“I can’t sleep,” I texted my friend last night. “Counting sheep won’t work anymore. I’ve overused it. Plus it’s such a painfully boring mental exercise.” (I realise that it is the point)
“Same” responded my friend. “If you’re over sheep, maybe you should count the number of guys we had to turn down last night. God, they were so obnoxious.”
And I did just that. This new game on the other hand wasn’t boring. It was, however, quite painful to reflect on.
Let me give you some context before sounding like a cruel person who gratuitously turns people down. My friend and I were at a party. Outdoors. With string lights. It was small and intimate. We found ourselves there by accident. You know, one of those happy New York accidents. The music was great. Everybody was dancing. The people were happy. We were ecstatic.
I am aware that a party is by nature an adult playground for people to get to know each other. I was by no means avoiding it. I actually love it! Who doesn’t love a good party? We can all talk to each other, meet new people, bond over our favorite Fab5 member.. Guards down, bottoms up!
But as the night progressed, the unsought annoyances multiplied:
“Where are you from?” he whispered.
Which is totally respectable except that he creeped out from behind me and was SO CLOSE to me that I could feel his breath in my ear. Like a little irritating mosquito. It startled me so much that I spilled my drink on my friend.
Way to go, pal.
“Yoooo. Do you have burning man tickets?”
“Umm hi? Yes, let me pull them out of my pocket. No, no I don’t.”
“Are you sure?”
“Do you have weed at least?”
“Hi beautiful. Did you ever wear braces?”
“No. What? Why?”
“Because you have beautiful teeth.”
Speaking of teeth, this one’s my absolute favorite.
“Why are you sad? You should smile more. Let’s make you a little less sad.”
I wonder if that one ever made a woman smile?! This one upsets me so much I don’t even want to talk about it. Also, see: aforementioned ecstatic self!!
Mr. Burning Man(bun) interrupted my dancing to one of my all-time favorite dance floor songs to ask me — you guessed it — if I had burning man tickets. Again.
Except that he stepped on my toes this time.
This other guy made eye contact with us. For well over a minute. It was creepy. We looked away but whenever we turned around, he was still looking. He insinuated that we go sit next to him by carressing the chair next to him. Not kidding.
Hard pass on the staring contest.
I won’t keep going. We spent a good portion of the evening trying to end a conversation we didn’t want to be having in the first place. Not because we were rude but simply because it was a bad conversation. No wit, no banter, no effort, no game. Some of them were so unapologetically obtrusive that we had to ask them to give us some space. I spend 30 seconds with you and I find myself asking for space. How far do you think it’s gonna go?
It was exasperating. If someone gives attention, and the person on the receiving end of this attention expresses lack of desire for it, walk away. It’s okay. It’s not meant to be insulting. Plenty of fish on this island. Liquid courage isn’t an excuse to be a jerk.
Having said that, it was a REALLY good party. I know I didn’t make it sound like one, but it was a good party with a couple of unpleasant people. But we also made new friends. Pretty sure one of them is the funniest guy in NYC (Love a british sense of humour). We laughed, danced our asses off until the cops came, watched the sunrise and went to sleep.