I have a tendancy to find myself in what I describe as “Larry David Situations.” If you’re too lazy to click the link and read that bit of gold that I wrote earlier this year to wet my appetite to get back into blogging, in a nutshell, things that happen or could happen to Larry on Curb your Enthusiasm have a tendency of finding their way into my life. The link gives some pretty specific examples, but here’s a unique story that just happened this past weekend.
My girlfriend invited me to attend her office’s holiday dinner at the Barnsider this past Friday night. I was appreciative of even being considered, not only from my girlfriend but also from her employer. I was the only guest at the dinner who was not employed by that employer, so I felt even more honored and slightly uncomfortable, as anybody would in my situation. As a result, rather than being my normal take-charge self, I took a back seat and really just went with the flow.
We actually met a few of her other co-workers at a different restaurant for a cocktail before the dinner, and we all basically followed each other to The Barnsider. We walked in as an entourage of six. I was somewhere in the middle of the group, maybe 4th or 5th in line to enter the door. It was a cool night, but nothing worse than the usual average for this time of year.
Already frazzled by the fact that there were three or four people I had not met at this venue, I was on point, waiting to be introduced to these people by my girlfriend or even one of the other co-workers with whom I was already acquainted. All of a sudden, an older lady not associated with our party comes out from the dining room, approaches me directly, gets in my face, and says, “you’re letting all the cold air in!” in a joking but serious voice that I can only describe as an annoying older Jewish woman voice.
I harp on things like this because I really don’t understand what I was doing wrong.
- I was walking into a restaurant that was open for business, just like she did at one point that evening. Was she greeted in the same demeaning tone by another patron when she entered? Was this some kind of rite of passage?
- It’s not like I was standing at the door, looking at her in the face and saying, “here you go, lady! I hope this chills you to the bone!”
- I entered with five other people. Granted, four of those people were female, but what excludes females from taking some awkwardness like this. Don’t we live in a society where everybody is equal?
- How does this woman know that I’m not an animal? When you decide to go up to a stranger and single them out, you have to have that debate in your head. You know, the one where you weigh the pros and cons of your actions and what you say. How did she know I wouldn’t fly off the handle in her face?
- Along with 4, what did she gain by doing this? If I’m going to approach a stranger, you better believe I think I’m getting something out of it.
- If you’re familiar with The Barnsider, you’ll know there’s actually a sizeable waiting area before you even get to the dining room. How cold could it possibly have been where this woman was sitting?
But like I said, I’m a magnet for this stuff. So if you’re a stranger and you want to enter into a socially awkward situation while I’m around, I beg of you, please don’t single me out.