12 February 2011

Convention Center

During the first few years of college, one of my many jobs had been working at a convention center - an ever-revolving door of all walks of life from quilters to gun collectors, some becoming more regular than others. Among the most frequent ‘regulars’ were the event-required EMT staff. I was wearing the hat of caterer, concession cashier and bartender depending on the event. It was an early morning in the fall and I was forced to serve scolding hot tea to persons definitely of the caliber responsible for McDonald’s having to write ‘Caution HOT’ on the cup.

I looked up after telling the umpteenth person who asked where the sugar/milk/lemon was (as they were staring directly at it), where to find the aforementioned accoutrements, and that’s when I saw Mark – a delicious drink of EMT that I wouldn’t mind having resuscitate me. So imagine my surprise when Mark came over and started talking to me! I had seen him from time to time at various shows but never had a chance to talk to him as we were always separated by the slip and fall laying the ground work for a potential lawsuit against the company that didn’t have as much money as the ‘victim’ thought occupying his time or the bitter and thirsty occupying mine. But this time, the cosmos had aligned and all was going great – we chatted throughout the day, exchanged phone numbers AND pager numbers as that’s what all the cool kids did at the time.

After a week or so of back and forth with phone calls/flirty pages, we agreed to go out (insert butterflies in stomach here). We were going to go to TGI Friday’s at the mall – an ever-popular hangout. I offered to meet him there and he insisted he meet my parents and drive us (red flag number 1 or just an old fashion nice guy?) So he shows up, after going to my neighbor’s house first, ignoring the description of my house and directions I gave (red flag number 2 or just a typical/nervous guy?) My neighbor messes with him for a hot second then sends him over to my house where he is greeted by my mom and bff at the time. He hands me a single red rose (red flag number 3 or just ignorant to the meaning of the RED rose?) We finish small talking and head to Friday’s – I inform him I know the bartender so although not 21 for another few months, we could get served if he was interested. Apparently Mark’s not a drinker, fine by me – then he goes into detail about how his dad took off when he was little and it really screwed him up– shouldn’t admission of daddy issues wait until at least the 3rd date or until I’ve had a few libations? Anyway, our food comes and Mark goes on to tell me that I shouldn’t be concerned, but he’s hit his mom on more than one occasion to keep her in line. Excuse me whilst I choke on my potato skin – I needed confirmation of what I just heard ‘did you just say you hit your mom?’ He ever so nonchalantly admitted that I did in fact hear this correct so if I was cautious of the maybe/maybe not ‘red flag’s’ before – a crimson flair gun was being shot directly at me – point taken and I switch into ‘just survive the rest of this date’ mode as this was before the days of having your friend on cell phone speed dial to pick you up from whatever hellacious universe you may have found yourself in.

I finish my food, since my dinner had not wronged me, why should it be neglected? I started looking around at all the other people there with friends they actually want to be hanging out with and people on normal dates that don’t involve tales of domestic violence or the importance of staying a virgin until you find the right person so all dates in the beginning should end with a handshake working up to a hug. Maybe if Mark got laid, he wouldn’t be so violent but I wasn’t about to be the test subject for that experiment, although it might have been fun to deliver a few well deserved bitch slaps to him to see how he liked it – alas, that dream was not in the cards to become my reality and that was just fine by me.

I don’t remember finishing dinner, I do know that he paid even though I tried to pay for my half so as not to allow him a chance to warrant me getting next time or implying that there would be future hang outs, but this attempt was unsuccessful and I didn’t want to channel his inner anger, so I let him pay. The ride home he still gloated about the wonder that was himself while I allowed my thoughts to get lost listening to Champagne Supernova wondering what vibe I gave off that screamed for mommy beaters/daddy haters to apply to be my eternal plus 1 because that needed an overhaul post haste.

I never called Mark back or returned his pages because a girl needs a little more than an appetizer and a backhand to keep her warm at night, plus ‘bruise’ is not a good color for me. That was the first time I successfully blew someone off and I’ve been drunk with power with this skill ever since. I do hope he got help for his issues of domestic violence or someone’s older brother taught him the meaning of a black eye for a black eye as this is a matter not to be taken lightly and in my case it was a matter to be avoided like the bubonic plague & bitch please, NO ONE likes the plague!

Point of the conversation: Not all those who are CPR certified are worthy of compressing my chest.

- Scarlett

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