Last I co-hosted Porchlight Storytelling open-mic at the Hemlock Tavern, in which anyone can sign up to tell a 5-minute story to smart-types in a bar. My co-host Arline was running late, so I was instructed to walk around the bar and see if any of the patrons wanted to put their name down to tell a story. After signing up an older drunk man who'd once met JFK, I came around the bar to a group of people my age who looked cooler than me. One of them began to hit on me, in a not-scary but slightly bombarding way.
A man hitting on me in a bar is a rare and exciting event unto itself, but after awhile of this guy following me around, telling me specifically that he was hitting on me, it got a little creepy. He'd come up behind me and ask to smell my perfume. AGAIN.
"Oh, thank you." I could think of nothing else to say. "It's Narciso Rodriguez." The smeller informed me he could "get used to that." So as I make my way through the bar, I have to pass my friend Matt.
"Matthew there's a guy over there who'd totally harmless but giving me the creeps a little. Please talk to me affectionately for a second." Matt throws an arm around me and turns to face the entire bar. "Which guy? Where? Which one?"
With great dramatics, Matt swivels his head around, screaming through Hemlock. "Is it the bald guy? Wait, Beth. Relax, stop shushing me. I wanna know which guy it is! Is it the guy at 2 o'clock. Okay, wait. Your 2 o'clock or mine? Jesus, Spotswood. I'm just asking. Okay, okay. Wait, is it the guy in the striped shirt?"
This was very similar to the experience of me as a teenager telling my mother I thought someone was cute in church. She might as well have simply approached the pulpit, asked all of the teenage boys to stand, and then said, "Okay, Bethy. Now which one? Who? Standing where? Pam's boy?"
Turns out, I find myself much more irresistible than anyone else, because when I looked up, the smeller had clearly moved on. After the show, I hugged Matthew goodbye.
"Dude, Spotswood. What is that perfume you're wearing?"
"It's Narciso Rodriguez." I replied.
"It's what?" He stared at me and scrunched his nose.
"It's very expensive, is what it is. Why?"
Matt kinda rolled his eyes, looked at me like a big brother looks at his kid sister, and deadpans, "It's just... unusual."