Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My Cocktail Party Story

Everyone has a cocktail party story. It's the story that when you're scouting out the hot appetizer section and you're wearing your little black dress and you have to talk to people you don't really know or don't know at all you bust out to entertain total strangers. Usually cocktail party stories are appropriate and interesting and involve a safe amount of harrowing detail. My sister's cocktail party story is about how she went sky diving. This is a perfect cocktail party story. A bad cocktail party story is about how you just had your third divorce and got out of rehab and how you'd really like a glass of Chardonnay. Often cocktail party stories involve travel, sometimes mild travel disasters that end well or epiphanies one inevitably has while in a foreign land taking pictures of quaint poor people washing their laundry on a stone in a dirty river alongside some water buffaloes.

Except for my sister's ideal cocktail party story about sky diving, which you can borrow if you want - it uses the words awesome, wind, upside down, free fall, parachute, peaceful and beautiful in any combination you desire - no one else in my family has an appropriate cocktail party story. Oh we can all tell a story, let me tell you, but usually our stories are so outrageously IN-appropriate that we can stop a party dead in its tracks and leave the other guests either wanting to go home immediately or snickering about what characters we Lawns' are. Those Lawns' you just never know what they're going to say, I tell ya.

One example is my mom's story about the time when she was growing up she caught her brother stuffing wads of toilet paper up a chicken's ass. My dad has one about how when he was in high school there was a girl named Porky and a Puerto Rican girl named Mucho Chesto who were into gang bangs with all the boys in school. Neither of these stories are nice to talk about at parties and my story isn't much better, but people always seem to love when I tell it. It's strange I haven't busted it out for you guys, but I guess that might be due to the lack of cheese fondue, crudite platters and champagne on the Internet. So go pour yourself a glass of wine, put your little black dress on, or your little black suit and I'll tell you about the worst date I ever had.

I know what you're saying. I do know. You're saying what about Barry Schitt and the guy with the hairy back and the salt shaker and the guy who just got out of rehab and the guy with fibromyalgia who wanted to be held? Of course there was the guy who gave himself a prostate exam in front of me too, but that wasn't a date. No, this is worse than these. Maybe not the prostate exam story, but like I said, that was not a date. That was an unfortunate and traumatic incident. This was a date and everyone who knows me knows this story already and many remember when it actually happened.

I was thinking about this story over the weekend because the story happened around this time of year in the peak of the hurricane season on a particularly wet and stormy night when we were in the middle of a tropical wave that had stalled over South Florida.

A couple days earlier I had been at Kinko's making color copies of some Hindu prints that I had gotten the brilliant idea to decoupage onto some chunks of particle board I found lying around my parents' garage. I was standing in a long line and there was a guy in front of me who looked to be about my age or slightly older and he was talking on his phone. I noticed he had the peculiar accent of Millpond. People from Millpond and surrounding areas have a strange and immediately identifiable accent and dialect. You can't mistake it. So when the guy got off the phone I asked him if he was from Millpond and he said no he was from another town near Millpond and then I said I was from Millpond and he said I didn't sound like it and I said that was because I had spent years trying very hard not to sound like I was from Millpond and this made him laugh. Then we got to talking about how we both ended up in South Florida, because usually people from the Millpond vicinity don't ever leave. To make things all the more outrageous he claimed to be Jewish.

"There are no jews in Millpond," I said, "What the hell are you talking about?'

And he said that was why his family had moved and now they all lived in the Jewish paradise that is South Florida where there are bagels in every grocery store and real delis almost like in New York.

All through the line at Kinko's this guy and I talked although he was clearly on the dork side and not someone I could see myself dating. He was one of those guys who wears tee shirts, usually from some event like a work conference or a festival he might have gone to a few years back. The tee shirt is then tucked into high waisted jeans which may or may not be acid-washed, but usually are. There is a belt of some sort. In this case it was a skinny belt. White lace up sneakers finish the look and these are worn with athletic knee socks but you can't see those because they are under the jeans. It is safe to bet that also under the jeans are a nice pair of tightie-whities.

I knew that this guy was going to ask me out. You know how sometimes you can just tell and you can't get away but you really want to make those copies because you're excited about your decoupage project so you don't want to pretend to have an asthma attack and go running for your car? When this happened I was at a stage in my dating life where I had finally realized that I was not as hot and desirable to men as I had previously imagined myself to be. For a while in the beginning I didn't realize my competition down here was girls with a 16 BMI, melon-y implants and waist length sheets of platinum hair. By Millpond standards I'm hot as sizzling hell. By South Florida standards I'm kinda plain and frumpy and teacherish and when this story happened I was worse because I hadn't even fixed my teeth yet. So I had just realized that my options were limited and that I could no longer metaphorically shop at Neiman Marcus when I could only afford Wal-Mart. I was trying to accept this and learn to acquire a taste for Wal-Mart. I figured I was being a picky asshole and that I was shallow and that I should learn to give guys who were less than movie star faced doctors and lawyers because those guys didn't like girls like me. That's why I said yes. I was being humble and generous and trying to prevent an awkward situation. I could have given him a fake number I suppose, but someone had done that to me and it was crushing. Perhaps, I thought, he was a nice guy and what do clothes matter? If things worked out I could go shopping with him and give him a makeover.

He picked me up in torrential rains and promptly gave me a super-sized bag of jumbo reese's cups. Everyone knows that if you want to get on my good side that reese's cups are a good tool towards that goal. I was impressed.

We went for pizza. I like pizza. Pizza is fine. We made small talk, the usual date talk and then it started to get ugly. He was a recent divorcee and his wife, who he claimed was out of her mind, was an anorexic who weighed 80 pounds and had an addiction to prescription drugs. After a suicide attempt she was institutonalized and then from the mental hospital she filed for divorce from him. That's pretty bad. He was heartbroken. Red flags began to flutter. Now he lived with his parents and his brother and he couldn't stand any of them and they fought all the time and as soon as he started getting paid from his telemarketing job he was going to start thinking about moving out. By now the red flags were shredded in gale force winds. I was finishing up my pizza when conditions really started to deteriorate.

"I need to tell you something," he said, "In case we get serious I want you to know this about me now."

There was already no chance of us getting serious but I prepared myself for the following possibilities: herpes, a child, a prosthetic leg, a terminal illness or a complicated learning disability.

He looked down at his pizza and knit his eyebrows. He rubbed his nose, cleared his throat and looked at the pizza for a very long time. He cleared his throat again as I waited for whatever could be worse than being divorced by an 80 pound drug addict and working in telemarketing. Because to me, that stuff was bad enough.

Finally he came out with it.

"I have a four inch penis."

He couldn't look me in the eye. He seemed to tremble as he stared at his pizza crust.

I didn't exactly know what to do. Normally my brain doesn't function properly in situations like this and I'll say some stupid shit like:


But I didn't. My brain was functioning that evening, for once, and I realized that for some reason this guy had a major complex and that my reaction could potentially make this poor soul's life even worse than it already was. So I said:

"Oh that's average size isn't it? Every one I've ever seen has been about three or four inches. Totally normal."

And then he just about sprinted to the jewelry store to get me an engagement ring, so perhaps that answer was a mistake after all. My ass, on the other hand, couldn't get home and away fast enough and not because he had a four inch penis but because he TOLD me on a first date that he had a four inch penis and this is not acceptable behavior on a first date. You should not discuss your weiner on a first date. Save that conversation for the second date, please.

At the end of the date I decided that I had to be honest and not string this guy along so I said I didn't feel a spark. There was no chemistry and then he began to weep and say he knew it was because of his penis, which it kind of was, just not in the way he thought. It took me over an hour to comfort him because I couldn't just let some weeping dude with a four inch penis cry on the front step in the middle of a tropical depression. We had some reese's cups and when I thought he wouldn't run the car off a bridge in despair I sent him home.

When he left it occurred to me that I had no idea how big or how small four inches even was. He acted like it was problematically small so I studied the tiles in my bathroom, having remembered that they were, indeed, four inch tiles. I got the ruler out to be sure and what I found was that four inches wasn't all that alarming really. One could probably work with four inches. Two would be an issue. I could see weeping over a two inch ding dong for an hour, but four wasn't so bad. Maybe I'm generous. I've also been know to have dreadful spacial reasoning skills, so who knows. In any case, we didn't see each other again, but not because he had a four inch penis. Instead, it was because he told me about it.

The moral of this story is thus: do not decoupage on particle board that you find in your parents' garage and if a guy in any way discusses his genitalia on a first date that is a red flag. Yes even if he brags that he has a ten inch schlong. That would hurt.


Green said...

My favorite part, although I laughed more than once, was when you said to go put on your little black suit.

booda baby said...

1. You were being generous.
2. You were being generous.
3. SOME things get a whole lot easier when you're only dealing with four inches. But it's hardly worth it just so you can pull off a superb performance piece. I mean, it's not worth it if they've got some whacked issues and the three-to-four inches I was acquainted with was ALLL about issues.

Hilary said...

Every party should have a wonderful story-teller like you. I'd be far more sociable if that were so. Thanks for the laughs.

the Bag Lady said...

I think I know that guy....
and he was exaggerating.

Ordinary Housewife said...

Raise your hand if, after reading this, you got out a ruler and looked at what 4" looks like.

Anonymous said...

Ordinary Housewife: I totally grabbed my ruler! Looks a bit on the small side. What is the average, anyway? I'd look it up, but I'm at work.

Wide Lawns said...

I think the average is 5, so 1 inch away from that is not anything to weep in despair over. I took the whole thing more as a sign that the guy was just totally nuts and had some major insecurities and problems.

JoeinVegas said...

But, like, where did he live before his wife went into the hospital? Still at his folk's? Or did she support him and they lived in high style in a fancy hi rise condo? The world needs to know.
But it is a good story, whether or not you are wearing a little black dress. I don't even want to think about the stories my old dates tell. (no, I've never been to Florida)

Amblus said...

*raises hand*

My question is, 4" hard or soft? Big difference, there.

I had a guy ask me on our first date if I minded that he was bisexual. And on anti-depressents. Aw.

Wide Lawns said...

Joe I think he lived in a different state with her and then moved home with his parents after the divorce. I don't know what he did for money. He probably told me but I cant remember.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I totally grabbed my ruler, too! My next thought was 4 inches soft or "happy"? And I just realized Amblus thought the same thing, too funny!

Xtine said...

This makes me think of one of those moments at a dinner party I was at, where nothing will ever top it.

Somehow, in mixed company, we got on the subject of prostate exams. And then penises. And then penis size.

Friend A: Eh...motion of the ocean, and all that.
Friend B: Says the chick dating an asian dude.

It *was* a light-hearted comment, and came across as such (although I know now that person B is one of the most racist people in North Carolina), and her timing was just perfect.

Uh...I forgot where I was going with that, but I &hearts WideLawns, and wish she'd come hang out with me and my friends!

TK said...

Wow, that's just a little bit scary whacked. Or maybe he had Asperger's syndrome, which is a type of high functioning Autism, where guys often have no clues to what social skills are all about, and can obsess about stuff.
Funny story though!

Curlatini, Esq. said...

Yes, too big is not good either. I used to regularly tell an ex to "get the hell off of me." And it usually didn't come out in a very nice way.

Sauntering Soul said...

OMG that's hysterical!

I had some reservations about a guy on a first date I once went on, but for some stupid reason I agreed to go out with him a second time. As we were leaving the restaurant he said he had a gift for me in his car so I walked to his car with him. He handed me a grocery bag. I looked inside and he had given me a sex toy. Needless to say, I didn't agree to a third date when he called me a couple of days later. Some guys have some really messed up social skills.

Anonymous said...

Aww, you were very kind to him. I hope it helped the poor guy. It sounds like he needed it. I totally cracked up when you said "You should not discuss your weiner on a first date. Save that conversation for the second date, please."

I have also had one of those dates. And the guy would. not. go. away. He'd go sit with my parents for hours waiting for me to get home from work, which completely creeped me out. My mother, on the other hand, thought he was a wonderfully sweet boy and that I should be nicer to him. No amount of me explaining that stalkers sometimes kill their victims seemed to help.

It got even worse when my boyfriend and I got engaged. This guy was furious because I didn't give him a chance to propose! Crazy stuff.

Anonymous said...

I really think that men with 3 to 4 inch penises have issues. I've unfortunately seen a few in my life and the ones that I saw were also skinny like a womans thumb. My first experience freaked me out so bad that I was scared to death to do it. I was caught in a situation where It was already to late. I felt if I had said ummm no thanks cocktail weenie, he would have been scared for life. I was 18 yrs old and the only thought that came to my mind was that he would just fall right in and then tell everyone my peep was huge. Well everyones peep was huge to him. The entire frightful act lasted a whole minute and a half I swear to you. I barely got over the fright before he was done. Relieved it was over he turned around and asked me why I didn't make any noise? In my mind I said "Is this friggin asshole serious?" To be nice, I said, do women make noise? He said OH YES! I said YOU have to be kidding? I succumbed trying not to damage his ego certainly not thinking of my own and said dam I guess I just don't know about sex yet. You are my second, which was true by the way. I left it at that. My next boyfriend had even less. I used to call myself the small dick magnet. I didn't even want to see anyones penis because I already knew what was in store for me, that is how bad it was. My sister on the other hand could find donkey dongs with each new guy she found. I used to think she was just telling lies to piss me off. I eventually did find a normal very horny man that suited me just perfect. I was so thrilled that I married him and quickly. I am thankful to this day that I never had to look for any other.

BluHipo said...

"Team building exercise shirt"

Are you a flight of the conchords fan? If you haven't heard of them, youtube Flight Of The Conchords "Business Time"

Heck, if you have heard of them, go watch it anyway.

Wide Lawns said...

Bluhipo shit shit shit. I do like them but they haven't been on for a year. That line must have wormed into my subconscious or something. I'll change it so no one thinks Im stealing. But thanks for the reminder! Those stupid shirts. I;ll change it to a conference. Conference shirts are equally as lame and stupid.

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