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A Loss For Words


When I don’t know a lot of people in the crowd, it is my common M.O. to drink until I think I’m funny. Recently while attending an afternoon party, riding that fine line between too-sober-to-relax and too-drunk-to-form-sentences became increasingly difficult when I met an attractive man who is very much my type. About two hours and six cocktails into the day, I muster the ability to speak and, surprisingly, we hit it off quite well. Before parting ways, I asked if I will see him out that night and am elated when he agrees.


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When I don’t know a lot of people in the crowd, it is my common M.O. to drink until I think I’m funny. Recently while attending an afternoon party, riding that fine line between too-sober-to-relax and too-drunk-to-form-sentences became increasingly difficult when I met an attractive man who is very much my type. About two hours and six cocktails into the day, I muster the ability to speak and, surprisingly, we hit it off quite well. Before parting ways, I asked if I will see him out that night and am elated when he agrees.

 

After sleeping through my alarm and throwing together an outfit-of-convenience, I arrive at the bar around 1am: late, messy and far from the top of my game. My spirits lift when I finally find my cute new friend, but suddenly I can’t think of anything to say. Nothing! Aside from some forced, menial small talk, we literally stand two feet from one another for an hour in near silence amidst the mass of music and chatter all around us.

 

I will conjure something to say, craft it a bit to come across clever and witty, then second-guess my delivery, worrying that I will seem more bitchy than clever. As I mentally doctor each undelivered sentence, I begin to wonder if this mission to seem quick-witted might be causing facial expressions similar to someone trying to do complex math in his head. I worry the cute guy has noticed and is now questioning whether I suffer from minor retardation. The thought consumes my brain, leaving no room for potentially clever banter.

 

While a mental wrestling match rages in my head, a less-than-attractive, massively tattooed man starts a conversation with my new friend. They’re talking! Why couldn’t I do that?

 

My mind whirls with new questions: Does my friend think this tattooed guy is cute? Maybe he’s into tattoos. And why did tattoo guy approach him and not me in the first place? Is my friend cuter than me? Would we be a mismatch? Maybe my friend is just being nice. Maybe he is looking for a way to escape without being rude. Should I interrupt? Would that look desperate? I haven’t said anything for an hour. What could I suddenly have to say that is so important I have to interrupt?

 

Feeling completely pathetic, I stand silently by as the two chat for what feels like an eternity. When the tattooed man finally leaves, my cute friend yawns a bit too obviously and I realize he will soon be calling it a night. I had my chance and I missed it. Aware of the irony, I ask if I can call him sometime. He gives me his number and I mentally argue whether it is out of genuine interest, obligation or just plain pity.

 

In the following days, I pick up my phone several times, pondering whether to call. “Is it too soon?” eventually becomes, “Have I waited too long?” In the end, the problem is always the same: I have no idea what to say. I pride myself on being verbose; on being easy to talk to…even witty, but with a single look, this handsome man took the words right out of my mouth.

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