This story takes place on the eve of Christmas Eve. I had the next day off work, so I choose to meet up with some friends at a local watering hole. It was your typical Thursday night: drinks, laughter … and possibly nudity.
Afterward, one of my partners in crime agreed to chaperone me to the nearest late-night bar. We cozied up to the bar and instantly were enthralled with Jurassic Park playing on the TV, my concentration broken only when I heard someone exclaim, “Leigh!”
I turned around and realized the guy who screamed my name was talking to some other guy at the bar. “Hey!” I yelled out. “My name is Leigh, too!!”
Now, I know my name is not the most uncommon name in the world, but it’s not very often I meet people with my name. Therefore, I get VERY excited when I it happens. If I were a dog, my tail would have been wagging and I’d have been slobbering all over and yelping happily.
My long lost twin! (Though really, twins are not usually named the SAME name.) In this case, my twin was a cute, blue-eyed, baby-faced blonde who I would have been all over, like, 10 years ago.
Seriously, he was maybe a minute out of college.
“It’s actually Bradley, but everyone calls me Lee,” he explained with a sideways smile and a flutter of his long eyelashes over the biggest, bluest eyes.
I sensed trouble.
We continued our banter, which mostly was me asking the same questions over and over again, not remembering he had just previously answered the question.
The bar was closing, so we all bundled up to face the arctic weather outside. My friend had run into a friend of hers and they eagerly hopped in a cab headed south. Bradley and his douchey roommate were in a cab with the expectation I was going with them.
As I’m about to climb into the cab, I came to my senses: Seriously? I’m going home with this embryo basically because he has the same name as me? CREEPY.
Now, I’m not one to judge. One-night stands may be for some. Me? One-night stands are no longer “cute” at my age. Nor are they usually at all emotionally gratifying.
So, instead of jumping in the cab, I walked in the other direction. The cab sped off without so much as a goodbye from my twin.
Oh Lee, if only I had known what was in store for me, I would gladly have jumped into the cab to let you jackrabbit me for a few seconds.
I crossed the street to find a cab going north, but of course there were none. It was then I saw the bus approaching. I mean, yes, it’s 4 a.m., but how bad could it be?
I checked my pocket for my sabre and smiled viciously thinking of all the damage I could do.
I ran to the back of the bus and heavily sat down. I continued to have flashbacks of the night and would giggle to myself. I’m not quite sure what I was laughing at, but I was drunk. I could probably witness the beheading of a nun and find something comical about it if I was under the influence.
Sidenote: What does “under the influence” even mean, anyway? Yes, I know it means under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but what about zealous religious rioters? Why don’t they say they are “under the influence of God?” Or sex-crazed golfers who do ugly waitresses at truck stops –they are “under the influence of hormones?” Why does INFLUENCE have to equal alcohol (the cause and solution to all of life’s problems, thank you Homer)?
There was a guy sitting a few rows ahead of me who kept turning around to look at me.
This annoyed me.
“Hey, you could continue turning around to check me out OR come back here and actually talk to me,” I yelled out to him.
To my utter shock, he got up and sat down next to me!
“I didn’t actually think you would!” I responded.
We shared pleasantries and I was able to glean his name, his recent immigration to the United States (from Ireland, of course – I meet leprechauns everywhere I go, I swear!). We exchanged phone numbers. I mean, it’s 4 in the morning and I’m drunk and on the bus – this sounds like a GREAT idea. Tony the Tiger would, for sure, approve.
Bus Bestie began to text me that night. The texting continued relentlessly throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It was his first Christmas away from his family, so I chalked it up to loneliness. He then asked if I wanted to meet for drinks sometime.
Seeing as I really had nothing to lose, we met at a local Irish bar (Surprise story twist? I think not.) a day later.
When he showed up, Bus Bestie looked MUCH younger than I remembered. He instantly began to regal me with stories about how much he drinks. Literally. He was bragging about a time he once drank 36 beers and that was only at the first bar.
Seriously, dude? This is supposed to ATTRACT me to you?
I’m not sure if you know who you’re dealing with, Mister Mister, but if we’re going toe to toe with drinking stories, you had better prepare yourself. I have a few.
I try to HIDE that aspect of myself from potential love interests…at first. It rarely impresses people. “You’re a party girl who dry humps foreign men and lifts your dress up at parties??? Let me drop down on one knee now!”
So far, this has never happened to me. So far.
During the course of the 2.5 hours we were out he drank 8 beers. Now, I’m not one to judge when it comes to drinking. But if I think you drink a lot? You probably have cirrhosis and should check yourself into Betty Ford right now. He drank 3 beers to every 1 I drank.
At some point in the evening we got to the age question. When he found out I was 31 he then changed the course of his bragging to stories about all the financial opportunities he has, going to grad school at the University of Chicago, how great an athlete he was, all the prior girlfriends he dated and BLAH BLAH BLAH. My eyes were glazing over and my face hurt from politely smiling.
Seriously, no stone was left unturned in his life story. I mean, I even heard all about his lung problems, including past surgeries he’s endured. To that, I’m not sure he appreciated me asking him if he wanted to go have a smoke. “I’ve never smoked in my life,” he scoffed.
I know moron, I was kidding.
Cough. But seriously, do you have a smoke?
Every time I tried to tell a story, he would interrupt me within a minute and we would never circle back.
I. Was. Annoyed.
To make matters even worse, he told me he was 26. But then the idiot wanted to show me his passport picture, where his DOB clearly stated 1986. Lying to make yourself OLDER just leaves me feeling even more old.
I claimed exhaustion and was home by 8 to watch some Netflix.
Seriously, this is what you get for meeting a guy on the bus at 4 a.m.
Although I seriously need to write a thank you note to the CTA. Earlier in the summer I actually met a guy on the L platform due to delays. Then I meet a guy on the bus. I need to take a plane sometime soon to complete the hat trick!
I should thank the CTA as well for adding one more story to my already bleak romantic life. AKA, my blog.
Second sidenote: This blog is dangerous. Before the blog I likely NEVER would have gone out with some dude I met while drunk on a bus at 4 a.m. I might have given him my number, but likely would never have responded to his texts.
Now that I have this blog? I think to myself, Worst case scenario I have a blog story.
So, basically, as long as you don’t look like you’ll kill me and I’m semi-attracted to you, you’re in.