The Pickup Artist Sunday, May 4 2008 

Oh my God, let me begin by saying that I just got back from a nightmarish commute home from the bar.  I left Hynes at about 12:15 AM and immediately got a Red Line train to Alewife at Park Street.

Between Harvard and Porter, the train just stopped for 15 minutes.  Just stopped.  As I listened to song after song on my iPod, I watched everyone get aggravated, especially since the sound system wasn’t great and we couldn’t decipher any of the announcements.

After that, the train spent several minutes lurching a few inches, then stopping, then lurching a few inches, then stopping.  It felt like we were trying to get over bumps.

They let us off at Porter, telling us that all trains were out of service.  This was one stop away from where I needed to be!

I knew getting a cab would be nearly impossible during this time of night, even on Mass. Ave., so I waited for a bus.  (This is major for me, considering that I have NEVER taken a bus in Boston that wasn’t a temporary shuttle.)  A bus never came.

I hopped into a cab with two other people trying to get to Alewife and I just had the driver drop me off on the corner of my street and Mass. Ave., walking the rest of the way back.  The other passengers were amused when I pointed out where I had seen Owen Wilson earlier today.

But I digress.

I met the WORST PICKUP ARTIST OF MY LIFE tonight.

I went to Match in the Back Bay with Esther, Lauren and Laura.  The place has a nice atmosphere, though the martinis aren’t strong at all (I had two and I didn’t even feel a buzz) and the prices are a bit high.  They could also stand to spend extra money on the bathrooms.

The bar was really crowded, so I went to get a drink on my own first.  I squeezed in next to a guy who looked like a young Sean Penn with black hair and a goatee.

Guy: “You are so beautiful.”

Me: “Thanks.”

Guy: “I love your eyes.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Guy: “I’m Michael.  What’s your name?”

Me: “Lisa.” [Sorry, Lisa!!  It was the first name I could think of!]

Guy: “I live right here.  Where do you live?”

Me: “You live in this bar?  Funny, I grew up here, but I now live at a watering hole down the street.”

Guy: “I love the shape of your face.” (Starts leaning over and brushes his goatee against my shoulder.  He repeats this twice over the course of our conversation.)

Me: (Nothing.)

Guy: “I love your lips.  Can I talk to you?”

Me: “Well, this is a bar, lots of people, lots to discuss, yay!”

Guy: “Can I see you again, Miss Ulley?” (He had leaned over, reading my partially obscured ID.)

Me: “Listen, as awesome as this conversation is, I’m going back to my friends.”

Guy: “When will I see you again?”

Ugh.

Right after me, Esther went up.

Guy: “You look like my cousin.  My cousin is hot.”

After that, Laura got hers.

Guy: “I love you.”

When Lauren went up, she made sure to stand far, far away.

Ugh.  He could have at least bought us a drink.

I’m really in the mood to go dancing again.  I haven’t been in months.  Maybe next weekend.

Heart-to-Heart on the T Wednesday, Nov 21 2007 

I was on the red line back to Davis tonight when I began listening to the conversation of two guys next to me. They were cute, scruffy, college-aged guys, probably Tufts students.

They started out talking about relationships, and it escalated more and more — it turned into full Sex and the City talk! Among two scruffy college guys! I pretended to be listening to my iPod and eavesdropped on their conversation instead.

Guy 1: “How long have you been going out with Caroline?”
Guy 2: “Oh, man, two months.”
Guy 1: “How’s that going?”
Guy 2: “I don’t know. I mean, she’s great and all, but I just wake up feeling shittier and shittier each day.”
Guy 1: “Oh, that’s not good, man.”
Guy 2: “It’s like we both wished that this would be the greatest thing ever. I just hold and and I know this isn’t going to work.”
Guy 1: “No way.”
Guy 2: “It’s weird, you know? It’s like we go to stuff together, and we’re just there. We just BE together. We don’t do stuff with each other. We try, and there’s just this distance.”

Awww.

Later:

Guy 1: “It was weird. I was at the party and I was walking down the stairs. And then this girl who has been after me forever, she tapped me on the back of the shoulder, and I ignored her, so BAM! She slapped me in the head! Twice! What the fuck, man!”

Even later:

Guy 2: “You need the three S’s. Girls are only two of the following: sexy, sane or single. Man, if you get one of those two, you’re lucky.”

They were great — they made the train ride so much fun.

Quote of the Day Saturday, Jun 30 2007 

“Damn it, Glynis, why are you always late? Put in your teeth and come down here!”
–Guy on his phone outside South Station

"Doesn’t it feel great to be bet on?" Thursday, Jan 4 2007 

Yesterday, I was walking across the street toward the Starbucks on Summer Street, where I always stop on the way to work and almost always get a London Fogger (Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and vanilla syrup — it’s great!). I don’t know the Starbucks people personally, but there are a few with whom I exchange smiles, how are yous, etc.

Anyways, I was crossing the street and I saw one of the girls who often serves me, and she was standing next to a guy employee whom I didn’t recognize. And they were smiling — steadily and directly at me, unmoving, which is unusual for such a busy Starbucks. I kept walking and they kept smiling at me.

At this point I began to wonder what was wrong, if I had something all over my face or was bleeding from the eyes. I cautiously opened the door. Nobody was in line. I walked up to the front.

“Hi, I’ll have a grande London Fogger,” I said. They didn’t move, just keeping their steady smiles on me.

“Two bags,” I continued. Nothing.

“….whole milk?” I finished.

“Awwwww!” the girl groaned.

“Yes!” cheered the guy. “You owe me ten bucks!”

“You are kidding me,” I said.

They weren’t. The girl knows I’m a London Fogger girl, and even though it’s her who usually serves me, she had gotten the milk wrong! While they both knew it was a London Fogger, she was betting on nonfat. Sheesh.

It made me smile, though. It reminded me of back when Lisa and I worked at Victoria’s Secret and could instantly guess any woman’s bra size, which we once sat down for a while and did in Harvard Square. And as Andy said later, “Doesn’t it feel great to be bet on?”

Speaking of Andy, later on that night, we were waiting for the red line in South Station and he was telling me about how he was shaking up a can of whipped cream last night and doing this weird, goofy, pseudo-Mexican dance with it, and he started doing the dance. He told me how he wished he could have it taped, put it on Youtube and be the new sensation, the new Ma-ya-hee guy.

Then all of a sudden, a group of ragamuffins next to us (I use that word because NOTHING describes them better) starts cheering for Andy’s dance and asks him to do it again. Which, of course, he did. This group looked to be about college-aged or so, and they were loud and jovial and offered us chocolate truffles. (He took some. I declined.) They were perfectly nice, I will say that….but they were kind of weird.

“Those are my new neighbors, I swear to you,” I whispered to Andy. He laughed.

They weren’t — they got off at Central Square in Cambridge. But Central is where you typically find some of the most colorful groups in Boston.