Playing a Numbers Game That No One Wins

How I'm not dating Ryan Gossling and why Uber Drivers are the smartest humans on Earth.

I recently went out with a couple of my girlfriends on a Thursday night.  It was happy hour someplace – well, everyplace downtown – so we decided to get all dressed up and find someplace to go.

They’ve been going through a dry spell lately while I seem to have hit the equivalent of a bitcoin trend, one week everything is spectacular and the next I’m curled up in my bed with a good book or Netflix.  Either way, I’m in this  ‘me-focused’ time in my life so I decided to head out and make it a win win.

Ryan Gossling, Not the Ryan I was dating.
Ryan Gossling, Not the Ryan I was dating.

After a month of dating this guy named Ryan, I woke up one morning and took a look at my surroundings [which included socks on the floor, video games spilling out of a press wood cabinet, and the smell of pizza] and walked out of his dingy one bedroom apartment in Uptown.  I mean really, if you can’t afford a real wood cabinet, what was I doing with you and no, I can’t eat one more breakfast at the Egg and I.

Naturally, we chose a sports bar because, well, that’s where the boys and the lesbians hang out and if I was going to be going home with someone tonight, I might as well have some wings in my stomach sloshing around with cheap beer and vodka.

Then, an hour into our little get together, one of the girls threw it down on the table, Jaime said, “Let’s see who gets the most numbers tonight!”  She seemed a little too excited for this game and to be honest, I really wasn’t in the mood to hang myself out in public like a slab of meat at the butcher shop for people to either decided whether or not I was tasty enough to take home.

I reluctantly agreed, but never wanting to play this game again, I set my number two higher than theirs in an attempt to shut this thing down for any future consideration once and for all.  I was going to take home five rando numbers and they thought three would be good for them.

How hard could this be I thought to myself, I already had two drinks sitting in front of me that I didn’t buy, so I figured I was two-in-the-pocket already and I gave them a half hour head start.  Game on, but little did they know I had a plan up my sleeve.  If you’ve ever spent time with me, my mind races with the strange and the beautiful and tonight was no different; half hour was up  and it was time to execute Operation Number Grab.

He was tall, maybe 6’3″, thin and standing at the bar giving me those eyes all night.  He was the first one to buy me a drink so I thought this would be an easy take.  As all guys these days, he has that sexy Tom Hardy short haircut and five day stubble on face.  His little baseball hat was on backwards putting him in the 30-36 range and he was hanging with I was told his best friend.

“Thanks for the drink,” I said sipping on that impossibly small straw that is really only a stir stick, but looks incredibly sexy when you are looking up from the drink.

“No problem, You’re really pretty.” He said stretching the ‘ea’ in the ‘really’ to emphasize that he meant it and so that I would assume he is DTF.  “Ready, set, go” I thought to myself.

“Well, Everyone is special in their own way.” I said knowing there was no way he was going to catch on.

Sandy shows her excitement with a Teeth on Teeth grin
Sandy shows her excitement with a Teeth on Teeth grin

“Yeah, I guess we are.” Danny said.  Danny, like in Grease, when my cartoon bubble suddenly popped up an image of Danny and Sandy flying away in the car at the end of the movie.  I wonder if anyone in history had ever caught that the car actually took off at the end of the movie and if so, why we haven’t collectively questioned this?  As I star into Danny’s blue eyes, my mind continued to wander, specifically about Grease.

” We make each other strong, and we are not the same, we are all different in a good way,” I cooed [wait…did I actually coo?] as I sat down next to him on the open bar stool.

“I really like your look at life, you seem really cool.” Danny said looking me back in the eyes, my lips still around the straw.

Starring back I shrugged my shoulders and softly replied, “We’re all in this together and once we know that we are, we’re all stars and we see that we belong in this together.” I could barely keep myself from laughing, but I was now all in.

By this point, Danny was a little tongue-tied when he asked what I was doing after the bar closes.  I noticed that it was a little after 11:00 p.m. and if I was going to get five numbers, I had to close the deal.  ” We’re all here,” I pointed to my friends, “and speaking out in one voice and we’re going to rock the house tonight.”

8c5f599b5b85961d99808338d68d4dba_large“I like you, so if you want to hook up later, you can call me.” He said handing me his phone so I can copy his information into mine.  “K…byeeeee” I turned around and started heading back to my table where the other two were giving me the that “oh no you di ent” look.  I pulled a *67 and called the number Danny gave me, he picked up and I waved from across the bar; the number had been verified and little did Danny know that he had just been High School Musicaled; where the only thing I had ever said to him were the lyrics of “All in this Together” from the High School Musical soundtrack.

It was working but Jamie and Ellie were still not in on the joke and honestly,  they were still sitting with no digits when the second dude that bought me a drink approached.  I had to assume he saw that I thanked Danny for his drink and wanted some equal time on the scoreboard.  Not that I was enforcing any sort of Fairness Doctrine when it came to who I spoke to, but lets just say the guy walking towards the table was a lot less desirable than Danny and Joe, not his real name, was given a slightly higher bar to reach.

“Hi! I bought you a drink earlier and wanted to come over and say hello.” Joe was shy and there was no way I was going to lead him on.  He was shorter and maybe slightly older than Danny, but still in his mid to late 30s, he had a ‘dad-body’ which is all the rage but not exactly my type when it comes to men- women yes, men, no.

1989Either way, his landing gear was down -errr up- and he was headed for the approach.  I have issues with being approached at a table where I am with other people because in all honesty, it’s embarrassing and it makes the people I’m with uncomfortable.  So here we go in 3…2…1.

“So what’s going on?” he added.

“Well, I stay out to late and I’ve got nothing on my brain.” was my reply when my girlfriends shot me a look that said, “we know what you just did.”

“Nothing wrong with that,”  he quipped and I replied with a side-eye nodding my head “Mmmm, Mmmm.”

Barely containing their smiles of disgust, Jaime and Ellie both gave me a quick swift kick under the table which went unnoticed by Joe.

It never phased him that I continued to spit out lyrics to Taylor Swifts “Shake it Off,” as the conversation flowed nicely, and really, did it matter?  He seemed happy and I was having fun, maybe at his expense and maybe not, but at the end of the conversation, I got his number.  We verified it and by this time it was midnight and all I wanted was an incredibly large plate of nachos and more Mikes Hard.

As the night progressed and the lyrics to RIO by Duran Duran, Could Have Been Me by the Struts, Tear in My Heart by 21 Pilots and Harlem by The New Politics were offered up as legitimate conversation, it was plain to see that I was going to hit my goal of five numbers, and not one person had caught onto the lyric game I was playing with them.  1:45 A.M. rolled around and it was last call and I began to wonder if I would get one last chance to throw down the lyrics to Semisonic’s “Closing Time” without anyone noticing.  The opportunity never arose and the three of us hit the pavement, smack dab in the middle of the 2:00 A.M. side-walk sales.

Our individual Uber’s showed up and we hugged each other goodbye swearing we would do this again next weekend.  I stepped into my Uber Black Car and the ever-so polite driver said, “Hello.”

“Is it me you’re looking for?” I whispered to myself but loud enough for him to hear.  He looked in his rear-view mirror at me and smiled, “I caught that, you’re funny.”

“I know.” I said as I put my drunken, but flawlessly made up face, against the window and watched as the bright lights of the big city passed by.  I told him to take the long way through the city because I needed some time to soak up my surroundings, think about the people in my life and wonder what will happen to me in the greater tomorrow.

IMG_0619“You’re destination is on the left.” I heard on the GPS; I tipped my driver, said goodnight and stepped out of the car.  Orion is now making an appearance in the sky which means winter is coming in the North country.  It’s a habit of mine to gaze into the sky after a night out because it produces a memory of that night.  I took my inner-core snapchat memory and headed inside.

Two days later Ryan texted me saying he had picked up his socks and straightened out his video games; he went on to say that his dog had died, but when I questioned it in a state of panic – I loved that dog, Ryan not so much – he said it died from “lack of hugs from me.”  Nice try, not cool and I didn’t return the text.