However, an email from Martini asking me to meet up with her and Lady Luck at a bar in West Hollywood caught my attention. Leo, Leroy and I drove out to the bar and a manager stopped us at the kiosk.
Manager: Who are you here to see?
Leo & Leroy both turned to me.
So@24: Oh. Uhm. I actually, don't know their names...
-Manager raises eyebrow-
Manager: You can wait at the bar until your "friends" arrive.
We saddled up to the bar and I started to scan the room.
So@24: Well, now what?
Leo: Why are you asking me?? This is your operation, chief. Did she write her name in the email?
So@24: She signed it "Martini". That's all I got.
Leo: What about a phone number?
So@24: Nope. That was it.
Leo: Good luck with that buddy. Off you go.
I zigzagged around the bar like Billy in the Family Circus.
Nothing looked promising. I returned to the bar defeated.
So@24: This was a dumb idea guys. I'm sorry, let's just go.
Leo: What about those two girls standing there?
Sure enough, at the end of the bar, are two attractive girls sipping drinks. One of them happened to be drinking a martini.
So@24: Well, they said there would be other bloggers here. But maybe they are here by themselves?
Wait. Don't look now. One of them just looked at me. Wait. Wait.
Okay look now. One of them is drinking a martini! Dude! It's a code!
Leo: Only one way to find out.
I turned my back to the girls so they can't see me talking about them.
So@24: (in a loud whisper) You want me to go over there? What am I supposed to say?? "Hey, are you bloggers?" This is stupid, let's just go.
Leo: We came all the way out here! You're going!
So@24: Why don't you do it? You're good at this type of thing.
Leo: No way, this is all you kimosabe.
I'm furiously chewing my nails and peek around Leo to get another look at the girls.
It's gotta be them. It has to. I mean... right?
So@24: Alright. Give me your beer.
-glug glug glug-
-wipes mouth with back of hand-
-slams down pint glass-
So@24's inner monologue: Why does this feel like a blind date? What am I supposed to say without sounding like a complete douche? Nothing. Your "go to" is about BLOGGING. You got nothing. God. Maybe this is what it's like to approach strange women at bars. No shit, Sherlock. You ARE approaching strange women... at a bar. Alright wrap this monologue up, you've been standing in front of these two girls for what seems like 2 years and you are just staring at them. They're staring, they're staring, they're staring... Here goes...
So@24: Are you here for the blogging convention?
So@24's inner monologue: Nice.
Girls: Huh? A what? Blogging convention?
So@24: Wait. Let's scratch the word "convention". Can we start over? Uh... I... uh... am supposed to meet these bloggers here.
I promise you I'm not trying to do some terrible pick-up line.
Girls: What's a blog?
So@24's inner monologue: Oh Jesus.
So@24: Sorry, this must have been a big mistake. Forget it.
Girls: Explain it. Like Perez Hilton?
I turn to Leo and Leroy. "Help me!" I mouth in absolute terror. I can feel the beads of sweat starting to form. Where is an empty paper sack to heavily breathe into when you need one??
So@24: Uh kinda.
Girls: Well what do you write about?
So@24's inner monologue: ABANDON SHIP! ... but don't mention that you write about being single. Seriously. Don't do it.
And so this extremely awkward exchange continued. Leo and Leroy at one point, step in and try to explain to the girls what blogs were and I would interject occasionally with, "Are you guys fucking with me?" I tried to lock eyes with one of the girls in hopes that they'd give away a hint that they knew who I was.
I was just about to swear off women altogether when one of the girls asked to see Leo's driver's license.
Girl: Hmmmm... I thought your name was "Leo"?
-coy smirks from both girls-
Turns out that Martini and Lady Luck are complete sadists and enjoyed watching me squirm like a sweaty gerbil. So cruel. So, so cruel.
I suppose a valuable lesson can be learned from this situation:
Approaching members of the opposite sex in a social setting won't result in me spontaneously combusting.
Although I came damn-near close to doing so.
Welp. Time to get drunk and make some friends.