What are the odds?

Last night I went to a local wine tasting night . I arrived late and missed the group I was supposed to meet up with, making the best of a bad situation, as you do, I found the local watering hole to have a couple of beers before making the trek back home. It was packed. I sidled through the crowd, made my way to the bar, pulled up a stool and ordered a local pilzner – very good too I may add. As I was drinking I noticed a familiar face, an acquaintance I met through she who is unmentionable (my ex-girlfriend NOT my ex wife . Please note : they are different people) . She didn’t seem to recognize me at all. You know how this goes – I thought it was her, she had the same mannerisms, she looked like the person I thought she was, I was sure it was her, so I ended up doing the I’m-going-to-look-at-you-periodically-til-you-notice-me-hoping-you’ll-recognize-me-and-say-hi-before-I-start-to-appear-creepy routine. She didn’t notice me or didn’t recognize me or was just blatently ignoring me. I’m going with the latter, I’m pretty bloody obvious when I want to be.

I commented to the guy sitting next to me that it was really getting to me. He said I should go on over and ask her. He was right. I did. It was the person I thought it was , she was very polite but somewhat distant, not at all the way she used to be towards me – I was quite saddened by this – I like her and we’d had a previous discussion some time ago that was very animated and lively and we had gotten on very well.

A week ago I was strolling in a mall in between work appointments and saw someone who had known she who is unmentionable and I, she looked at me with nothing short of fear in her eyes and rushed past as fast as she could.

Is this typical behaviour here? When you see someone you used to know and they are no longer with the person who introduced you, you ignore them/run away from them/behave as though they didn’t exist? I find this very odd.

Anyway, it was a weird beginning to an altogether weird night. This strange meeting was clearly an omen. A red flag. A message from the universe to pack up and go home – as the stars, my good friend, are not aligned. I ignored these signs – as you do. Well, you probably don’t but I definitely do. I’m either an eternal optimist or completely oblivious to warning signs that would have most sane people bolting for safety. Not me – I’m going to beat the odds and defy the laws of nature. Its actually called mindblowing stupidity. I’m very consistent with this stance – and I like consistency. A lot.

As the night progressed I got chatting with the guy sitting next to me and his girlfriend and we had a great time, we ended up swapping numbers and email accounts and facebook and twitter information , as you do. Whatever happened to just a phone number?

Later that evening my newly found friends had arranged to meetup with some baseball parents and left me at the bar. Alone. This would not do. I spotted a couple of guys who looked friendly enough, I’d had enough beers to be forward enough to ask if I could join them at their table – I’m sure the Australian accent helps enormously with missions of this nature – they graciously accepted. I’m good at meeting nice people , I have a good sense for it. They were great company too, all was going along nicely thank you very much. A little later a female acquaintance of theirs joined us. She was very nice also.. great conversationalist… intelligent..and very attractive …and young. Twenty-four. “…but I’ll soon be twenty-five” . Here’s trouble.

RUN SIMON RUN . RED FLAGS ABOUND.

Bugger it, this is too good! I’m giving it a shot.

We get on like a house on fire. I haven’t been attracted to anyone since splitting up with she who is unmentionable. I am very attracted to this girl and I’m getting very positive signals in return. This is good, this is very good. The conversation fires along, except when she looks into my eyes and I become wordless -a babbling moron who has lost all sense of what we are saying as I am transported into the world of beauty that lies in the deepest depths of her soul… does that sound a little romance novel-ish? I really shouldn’t mock it. It happens so rarely and they are wondrous moments that I’m sure only humans can have. I ask her not to look me in the eyes while we talk, she understands – this is EXCELLENT. She is adorable.

The conversation rattles along and we move from subject to subject easily. We have a lot in common.

I told you that omen crap was nothing.

She’s an educator Fab! She has travelled to Italy , we share travel stories.. great, she teaches English …my ex-wife was a teacher..nevermind, that is not a red flag, she tells me she has a habit of often changing her mind… she who is unmentionable used to do that.. I casually ask if she might be a Gemini by any chance… she who is unmentionable is a Gemini. She replies that she is.

I swear this is true… I throw my hands into the air and at the top of my lungs scream “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”

The packed bar goes quiet momentarily.

This is not a red flag. This is not a red flag. This is not a red flag.

She laughs. Her eyes sparkle. I settle . The conversation resumes. We instantly start up where we left off. All is well with the world.

She lives on the Eastside.. well that’s not too bad.. I used to have to travel a long way to see she who is unmentionable.Nope, no red flag. She says she has to leave soon to see a boy..this isn’t good. I ask her to stay a little longer, we both say in unison “..he can wait”. This is kismet.

Somehow the conversation turns to religion she says her rabbi is terrific, a very understanding man, I mention that my kids are Jewish. I’m not – but their mother is ( by Jewish law it is the mother who determines religious affiliation). Where does she live again? Eastside. I hopefully ask if she is a conservative Jew …sure she is dumbass thats why she’s chugging beers with me on a Friday night!
No, actually she is reform.

RED RED FUCKING CRIMSON FUCKING BLOODY BLOOD RED FLAG. THIS IS NOT A FLAG THIS IS A BANNER THAT IS BLOCKING THE SUN TOWED BY THE WORLDS MOST GIGANTIC FUCKING FIFTY ENGINED FLYING FORTRESS FUCKING RED BANNER FLAG THING.

Seattle doesn’t have a huge population of reform Jews who live on the Eastside.

The smart man now takes a breath, smiles knowledgeably and changes the subject, as you do. Not me.

I ask her if her rabbi happens to be rabbi x? She looks terribly surprised. Doe in the headlights surprised. Yes that’s him.

All is not lost, the smart man can still recover the situation. Change the bloody subject. Not me.

Do you know w,x,y and z? Why yes she does she happily replies. Gee, fantastic I tell her. Rabbi x is my ex-wifes ex-husband , w is my ex-wife and y and z are their kids , who I lived with and helped raise for 7 years (and who I love).

Silence.

She asks if it would be a good time for her to go to the restroom. It is.

Upon her return she quickly finishes the beer says goodbye to the guys – who we had been happily ignoring previously, thanks me for my company, and leaves.

We did exchange information before she left. Should I follow up with her?

Of course not. But I will.

Because

I AM SPARTAAAAAAAAA

Inga (my wonderful counselor) I will be coming to see you next week.

About Simon

Simon Houghton creator of The Bloke Show started life as a baby, going on to become a boy and then a man, at which time he became an actor. As time passed he went on to be a director, later still he became a sales guy, then a business owner. Most recently he regressed and became a writer. Then a driver, then an actor again.
Decisiveness is not one of his strong suits.

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