Friday, February 8, 2013

Brain Melt

I'm coming to terms with that in my life, I will never be calm, cool, and collected around members of the opposite sex I deem attractive. Actually, I can omit the last part of that sentence. I'm just going to be forever awkward in pretty much all situations. But in particular around dudes.

This was especially true last Thursday night.

Guy friend and I went to yet another SF Bulls game, this time for their "Thirsty Thursday" special. We ended up getting free street parking, and while walking up to the arena, a girl said, "Hey, do you need tickets? I'm just giving them away." We, naturally, said yes and took two tickets. That meant everything else was gravy. So we partook in shitty $3 American beers in 10 oz cups because by SF standards, that's a bargain.

The hockey was fun. As usual. The Bulls lost, but there was a fight, and an almost comeback and a half empty arena on a Thursday night where we were decidedly not sitting in our assigned seats but just wherever we wanted because why not?

The fight was actually really contentious. The opposing team's player continued to want to go after the Bull's player as they skated to the box, and continued screaming at him while in the box. And after the final horn, the other team's player made a run at our guy. Which in hockey is a big no-no. There's a hockey cliche about "keeping it between the whistles", so after the final buzzer is definitely a bad idea.

Following the end of the game, even knowing I had a morning meeting but that guy friend has nothing on his agenda, I drive us to what I know to be the SF Bull's bar. (Because they advertise over a section of the arena and I pay attention. Also it's the closest decent bar to the rink.)

Guy friend has no idea what is going on, so I explain. When we go in, he notices there are quite a few fans in gear. And about fifteen minutes after that, pretty much the whole team, including head coach, who unbeknownst to me have a few days off after the game and are ready to party, enter the bar.

Hockey players are easy to spot. Not necessarily because they are built like lineman. (Digression: we were watching the Super Bowl, and casual fan Beth says, "Football is weird because so many different body types play. Like, there are almost obese guys and then skinny guys and tall, lanky guys. In other sports they all kinda look the same." I thought that was an interesting Beth observation that I just remembered so I'm putting it here.) Hockey players are instantly recognizable because in a dive bar on the South City border of SF, they're the guys wearing suits. And holy crap do they look good in suits. Seriously. I don't think there are better dressed professional athletes than hockey players before or after a game. If I could guarantee more male suit wearing, I'd start dressing up like it mattered.

First: I want to back up a little bit. Well. A lot. To 2011. Once upon a time I met Emily Blunt and Jason Siegel and my brains melted out of my ears.

The same thing was about to happen again.

These are minor league hockey players. And yet because I can barely walk without tripping (in fact, I would snag my shirt on the bathroom door at the bar THIS VERY NIGHT and put a rip in it. FOREVER AWKWARD), I greatly admire what they do. And I realize that they, without making too sweeping of a generalization, aren't rocket surgeons, or even college grads, I, usually rational, logical, lawyer type, shouldn't be super impressed by a bunch of hot guys now wearing suits who slam into boards while chasing a rubber puck for a living. But I am. And as such, my brain will now proceed to melt out of my ears and I will become a grown ass adult fawning fan girl.

From a distance. Because I'm not about to actually talk to any of them. That's just silly! There are blonde girls with big boobs roaming around. I'm just gonna swoon over here in the corner while my guy friend proceeds to laugh hysterically at me and I tell him he should start coming to bars after games in a suit because really, who is gonna know the difference? These aren't NHL players known on sight. If you claimed to play for the Sharks, but didn't really, someone would know you were lying. A minor league team in SF? I've heard dumber lies. (Not that I'm advocating you actually do this. We were just joking about him picking up girls.)

I do make friends with two girls at an adjacent table because, pshaw, I'm there with my guy friend and he doesn't get it. The one girl starts whisper screaming, "HE'S TAKING OFF HIS SHIRT!" I don't really understand what she means, but I look over and one of the players is taking off his dress shirt, which pulls up his undershirt, and there are just perfect abs flashed in the bar and we both swoon a little and are like, "Daaaammmmnnnnn." (Don't ever doubt that women can, and will, objectify men just as much as men will do it to women. We're just a lot more...subtle? about it.) Guy friend continues to laugh at me being giddy and ridiculous and completely tongue tied by being around hockey players. I have no defense. He's right. I SHOULD be my regular smartassy and sarcastic self. I should be able to fire off quips like I usually do. But I can't. I'm...utterly ridiculous. I'm also aware of how utterly ridiculous I am but unable to stop it.

The other girl in the tandem I've made friends with is a 5'9"-ish brunette who is not thin but what an average person should look like if we didn't live in a society that thought all women should be a size zero. And she just kills it. She's over there talking to all the players, totally fearless. I'm jealous of that sort of fearlessness and her ability to not give a second thought to being awkward or weird. Wonder what that universe is like! And she's really cool. As this bar starts closing up, she says that the players have invited her to their next location: SF's one and only actual honest to god college bar, tucked away behind SFSU that you would never know is there if you weren't looking for it.

Because I am now drunk enough to think that continuing to drink is a fantastic idea and that this invitation extends to everyone, guy friend and I head over to that bar. Which is now packed with hockey players and coeds. I look at guy friend and am like, "I'm way too fucking old to be here." He, who has a decade on me, is like, "You think YOU'RE too old? Shiiiit." More beer will cure this!

The tall girl has ditched her friend, who she tells me is married and had a kid and "had to get back to that crap", and come alone. I love her so much. Guy friend is starting to love her too, getting drunkenly flirty.

Now, I'm wandering around this college bar where not being in my 20s makes me ancient and somehow end up striking up a conversation with one of the suit clad hockey players. I don't know how we start talking or what we begin talking about but I discover that he's the one who got in the fight. "OHHHH! YOU GOT IN THE FIGHT?!" I practically squeal, and proceed to ask him 800 annoying questions about that. "Why was the other guy so mad? What did he say to you? Why was he still yelling in the penalty box? WHAT HAPPENED?" Or at least that's how it goes in my brain. Not unlike when I met Emily Blunt, my brain is just a series of popping synapses at this point, even further dulled by the effects of too much beer. So who knows how accurate what I think I said is, but it was rambling ridiculousness. Of course.

What I do know for sure I said is, "Do you need a shout wipe?" Yep. There I am, talking to a hockey player in a bar, and I discuss stain remover. Like some soccer mom. The amount of shouting my conscious brain is doing at my drunken brain at that exact moment is...a lot.

He got a cut during the fight. It had reopened over the course of the evening and he had gotten blood on his dress shirt. Since I am an awkward human being who constantly drops things on my clothes, I carry those shout to-go stain remover wipes with me. So I reach into my purse to offer him a shout wipe.

Except. I don't actually have any. I am useless.

But does this stop me from discussing stains? Nope. Not on your life. I continue in a death spiral of stain remover. I am locked in. Hot, 25 year old hockey player and here I am discussing stain remover. Suggesting he get some oxiclean on it as soon as possible. (In all seriousness: I just discovered the power of oxiclean. That stuff is amazing. I thought I'd destroyed with booze fueled debauchery my new, mostly white hockey jersey. Nope. Nary a stain on it after an oxiclean wash.) And I just can't stop myself. There is a tiny part of my brain that knows I should. Screaming, "JUST SHUT UP ALREADY!" But my mouth keeps moving. Asking about fighting and talking about fucking stain remover as I swoon over a hockey player. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU AWKWARD WEIRDO?!

Utterly goddamn hopeless. Gonna die alllloonnneee.

So, if you ever feel awkward or out of place, just know that I've likely trumped anything you could possibly do in your real life with the things I continue to do in mine. Now go out and make an ass of yourself because what have you got to lose?

No comments:

Post a Comment