him that he would not give him money, because he knew what it was like to be poor, because he grew up in Queens. The homeless guy asked, very intelligently, I thought, why he gotta be like that, and I steered us across the street and away from the situation.
“Jesus, dude,” I said. “I thought I was gonna have to use my pepper spray.”
“Don’t be using that shit around me,” he said. “You’ll get me.”
“Oh, I have great aim, don’t worry,” I said. “I’m from the suburbs, and that’s how we roll.”
At the bar, he made a big show of knowing the bartender and securing us crappy beers from a cooler on the bar, which, I was later informed, his roommate paid for. We then sat down at a table, and chatted together and in pairs, for an hour or so. Finally, Aaron was in the bathroom and the nice roommate was at the bar, and Dude with Attitude and I were alone.
I don’t know what I was saying, but it must have been the last straw.
“I don’t like you,” Dude with A said.
“I don’t like you at all. Please stop talking.”
At this point, Aaron came back and I told him that Dude didn’t like me, and that I was leaving. I promise you I was very pleasant about it. Not that it would make a difference to that guy, who was pouting and refusing to look at me.
I tell you, kids, my powers are beyond compare. No one feels halfway about me!