Monday, August 27, 2007

Shirley Temples

"You know what? I'd actually like a Shirley Temple, please," I said to our favorite bartender (OFB).

Surprised at the change from my usual Diet Coke, he threw in some extra maraschino cherries for me. I thanked him.

It was nice to have something different to drink. I stirred it with my straw, watching the Sprite and the grenadine swirl together. I had fun digging the cherries out from the bottom of my tall glass. I sipped away, enjoying the old familiar taste. It made me remember one of my favorite childhood memories.

When I was very young, there was a bar/restaurant near our house. They made great pizza, and when my dad wanted a late night snack, he would go there and get carry-out pizza. Knowing my mom hated bars and was not a night owl, he would wake me up instead and take me with him to wait on the pizza. I would sit next to him at the bar, in my red footie pajamas. He would drink a beer. I would drink a Shirley Temple, footie feet swinging in the air. I loved the feeling of being a kid, hanging out with the grown-ups. It felt like a secret we were keeping from The Czarina -- me out way past my bedtime, drinking sugary drinks and eating pizza. I don't remember how the pizza tasted, or if the bartender would talk to us. But I do remember how special Dad managed to make me feel, even from a young age.

I smiled, recalling the vague memories, and missing my dad. Lost in my thoughts, I suddenly realized I'd been sitting there, undisturbed, for quite some time. Unfortunately, Wild Wings was pretty dead. Not nearly as fun and crowded as the night before. This time, it was just me, two girlfriends and OFB.

Normally, the three of us can carry the whole bar, laughing, flirting and carrying on with anyone and everyone. But tonight, I was on my own. My girls were otherwise occupied with their respective boyfriends. Both of them sat on their cell phones, arguing with their men for most of the evening. And when they weren't on the phone, arguing, they were bitching about their men to me.

One couple has been dealing with jealousy/family issues. The other couple has been together since they were teenagers and have never really dated anyone else. Their relationship expired about a year ago, yet they have been hanging on for dear life, out of convenience, comfort or terror. Or maybe all three.

"Wow, I sure am glad I'm single right now. I definitely don't miss any of this crap!" I thought. In the middle of their venting, I looked at OFB and just rolled my eyes. He laughed.

Later, when the girls were both in the bathroom, I said to him, "They fight all the time. I wish they'd just break up already! It's so ridiculous!" He laughed again.

After another Shirley Temple, I called it a night and escaped to my stable, calm and wonderfully boring Single Girl life.

Last night, I went out with another group of friends. We went to dinner, despite the obvious absence of one of our core group members. I almost asked why she wasn't with us, when I remembered: she has a boyfriend.

Do you have a friend who disappears on you once they start dating someone? Yeah, that's her. She does this every time she's got a new man.

Her name was brought up, and we began to discuss this new guy she's dating. I met him briefly a few months ago, and I was not impressed-- I thought he was boring and drank too much. But that was really all I had to go on. It turns out that my instincts were right. One of us, through mutual friends, found out the scoop on this guy:

1. He is about 35, and is still smoking pot.

2. He got a DUI a few months ago. This has not curtailed his drinking at all, just his driving. So now our friend is driving his drunk ass around everywhere.

3. Because she's hanging out with an alcoholic, her already slightly elevated alcohol intake has doubled. So now she is driving around like this. If she gets a DUI, it would seriously affect her career. Like, permanently.

4. She is so hung over nowadays, she has stopped going to the gym. (How much drinking do you have to be doing to be hungover that often???) And I'm sure she's been hungover at work, if not calling in sick entirely.

5. This boyfriend of hers doesn't have a job. Oh, he kinda "helps out" with his friend's home business. Whatever that means. He has no benefits at all from this "job".

6. She has been saving up money to buy a house. He is going to move in with her when she does this. And apparently, continue mooching.

7. He has a child that he he doesn't support or see. We do not know if he has informed our friend that he has a child. We happen to know about it through a random coincidence. As far as we know, he is hiding this fact from her. (We wouldn't know, because we don't see her anymore.)

8. The mother of the child, described as a "psycho drug addict", told him she doesn't want to have anything to do with him until he "gets his act cleaned up". WOW.

9. If they do get married (as I'm sure my friend wants to do -- she has marriage on the brain, to a fault), I am worried that the Baby Mama will hear about it and suddenly want some child support money. And since he's a freeloader, it will have to come out of my friend's paycheck. Not to mention, I know she would also add him on to her health care benefits.

What a winner, huh? I think he's got every single red flag a guy can have, short of physical abuse.

The worst part about it is, my friend is the kind of girl who doesn't respond to concerned friends. If we approached her to express our concerns, she would become defensive, make excuses and justify everything. So we are helpless. All we can do is sit back and watch her screw up her life.

I just hope she's using protection, because he is not the kind of guy you want fathering your children. But knowing her, she would use an unplanned pregnancy as an excuse to get married.


Maybe being single isn't that bad. I can enjoy my Shirley Temples in peace.


kimmykins13 said...

Unfortunately there are a lot of girls out there that think it is better to have someone than no one. Your friend sounds like one them. I personally don't understand it. I would rather be alone than have to contend with a bunch of dysfunctional BS - but that's just me.

crackfire said...

Oh boy haven't we all heard this story over and over and still some ppl donot learn. Anyways pardon my ignorance but would you be a darling and explain as to what is "Shirley Temples".

PS: I am not from your part of the woods.

FRIGGA said...

You're right to be concerned... But hearing all of this second hand may not be giving you the clearest picture of the situation. If she's really this type of girl, why are you friends with her? Just curious...

Virginia Belle said...

kimmykins-- you and me, both!

crackfire -- a shirley temple is sprite (or 7up) mixed with a little bit of grenadine syrup, garnished with a maraschino cherry. or 5. (i like them, so i ask for extras!)

frigga -- no, i have known her forever. i have seen her date similar (although not nearly as bad) guys. i am starting to realize she and i might not have very much in common, if that answers your question! :)

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

Wow, does EVERYONE have a friend like that?!?! You know what I've dealt with before. What I have learned (and from the advice you gave me) you just have to kind of nod your head and let them do what they want to do b/c even though your opinion should matter, it doesnt to them. I agree w/ kimmy. I bet she thinks that some loser is better than no one at all.

I hate when people change when they get boyfriends. I'm kind of going through the same thing right now with one of my good friends....gosh!

Anonymous said...

Okay, is your friend just dumb? Does she think she can change him? Does she just hate being alone and will take anyone? I don't understand such.

Sounds like the only one with any sense in this drama is the psychotic drug addict mother of his child. I feel especially bad for the child.

Jamy said...

Being single is GOOD! You never cry yourself too sleep because you ignored yourself....

As to your friend, the reason she can't hear you is that she takes your concern as a criticism of her. She has a lousy bf, so she thinks you're saying she's stupid. This is her issue, of course, and there's still probably nothing to be done, except decide if you want to be around to help pick up the pieces.

Fluffycat said...

Damn your friend is in for a world of trouble with that guy. Is there anyone she would listen to? I guess someone who cuts herself out of your life like that is arguably not really your friend, but it still sucks to see someone get dragged down into that.

After having been both single and in a relationship, I have to say, it really depends on the relationship.

Phantom Hater said...

I have a question. How does a 35 year old man with no job afford a pot and drinking habit?

I don't know why everyone is hating on the guy. He must be doing something right. He's a natural PUA.

Being single definitely has advantages. You are beholden to no one. It's very liberating.

Scorpio Girl said...

Being single is the best thing. It takes a little while to get used to it. But when you do....there is no other heaven out there.

RWA said...

Well...Shirley Temples, huh? One of the worst nightmares ever for bartenders. Ugh!!!!

Interesting facts y'all did on this guy. You should open your own private investigation agency or something.

Smug said...

My brother's ex-girlfriend is that kind of girl. She and I, along with my sister became very close while she was with my bro (for about 6 years) and stayed friends after they split. She is currently dating an asshole that has demanded that she spilt from us too - she did. I actually may have to do a post on her on my end as I am still upset about it!

Anonymous said...

I totally drank Shirley Temples as a kid when the grownups around me were drinking alcohol too! My grandfather usually made them for me it was so fun :)

But your friend, UGH, what a nightmare... You're right though- we all have friends like that. Don't you wish you could just shake some sense into her?

Susie said...

sooo true. everyone has at least one friend like that! Mine finallyyy broke up with her boyfriend but basically made it clear that if he hadn't dumped her, she would still be with him. sweet.

i would sooo much rather be single than with a crappy guy.

i miss shirley temples! brings me back to my childhood :)

Scotty said...

I usually don't understand it. Why people are in relationships where literally EVERYONE sees as going no where. When they dont see the red flags that everyone else sees all around them.

I would much rather be single, but then again if I had some crazy girlfriend I would hope my friends would slap me... because I certainly have slapped some sense in a couple of my friends before.

The K Life said...

yum, shirley temples used to be my favorite when I was little too! my dad used to take me to our old country club every sunday when my great grandpa was alive and i would drink so many of them that I' surprised I didn't go into a shirley temple coma!

Gypsy said...

Oh, how I loved Shirley Temples! Thank you for reminding me. I used to get them when I'd go out to fancy places with my parents.

As for your friend's fellah, aside from the pot smoking (a non-issue for me), he sounds like a loser. I hope she sees the light soon.

kittenpower said...

You enjoy your shirley temples and thrive on that singlehood!!

(i always get shirley temples at Japanese/sushi restaraunts... reminds me of going to bennihanas as a kid. it was a big treat to go!)