Like Being Back in High School
I hate to do this to you all, but I'm going to go soft on you again today....
Sometimes someone comes into your life at the precise right moment to affect you in very odd ways. Such is the case with Stacey the Budweiser Girl. Stacey checked into the hotel I work at (for those who don't know me I am now bartending instead of personal training. I have found destroying people's lives to be infinitely more fun than improving them) the same night I broke up with my now-ex. One event had absolutely nothing to do with the other, but the timing was impeccable. She came in with the rest of her promotional team, all extremely attractive girls staying at the Hotel for the month before the Super Bowl to promote AB products. And by promote, I mean go out and buy people beer. Rough life, right?
Anyway, I noticed her above any of the other girls in the group. While all attractive, some might even say "hot," she was beautiful. She looked like either Margot or Mariel Hemingway, depending on your generation, with a little bit of Julia Styles mixed in. Tall, blonde, but more importantly than that, she sat at the stool closest to where I was standing and gave me "the look." I cannot describe the look, but about two years ago it is something I started to notice. It is a look in a girl's eyes when she sees you that follows you around the room. It is the look that lets you know she is definitely interested, though she may not even know she is showing it. Guys know exactly what I am talking about. So I talked to her for the better part of an hour that night, more or less ignoring the rest of the group unless they needed something to drink.
And so it was I became single again that night for reasons I will not go into here, and so it was Stacey seemed to be at the bar every time she came into the hotel. She was always the first one down out of the group, and always had the most to say to me. We would talk, then she would have to work. Waitresses at the bar began to tell me they thought she liked me. Guests started to ask if we were dating. I would go to work hoping for the time she'd come downstairs, and if we had a good conversation that night I felt like it was a good work shift. Kind of like that cute girl who sat in front of you in History class. She became the part of work I looked forward to. But for the first couple of weeks we never saw each other outside the confines of the bar. Until one night when she came back alone from handing out free Budweiser's, and walked into the bar just as I was closing down. So I invited her out for a drink and she accepted.
But unlike so many other girls who come in at closing and come out with me after, I had no idea what to do with Stacey. I liked her. Not in a "I want to pound her from behind" sort of way but in a "I'd like to walk on the beach holding your hand" kind of way. And I couldn't make a move. We were finally alone, together, outside the bar and I couldn't even put a hand on her. All the one-night-stands, all the "game," all the strippers, everything I'd learned and red and experienced and written about, it all went out the window. It was like I was back in High School, with no idea how to make a move on a girl who obviously liked me.
I didn't really think about having sex with Stacey. I just wanted to get to first base, to know for sure that she liked me too. We went out subsequent times after work. She got me to go to a Gay bar and to Space after 5AM, both things nobody has been able to get me to do for years. I think I officially decided she was special when one night we went for pizza and she told the girl putting it in the oven "Hey, can I get that out soon so it doesn't get too hot." And here I thought I was the only person who did that. On the way across the street I almost stepped in front of a cab and she grabbed my hand to stop me. Our hands lingered for a minute, but neither one of us made that extreme step to hand-holding. Who the fuck was I? I've met girls and slept with them in under 2 hours before. What the fuck was happening to me? She did it again later, and again I could do nothing. Why was this so different, and why was it so hard? Who the fuck is this talking? It's definitely not me.
I took Stacey to hang out with my friends one night. One sent me a text message begging me to have sex with her because he couldn't. I am sorry I had to disappoint him. You see, much like in High School, this story has an unresolved ending. I saw Stacey on the street the night before the Super Bowl. She was drunk and wanted to know where I was going. I was with three other people, one of whom was on a mission to find Sarah Spain. And I couldn't let him go alone. I lingered there for a minute knowing this would be my last chance to see her, but sadly all I could say was "I'll call you tomorrow and see what you're doing." And so I did, and she was out on the beach with her Budweiser people and it was raining and I was in the Grove and I knew right then it just wasn't meant to be.
I never had a date in High School. Not because I wasn't popular, but because I was absolutely inept with women. Probably comes from being raised by a single mother. Over the years I learned what I could from experience and thought I had it all figured out. Until I met Stacey and suddenly I felt like I was 15 again, lying on the couch with a girl at 2 AM and not knowing what to do. Were there other girls while Stacey was here? Of course, but none of them gave the that feeling that she did. Perhaps it is best nothing happened, as she is now back in North Carolina and I stay behind in South Beach. I have never been a fan of distance, and I get the feeling any girl I can't figure out how to make a move on is somebody I would have a hard time watching leave. But it was good to know that even after everything I've experienced, the bad relationships, the depraved sex, the hardening and the jadedness, I can still feel like a kid with a High School Crush again. Maybe there is a little part of me that is still innocent.
Labels: Stacey The Budweiser Girl