As a birthday treat for Leana, we spent this past weekend (thanks to her parents, a friend, and the manager!) at the JW Marriot on Copacabana beach. As she’s leaving me AGAIN this year (she left our old teaching job in CA for Rio, and now leaves exotic, sexy Brazil for the equally fascinating locale of Boise, Idaho. Cue your own head tilt.) it was also a fun bestie weekend. A way to spoil ourselves. It’s amazing what sends you into throes of ecstasy when you’re living on the budget we do. Anyone within earshot probably thought we were being murdered, but it was really just a high-pitched stream of
“AIR CONDITIONING! A WINE GLASS! COMFORTERS! OMG THEY HAVE QTIPS AND COTTON BALLS AND A SEWING KIT IN HERE I HAVE NEEDED THESE SO BADLY.”
I made her hide in the bathroom and blared Bieber while I decorated with imported banners and tissue paper. We opened presents, broke Lent (we’d both given up alcohol), and hung out on the rooftop bar before counting stars on the beach. The manager sent a birthday cake and a bottle of bubbly to the room and you would have thought Ryan Gosling had given Leana a (very tasteful) lap dance and a million dollars.
Also in Lent-related updates, later that weekend I ordered my first French fries in six weeks and literally burned my fingers and tongue double-fisting them in my haste. They were so crisp, so pure, so golden, so salty. The cook stood and watched me destroy them with an ice-cold Chopp, wiping tears from my eyes, choking on partially unchewed fries. I mean emotion, because of Lent things.
The next day we had a delightful brunch and then our other roomie met us on the rooftop for Rainbow Chip cake (THOUGHTFUL AS HECK) and more drinkies. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a killer view, and we were lounging on the deck chairs, Lele and Anysia taking a dip in the pool, when a voice asked, in English, “now that you’re alone, can I crash this party?”
I looked up and saw a decently attractive older guy, and in my surprise at hearing English and the delightful bubbly buzz I was feeling, said “uh, sure.”
And thus begins the story of how we were high-jacked by a guy so busy talking about how cool he was, I was unable to notice that he was flirting with me (apparently). I face-timed my mom and the dog, made silly videos with Leana, and practiced Portuguese with the waiter. At one point, about two hours in, after describing in detail how cool and important his job was, his watch collection, his super exclusive executive membership to the Marriot chain, and world travels, but also how lonely his life was, in what appears to be a rare moment of awareness-of-others, Patrick actually said “well, tell me more about you.”
After awkward eye-contact with roomies and a silence that said ‘you go’ ‘no YOU go,’ I sighed and led with “my favorite color is mustard yellow, I like dogs . . .” But before I could continue, he quickly went “WHOA MUSTARD YELLOW THAT IS SO WEIRD” and then somehow went back to talking about himself.
At which point roomies and I collectively gave up and did that thing where you start slyly texting each other an exit strategy.
I’ve been waiting for my meet-cute. You know, the story about how we met at a coffee shop, at a video rental store, reaching for the same container of tzatziki sauce at Trader Joes, accidentally stumbling into each other on a hiking trail, etc. And to meet on a roof-top bar on Copacabana beach in Rio would be an amazing meet-cute. Just imagine that speech at the rehearsal dinner.
He was moderately attractive, within age range, had amazing travel-y job that helped people, clearly financially stable, and even wore fancy Tevas (you laugh, but this is important to me. I will never again date a Chaco-man). He even found another moment when I was alone to sit next to me and tell me I was, and I quote, “sexy as hell.” To which, being completely unprepared, I responded with “huh? What? Me?” and made a face akin to Joey’s ‘just smelled a fart’ face.
Normally, this guy would have been such a catch, but he couldn’t stop telling us about what a great potential candidate he was long enough for us to consider him a candidate. It was a monologue, not a conversation.
So instead, I remember more about the fries I ate that night than I do about what he said. Man. Those fries. Fries in general, amirite?
The older I get, the more I wonder when and where my own meet-cute will take place. I’ve watched enough movies to think the farmers market, the airport, and the book store are important places to consider hygiene and not wear sweat pants. I do try. I’m trying. But like, where do people even meet these days? I smile and make eye contact, I work out at the gym without my headphones in, I’ve joined adult kickball leagues and been to trivia nights. I’ve gone to coffee shops alone, volunteered, experimented with new churches. I’ve volunteered to be blind dated.
I’ve tried eHarm, match.com, got grossed out by OKCupid, still shamelessly browse “Missed Connections” on Craigslist. I’m very kind to dentists, mechanics, and exterminators, since they way my luck and my life go, I’d save the most money by marrying into one of these professions.
Anyway. I am chilling in the singleness. I’m living it up in Rio. Living the dream so hard I didn’t even want to meet someone. Isn’t that how it always goes? You go to the bar with your friends, just want to chat with them, listen to Biebs on your speaks, and some rando won’t leave you alone. But I do wonder when it will happen for me.
So what’s your story? What’s your meet-cute? I wanna know.