Buffalo, NY: A girl walks into a bar with some girlfriends. She sits down and orders a drink. It’s not the busiest night in the place, just a few regulars. Halfway through the round, the bartender comes over.
“Excuse me,” he says. “This is for you.”
He’s holding a bar napkin folded into a rose in one hand and a shot glass full of whipped cream in the other.
“That guy down there wanted me to give this to you,” he says, turning toward a shadowy figure sitting at the opposite end of the bar.
“It’s for you.”
“Yeah, I got that.”
I can’t explain why men do what they do or what in God’s name you’re supposed to do with a shot glass full of whipped cream in a public place, but as someone who often laments (and has frequently been criticized for lamenting) the lack of real-life grand gestures, I guess I shouldn’t complain. Not everybody can be John Cusack with a boombox, after all. I know. I get it. Life is not like a movie…blah, blah, blah. The message, I suppose, is that you can’t knock a guy for trying. Fine. I say you can knock him, however, for not giving up. So begins my third and final chapter of why men can benefit just as much as women from the lessons contained in the book He’s Just Not That Into You.
Walking back down the length of the bar, the bartender confers with the shadowy figure and then returns.
“He wants to know why you haven’t eaten the whipped cream.”
“No, seriously. It’s for you,” he repeated. “He wants you to have it.”
“Yeah. I know it’s for me, but you know what? I’m not going to suck the whipped cream out of this shot glass, okay?”
He smiles. “C’mon.”
“I’m just not going to do it. Forget it. This is weird, right? Tell me this isn’t weird. Does this work on anyone? Ever?”
The bartender shrugs, an exaggerated, judgey shrug.
This might be a good time to acknowlege the double standard in dating. It is well-documented and it will likely never go away. I have all the evidence I need in the fact that “slut” managed to become part of a supposedly serious national conversation. If a girl hounds a guy she’s a psychotic lunatic. If a guy does the same thing, he’s a hero looking for love. Yawn. It’s all a little much, but if we’re looking to place blame, ladies, we should probably just go right ahead and look into the nearest shiny surface.
“But I feel bad.”
There it is. Most guys don’t waste a whole lot of time feeling bad. They just carry on…for better or worse. My father was famous for saying, “there is no such thing as guilt.” I’m almost 78% sure he was kidding…maybe…but still.
The truth is that guys and gals are really not all that much different when you get down to the pure basics of it all. If you’re into somebody and they are into you, you want to lock that down as soon as possible. You are going to try to look as cool as possible doing it and you are probably going to fail miserably and look like a moron at least once. Still though, if the feeling is mutual, it is going to happen at some point. It’s chemistry. It’s just not that complicated and I believe if it is that complicated, something is wrong…or it will be…eventually. If you don’t get a positive response or any response? Move on. Stop trying to prove something. It’s just not happening. Don’t waste each other’s time.
I heard a story recently about a woman who told a guy that she didn’t respond to a text message regarding a date because she only checks her texts at night. What? Pardon my French but tu racontes des conneries! This woman might as well carry around an old-school answering machine in her purse. What’s the point? Do you know anyone who doesn’t check their phone at least a quadrillion times a day? No, you don’t and neither do I. This was a teachable “not that into you moment.” So what does the guy do?
“I think I’m going to give it another shot.”
When it’s good stuff? It’s good stuff. That’s the lesson for everyone. Make no mistake, I’m not saying to stop trying. Never stop trying. Just know when to quit. Doing anything else is 100% not worth it in 100 years because amazing beats mediocre any second of any day of the week. Anything else is just taking what you can get and who needs it? Why spend your time trying to convince a girl who’s not into you that she should be? Who needs her? Find the girl who wants to be with you instead. As I see it, you’re either going to be setting off fireworks or going down in flames. So, if the sparks that fly are not the good kind? Forget it–no negotiation. Step away. Start over. Besides, the real love of your life is waiting and even if she doesn’t know it yet, she’s sick to death of you dicking around with some foul-mouthed blonde gila monster who’s just not that into you.
I get it, guys. The hard part with all of this, of course, is that you have to take the chance in the first place. It gets even more difficult when you’re armed with the knowledge that anything less than a yes is no-go. Still, this is the stuff that makes the world go round. No matter what, I love love. I always will. I’ll love it even though I’ve had my heart ripped straight out of my chest, stomped on, run over, shredded, steamrolled, shattered, smashed, then revived, shoved back in my chest only to have it ripped back out, drowned, stabbed, shot out of a cannon, pierced with a stick, set on fire, thrown over a cliff and all of this, all of this has happened more than once. The truth is there is at least one guy out there who would say I did all of those things to his heart. There are people out there who would accuse me of ventricular homicide but they didn’t give up on love. They kept trying and so do I because when it’s great, it’s really great and that’s why it’s not something to take lightly. That’s why it’s not worth wasting an instant on someone you have to convince.
Do me a favor. If you haven’t seen the movie Mame, watch it. Lucille Ball or Rosalind Russell version…doesn’t matter. Yes, it’s a musical. Yes, there are dance numbers. Come back. Come BACK! Listen to me. Trust me. Please. Hang on a second. Here’s the thing: one of Mame’s most famous lines is, “life is a banquet and most poor sons of bitches are starving to death.” She’s right, you know. Don’t get bogged down in the nonsense. It’s a short trip when all’s said and done. (Okay, caveat & spoiler alert: her advice does get a girl pregnant…so….just keep that in mind.) Generally speaking, though, it is fantastic advice. Anyway, allow me to step back on the rails.
Bottom line? Do us all a favor and if we’re not into you? Don’t be that guy. Go find your girl because she’s out there… somewhere…and she will suck the whipped cream out of a shot glass the second it hits the bar…God love ‘er.
That’s all I got. Now get out there and find a love story…a real one. Report back!!!