I settle back in the couch and languidly cross my legs. I’m sipping Prosecco and look bored, I know, and scan the crowd. Unsure of what I’m looking for, I allow myself to roll my eyes at the slew of Long Island girls with freshly flat-ironed hair gesticulating like mad at a table of khaki-clad men. Another group of women roll dollar bills into straws and walk to the bathroom en masse, their eyes, like mine, darting around the bar. I spot a tall man in a collared shirt and toss my hair.
I am more bored than anything else, and wonder how long it will take for suggestive signs to instinctively lead him over. Ignoring him is the best option, so I listen to my friend and re-cross my legs. I bite my lower lip a little and toss my hair. I look back. He is with his friend, staring, and walks over to me.
Two minutes. Not bad.
Up close, he is actually quite attractive. I feel smug, and ignore him.
I look up from the conversation with my friend and squint, amused with his attempt at talking to me.
“Is there are story to go along with all this cake?”
My friend turns to him and explains we’re at a birthday party. She offers him cake, insisting there is plenty. I smile. She makes small talk, and he keeps eying me, and eventually decides to squeeze between tables to sit next to me on the couch. As he does, the birthday girl aims for the same seat.
“Hi! It’s my birthday!” She’s blackout belligerant and the guy is decidedly attractive. He politely chats with her and eats cake, edging his gaze in my direction. Finally, she loses interest and he’s free. He turns to me and I snicker. It’s taken him over ten minutes to talk to me since his initial interest.
“How’s the cake?” I ask, and he breaks into a big grin.
He takes another bite and thinks. “They didn’t skimp on the frosting.”
“Thank god. I would never settle for poorly frosted cake. I’d be long gone by now.”
We make small talk, and I find myself turned on by his confidence, his intelligence, and his unnerving way of calling me out when I begin to lie about my age.
“You’re not twenty-two,” he laughs.
“You’re right. I’m thirty-two.”
He laughs again and looks delighted by this lie in particular. “You’re funny. I bet you’re smart, too.”
“You bet right. So what did you bet on?” I ask him, and we’re both staring at eachother with a knowing gaze that occurs when you realize you’ve met an intellectual match.
“I bet on you.”
“That’s one way of asking a girl out.”
“I thought you would be stupid,” he admits. “I saw you, and you looked so beautiful, I had to come talk to you.”
“But I’m smart.”
“But you’re smart,” he nods.
“So you say.”
“So let’s get married.” His eyes twinkle with mischief.
“You know, I’ve never proposed to anyone before.”
“I’ve been proposed to before. But never in a bar by a stranger.”
“Really? By a boyfriend?”
“No. I’m lying. But listen, I can tell you’re out of practice. Next time, try getting down on one knee. I only know this from the movies, but I can tell you that’s the real practical way of asking a girl’s hand marriage.”
“Right. Next time, on one knee.”
“And you need a ring.”
“Maybe our first date should be ring-shopping?” he asks.
“No, it’s okay, I’ll still marry you. Without a ring.”
He grins. “You’re low maintence.”
“I’m a cheap date. And a cheap fiancee.”
“I lucked out.”
I toss my hair again and bite my lip. This time I mean it. This time it’s not a smug plan developed out of boredom in a crowded bar. I lean forward and whisper: “You have no idea.”