So I had to apologize to my friend, Tracy, tonight. For years, my fiance and I have been busting her chops for whining about how hard it is to be a single woman in Philadelphia, and I realized tonight how tragically misguided we’ve been. I’m so glad I’m not single because there’s not a whole lot out there. And what is out there ain’t pretty. And what’s pretty is, more often than not, gay.
That’s all well and good when, like me, you’re happily attached and simply open to making some new friends. But when you’re a single woman looking for a guy, it’s tough out there, ladies. It really is. And I had no idea how tough.
We attended a dinner event tonight – A popular chef was cooking at a local establishment, the price was right, and it sounded like a fun time. Beforehand, we picked up some wine at a nearby store. Let me explain that red wine gives me headaches. I’m not a huge wine fan anyway, and the red stuff kicks my ass to the curb, drags it down the street, and smothers it in bum vomit and dog shit. So I opt for white. Regardless of the meat being served, if I’m having wine, it’s going to be white. Knowing this, Tracy asked the wine guy for a white that would go with lamb, and he picked a dry Greek wine. Which made sense to me. Greek = gyros = lamb, right???? Sounds legit.
When we arrived at the restaurant, we found five small tables for two lined up in a row. Two people were already there. They weren’t together, but were seated next to each other on the same side of two different tables. For purposes of the story, let’s call them Peter and Wilhelmina. Tracy and I promptly seated ourselves at the farthest table. Some time went by while the little, white-haired, French chef rattled around setting the stage and welcoming people to the event. Peter kept making excuses for his “friend” who had cancelled at the last minute, although the entire outing had been her idea. I’m pretty sure she was fictional and intended to make him appear more appealing to whatever stray single ladies might be within earshot. “Look! I have female friends! I’m not a total loser!” Newsflash douchecanoe – Some women have bad taste. Even the imaginary ones. Especially the imaginary ones.
Meanwhile, Wilhelmina kept dropping Spanish words and chatting about living in “Philadelphia by way of Montreal by way of Memphis.” She ripped Memphis a new asshole, and said she “might” give it another shot if it ever got it’s act together but she doubted that would happen. Memphis, if you’re reading this, you just keep on keepin’ on. Wilhelmina vacated your area, and you’re better off, believe me. Then she talked about how she “totally clicked” with the chef when she met her at some cocktail party, and she immediately told her “OMG! You’re ME in thirty years!!!” Um, yeah, Wilhelmina…I’m pretty sure you’re not fifteen. If you are, put down the wine and stop flirting with the pedophile.
A little later, Brad arrived, British accent and all (swoon), and seated himself on the other side of Wilhelmina. And Wilhelmina promptly dropped Peter and gave her full and undivided attention to Brad, who was unintentionally (and quite flagrantly) attired for Flag Day in a red, white, and blue checked shirt AND a red, white, and blue striped blazer.
At some point, the topic of our wine choices was raised. Everyone had their bottles of red. Then the waiter came out with our white and Peter audibly gasped. “WHITE wine with LAMB!?!?!” OMG. THE HORROR. I casually leaned around Brad and said, “It’s GREEK. So it’s okay.” DUH. And Peter just stared at me, mouth open, sweat beads popping out under his combover, totally at a loss for how to respond to my complete ignorance of wine etiquette. Whatever, Peter. At least I know how to pick pants that aren’t four inches too short. Seriously. I wanted to shove the wine bottle up his ass, but I thought he might enjoy it too much. That guy was far too attached to his wine.
Wilhelmina spent most of the meal (which was scrumptious, by the way) alternating her attention between Peter and Brad, giggling like a schoolgirl, and gabbing on about topics I’m sure she researched just so she could sound intelligent in social settings. (BACKFIRE, Wilhelmina. Backfire.) She unabashedly flirted with Brad, who I’m 99% sure was gay, and Peter unabashedly flirted with her (Ladies, believe me when I say Peter had not a snowflake’s chance in hell in a contest against Brad, and I say that despite being 99% sure that Brad was not interested in that way and wanted nothing from Wilhelmina other than for words to stop coming out of her mouth).
Meanwhile, Tracy and I ate mostly in silence, speaking via glances whenever one of the other guests said something particularly pretentious or outright assholish. I apologized about fifteen times for often backing out at the last minute and forcing her to attend things like this one her own because….DAMN.
Then we all had to take a group photo (from which I half expected (hoped) we would be excluded as the weird girls with actual friends who sat one table away from everyone else). Then Brad ditched Wilhelmina for an older lady who arrived late. And Wilhelmina shot him longing glances from across the room as Peter clumsily attempted to graze her arm with his hand.
Mother of fucking god. If this really was a good indication of the singles scene in Philadelphia, I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t have a poker face, and I’m pretty sure my expression was reading something along the lines of “WTF. Did I inadvertently wander into the Pompous Pseudo-Intellectual Blowhards of Philadelphia meeting? JESUS.”
Before I left, I apologized once again to Tracy, and admitted I may have been wrong to suggest she attend cultural events and visit museums in an effort to meet smart men with shared interests. Let’s be honest, your chances of meeting a straight guy at a knitting class are slim, and you’re only going to meet snotty assholes at an art museum cocktail party where the focal point of the event is some priceless work of “art” a three-year old could do in five seconds on half a napkin. No, I’m pretty sure the answer is sports bars. When your first impression of a guy is him in a wing-sauce stained Eagles Jersey shoving a cheesesteak down his throat while chugging a Yuengling and screaming “COWBOYS SUCK!” it can only get better from there.