There Are Some Things Money Can't Buy
At about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, I came up with a new commercial for MasterCard. Parking in downtown Cincinnati for dinner: 25 cents. Crappy service from waitress at Redfish: Free. Moving to the bar, where you can see the playoff baseball game, because of the crappy service: Free. Watching Pedro Martinez throw Don Zimmer to the ground by his head: Priceless.
It took nearly five minutes for the server who was waiting on Shannon and me to take our drink order after we were seated at a booth by the window at Redfish. She even walked by our table three or four times before stopping to take our drink order. The server then decided to have a long and deep conversation with the bartender after he made our anti-hangover drinks (a Bloody Mary for Shannon and a glass of water for me).
After finally dropping off our drinks, she said, "I'll be right back to take your order." After waiting for another five minutes, I told Shannon we should just move to the bar to order our food and watch the Yankees-Red Sox baseball game.
We were able to order our dinner, get another drink and consume $1 worth of our $2 Hurricanes before our lovely waitress came back to our then-vacant table. She ended up losing a $10 tip that night from us.
It was right about then that the baseball game turned into a hockey game. We got to watch each and every high-and-inside pitch, hand gesture, Roger Clemons screaming "Fuck you!" and throw down over and over again in "Mega Slow Motion" on the two big TV screens. I was in heaven.
During the commercial break between innings, a commercial for the next Joe Millionaire came on. I guess the next season will take place in Europe, where the women didn't hear of the show last year. I told Shannon, "I guess the next season will be Joe Millionaire in Ethiopia." She said, "It won't be Joe Millionaire, it will be Joe 5 Bucks. Or better yet, Joe Cow. He'll be the richest person in the whole village."
After dinner we headed of to the one place my wallet didn't need for me to go to -- Shake It Records in Northside. I'm a little bit of a music junkie with a CD collection that's approaching 900 albums. Even though I didn't plan on buying anything when we walked in, I still ended up grabbing the new Sterolab album, the Twilight Singers CD single and a Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds live DVD.
I dropped Shannon off at work after we bought two $1.70 soft serve ice creams in sugar cones from JT's Dairy Bar on the corner of Colerain and Blue Rock in Northside, and I headed home. Right when I walked into the house, Jen called asking me out for a night on the town with her coworkers.
I was excited to meet her coworkers, who are all graphic and fashion designers, until she told me we were going to the Hofbrauhaus fiasco.
I told her I'd pick her up in half an hour. That gave me enough time to psyche myself up for the Hofbrauhaus by cranking up "Babe, I'm on Fire" by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds to 11. I was singing and jumping along with the song for 15 minutes until I was sweating and hoarse.
I could hear Jen's "going out" song, "If You Think I'm Sexy" by Rod Stewart, pumping out of her windows as I walked up to her apartment complex in the Gaslight District in Clifton. When I screamed up to her apartment, "Turn off that damn Rod Stewart," her neighbors from across the building screamed down to me from their open window, "Don't turn it down. We love Rod Stewart!"
It seems that Jen's plan to infect all of Clifton with bad taste in '80s music is finally starting to pay off.
Guys this time of year play fantasy football, which, as far as I can tell, is a sophisticated game involving lots of sports knowledge and tons of energy. I'm not convinced that the legions of men on the Internet making rosters of guys who run fast, throw far and resemble refrigerators are sure that what they're doing is ever going to pan out with a Super Bowl type win, but who cares? These armchair quarterbacks are having fun, so let's join in with a little fantasy dating game.
My idea of fantasy dating goes something like this. The pools of potential guys on the dating roster consist of not defense, offense and special teams but past boyfriends or lovers, local prospects and the Disney variety. This means that I can take the best of the best and make either for a great lineup of dates or a super-human man of my dreams.
For instance, on Monday I would like Bob, the handyman around town with the hot body, to come over and fix the furnace. Then perhaps he can take care of a little plumbing, if you know what I mean. Tuesday I'll spend solo to recover from Monday as I also prepare for my Wednesday date with that young waiter type who's been romancing Samantha of late on Sex and the City. I don't know the actor's name, nor do I need to. There isn't going to be lots of conversation going on anyway.
By the time the weekend rolls around, I'll request the company of Ted from my past who didn't pan out in the forever department but provided plenty of laughs and comfortable companionship in the early '90s. Mostly we'll catch up on each other's lives, share fond memories and part fond friends on Sunday night with no tears or promises.
That constitutes one way of fantasy dating that would be fun for a moment. It's not a pace I could actually maintain for an entire season. I propose that another option be given to those of us who want to try our hand at creative relationship building. Instead of going online for our lineup of dates, how about if we get to call an 800 number and ask for the specials of the day, week or month? This might be the mini-relationship that's comparable to leasing a car instead of buying outright.
With this option, I could try my hand at dating an older executive who's running a conglomerate via his cell phone while driving his European sports car for as long as the music keeps playing. When I get tired of his 8 o'clock bedtime routine and failure to notice I'm wrapped in cellophane, then I can trade him back in with no hard feelings or awkward goodbyes.
Perhaps fantasy dates could be comprised of a real-life guy I get to select, enhancing his skills a bit or giving him a polish like the Fab Five on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It goes without saying that my gay friends are a ton more style savvy and have better looking living quarters than most men I've dated in recent years. Plus, while there's something incredibly macho about hating to shop for clothes, food and furniture, heterosexual men could take a hint and spiff up their choices in all of the above without compromising their masculinity.
Let's be honest with each other here and admit that we've all fantasized a little bit about the ability to combine our favorite attributes from our first love with the best skills and talents of every guy thereafter. Dave, my first love, loved the outdoors and photography like I do but needed a little of Tom's romantic side and a tad of Ed's passion for living on the edge. If I ever found the above combination, I surely wouldn't need to imagine a world wide web of creative dating options.
OK, maybe I'm the only one who daydreams about different relationship alternative choices, but I'd love to give it a whirl just for the entertainment factor. In the meantime, I'll go back to reality with Mr. Nice, who just so happens to play fantasy football and basketball in addition to treating me quite politely. Forgive me, but put a little spice on my fantasy roster this week.
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