Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Vagina Dentata"

Victim - Dreams So Real (mp3)
The Sound of Coming Down - The Long Winters (mp3)

So I'm at this local place, Tremont Tavern, Saturday night with a friend of mine. He dashes off to the bathroom while I stand in line at the bar to order a beer.

The female bartender is young and incredibly adorable and has some kind of red and yellow tattoo above her left breast. Not that I noticed. Someone else, um, pointed it out to me. But when she looks at me for my order, she's all pissed off and annoyed, so Billy being Billy, I ask, "What's wrong?"

"That fucking guy over there hasn't left a penny in tips all night. He's paying for three people and not tipping a thing." Then she shakes her head. "Sorry."

"Oh. No problem. You should spit in his beer."

"Heh. I'm thinking about it."

Then, right as I'm about to start ordering my beer, this woman next to me interrupts and orders two beers. And then the bartender looks back at me and takes my order. And then the woman next to me says, "Sorry to interrupt you, but I was afraid if I didn't order right then, I'd totally forget to do it."

"No problem," I said, because I seem to say No problem a lot. "The bartender was just about to ask me for my phone number, and that would have been really awkward. We were getting pretty intense there, so I'm glad you saved me."

Then this woman says, "You see the guy standing behind me? He's a jerk, but I'm married to him."

"Oh really?" I say, smiling and playing along with the joke.

"No, seriously, he's an asshole," she says.

Hmm. Awwwwkward. "I'm sorry about that. How long have you been married?"

"A year and a half. If you don't count the separation. Which I don't."

"So you've actually been married longer?" Her husband is standing RIGHT behind her, his hand rubbing circles on her back while he talks to this brunette twentysomething sitting in the barstool next to his wife. I am not a quiet talker, but he's not paying the least bit of attention.

"Almost three years, but we were separated for 11 months, so I don't count those as being married."

"Hmm." (Seriously, what the hell else is a fella s'posed to say to that?)

"Yeah, so we're seriously unhappy," she says to me and his hand casually continues rubbing circles on her back while he keeps talking to this other woman. I have no reason to think his conversation with this other woman was the least bit inappropriate, but you couldn't help but feel it was.

It's at this point I should acknowledge that the female in question was, by my own judgment and that of the guy I was with, attractive to a degree that anyone who knows me or has seen me would ask themselves the very same question I was asking myself*: If she was that attractive, why was she talking to you??

This woman, were she not a little too skinny -- we later theorized that her marital misery had yanked at least 20 pounds from her frame -- would be acknowledged as "hot" by most reasonable judges. Even Simon Cowell. She had her natural-seeming (who the hell knows anymore) blonde hair pulled up into a bun, with all these strands falling out of it, a long faceline with a slightly over-pronounced chin, a facial flaw with which I'm intimately familiar from staring at myself in the mirror. She wore minimal makeup and clothing that was neither desperately revealing nor excessively conservative, cream-colored thin-fabric pants and a black tube top kind of thing. She couldn't have been a day over 31 and probably more like 28.

The bartender returns with my beers, and piles them up with this woman's beers. I started at this point to walk back to a side booth where my friend awaited our beers, but she says, "No wait wait." So I stay.

"I watched one of the worst three movies I've ever seen tonight," this woman says to me. Yes, she not only announced that she was unhappily married, but then she re-instigated the conversation with a total non-sequitur.


"It was called 'Downloading Nancy,' and it's awful."

"What were the other two awful movies you've seen?" (It seemed like the best way to go.)

"That movie 'Bug' with Ashley Judd?"

"Oh! I've seen that!" I said.

"Really?? Omygod! Did you hate it?"

"Well, I watched all of it, so I must not have totally hated it, but Ashley Judd is pretty hot, so maybe that had something to do with it." Her husband has now started to take a more serious look in my direction. His hand is still very much running circles on her back.

"That and a movie called 'Vangina Dentata.'"

"Van what?"

"Va. Va-gina Dentata."

"Is that a foreign film? I've heard of a movie called... I think it's called 'Teeth'... is it, like, a foreign version of that?"

"No! Holy shit! No! That's it!! Omygod I can't believe you know these movies!! I rented 'Downloading Nancy' on Comcast and watched almost all of it tonight. Totally freaky. You should see it."

"But I thought you said you hated it and it was awful."

"Yeah, I did, but you should see it."

"Is it awful like 'Requiem for a Dream' awful, where the movie is good, but it just leaves you frightened and lonely?" I asked.

"Ooooh. Saw that. Yeah, that was freaky. But no, this one was just not very good. But it did have sex in it."

At this point, my friend came over and got his beer, making me all the more aware that I'd been carrying on this random conversation with a very very attractive blonde woman for quite a while.

"I'll jot that down in my steel trap of a brain," I say, tapping my skull and winking. Because I'm a charmer. And because I'm also a chickenshit not to mention married, I start walking away toward my friend.

"No wait, wait," she says, pulling me back toward her with the power of a mere curly finger. "It has Maria Bello in it. You know who that is?"

"Hell yeah. Cowboy Ugly and History of Violence."

"She's adorable."

"I totally agree!"

"Anyway, she's in it. I thought that might make you consider it a little more. More than 'Just because Krista says to.'"

"Your name's Krista?"

"Yup, that's me." The response of someone clearly more intoxicated than they're used to. The only sober person to say those words are Ferris Bueller.

"I'm Billy."

"Billy, I see you're married. I hope you're not as unhappy as me."

"You don't look that unhappy."

She took a sip of beer before responding. "You just haven't seen me really happy." Before you get the wrong idea, this last line was not stated in some kind of winking grab my ass come-on kind of way. It's possible she meant it as some kind of come-on, but if that was her intent, it wasn't as obvious as it reads now. At the time it seemed more like a simple declaration: I'm getting by on a low standard of happiness compared to my life at earlier times.

At this point, I managed to utter something about not wanting to ditch my friend, and backed slowly away.

I felt slightly bad about this because (a) I really don't like backing away from conversations with incredibly attractive women, especially when I'm sufficiently filled with alcohol; and (b) she had just offered a kind of sad and vulnerable moment and was reaching out. But I had to because (a) I'd like to remain married for a little longer, and it sure seemed like I was talking to a very vulnerable and flirtatious woman; and (b) her husband was now staring Terminator-like lasers through my flesh, and I couldn't win a barfight against a microphone stand, much less a living, breathing person.

I then replayed the general conversation with my pal in a relatively hushed fashion, since Krista and her asshole hubby were only four feet away from us. Later that night, after the miserable couple left -- "We told the babysitter we'd be home an hour ago," she leaned over and told me as she was leaving -- we tried to break down the conversation like Chris Berman and Tom Jackson break down football plays on ESPN.

She first interrupts me ordering a beer. Then she commits a way-serious breach of personal confession by telling me, a perfect stranger, just how ridiculously miserable her marriage is. But she can get away with this because she's smokin' hot. Then she mentions movies about a couple that wig the fuck out (Bug), a vagina with teeth that devours male body parts (Teeth) and another movie I'd never heard of.

When I got home, I Googled "Downloading Nancy." It's about a near-suicidal wife who meets a dude online and arranges for said dude to meet up with her and kill her. The trailer makes it look like 9 1/2 Weeks meets 21 Grams meets that James Spader/Cronenberg Crash movie.


What I'm saying is, in my drunken mind at the time it happened, the conversation was kind of fun and flirty, albeit a little awkwardly confessional. But now, looking back on it, I think I'm kind of spooked and sad. How are sad people supposed to reach out? Where do we go for help if we're isolated from people we can trust and have a spouse we can't talk to? How can you get a nice-seeming guy to pay attention, REALLY pay attention, when he's drunk and too busy feeling all flattered that this (desperate and panicked?) attractive woman is hitting on him?

Or maybe that's just my conscience trying to find a reason to feel guilty about talking so long to an attractive woman, turning what was a totally random and harmless conversation with a flirty attractive woman into something darker and more disturbing.

Who knows.

Both songs can be purchased at iTunes. I almost used "Crazy Bitch" by Buckcherry, but it's kind of a raw song, and I thought using it risked making light of my final thoughts...


Jason said...


Ah a post that makes you laugh, wonder, and be sad all at the same time.

Laugh-every guy has been in those situations where they are attached and suddenly an attractive woman starts pay more attention to you than you feel comfortable with.

Wonder-Why the recommendation on bad movies? Life is too short to regret giving up 2 hours of it 4 crappy viewing, in my opinion at least.

Be Sad-How bad does a relationship have to be to be that publicly vulgar about your spouse? As somebody who has underwent a serious relationship breakup a while ago, I can never imagine why somebody would stay in that kind of a situation and then publicly embarass their significant other that way.

Then again my way of keeping everything in isn't good, right Bob? :)

Randy said...

An enjoyable post. Along with the typical reactions to the main story, I was struck with a reaction to the bartender. I know exactly who you are talking about, and I've never seen her in a good mood...doesn't matter whether she's working, or there as a patron. Doesn't matter if the Tav is busy or empty. Doesn't matter if it's a weekend night or lunch on a weekday. That's also a bit sad.

It might also be sad that I'm knowledgeable about almost any time of day or night at the Tav.

troutking said...

Indeed, enjoyable. Especially because I never talk to strangers---attractive or otherwise---unless I'm at a fly shop or on a trout stream and can weasel information from them.

Billy said...

Jason -- I think that's what still gnaws at me. Usually, "bar flirting" involves positivity. You show me your best side, and I'll show you mine... while drunk. But this entire conversation was overwhelmed with negativity. Which makes me think maybe I was mistaking a (random? pathetic?) cry for help as mere flirting.

Randy -- Again, much like with the other woman in question, an attractive woman's bad attitude unfortunately doesn't succeed in distracting me from the fact that she's attractive.

Jeff -- My first question, were I fly fishing and surrounded by strangers, would be, "How the fuck do I do this, exactly? Someone? Please? Bueller?"

strangers_have_the_best_candy said...

Teeth! Quality movie! The actors blew me away! Especially the doctor with his extreme nonchalantness of an internal "Jigsaw(From the saw movies)" like contraption. The actors really wanted this film to work. To be perfectly honest. This movie made me fly.

Hank said...

"What, a hot older women made you feel her cans? Stop crying like a little girl."