Sometimes life throws you curve balls and you have moments that test your highest principles against the things you really like, such as the opposite sex, money, or… not really sure what else sits next to those two on the top shelf.
A friend of mine and I were smoking cigarettes by the door of a fun little bar towards the end of the evening when I spotted a gorgeous blonde girl. She was a stunning, legs for days; she had a perfect smile along with everything else on her. Being that I was practically ten shots in already, I made my move.
“Hey!” I called over to her, “What the hell are you doing with that fat guy over there? Why don’t you come hang with us?”
She locked eyes with me and smiled. She looked around and promptly walked over to me leaving the heavyset guy to stand alone.
“He’s not really even with me. What’s up?” She said in a flirty tone flipping her hair out of her face.
“I can’t believe that worked.” I said laughing. “What are you doing at such a fine establishment this evening?” I asked looking her over skeptically.
“I just moved here literally three days ago and I don’t know anybody, so I guess I’ve got to meet people somehow, right?” she said shrugging as she dropped a hand on her hip nearly striking a pose.
My knees knocked together as I realized that’s practically the holy grail of single girls. There aren’t too many more ideal situations out there. New and single in a strange place. Imagine it; you get to show someone around all the fun parts of town, they don’t have any awful friends to ruin your good time, and generally even if the night sucks they’re grateful because all the places you go are new to them. My buddy perked up as well knowing that a “I’m new in town” deal was even better than a “I recently broke up with my boyfriend” situation.
We chatted for a little while and I grabbed her number before she dashed back inside with her fat guy friend. Her name was Kristen and I had no intentions of ever losing her number.
I had gone on a couple of quick dates with Kristen but hadn’t managed to get her out for a solid weekend night due to the fact that she was like most every other unreasonably attractive blonde; flakey as shit. She also had proven to be somewhat dense and maybe it’s because she was from Daytona Beach, Florida but it was hard seeing someone that mistook the United States Capitol Building for the White House.
The trouble with life is that you can’t predict it or where it takes you. With few exceptions, nobody really knows exactly where their life is going until something suddenly jumps in the way. As I began losing interest in dealing with an uber hot flakey girl, I met someone else. I found a girl that I clicked with and over the span of a month and some change, I hinted to Kristen that it appeared that I was going to be seeing this new girl somewhat seriously. I had to explain that she didn’t need to worry about our “rain checks” or getting together for a while because it looked like I had found something worth trying for. I told her she could still come hang with my group of friends, but it would be strictly a platonic thing. I figured I could at least help her meet new people or at maybe even introduce her to one of my good single friends as a gesture of goodwill. She would still get to see the city and meet new people either way.
As time passed I fell for this new girl in a way I hadn’t done for a number of years and it came as quite a shock when she gave me the “it’s not you it’s me” speech a couple months in. I was pretty taken-a-back by the idea of getting “dumped” for trying to do the right thing and transition into a relationship. Turned out she was seeing other guys and had no intentions of ending up in a relationship anytime soon.
I have a strange way of dealing with getting wronged and it’s not that I support this type of behavior and I understand that it’s totally irrational. But I’ve found that for every one that wrongs me, I’ll mind-fuck, one-and-done, and/or mentally dismantle 10-15 others. Oddly enough, it’s the only thing that gives me any form of solace or satisfaction after walking away from something I let myself get too emotionally invested into.
One of the first people I contacted after my falling out with this other girl was Kristen. We had kept some contact because I made an effort to invite her out to large parties and bar crawls that my group of friends were going to. I’ve been new to a city before and it can be hard to make new friends. Admittedly, I also wanted to also keep myself on her radar just in case.
We texted for a short while, I established that neither of us were working on the 4th of July and then suggested she come out and rage hard with my group of friends for the night of the third. We would be celebrating a buddy’s homecoming from Afganistan along with a friend’s birthday. As soon as she agreed to come out to the bars with us, I mentioned I was “revoking my non-flirting stance on us.”
She didn’t like the idea of friends anyway and said she was excited to see me. She met up with me and the rest of my group of friends around 7:00 PM that night. Surprisingly, she did a hell of a job keeping up with us slamming drinks and downing shots like it was going out of style. We hit three different bars in Arlington before crossing the bridge into DC to stop at two more places in Georgetown.
By 11:00, both of us were pretty smashed up. The two of us had exchanged numerous charged glances and a few kisses throughout the night and it had gotten the best of me. It was time to make moves.
I finished the last sip of my whiskey-coke and looked towards the exit then back at Kristen, “What do you say we get out of here, head towards my place?”
“Yeah,” She said, “That sounds like fun actually. Let’s do it.”
Inside my head I was bursting with excitement for what was to come. Mental fist pumps and mule kicks ensued internally but on the outside I played it cool. We linked arms as I led her through the crowded bar to the street where we quickly jumped into a cab.
I told the driver where we were headed and sat back with a smirk on my face while I mentally preparing for what lay ahead. I couldn’t believe how well the evening had gone. Despite the short comings on the intellectual side of things, she was one of the prettier girls I’d ever hung out with at length. The cab driver, a middle aged middle eastern man took a call on his bluetooth ear piece as we turned onto the Washington key bridge. Kristen appeared to be upset as he continued to speak on the phone in a different language.
“Fucking immigrants…” Kristen said scowling at the man.
I laughed out loud unsure whether or not she was kidding or just trying to be outlandish, “Uh, What?”
“No. These minorities come to our country and take perfectly good jobs away from whites and then they think it’s ok to be rude and get on the phone when they’re supposed to be working.” Kristen said looking over at me then back at the cabbie.
“Huh? Wait no? You must be joking?” I questioned her while skeptically trying to figure out if she was pulling my leg or if she genuinely believed these kinds of things.
“Okay, so I’m from Florida. Do you know how many spics down there take away jobs that whites should be doing?” She touted.
I looked around to see if there was something I was missing, “Huh? I can’t tell if you’re messing with me Kristen, what the hell are you talking about? Where is this coming from?”
“You live up here so maybe you just don’t understand. But do you realize how many Mexicans start business and don’t hire whites? I mean, don’t even get me started on the Jews because they’re worse.
I sat silent.
“You think it’s right that whites aren’t getting work because there are too many minorities in this country?”
“Wow.” I said softly and bit my lip. “What the hell is this Kristen?”
“Ok, you really don’t understand. So you really think we even need immigrants? I don’t hate them; I just want them to live somewhere else.” She retorted straightening up as if she had just won an argument with a brilliant speech.
I paused and tried to picture Kristen picking oranges a top an old rickety ladder in the searing summer heat alongside heavier set Spanish construction worker types.
My mind shifted back to the situation. I was faced with an inner battle of new territory. Beauty and less than admirable personality traits had always been synonymous with one another. I wouldn’t want to know a world where better aesthetics was an indicator of higher intellect. The fact remained that I had never dealt with the likes of such polarizing attributes. Strikingly gorgeous outside versus staggeringly ugly inside. I tried to rationalize that a ten in looks and a one in personality still average out to a five overall person. But it still didn’t make me feel any better.
I’d have to convince myself to see past her ugly beliefs for the gorgeous stupid blonde she was. If I let my morals take the high road, then I’d sleep alone that night and have to let nearly two months of “what if’s” and some considerable effort go to waste. If I slept with her, I would be acknowledging that her types of beliefs were okay and accept the fact that I had dropped my standards lower than ever before. I was quite frankly in awe of the situation. It was like being on that hidden camera show, What Would You Do; where they put people in terribly awkward situations that often test moral principle. Yet on this particular episode, there weren’t any cameras.
I tried to change the subject before I got too worked up but she wouldn’t drop it. Pretty soon we were in front of my house and I was paying our cab fare. As we got out of the cab I opted to take her to the kitchen instead of going directly to the bedroom to clear the air before making my decision. I poured us two glasses of water and took a long look at Kristen. She was gorgeous. She was wearing dark high heels and a short purple sundress, her hair-smile-everything was perfect. And all I could do was picture the ugly words falling out of her mouth.
“Kristen it’s still bothering me. What you said in the cab got under my skin a bit.” I said leaned up again the sink looking across the small kitchen at her.
She stared at me blankly.
“Alright, you do understand that I’m pretty much 3rd generation Irish and Italian. Both sides of my family came to this country under similar pretenses like any other group of immigrants. We all got here somehow, what say you?”
She looked at me like I wasn’t getting it, “Yeah but you’re white, it’s different.”
My eyes lowered to the floor. “Can’t do it.” I muttered.
“Can’t do what?” She asked in a sweet tone.
“Come on, I want to show you something out front.” I said motioning for her to follow me outside.
“Where are we going?” She asked following me.
I was afraid she might try to break something in my house and I didn’t want to have to explain myself any further anyway. You can’t choose to be born attractive, you don’t get to choose where you’re from, and you don’t get to decide what color you arrive at when you enter this world. But you do get to decide your own belief system and how you feel about different walks of life. Once outside of my house I pulled out my phone and brought up the number of the closest cab company.
“I’ll call you a cab or you can walk your happy ass up the street but you’re not staying here with me tonight.” I said pleasantly.
“Wait you’re sending me home? You’re really sending ME home?” She asked in shock, then anger.
I pulled out a cigarette and sat down on one of the wooden adirondack chairs outside my house and lit it up with a smug expression on my face.
“Looks like it,” I said through the cigarette in my teeth; kicking a leg up and shrugging. “You could probably catch the metro if you leave now.”
“Whatever, what direction is the metro?” She said angrily walking towards the sidewalk.
I back backhandedly gestured up the road, “That way. Good luck with everything.”
I blew a trail of smoke her way as she clinched her fists, about faced, and stomped onward. I watched her trot off into the night rocking back and forth in the chair in my front yard. Part of me was angry at myself for putting principles first in a situation where they sometimes don’t belong.
I promised my friend who had recently gotten back from Afghanistan that he could crash at my house that night. It was only 10 minutes before he showed up in a cab in front of my house. He had been out drinking with Kristen and I for the better part of the evening.
“What happened to that hot girl, you came out with?” My friend asked slightly slurring.
A moment of sheer genius and prolific retribution flashed into my mind.
“Turns out she’s only into black guys.” I said lethargically.
“Realllly?” My friend said sitting in the chair next to me.
See, my buddy was Dominican and therefore a “black guy” by complexion.
“Yeah,” I said, “she asked if it was okay for me to give you her number.”
I pulled up her phone number and read off her digits to my drunk friend who was practically squirming with delight.
We went inside and I grabbed us a couple of drinks.
I sat and watched my buddy kick up a leg and lean into the comfy chair in our living as he began leaving incredible messages, “Kristen, it’s Taylor’s Friend. I understand you’re into black guys. Well it just so happens that I am a black guy, I can’t believe you didn’t mention that you were into me while we were out tonight…”
I sat back and giggled as my friend left his third message of the evening. I explained the full story to him the next morning but he didn’t seem all that bothered by it and from what I understand, he still continued to text her a few weeks beyond that night.
I don’t have much of anything to show for my efforts of putting principles first but I sure do feel better about myself looking back on it later. Sometimes we make the right choices even when we don’t want to. At the end of the day, I’ll settle for an intact sense of character even if only comes out when nobody else is watching.