In my ripe older age of 36, I can finally say that i'm a bit tired of the bar scene in Hoboken. It has its moments, but in my years I haven't done mucn more than go there, get drunk, and rarely meet anyone new.
Case in point, was last night. I was at Mulligan's, which is my new favorite haunt downtown. There is no "scene", just a bunch of people looking to get drunk, and I was part of it with my buddy Chris. We were just talking, having a few drinks, when a regular blog reader, Melinda, walks over to say hello.
She's very sweet and nice, and has always been supportive of my blog in the past. Funny thing is that everytime I meet her, I always get to meet some crazy friend of hers who immediately doesn't like me or is just plain rude.
Last Saturday was no exception.
She introduces me to her friend Susan, and all four of us get to talking. Chris excuses himself after a bit, and then it's just Melinda, Susan and myself at the bar. Susan chides me with the "Why are you 36 and still single" bit that I get often. I try to start to explain, saying that I just really don't date a lot and have a habit of hanging out at the same bars, with the same people...just don't get to meet new girls that often. Plus, I have a hard time talking to girls that I do like.
Susan tells me i'm wrong. I'm way too cute to be 36 and single and there's got to be another reason, and she starts to tell me why guys like me never meet the right guy. I listen a bit, and to me it sounds like psychotherapy 101, that she's been burned by a guy in the past and is now channeling it into trying to tell ME why i'm single. Sort of like stereotyping - you can't explain everyone's reasons in one easy tale. Everyone has a different reason.
I listen to Susan, and decide to break the ice by palm reading.
At one point of time in my life, I was fascinated with palm reading. I think it's fun and actually it has gotten the ice broken on many occasions. I'm not an expert, by any means, but most palm reading is basically reading the person (cold reading) in front of you.
I started to read her palm and told her that early on in life she has been unlucky in love (she's single, she's at the bar now, which was easy), and that later in life she may meet that right guy who sets her heart on fire. Again, easy stuff, but I could watch her squirm a bit, and I know I was hitting close to home.
She piped up with, "What about babies? I should have a lot, right?"
Now, again, palm reading is READING PEOPLE. I could have easily jumped in and said "Oh you are going to have lots of children, you are as fertile as the Nile!" Most women want to hear this, just as much as men want to hear that they are going to be successful and rich. That's a no brainer.
I looked on the side of her palm, below the pinkie, and I didn't see anything. It could have been the light, but her hand was smooth. I could have lied, but I figured that Susan, who only a bit ago was telling me how wrong I was about being 36 and single needed a dose of her own medicine.
I just shook my head, and gave her a look of "i'm sorry, no".
She flipped out.
"This is bullshit! You can't read palms, they said I would have 7 or 8!!", she cried out.
I have no idea who THEY are, but it made for a brief bit of entertainment to watch Susan get so upset over...Palm Reading.
She stormed off, leaving Melinda very apologetic. I assured Melinda it was just fine, and no harm was done...inside I was chuckling a bit, her friend Susan deserved a lesson in "reading people 101".
As for the question of being 36 and single, I can boil it down to a lot of reasons, but I think the number 1 reason is that i'm too shy for my own good. I can talk to any girl that i'm not interested in, but if there's a girl who I like, I clam up and become a wall flower.
Also, I don't "put myself out there" enough, meeting new people. For example, last summer at Bradley Beach was the first year I ever did a shore house. I met someone right away, we had fun, it didn't last, but I have no regrets. I kind of now wonder if I should have done the summer share with other people and what may have happened.
Plus, and finally, New York/Hoboken is it's own beast. There's just a trillion people here, but actually MEETING them is very hard. In 2005 I had a huge crush on a girl at my gym, who worked at the smoothie counter. For weeks i'd look forward to my workouts and having my small talk with her, while ordering a Mango Tango smoothie. This went on for a year!
She was always nice, and maybe a bit flirty, but I just figured she was being nice to me. My radar was completely off. Finally, after a year I asked her out. She said "Yes" and we dated for a bit.
On later dates, I remarked how after all those years of talking to her at the counter, I had no idea she was interested in me. She laughed and said, "What did I have to do, jump over the bar and tackle you, to show you I was interested?"
The relationship didn't last, but it was easily my favorite one, and learned a lesson in asking people out sooner.
The moral of this story is learn from me. Get out there. Meet new people. Make new friends. You may meet a friend of a friend and that's how you meet the next best thing in your life. And learn to palm read, and when the cute girl who wants babies is expecting a good answer, tell them what they want to hear.