This is an embarrassing story. It pretty much captures how stupid I get around guys I like, and what I would do to seem cool and impress them.
The story actually takes place about four years ago. I was fresh out of college, had recently returned to DC, and was newly single. I started seeing this guy who was unbelievably cool. Just like, oozed coolness. He was hipster before I knew what hipster was. He taught me about Reddit. He was a vegetarian who smoked weed and drank Natty Bohs on his balcony while listening to vinyls of some 80’s band on his RECORD player. Yeah.
So, when he invited me to join him backstage at a concert at the 9:30 Club, I was instantly flattered and terrified. There was no way I could act like the kind of girl who knows what she’s doing at indie shows. I accepted his invitation though and decided to just relax and be myself. If he didn’t like me, well, then it wasn’t meant to be.
Except, when you’re head over heels about someone, that is bullshit.
I would be whoever I thought he wanted me to be.
I shoved my preppy J. Crew linen skirts to the back of my closet and pulled out an old ripped skirt from Urban. Acceptable? Not really, but it would have to do.
The night of the concert, we walked over the the venue and slipped in a side door to “meet the band”. It turned out this guy had gone to high school with the lead singer so he was allowed back with the performers – no questions asked.
We entered a smoky, sticky, dank room with bunk beds and bean bag chairs. There were skanky girls lying around half-naked taking hits off a scummy-looking bong. I coughed walking into the room and was instantly embarrassed that my virgin lungs couldn’t handle the situation.
A stoned guy waved hello from his reclined position across a giant bean bag and motioned that we could grab some drinks from the mini fridge. My date walked over and grabbed something cold. “Want wine?” He asked me.
“Oh no, beer is fine,” I replied, not wanting to be high-maintenence.
“Help yourself then.”
I walked over to the fridge and nervously grabbed the first can I saw. I cracked it open and took a long gulp, relieved to have something to do in a room full of strangers.
We sat down in the semi-circle and I was casually introduced to the crowd. A few halfhearted hellos later, the singer asked me what I was drinking.
“Umm, just a beer,” I responded meekly.
“Dude, are you drinking O’Doul’s?” He pressed.
“Hahaha. Duuude. Why the fuck are you drinking that?” He asked me. “Those are for the drummer. He’s in AA.”
I had never heard of O’Doul’s before. I shot a glance over at my guy and noticed he was holding back laughter.
“You’re drinking non-alcoholic beer,” he informed me. “Is that what you wanted?”
Oh god. I shot a quick glance around the around the room to see who was witnessing this social debacle. What I wanted was to sink into the wet, moldy floorboards and disappear. I wanted to not be having this conversation. I was soooo out of my element. I felt like an awkward, clueless dork.
So, I did the only thing I could think of to save face.
“Oh yeah. I didn’t want to get drunk tonight, so yeah. Hope it’s okay that I grabbed one of these.” With that, I tipped the can to my lips in what I hoped was a deliberate and matter-of-fact manner and took a long sip to hide my burning cheeks.
I spent the rest of the evening clutching my warm, non-boozy beer and wishing I could just go home. Or at the very least, get wasted.