Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Engagement Party

I set the stage yesterday for the engagement party story, so read that before jumping in here. And now, let another Drunk Redhead story begin:

My parents were throwing the engagement party for Brother and SIL, and no one throws a party like my parents. Fully catered and held at our (actually, their) house, my parents pulled out all the stops. (My father is the type who would be mortified if a person wanted anything at one of his parties and it wasn’t readily available.) That means that there were three (yes, three) separate, fully-stocked bars set up around the first floor of the house, and food galore. Platters of finger foods were laid on all available tables, waitstaff were circulating (and were under orders never to tell anyone they were out of anything), and a full spread was set up in the dining room for those who wanted to actually eat something substantial.

The house looked beautiful, the atmosphere was relaxed, and I was dressed to kill. Stud was going to notice me. Period.

I had bought a gorgeous dress that was classy enough to make my dad happy – it covered me from the tops of my breasts to my knees – and sexy enough to make me happy – strapless and fitted to every curve from the tops of my breasts to my knees. It showed me off my body to perfection (and that has always been a particular strength, thank you very much).

The shoes were killer stilettos, the makeup was smoky eyes and glossy lips, and the hair was straightened. I never straighten my hair because it takes forever and it’s perfectly nice in its natural wavy/loose curls state, but for Stud I made an exception.

Now, my hair is long under normal circumstances, but when straightened it’s really long. File that info away for later.

So yes, I was ready to knock Stud out, and everyone in my family knew I was excited to see him. SIL was curious as hell, since she had never met Stud before but had gotten a rundown on him from both me and Brother. And while you know how I feel about Stud, Brother’s opinion is less glowing. Because while Stud was always a good friend, he was not ‘dating the sister’ material. I don’t know, something about being ‘completely undependable’ and ‘possibly gay.’

I know, I can’t just throw that out and not explain. OK, the ‘completely undependable’ part was common knowledge (and totally irrelevant to me 5 years ago – and possibly still today), and the ‘possibly gay’ thing was all conjecture. There was never anything really specific to back up that theory. Stud was in no way effeminate. He never showed any interest (in that way) toward men. It was just that…he never really showed any interest in women either. He dated them (women), but never for long. He never talked about them. He just didn’t seem to care, which I guess makes some guys (and girls) wonder. But not me. I had faith that no man as hot as Stud could be gay. (Yes, I’m a moron.)

But either way, I would know for sure by the end of the engagement party. Because I was dressed to kill, and Stud would HAVE to be gay not to notice. (Seriously, I wasn’t fucking around – I can’t physically look much better than I did that night.)

So the party started. I had a drink that I was nursing as I made the rounds talking to my parents’ friends, Brother’s friends, and my sister (who I strongly suspect was just waiting for me to do something stupid). But after about an hour, Jen and I teamed up. And we started drinking a bit more seriously.

I was maybe three drinks in when Stud showed up. I was in the sitting room, and SIL came in and whispered to me that he was there. Literally breaking off a conversation I was having with an old high school teacher (who was also Brother’s soccer coach way back when), I made my way to the front foyer. And there he was.

I hadn’t seen him since middle school, but I would have recognized him anywhere. Tall, lean, with that gorgeous light brown hair and green eyes that I remembered so well. I barely knew what to do with myself. I think a little part of me had wondered if I would still find him as attractive as I used to. I did.

Now, I’m not all that aggressive with men. I’m not shy, but I never make the first move. I flirt, and I respond to flirting, but I’m never overt. I don’t fawn.

I fawned. I practically fucking drooled. I went over, said hi, and then proceeded to follow Stud around. I didn’t leave his side. I volunteered to get him drinks. I offered to introduce him to anyone he wanted. Basically, I threw my pride out the window.

And I drank. Jen kept bringing me drinks while she watched, along with Jim, SIL, Brother, my sister, my parents, and many other people. It was sad. I couldn’t have been more obvious. And I just didn’t care.

Stud, true to form, was being nice to me but couldn’t have seemed less interested. I looked hot, and he didn’t care. And it was bumming me out – so I kept drinking. Thanks to all that alcohol, I was sufficiently stupid enough to not get the hint and give up.

On a trip to the bar in my father’s study, Jen and I were plotting. As we approached the bar, which had beautiful votive candles on it, I guess I leaned in too close. And since my hair was longer than it normally is (straightened) it caught fire.

Now it wasn’t THAT bad. Really only about two hairs went up, but they were lonnnggg hairs. It was almost like a magic trick. Poof. A fraction of a second at the most, and then it was done. Really it wasn’t a big deal. You would never have known it had happened. If it weren’t for the shocked looks on the bartender and Jen’s faces and the smell of burnt hair of course.

Unfortunately, my father chose that exact moment to walk in. Wandering through the door, he took a sniff and blandly looked at me as he said, “Redhead, what am I smelling?”

“Redhead just lit her hair on fire,” Jen blurted out, before running from the room.

Agh. The look on my father’s face was so sad because he didn’t even look surprised. He just shook his head, told me to slow down with the drinking, and walked out.

I, of course, needed a drink after that – I'd had a traumatic experience. So I ordered a Bailey’s (which is just yummy but something I never drink). The thought here is that it would comfort me.

As I emerged into the living room with my drink, it became clear that Jen had spread the word of my little accident. People were looking at me curiously, and I was feeling even more stupid. I needed to escape.

Just then Jim approached me. He (and in fact all of SIL’s family) understands stupid drunk. Which is a blessing. Also, I think he was in need of some entertainment.

So he invited me outside for a cigarette with him and Stud. No one in my family knows I smoke (because I don’t want them to), but somehow Jim knew. I MAY have told him in one of my drunken moments.

Either way, I should have said no. I didn’t need to have a cigarette at my parents’ house. I didn’t need for them to know what a complete and total moron I was for smoking. But did I say no? Of course not.

We went out onto the front porch, and lit up. I’m not sure why I did it. Maybe I just wanted to spend some more time with Stud. Maybe I just wanted a cigarette. Either way, I was leaning against the front door smoking when my dad opened it. And I fell through the entranceway into the foyer. On my back. Kind of like a turtle.

Thankfully I was aware enough (yeah right) to chuck the cigarette off the porch as the door opened. So it may have looked like I was just hanging out on the front stoop with the guys while they smoked. Not sure what my dad thought at that point. I just got another head shake.

As my dad helped me up, said goodbye to the people who were leaving (hence, why he opened the door), and turned away, Jen slipped outside and closed the door behind her. At this point she was sloppy drunk. It took her all of 30 seconds to step off the front porch – backwards, into the bushes. As she disappeared into the shrubbery, Jim (who had a few drinks in him as well), yelled “Jen, I’ve got you!” and jumped into the bushes after her.

It was funny. It was stupid. And Stud didn’t seem impressed (party pooper). So he trooped back inside while I helped Jim and Jen out of the bushes and back onto the porch. Then I followed my prey inside (like I said – no pride).

I found him in my dad’s study. Being a glutton for punishment, I went in for the kill. I got touchy-feely. Nothing crazy, but I was touching his arm, getting close, basically just invading his personal space and sending out very clear signals (like I hadn’t been doing that all night).

And, um, nothing happened. He did nothing. He just wasn’t interested. Nice, but uninterested. And with that, I was done. I had no more cards to play. Because no amount of alcohol can get me to kiss a guy first. So I had to concede defeat. No phone numbers were exchanged. No long-held dreams were fulfilled. Nada.

On the plus side, the party eventually (and mercifully) ended. My family got a good laugh out of my behavior, and I (thankfully) didn’t throw up on anyone or anything. A relatively tame Drunk Redhead story actually. But it still haunts me.

I was such a dork, and was so totally and completely rejected. I never got my kiss. Never got Stud in any way actually.

But something positive did come from that night. Not only did I promise Brother and SIL that I wouldn’t drink too much at their wedding (which I didn’t), but I learned just a little bit more about drinking. And limits. And while it might not seem like it in this blog, I really don’t get stupid drunk anymore. I learned my lesson. After many, many wrong turns.

So now you know another story of one of those wrong turns. My gift to you. Another Drunk Redhead story. Hope you enjoyed it.


onthevirg said...

Certainly did enjoy that one, good stuff. And yeah, Stud = totally gay. There's no way any straight dude turns the package you describe down.

John S. said...

Totally gay.

Redhead said...

Nope, I still can't accept it. I'd rather be rejected than have him be gay.

John S. said...

Really? I mean, with him being gay you can say to yourself "well, he is gay." Being rejected leaves you with, "well, I have been rejected."

Since it seems as if you will never know the truth, why not believe the option which makes you look better?

Unless, of course, you are into the self-bashing thing.

Redhead said...

Hey, it's not that I like being rejected, but since it doesn't happen that often I don't have any real hangups about it. (And that should answer the self-bashing question.)

I guess I've just idealized him for too long - I can't accept he's not all I imagined him to be. In my mind he was the ultimate, and I will throw aside my pride for him (and I don't do that for ANYONE). Sad but so, so true.

John S. said...

we all have that one person. Rarely do they live up to the vision we have of them though.

onthevirg said...

I think I'm with John here. Seems like it'd be much better to think that you just never had a chance since he doesn't roll that way then think you threw yourself @ someone and they just were completely uninterested. And that's the problem with idolizing people, so often it just ends up in disappointment. Just think that you dodged a bullet instead. Who knows, he could have liked his women to be into watersports and bukake orgies.

Wes said...

Maybe he was just following the Guy Rules.

Redhead said...

What Guy Rules? He could have had me - he didn't need to play any games. I was there for the taking.

And honestly, I didn't want to dodge that bullet. Let's just say I wanted him bad and leave it at that. So while it's rare that I don't get what I want (what, it's true), I can live with it. He still lives on as a stud in my mind - uninterested in me or not.

onthevirg said...

I wasn't aware there was a guy rule for a woman throwing herself at you. Other than ya know, getting her naked as soon as humanly possible.

John S. said...

the guy rule referenced would be #38 - Thou Shalt not Date thine Friend's sister

Redhead said...

I hate that fucking rule.