“An unlikely group of nine made its way to the outside patio of the Marina bar...[and she] pointed out, “I'm kind of looking around this bar, and there's nobody I'd want to bone with," she said. "Or flirt with. Or get with. ... Maybe I'm being too critical.” - “Girl Game”, SFWeekly
We’re at the Tipsy Pig and it’s not so lame. The place is crackling, veritably buzzing with post happy-hour, 5 beers-deep exuberance and all the internal noise and brain machinery that almost never shuts up has muted for once and we’re feeling a bit liberated and we’re cracking wise and people are laughing and we’re gesticulating and in our enthusiasm we splash some amber ale on our sleeve but we don’t care, it doesn’t matter, for once we feel good and happy and unable to maintain a logical train of thought.
Except that we can, we say to guy to our left. We like this guy. He’s got really hairy arms and wears those weird penny loafer shoes that distract the hell out of us when we see him step by our cubicle at work but now, in this moment, we don’t care. We are full of love and generosity. Ha! Yes we are, calm and collected and incisive as ever! Don’t mistake me for a wavering, incoherent drunk, the kind who weaves and meanders like the Mississippi on his way to the Bayou that is the bar bathroom. We are not that guy. We maintain focus. We do not slur our speech or yak in garbage cans. We keep conversation at the highest level. We talk about Max Weber and Richard Posner and the trend towards government decentralization during the Reagan administration. Because we are a supreme genius. Don’t doubt that. We like boobs, sure. Agreed. This is an opinion in which you and us, the hairy arm, penny loafer wearing monsters of the world and us, have achieved a great degree of confidence. Blood alcohol levels cannot compromise our brilliance on this particular issue. It is beyond chemical influence or measure.
And so this goes on. The moments are sliding by and they are enthralling and pointless and fuzzy and benign, like being trampled by a herd of stampeding teddy bears. We talk and laugh and hear other people talk and laugh. Socializing and consuming beer. We have no troubles.
And then a sober, calculated thought gets through. It sneaks in like a narc at a coke party. Maybe it’s the bar winding down. Maybe it’s the buzz fading. Maybe it’s the course of modernity. Bringing more and more of the activities at the Tipsy Pig under the rules of rationality. They are being brought.
The thought was provoked. It wasn’t us. We didn’t want it. The thing is under normal circumstances however conditioned you rarely witness women approaching guys at a bar, but that’s what happened, we swear and we noticed it. They approached that table and started talking, you know, but they were strangers no doubt about it, not acquaintances, they were having the bullsh*t conversation strangers have, you could tell by the body language, talking about Juicy Couture pants or Mad Men or some goddam college basketball game, whatever the dudes can come up with to pass the time before asking the coded question that will be asked: “What are you guys doing tonight?”
And so the clarity has come. Females are talking, maybe even flirting, with guys who are definitely not us. Our self-worth and lives are suddenly put in sharp relief. All is not one. We were wrong. All is divided. The golden halo of 6 pale ales deceived us. This no heaven of teddy bears and sporty badinage. This is only a man crying out in the darkness. This is pathetic. This is San Francisco. We push our beer away from us and feel sober and lonely as sin on Sunday.
Meeting a goddam girl shouldn’t be so hard, we think. That’s what she said. Focus! We’re supposed to be depressed, we think. We’re alone. We’re alone. Hairy armed guy is a stellar dude but he he has no boobs. That is a glaring default at this hour.
Great! Now the girls are leaving. They are part of a larger group we see. It is an egress en masse. Fourteen eyes beneath bangs and pony tails and shaped eyebrows surveying the room as they leave, looking everyone over, and here we are, we know it, just another creep to them, a douche or someone who doesn’t have much to say, who is neither cool nor interesting, someone that they definitely don’t want to bone with, or flirt with, or get with.
We thought we were dynamic! We thought we were funny! But we're not. We don't even f*cking exist.
Now we are depressed. Hairy arm guy doesn’t notice so we just gaze on silently as if we don’t care, as if we're ruthless mercenaries, like everyone else, playing some elaborate dating game, pretending that we know the rules, pretending that we’re tough too, pretending that we’re aggressive and ambitious and haughty. That we’re black and bad-ass and ride horses backward with diamonds spilling out of our hands.
But we don’t believe that sh*t. We just believe we’re lonely and vulnerable and staring at a half empty glass at a bar with 3 ounces of beer on our sleeve knowing that’s the way it’s been for a very long time. And we know it’s our fault, and we shouldn’t blame anyone and we deserve it. We know. We read the Internet too.