It was hard going back to my bar last night. That was the last place I was with CS. And I knew I’d have to endure the questions of “where’s your guy?” (To which I replied, “Probably with the chick he dumped me for”. No one really asked anything further after that.) But I’m so glad I ripped off the band-aid and went. Because it turned out to be the reset I needed.
DJ is a regular there who I’ve known for about a year. He was just cool to hang out with. One hundred percent not my type. See, I go for typical tall, bearded, hot douche bag types. He’s at the most cute, and short. But he travels to at least four different countries every year, by himself, and is interesting to talk to. This past summer, I was down in the dumps and kinda hanging out on the bar patio. When I talked to him about it, he said, “Let’s get your mind off things let me paint you a picture” He pulled up a chair and put his arm around me and told me to close my eyes. When I opened them, he told me to look at the moon, which was bright and clear that night. He said “That’s the same moon that people in the Greek Islands see at night. So picture this, it’s our first date, we are on a blanket with wine and a picnic looking at that moon. That’s what you deserve.” He gave me a quick kiss and I unfortunately did not feel that elusive spark I’m always chasing. Later on that night, I showed him my tattoo, which is in memorial to my best friend who died last year. That tattoo depicts three birds, which is from the Bob Marley song. I told him how whenever I was just having a really shitty time, she’d always sing that to me.
Fast forward to the following weekend from that summer night. I was to meet a Tinder date at my usual bar. It was boring, we did make out a little, but I didn’t go home with him and was relieved to see him leave. I sauntered over to DJ and all our friends, and we began to take shots of Patron. Everyone left except for DJ and me. We had a conversation that has always stuck with me, and little does he know, still affects me. DJ told me “I think you’re beautiful. But I’m not attracted to you. You are in here every week thinking you could get any guy in the bar, and tonight when you didn’t, you came to seek attention from me. So no Ellie, I don’t want you, and I know you, that’s going to be the only reason you’d want someone like me. It’s not attractive that you crave attention so much, you just go wherever you think you can get it, instead of just trying to be happy, and it doesn’t matter how you make the other person feel.” I cried. And cried. And took an uber home and passed out on my couch fully clothed and puked all night. I had a message from him the next morning apologizing for being so harsh, which I didn’t acknowledge, but I did realize he was right. I was that terrible and shallow. I wasn’t attracted to him, but I did like that he wanted me, and I encouraged it out of loneliness.
Now here we are six months later. I’ve seen DJ at the bar multiple times but have made sure not to say anything but a quick hello. Every time I brought a Tinder date in, I’d feel bad, and when I brought CS, he’s the only regular I did not introduce him to. All that changed last night. He came in last night after I’d been drinking a bit, and so had he at another bar. He was telling me about how he was just not happy and troubles at work. I told him about getting my heart broken and being sick over the entire holiday. He said “know what? Let’s just have fun and make a pact not to think about anything else. Let’s be spontaneous.” He paid our tabs (I actually hate that he always pays) and headed to another bar where we met a whole set of new friends. He kept disappearing, and I finally figured out where he was going. The DJ booth. he said “I have a surprise for you.” At the end of the night, after I’d forgotten about that… I hear over the speakers “Don’t worry, about a thing.. cuz every little thing.. is gonna be alright” DJ then told me “I think this is the perfect song when you’re having a crappy time. And according to your tattoo, and what you told me, this is the song that always makes you smile.” Whooooaaahhhh….. he remembered that from our first ‘pretend’ date to the Greek islands. My eyes filled with tears. He said “bar is closing, tired yet?”. I replied no, and he suggested we go back to his place. When we got there, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know if I felt chemistry for anything to happen, but he was super sweet. I needn’t worry. He got out his massive CD collection he’s had since college, and put on 90’s country. These were old mix CD’s so we had no clue what we were about to hear. We used the remotes as microphones and sang George Strait’s “check Yes or No” loudly and badly. We took off our shoes and I tried to teach him how to do the Boot Scoot to Brooks and Dunn’s “Boot Scootin Boogie”. Before I knew it, it was almost 4 AM, and I knew I needed to get home. He walked me out, simply hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and said “I don’t know if this makes sense but thank you. All the bad crap I felt earlier is gone. And I just had a good time, and wanted to focus on impressing you.” I smiled and said “I’m glad DJ. Good night” I texted him when I got home to let let him know I made it safe and that I had an amazing night. He texted back that he had a great time too.
Now, I don’t think that this will go anywhere. And I honestly don’t know if he still likes me. But it did renew my confidence that was so recently shattered. He had fun hanging out with me. Just me. Not for my body. and thought enough of me to remember something I told him months ago, and use it to make me feel better even after I hurt him. Romance and chivalry is not dead. Sometimes it just exists where you overlook it.