I just got in from being out (and also about, if we're going to get specific), and now I'm contemplating the quality of my evening. All in all, I'd give it a few stars out of several, with special bonus points for my not blinking an eye when a young guy at the bar, in answer to my question about how he spelled his name (I'm curious like that), said, "J-O-E-L ... with an umlaut over the E [or was it the O?]." I also give myself a blue ribbon for not saying, "Oh, so it rhymes with Noel!"
I give myself a big kick in the ass for telling him that his coat, which I truly did admire and covet, was "awesome". I never use the word "awesome" in the manner in which I used it tonight. If something truly is awesome, such as the Grand Canyon, I might use it, but I'll just have to wait until I see the Grand Canyon to make an assessment as to whether or not it inspires awe.
I also give myself some sort of honorable mention for recognizing that I am a ridiculously jealous person. Now, I've always suspected that I am jealous of other people for truly enviable stuff, such as someone's ability to just burst out into song a capella on the subway; or to brazenly wear a tank top at night in the absolute dead of winter; or to ask the waiter for another fork because the one that's at my place has crusty old shepherd's pie stuck between the tines, without rehearsing what I'm going to say so he doesn't get offended and think I'm a snob who can't just overlook a little bit of shepherd's pie that's probably clean anyway because it's not like the fork didn't go through the dishwasher or anything. But what I didn't know (well, I suspected, but I wasn't fully aware of it until tonight) is that I'm jealous of other people's blind dates.
I was happily sipping my drink, waiting for tonight's comedy-fest to begin, just looking over the crowd of people, occasionally sharing with Joel a hey-I-just-met-you-but-now-we-have-to-keep-acknowledging-each-other smile, when I noticed that another guy kept looking over at me. He was at the opposite end of the bar from Joel, and kept giving me little half-smiles. (I felt so popular!) (Or like monkey in the middle!) (Or maybe a monkey of middling popularity!) The kind you do when you haven't yet advanced to the stage where Joel and I found ourselves. Occasionally our eyes would meet, but I looked away like the demure girl I am and became intensely interested in everyone else in the bar once even going so far as to smile broadly at Joel so the other guy (very young and a bit nervous looking) would think he and I were somehow "together".
Eventually the young guy came over to me and asked, "Are you Emily?" I laughed what I thought was a womanly laugh but which came out as a hiccupy giggle, and said I wasn't. He smiled, said he was waiting for someone named Emily, and then went back to his seat at the bar and kept looking at the door. I was glad he left when he did, because for some revolting reason I almost felt compelled to say, "No, I'm not Emily, but hey, if she doesn't show up, we can just pretend I am, eh?" With a wink. I also envisioned myself saying, "If she doesn't show up, baby, it is like sooo her loss."
Eventually Emily did show up, and that's when I recognized my jealousy. "Oh, so SHE showed up," I thought. "Well, it's about time. Bitch. Hrrmph." And then I checked her out as much as I possibly could without Emily's date noticing. And after I was done (it doesn't take long ... does it, ladies???), I sat a little taller on my barstool and said, "Well, I'll bet he's sorry I'm not Emily now. I'll bet he'd gladly trade that kinky-haired, no-chinned latecomer for me. Yeah!"
So then I stabbed Emily in the face with a clean (!) fork, took off my sweater, and, in just my tank top (and pants and boots), stormed the stage, and sang "Green-Eyed Lady" ... a capella!fresh-baked at 10:33 PM