13 December 2004

Object lesson

Okay, real quick, here's the awesome backstory about me and Jan (see previous post).

When Matt and I were just starting to go out, back in 1995 or so, he suggested we meet one evening at one of his favorite bars. We had been going out for about two weeks at this point. I got there about an hour early, I can't remember why now, but probably because I needed to get a lift and that's when I was able to do so. I had never been to this bar before, although it would soon become our favoritest local hang...

So I'm sitting there, sipping on a beer, probably watching whatever sports are on tv, and there's this older guy a couple of barstools down from me drinking OV (Old Vienna) splits. Classic. He fixes a bleary eye on me, sizes me up (I'm a fresh young thing of about 24 at the time...) and sidles on down to sit next to me. He's clearly too old for me, but he has these really nice hounddog eyes and a loopy smile. Jan.

Of course the first thing out of his mouth is the old "you have incredibly beautiful eyes" line. Again: classic. He's a dog. He's making the moves on me, no holds barred. After a while of this, although of course I love getting hit on by charming old barhounds and therefore like to revel in it for a good twenty minutes or so, I think of an easy way to deflect his attentions: I turn to him very nicely and tell him that I'm flattered, but I'm engaged. (lie.)

He curses his rotten luck, goodnaturedly of course (in fact, everything Jan does, Jan does goodnaturedly), and then says, "I know everyone in this lousy town. Who's the lucky guy?"

I name Matt by his full name.

Jan literally falls off his barstool.

And the nightmare begins.

He staggers back up to his feet, takes a mighty pull off his OV split, and wraps me in a gargantuan hug. Through his joyful exclamations, it becomes clear to me that Jan knows Matt. Quite well. In fact, it turns out Jan is Matt's stepdad's oldest, bestest, childhood friend.

It further comes out that Matt's stepdad, until very recently, owned this neighborhood pub that I had never been to until this evening, and in fact Matt had practically grown up right here at this very pub, and in fact everybody in the room has known Matt since he was about five years old. And they've been listening.

Now everybody's buying me drinks, tears are flowing, they can't believe their little baby boy is engaged...

Then, of course, Matt walks in.

I try very hard to crawl into my shoes.

Of course, he lets everyone buy him a round of drinks before he sets them straight. Only proper. But ohmygod am I blushing like a first-time whore. I am so busted. Jan has never let me forget this incident (again, only proper) and extracts retribution every chance he gets by mock- (and sometimes not-so-mock-) making out with me whenever we meet.

There are worse things.

And, as it turns out, I did marry Matt. Eventually.

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