My best friend, Kiki, and I both have birthdays in the month of April. I usually give her a book or a CD or something like that. This time, I decided to take her to a play. I surfed the various theatres, and I came across the play, By the Bog of Cats at the Guthrie. It is a Frank Theatre production, and I’ve always admired them for doing experimental theatre. I saw it was set in Ireland, and I knew it would be perfect to see with Kiki. She is of Irish descent, and one of her favorite movies is The Secret of Roan Inish. I thought this would be kind of like that movie. Then I read that the play was loosely based on Medea. Ok, that meant it would probably be a bit darker than The Secret of Roan Inish, but still viewable.
I asked Kiki to pick a date because I wanted to take her to a play. She picked one and asked what we were going to see. I wasn’t going to tell her because I wanted to surprise her, but then I remembered that I hated surprises, so I shouldn’t do that to someone else. I told her the name of the play and what it was about. She said cool. That was that.
I just have to interject. One of the best things about Kiki is that she will go to just about any event that I suggest because she trusts that I will pick something in which she will be interested. Her husband always laughs at her because when he asks what she’s going to see, she always says, “I don’t know. Some Irish play thing.” The last time this happened, I had gotten comp tickets to a gig my friend, Paul Lukas from Uni Watch was doing. To be more precise, he was opening for a band called The Magnetic Fields, and he invited me to go. I asked if I could bring a friend, and he said yes. Kiki agreed, even though she had no idea who The Magnetic Fields were. To be honest, neither did I. They were friends of Paul’s, and that was good enough for me.
When Kiki’s hubby finally figured out who we were going to see, he was pissed off because he likes The Magnetic Fields. He couldn’t believe Kiki didn’t know who they were or that she was getting to see them for free.
But I digress.
The play was very well done. It was two and a half hours long, but it didn’t feel like it. Kiki and I hashed it out after watching it, and we found more and more nuances as we talked about it. The lead was outstanding, and the rest of the cast was solid. If you live in the Twin Cities, I would highly recommend you see it. It is running until April 5th.
However, this post is not about the play. (Now you tell me!). It’s about what happened after the play. Kiki had chosen a restaurant for dinner after, and we arrived at ten-thirty. Their kitchen was closed. This was the second time this had happened at this particular restaurant, and I was miffed. I mean, ten-thirty! That’s not that late, right? So, we went to our old standby, Grumpy’s. It was packed. No place to sit, so we hit the road again and rain into a ton of traffic. I knew the girls’ highschool basketball tourney finals were playing that night, so that was part of the problem. I had forgotten, however, that March Madness had come to town at The Barn (Gophers’ stadium) which would account for the rest of the congestion.
We went from place to place, but most places were closed. The ones that were open were packed. I turned to Kiki and said, “We are definitely not in New York City.” We in the Twin Cities like to pride ourselves on having everything the coastal cities have–art, music, dining, etc. All the finer things in life, we have them. The problem is, they all shut down really early. Kiki kept saying, “You would think they’d want to serve the after-theatre crowd.” The truth is, however, most people probably eat before going to see a play.
If we had been in New York, we would have had our pick of places to dine after taking in a show. If one place was too busy, we could simply walk next door to another restaurant or bar. Here in the ‘Mini-Apple’ though (and yes, some people do call it that), the restaurants turn into pumpkins at midnight. So, out of sheer desperation, we made our way to MY neighborhood in the ‘burbs. There’s a local sports bar, and after ascertaining that they served appetizers until midnight, we were on our way.
When we got there, the place was empty. That was odd as it was a Saturday night. Sure, it was eleven-thirty, but still. Shouldn’t there be more than a handful of guys loitering around the bar? We sat at a table, but no one came to wait on us. Kiki went to the bar to ask the bartender if they were still serving food, and I noticed that he was kind of cute.
Now, full confession time. I have a thing for people who serve me. I am not entirely sure why that is, but I have a theory. Two, actually. One is that most of the people who are bartenders or work in indie bookstores (in SF, I had a HUGE crush on a guy who worked for Pegasus, a woman who tended bar at the Lex, and a male bartender at a dive bar, The 500 Club) tend to be off-beat and quirky themselves. They aren’t run usually your run-of-the-mill boy/girl-next-door types, and for that, I’m thankful. Two, they are usually the people I actually pay attention to when I go into a place, and I usually interact with them. Therefore, they make an impression on me.
Whatever the reason, I noticed that the bartender was cute, and I filed it away. He told us we could stay at our table near the bar and he would bring our food over to us there. As the night went on, I started flirting with him a little here and there. I was actually dressed up in a nice black skirt, a floral shirt that plunged dramatically in front, and black, knee-high boots that look killer, but kill the feet. I can barely walk today because of it, but it’s worth it.
Anyway, he was a friendly guy, so I decided to hone my flirting skills on him. I told Kiki in a low voice, “Is it wrong of me to say that I find the bartender kind of cute?” She immediately started laughing. She said she thought that I would think that the minute she talked to him. I asked if I was that transparent, and she said only to her.
So, here is where I come up against a wall. How do I ask him out? I told Kiki that I thought something like giving him a napkin with my name and number on it right before I leave. I would say something like, “I think you’re cute. Give me a call if you want to go out. No pressure.” Then I would leave. That is the important part because it’s his place of work. He can’t leave to escape my advances if they are unwanted, so I need to be the one leaving.
The problem? I am much bolder on-line than I am in real life. I am not sure I’d have the guts to actually follow through with that plan. Kiki is more certain. She’s going to Florida for a week, but when she comes back, she’s going to drag me to the bar again at the same time late Saturday night. Hey, that’s what a best friend is for, right?
In the end, it seems likes a good thing all the restaurants downtown were either not serving food any more, closed, or full. Otherwise, I would never have gotten my flirt on. Worst comes to worst, it was my practice flirt. However, given my current overheated state, I would like to score a homerun my second time up to bat. I’ll keep you posted.