My Boyfriend, the Bar and the Bleach Blonde
“Never underestimate the power of denial” is a) an oft-quoted line from the movie American Beauty and b) some sort of man code passed down from father to son in an as of yet unpublished guidebook entitled, “How to Deal with Women.”
The code goes something like this. When being accused of any wrongdoing by your significant other, above all: Deny everything.
I am always astounded at just how far some men will take this. You can catch them red-handed with their penis inside of another woman and they will look you straight in the face and say, “It wasn’t me.”
I experienced this myself for the first time several years back when I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar.
I had been dating Jared for about two months. He was a cute, sweet, surfer-slash-art student and, in fact, a very attentive boyfriend. We had already had the exclusivity talk – at his request – and I enjoyed his company.
However, a conversation with him was about as intellectually rewarding as discussing quantum physics with a puppy. My roommate would describe him as “Nice, but not the brightest strobe light at the disco.”
One Friday night I was working at the club when Jared came in to see me around 9 p.m., well before things got hopping. He wanted to hang out at the club until I got off work. I told him I would likely not finish until 2 a.m., but he still wanted to wait.
He sat at a table by himself and I brought him a beer.
Two Blondes Walk Into a Bar…
About an hour later a couple girls came in and sat at the table next to Jared’s. I was delivering a tray of kamikazes across the room when I glanced over and saw one of the girls talking to Jared.
Instantly, my lip turned up. This girl had bleached blond hair and wore a low-cut suede vest with cleavage up to her eyebrows. If her breasts had been hoisted any higher they could’ve doubled as earmuffs.
Instinctively, I swiftly bounced back to my boyfriend’s table to give him a hug and an open-mouthed kiss. Young Dolly Parton gave me a tight-lipped smile.
But the place was starting to get busy and I didn’t have time to keep marking my territory. The next time I looked over, Dolly was sitting next to Jared at his table, touching his arm and flipping her hair. And Jared was eating it up. I imagine these two Mensa candidates were engrossed in a riveting dialog about seashells on the beach, or ketchup.
As I stared in disbelief, a fellow waitress asked me just what the hell was going on over there. Validation — I wasn’t being paranoid. This little tête-à-tête was shady, even to a third party.
Next thing I knew, Jared and Dolly were out getting jiggy on the dance floor. Now, anyone who knows me will confirm that I love dancing more than Betty White loves a dick joke. But Jared always refused to go dancing with me. Not even naked in the bedroom. Yet here he was, doing the white boy shuffle while Dolly was skillfully backing that ass up.
I was furious. As they were leaving the dance floor hand-in-hand, I stormed up and shouted above the music, “Just what the hell do you think you’re doing?!”
“What? Nothing!” he said, defensively. “Can’t I have a friend?”
A friend? I consider myself very open-minded, but I’m a firm believer in the old adage, “Girls who go to clubs with their tits out ain’t lookin’ for just friends.”
Some drunken yuppies were flagging me down for more drinks, so I had to put my tirade on hold for a moment. On my way back, I passed by Jared’s table and he was writing down Dolly’s number on a cocktail napkin. This is when I lost my shit.
“Will you GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE? If you want to pick up on some skank, that’s your prerogative, but could you PLEASE not do it in front of my face while I’m working for chrissake?!”
I thought it was a perfectly reasonable request, but again, he countered with, “What’s the matter? We’re just friends!” Dolly sat there and blinked.
The Big Black Bouncer
I was seeing red and didn’t have time for this shit. I had an army of patrons with a limitless appetite for alcohol to serve and I really needed the tips. But I couldn’t concentrate with this crap going on.
Suddenly, I realized I had some power over the situation, and I exercised it.
The cocktail waitresses had an agreement with the bouncers at the club: We say, “Get rid of this guy” and they do it — no questions asked. It was a very efficient system.
I marched straight over to Antoine, the biggest, blackest, badassiest bouncer we had. Antoine made the Notorious B.I.G. look like Cee Lo Green. I told him he was to immediately kick Jared’s ass out with his size 15 Adidas, and he nodded.
I watched as Antoine tapped Jared on the shoulder and reveled in witnessing the look on Jared’s face: a delicious blend of confusion and fright. Antoine escorted him out by the arm, and Dolly and her friend followed.
I breathed a sigh of relief. It was never going to work with Jared anyway. I needed a guy who was smarter than a fifth grader. A special ed fifth grader, even.
I only wish I had an Antoine at my service 24/7 to magically remove all unpleasant situations from my life. Man, that’d be sweet.