18 February 2006

When Do You Mention You're Married?

A few weeks ago Carl was in New York working on color correction of Another Gay Movie. I, at the same time, was working on the second draft of my poetry manuscript. Since I'd been holed up all day in my home office, I decided to take the manuscript to my favorite bar, have some dinner and just read through it cover to cover. As a side note, the bar used to be called Duffy's and truth be told about half of the poems in it had been written in a booth in Duffy's from 1998 until 2000. It was a prolific time for me.

Usually, on a Wednesday night, there aren't many people at the bar but, on this particular night, not only was the bar quite populated, but the booths were full. I sat at one end of the bar and Frankie greeted me by pouring my glass of wine before I ordered it and telling me that the soup special that night was my favorite. I ordered it. While I read, the 20 something boys on my right chatted with me about the soup that they wished they'd ordered instead of the hot wings and generally flirted with me which wasn't unpleasant. Before they left, a very sweet, handsome man sat to my left. I continued reading my manuscript. During the course of the few hours I was there, he asked me questions, told me he was a restaurantuer and that he was Greek of Greek and Armenian parentage. It was pleasant but at last I said that I really enjoyed talking with him but needed to get back to the task at hand. Before he left, he invited me to come to his cafe the following Sunday and hear him play the bouzouki. I told him I would try but that I had a reading to attend. He left. That's when I started to feel bad.

I never told him I was married. The truth is, it never came up. I wear a wedding ring, a unique band that is tough not to notice. I figured he was sitting to my left, he should have noted it. I also remember that at some point in the conversation about his busy life, I asked if he was married and he said no. He never asked me if I was married but I suppose at that point, I should have said "I am."

The truth is, if you're a chick alone at a bar, I think guys assume (a) you're single; or (b) you're not happily married. Neither of those are true of me. What is true of me is that I enjoy going to my favorite bar to hang out and either write or read. I've never been a coffee shop kind of girl. That said, if a guy starts talking to me, is it my responsibility to tell him that I'm a waste of time? I like meeting new people. I enjoy conversation. I figure if he wants to know whether it's a waste of his precious "meet a chick" time, he should probably check the left hand and/or ask if I'm with someone.

So, guys, I guess I'm asking....should I, if it's obvious I'm being "chatted up", turn to the chatter and say I'm married? Do I have to do the "we" thing in conversation? I hate the "we" thing, it suggests that I am not an individual in my tastes and opinions which is actually a pet peeve of mine with married couples "We think the price of gas is outrageous!" What is the proper thing to do? Is it my responsibility or should guys stop assuming a woman alone in a bar is automatically single? Oh, and if you answer stay away from bars when Carl is out of town, I'm going to have to go into a whole diatribe on men who are married who go to bars all the time after work or while the little woman is travelling and they don't have to deal with this because we don't assume a guy is single if he's alone at a bar.

01 February 2006

Divine Intervention

A few weeks back, I was in my Tuesday night poetry workshop and my cell phone rang. I had forgotten to mute it, so it was a little embarrassing. At the break, I returned the call from Carl. Now, Carl never calls me during my workshop so I was thinking it was an emergency and it was in a way. The computer had frozen, created a little memory dump message and he couldn't get it to shut down. I walked him through it and told him I'd look at it when I got home. I went back into my workshop and exchanged computer horror stories with the others while on break. Linda, bless her "tech support" heart, told me I needed to get a USB unit (it plugs into your UCB port on your computer) and PRONTO! I went home, got the computer working again and vowed that on Thursday, I'd go to Office Depot (I had to work on Wednesday and wouldn't be able to take care of it until Thursday.) True to my word, I went to Office Depot and had one of the most amazingly easy, pleasant, may I help you, oh, you need that and we're out of stock? let me check on that....two minutes later, here it is and guess what it's on sale 50% off. I was out of the store in less than 10 minutes. THAT NEVER HAPPENS.

So, I dutifully went home and backed up all of My Documents. I worked for several hours on my thesis that weekend and did not re-back up the work, but I did print out a hard copy. You can see where all of this is going can't you?

A week to the day later, I woke up to entirely crashed computer. Thankfully it wasn't the mother board and because of my handy-dandy USB unit, Mr. Computer Geek was only here for a mere two hours trashing everything, updating my windows to XP from 2000 and re-installing all of my documents and a few programs. It took me another week to sort through what else I was missing and dig through various programs in my closet for re-installation. Today, I learned that my McAfee is out of date and I need to just break down and buy version 10.

All of this said, it (1) explains my low profile for a while; and (2) gives a nod to those wonderful little synchronistic moments. If Carl hadn't called that Tuesday night, I would not have learned about USB units (which, by the way, if you lack a back up system, are cheap, small, ultra fast and you feel like James Bond when you plug them into your computer port....literally, it takes about 3 minutes to back your entire My Documents data) and I would not have had a nearly complete back up.

I say nearly complete because I need to go back and re-do the work I did on my thesis but I have the hard copy so I have a map and I'm ready to travel again. I think I'll go in search of the divine.