Curveballs and Competitive Streaks


Working with Hot Bartender just seems to get stranger and stranger …

First of all, we both seem to have picked up a couple of admirers. And our competitive streaks have really come full force, interacting with each other in weirdly invigorating ways.

We had a steak selling competition and I held the lead strongly from morning to afternoon and we razzed each other about it all day. He caught up with me when he got put in a better section for the evening shift and I attempted to get a handicap for my disadvantage. He assured me he wasn’t afraid to play dirty to win and (after that shameless attempt to play dirty myself) I innocently explained that I would NEVER cheat. He threw me the look. Happy frissons abound when I see that hopelessly cute amusingly exasperated expression. In the end, he beat me, but as I was leaving (my section while worse for guests, the first to be cut) I conceded defeat and said I wouldn’t hold it against him. He might have sold more T-bones, but I was getting to go home 🙂 He appeared to take winning the battle but losing the war gracefully.

So, onto the admirers. Heather is a 19 year old server, blonde, cute, nice, and I don’t really know her. They flirt and play around. As for myself, Matt, another bartender who always felt the need to inform me of how attractive he found other servers broke out telling me I was looking sexy on Sunday. He even included an expletive that added his usual amount of charm. I don’t like Matt, but I don’t mind flirting with him. “Well, I try,” I responded and then followed that up with, “But then again, I don’t have to.” We both laughed for a minute.

It’s the little things in the restaurant world.

A creepy old man, when asked if I could get him anything else requested a personal massage to which I responded that unfortunately I could only get him something I could ring up on our computer. So he was out of luck.

Hot Bartender was serving and managed to charm (not really surprisingly) a table of mid-twenties—early thirties women who had really given me the icy treatment. I of course, let him know about their strikingly different attitude. He gave a cocky grin and made sure to head over to that table one more time to flirt, catching my eye first. I think he was trying to make me jealous, which I also find cute considering I wasn’t. I just rolled my eyes, not pandering (okay maybe pandering a little) to his game.


Coming back, he returned to me to comment how strange it was that they had such a different attitude with him. I told him that I had my creepy old personal massage guy, so he could take the gigglers. He agreed, we both won that night.

I know a lot of people might not be quite so amused with Hot Bartender’s compulsive flirting. However, this is one of the reasons I think we would work well together. I’ve never really been a jealous type of person and flirting has never bothered me. I think it’s natural and I wouldn’t dole out a hardcore shutdown of all he’s ever known if we dated. As long as it stayed at flirting I think I would be fine with it.

This is not to say that I’m criticizing people who prohibit partners flirting, but that for me, it isn’t a problem. To each their own I think!

And I’m pretty sure that my blasé attitude towards flirting is probably due to my father. My father is a lot like a modern day Henry VIII.

He’s on marriage number four. Had two daughters and couldn’t have a son—although he’s got one now through marriage. And is a compulsive cheater.


He has a routine, a very predictable routine, for his affairs. He’s done it since I can remember. It’s all very precise and regimented. Once he’s geared up for an affair and has a woman in mind, he’ll join a male softball league. He’ll go to all the practices (really go), but on the practice before their first game, he becomes “injured.” Unable to play for the season, he still goes to support his team (note he’s not going to wear the uniform because he won’t be playing), but no, he doesn’t need anyone to go with him because there’s no point, he’s not going to be out on the field. And the affair typically lasts the season. Every Tuesday and Thursday.


I know people say they marry their fathers, but I am saying that is NOT going to be me. I simply think that I can tolerate flirting and am experienced enough to know the trouble signs, to know if it is really harmless or not, and to not feel threatened or jealous by something that isn’t a real threat.

So Hot Bartender’s flirting is amusing and I’ve been doing a little of my own lately. I also now feel the need to point out that Hot Bartender is NOTHING like my father. He actually likes to talk, acknowledges my existence, and is witty. I enjoy being with him. Totally opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of personality.


In other news, I have been completely unable to find a dress for the wedding yet. I was in a few stores feeling like a slightly altered version of Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. I have all this money to spend and can’t find a dress to spend it on! So I’m headed to Nordstrom’s on Saturday for an appointment with a personal shopper. I’ve never tried this before, but I’m willing to give it a shot. So I’ll let you guys know how it goes next week! I’m hoping I’ll get the Bridget experience where she finds the gorgeous black cocktail dress! Of course, later on I wouldn’t mind the pizza treatment and complete wardrobe overhaul … but one step at a time, folks! 🙂





The Submissive and the Saint


So I had a thought about something else that struck me in my interactions with Hot Bartender. I was training a new server and playfully threatened Todd (another bartender who is moving in a week to Idaho). Hot Bartender assured Lisa, the trainee, that she shouldn’t be worried because I wouldn’t do anything. I laughed in disbelief and gave him a look. He made eye contact and smiled.

“Andie’s a submissive.”

And yeah, it kind of shocked me. I mean, I know that I am not particularly aggressive about some things, but … a submissive?

And yeah, it came out slightly sexually suggestive and that also made me flustered.

I tried to recover quickly and tossed him a dirty look.

Really?” I challenged, maintaining eye contact. He held the cheeky grin.

I continued. “I mean, come on, I can dish out some really great revenges.”

Todd interjected the tension and told Lisa, “Yeah, when she told me about the one time she waited five years to get revenge on a guy—that was the first time I was ever afraid of Andie.”

Hot Bartender conceded reluctantly, “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Todd you’ll probably be in Idaho ten years later and something is going to happen and you’ll be like “Andie!” He laughed. He turned to me. “Yeah, I guess you can be scary, but you’re still a submissive,” he tossed out with a wink.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. In terms of dominancy, sure, I like a guy who takes control to a point. But I don’t feel as though I’m a submissive. I avoid drama and confrontations if I can. But I am headstrong and independent. I just choose to be nice most of the time. And if that translates into being a saint—I’m afraid I’m far from that …


I don’t think I want to be classified as some sort of weak person or madonna either.

And the whole conversation, was he seeing it as a flaw?? It was just so out of nowhere, I was shocked to hear it and have yet to identity what’s going on in my own mind.

Regardless, there was definitely some sort of dynamic tension going on.

Hot Bartender enjoys a challenge and I would like to think I challenge him often. Maybe I need to step up my game . . .


Wicked Stepsisters and Wicked Revenge


It’s official, being in the floor scrubbing segment of the Cinderella story? Yeah, it sucks hardcore.  I knew the time would come when my waitress friend would find out about my intentions toward the Hot Bartender. I just didn’t realize it would happen so quickly.

So I went out with her, let’s refer to her as Lila and another bartender we’re both good friends with last week. We’ll call the friend Mickey. Lila said we were going to a club for her friend’s B-day party and that they would be there late but as it turns out, they had already left by the time we got there. Annd it was full of really creepy people. Needless to say, Lila, Mickey, and I left and found another bar. By the time we got there, it was twenty minutes till last call and the night was pretty much done. However, Lila spent the entire time at the bar talking about Hot Bartender.


Turns out she and Chip, her latest boyfriend had broken up the past week and she was already zinging back to the Hot Bartender. Mickey knows how I feel about him and gave me a couple of sympathetic looks. I tried to not really say anything at all, but the guilt! I felt like the most evil troll sitting there listening to how they were soul mates, meant to be together, etc. etc. The whole time, I, her supposed friend, am in serious lust with the object of her attentions. And she has no idea we’re going to a wedding together.

To be fair to myself, she and Hot Bartender ended their hookups back in December and haven’t gotten together since. She just hasn’t moved on. But the thing of it is, regardless of what she wants, he IS a free agent and has let her know he wasn’t interested in her for a relationship or anything else. So the guilt isn’t really for going after him, rather for hiding it and listening to her hopes without letting her know I am hiding an attraction to him myself.

He is my end goal.

An uncomfortable night is an understatement. Yesterday I had to work a double on Easter. Yuck. But I did have a pretty good night. Hot Bartender accidentally splashed himself with water and playfully tried to get me wet too which was cute beyond all belief. Then I caught sight of Lila glaring at us.

We all brought in jelly beans and he ate too many and got a sugar rush. I told him he really was six years old and he smiled like a six year old, saying that he preferred it that way. He really is so irresistibly cute—although, you must trust me, in truth, he is so totally in his prime, a little young, a little reckless, beautiful, charming, funny, sexy, and most importantly, fun loving. He is young and fun and what I want right now. I feel like I was born too serious and too responsible and now I’m looking for a good time–and I always have one with him!

We compared tips at the end of the night and looking past his ice blue eyes, I found a glaring pair of dark blue ones flashing.

She may not know about the wedding (countdown–40 days!!!), but Lila definitely knows I like him now. And she’d turned into the hardcore wicked stepsister. It’s actually scary how eerily similar this analogy is turning out to be . . .  

She was in charge of dismissing the servers and gave me the worst sidework possible—the alley. That means literally sweeping, scrubbing, and cleansing our entire alley, pipes, and sanitizing station. When I was done, she told me I could break down the entire back prep area and had to clean that too before I left. So I flipped my tables and went to breakdown the prep area, when she somehow miraculously found two straws underneath the alley ice machine. I had to crawl under the alley counter in the disgusting grime to pull them out and cut my hands. I was heading to do the prep area when she pounced on me demanding why the prep area wasn’t finished.

“Are you serious?” I asked, tired and sweaty after having worked a double from open and it was time for closing.

She gave me a haughty eyebrow raise. Of course she was serious. It needed to be done, she replied scathingly.

I was stunned. She had seen me doing all of the other work. She knew I hadn’t had time to get back there because she had kept finding other things for me to do! And magically, she wanted that done as well. I was going to do it, but I had been crossing everything ELSE off of her list of things for me to do first. She waved me away as if I was beyond consideration and said if I couldn’t get it done, she would do it right.

Needless to say, I did the prep area break down and clean.

The evil servant treatment has started and isn’t likely to stop any time soon.

It hasn’t put me off Hot Bartender though. I just hold onto the good things. And I want to end with one now.

Hot Bartender doesn’t work Fridays, but I went ahead and did my hair and makeup anyway  for once. I made a fifty dollar tip!!! and was ringing it in when someone tapped my shoulder. Turning around, it was him! My face lit up—I could feel it happening and just couldn’t stop it because he was there, an unexpected wonderful surprise.

“What are you doing here?” He was wearing casual clothing so he wasn’t here to work.

“It’s my sister’s birthday and my family’s here. So I have a big favor to ask you.”

“Of course, what is it?” Far too eager—I know—but I was off my game.

“I want to get her good for her birthday and I want you to do the birthday shout out.”

Out of everyone, he wanted me to do it.

I agreed and waited for his “secret signal.” His sister realized and ran back to the table before we could do the shout out, but I went over to wish her happy birthday personally.


“Just know we were all mentally saying Happy Birthday,” I explained with a smile, “But really, I know what he had planned, so it’s probably for the best that you ran,” I laughed. She did too.

“Oh, I know it would have been horrible,” she replied with a smile. “I’ll just have to think of some way to get him back!”

“Well, if you need any help, I’m full of great ideas,” I reassured her. “Just let me know.”

Hot Bartender shuddered and looked at me with playful fear. “Don’t, that’s scary.”

He always says he’s afraid of my perfect and devious revenges. They are devious.

It was fun meeting his family and I think they were all pretty cool people.

The takeaway from this story is THANK HEAVENS I did not look grungy. I am very thankful 🙂

And out of all the people, he picked me.

I always thought people were just insipid when they said that they could stare into another person’s eyes and get lost in them, but sometimes when we’re talking I am so caught up that I realize belatedly that I’ve been lost in eye contact, watching his features light up while he’s telling me a story. Thing is, I don’t feel embarrassed because he’s smiling and making eye contact right back.

As for the Lila situation, it looks like I’ll just have to get ready for a lot more sweeping and mopping in my future, because while I still have a shot, I’m not giving up.



Vamps and Butterflies


It’s time for that best part of the cliché romantic comedy Cinderella spinoff movie. The transformation. Okay, so it’s not as though I will be getting plastic surgery or 80 million dollars to pull out all the stops, but I DO have a few things in store 😉

So it’s the post-Ask week. Surprisingly, things have been very different than anticipated. First off, I was worried things might be weird or different between Hot Bartender and I. They weren’t, but then again, it was like nothing had changed, so of course, I was slightly worried that he may A.) be trying to get out of going B.) be dreading going or C.) have forgotten all about it.

Then, towards the end of the first shift we’d had together since The Ask, I was breaking down the ice machine with Hot Bartender and commented that our dishwasher had yelled at me. He was surprised too, our dishwasher Bill is normally super nice. So when I confirmed it with a “Yeah, what the heck?” He smiled devilishly and said, “He’s probably just mad cause he’s not your Plus One.”

I jerked my eyes up to his across the Coke selection and it took me half a second for it to sink in. And there was A LOT to process. Obviously, he had not forgotten, he wasn’t dreading going, and he was NOT looking for a way to get out of the date. In fact, I’m pretty sure there was a fair amount of amusement and pride in his voice too. It was as if he was saying, “He’s mad because he’s not going with you, I am.” Which I must admit deliciously thrills me. He’s sort of cocky of course and I had considered that asking him might elevate his ego. I think he’s feeling pretty good that out of anyone I could have asked, I asked him. And that gave me such a great rush! I smiled in response and tried a little unfamiliar cockiness myself. I shrugged. “Yeah, you’re probably right,” I agreed with a vamp-approved smile. My daring has grown up so fast!

You see, I’ve been kind of know as the person who doesn’t date. I’ve never really dated at all with the exception of Top Gun. So I’m hoping that he does pick up on the fact that out of the restaurant, he’s the person I wanted to go with me. I hope this works. It’s a delicate process lol 🙂


So . . .  onto the beautification. See, this is where the surprise really comes in. I’ve found after The Ask, I wanted to become a person that he would want to be with and in the process, I’ve realized I like this me to. This is a person I want to be all the time, even if things with Hot Bartender don’t workout. And this is a pleasant surprise for sure.

I’ve joined a Planet Fitness and have been going every day to try to get rid of twenty pounds before the wedding and have been eating nutritiously ever since. I’m already 8 pounds down and I feel amazing! It turns out I LOVE working out and eating healthy isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve been using a new facial scrub an lotion and my face is glowing. My clothes fit way better, too.


I’ve scheduled a hair appointment, manicure pedicure, facial, and bronzing at a spa for the week before the wedding. I was a little nervous about the bronzing. I always joke that I’m so white I glow in the dark … but this isn’t tanning, it’s actually like it’s painted on with a lotion and absorbs into the skin. I’m definitely visiting Victoria Secrets and I’m on the hunt to decide what the perfect dress, shoes, and accessories shall be!

Let’s just say that I’m determined that Hot Bartender won’t know what’s coming. And I’m hoping it’ll have the anticipated impact. I know this isn’t the movies and that I am not going to be able to work miracles, but I feel better already! It was long overdue … and I have always thought I looked most similar to Anne Hathaway … and let’s say I’m on the experience level of Drew Barrymore circa Never Been Kissed lol 🙂


As a side note though, a friend has invited me to a fancy party tomorrow. I am concerned however, because she wants to introduce me to this supposedly irresistible guy. Here’s the danger zone: this is the friend who’s not over Hot Bartender. And I have a feeling she suspects what’s going on and is trying to get me shoved off on another guy. I know that there’s not a lot that she CAN do, especially because I doubt this guy is half the guy Hot Bartender is, but it’s bound to be messy when she finds out we’re going to the wedding together. I’m dreading that. I guess some of my passive aggressive tendencies are still alive and strong after all. . . I still like her and she’s still sort of my friend, but honestly I have the worst feeling that she might be my wicked villain stepsister in this melodrama. If only things were that black and white sometimes. I’m worried they might be miserably gray in this situation.

So I’m at a loss as to what to do there. All I know is that things are going forward steadily and I absolutely CANNOT WAIT for the wedding which is 44 days and counting! I have a countdown in my office cubicle and a coworker commented saying that she didn’t know I was getting married. She seemed amused when I told her I wasn’t the one getting married but I was the one with the hot date for it.


One more side note that has nothing to do with my present drama … today before the gym I shall be buying a bed! It’s cherry wood and a queen sleigh bed style! I am thrilled to be finally sleeping in a bed after 8 months sleeping on my couch (life of a poor college grad lol). Of course, this COULD possibly be connected with the wedding scenario after all …

I have a feeling if he’s up for it I might consider a hookup or at the least a really nice make out session. Having never really been here before I have no idea how I feel about any of this, but at this point and time, I just want to trust my gut decision. And right now my stomach butterflies are telling me they would really like to experience a love bite with those teeth … just saying!


The Fairytale and the Friendzone


Okay, so as per my promise to myself, I decided Sunday would be the day. That was the day that I would ask Hot Bartender to go to a wedding with me. I spent all week preparing for this … and freaking myself out mostly. What can I say? I couldn’t help it!

Some more backstory on why I thought this was a good idea when my friends attempted to dissuade me. Basically, with a few exceptions, many thought he would turn me down and didn’t want me to be disappointed. Now, I know they did this out of the goodness of their hearts, but I would have liked for a  majority vote of “Go for it!”

I guess I was the main person driving me for once. The reason for thinking there was even a one percent chance he would say yes? It was surprising to think about it altogether, but really, we are good friends. We have funny inside jokes … bits we always do together … small moments that just make me smile. Like when I was doing a birthday announcement in the restaurant and I looked across the room and he was leaning against the pop machine negligently, watching me and motioned his hand higher pretending he couldn’t hear me. I laughed, breaking the announcement slightly and then he gave me the thumbs up, happy he’d succeeded in distracting me. Devilish moments, but some of my favorites …

So I knew I had to ask him. This has been in the back of my mind since New Years, but if you haven’t been able to tell, lately I’ve been doing some brash, bold things. Totally unlike me.


The morning before my shift, I did my hair and makeup while watching episode after episode of MTV’s Friendzone. It was really very motivating! I love that show. The rejections balanced out the accepted dates and it kept me balanced. I waited for the opportune moment, He was alone behind the bar, no customers and I walked up, and leaned on the counter and while my heart stopped, I got it out.

“So … I’ve got a proposition for you.” He quirked an eyebrow and asked what it was.

I told him how my old telemarketing boss was getting married and though it would be a fun time with a lot of alcohol (I really tried to hype this part up), that I wouldn’t know anyone there, and that I KNEW he really wanted to go as my Plus One with me.

He finished uncorking the wine bottle and asked when it was. After I told him, he said, “Sure, that sounds good. I should be able to do that.”

I wasn’t quite sure I had heard him. This was one of these things where you want to hear it so much, you’re really afraid that you just imposed the answer you wanted to hear and they actually said sorry I can’t.

So in the interest of not sounding crazy (and possibly then sounding crazy….) I asked him if he was sure and he responded in the affirmative yet again. This time I knew it was no illusion. So I told him I’d put us off in the book if he was sure (and unfortunately I realize this was me, double checking again because I simply could not believe it) and he smiled.

“Yeah, put me down, I’ll go.”

Those words, while they weren’t declarations of love, were a doorway to my shot. I know I’ve purposely put myself in the friendzone with him. But we need that boost to get out of it. I feel like the wedding’s my shot. My one chance to show him how good we could be together. It’s my interview and I don’t want to blow it …

I didn’t tell him that it was a two hour drive. He didn’t ask and I didn’t offer. It’ll be a surprise (I keep telling myself with a cringe). But honestly, I didn’t want to push my luck too far!

So I put us down in the book, bribing my manager with my best pen to solidify our time off. It was worth it.

Before leaving, I caught Hot Bartender and told him that I had put us down in the books and that he needed to let me know in plenty of time if he couldn’t make it so I would have a lot of time to plan some great revenge. Really painful, I assured him. He thought it was hysterical and kept laughing even as I left the restaurant. He always jokes that he’s afraid of my revenges … they always are creative and devious 🙂

Now I just have to wait until Memorial Day. I’m on the countdown and hopefully it all goes as planned because I have some really great plans…

I’m so happy it’s almost debilitating. The fantasies really need to get under control. But really, I just can’t believe it—he said yes! This isn’t a Cinderella story, but I feel like I can go looking for some really awesome shoes–hopefully I won’t have to lose one so I can see him after the wedding!


Christian Louboutin is the obvious choice for my impossible dream shoes 🙂


Top Gun in All His Glory Part #1

So I figure it’s time to tell you about my online foray into dating. It was my senior year of college long long ago (ahem, last October) and I had a long dry spell. Besides a very misguided and unnecessarily long blind date fiasco with my friend’s cousin, I had never been on a date. Had only been kissed once. And I had just turned 22. So feeling like I should give it a shot I went on the unholiest of dating sites (unbeknownst to me at the time), POF (otherwise known as Plenty of I had never seriously tried on a dating site—I’ll admit it, I was embarrassed!

But I put up a few photos and jumped feet first. Sure, there were those unavoidable creepers, a guy from another university saying hey J, a guy impressed that I sent him a message first, and a guy who worked for a haunted farm in his spare time (and it was nearing Halloween at the time …)

I, loving Halloween, was pretty excited by Haunted Farm guy. He was blonde and stocky. [I have to confess an unnatural attraction to blondes. I never realized it until I ticked off all of my crushes post Carrot Top. Blonde, blonde, dirty blonde, blonde, ash blonde. Yep, they all fit the profile! What can I say? I think they’re sexy. I wouldn’t say no to Enrique Iglesias or Eric Bana, but they will never top Chris Hemsworth for me …] The guy who’d said hi was also blonde and looked pretty all-American. Guy Impressed by Taking Charge attitude was darker haired.

I called my roommate in a couple of days of conversation later to get her opinion. What did she think? To my surprise, she was all over Hi Guy. Now, Hi Guy was blonde too and seriously fine in the picture, but I kind of had a special thing with Haunted Farm Guy. I mean, I LOVE Halloween. Annd then he started ranting about how stupid he thought modern horror movies were and got pretty pretentious and snobby for a guy driving a hay ride tractor. Did I mention I love those cheesy B-Horror movies? Well, needless to say, snobbiness turned me off. And I really started to focus on Hi Guy.

Hi Guy revealed that  he was in the National Guard, but wanted to become a pilot like off of a Top Gun. From here on out, I will refer to him as Top Gun. … Mostly because [regrettably] it is still mightily sexy imagining him piloting like in Top Gun …



We started talking, really talking. He was 24 and only a junior in college because he’d lost a couple of years to his mom’s serious illness. We eventually became facebook friends and I determined that he was real and not an 86 year old man. He was tall, blonde, cute, went on “training” stints (he described them in the cutest way!) and seemed interested in me after seeing all of my facebook embarrassments, friends, photos, etc. Let’s face it, my whole life was on facebook in college days.

He was smart sexy too. We talked about my Shakespeare class and while he hated English (English major writing here) he loved math and engineering (all subjects that influenced my love of English which did not include math or engineering). But it worked in a funny way. I still remember him ruefully admitting he didn’t know how the date he was planning with me would top a night spent in the library cubby with Shakespeare  at two in the morning.Image (This photo makes it seem a lot hotter than it was … I promise!)

He said he’d never been online dating before and I believed him. I was in online lust.

Finally, the day of the presidential election, I popped the question. I couldn’t wait any longer. Did he want to meet up? We had talked for a month. Surprisingly, he took quite a while to respond, but eventually the answer came back a resounding affirmative.

Now, all I had to do was wait for Saturday and hope he actually looked like his picture and wasn’t seven inches shorter than me, or married, or fifty years older, or a serial killer. Clearly, I had a lot to occupy my mind for those remaining days.

I lived on the third floor and I had this girlish fantasy (okay, being practically dateless for nearly four years of college, I had a few fantasies) that I would hurry down the stairs and there would my guy be, leaning against his car. I think I mostly blanked out going down the steps, but here’s the strangest thing …

I rounded the corner of the staircase and there he was, leaning against his car, even taller than I’d imagined, dressed in a cute gray jacket—casual cute—even hotter than the photos. Oh God, my heart stopped. He was breathtaking. So with that worry out the window, my mind immediately raced on to what he would think of me.

To my relief, he didn’t seem disappointed. We hugged and after three seconds where he confessed he was glad my address hadn’t led him to a dark alley to be mugged, and I that he wasn’t a married serial killer intent on murdering me to sell my organs to South America, it was like we’d known each other forever. And walking past my campus library windows, side-by-side with a gorgeous, sexy, funny, real guy there just for me, our reflection fulfilled another simple fantasy of mine.

This isn’t the end of Top Gun. Unfortunately you already know that this didn’t end nearly as prettily as it began …



Eating Baby Carrots for Love and I Didn’t Even Get Good Vision …

Well, I’ve come to a decision. I like Hot Bartender. A lot. He’s got abnormally sharp canine teeth (top AND bottom people) and I am obsessed with them. (I maybe stare at them when he talks.) Don’t get me wrong—while I’ll read a good paranormal romance, I do NOT fantasize about landing a vampire—or a werewolf. No, I definitely do not want anyone to drink my blood … but I have included the occasional love nip fantasy staring my favorite bartender. Premature to call him mine? Yes. Foolish. Again, yes. It is probably not the best idea to start getting cocky now.

But I wouldn’t say the place I’m in is cocky. Instead, I would say active, aggressive. For 23 years I have sat back and waited for Prince Charming and he has blown me off one too many times. So instead, I’m taking the reins in my own hands and shooting for what I want.

So yeah, you probably guessed that I’m going to ask Hot Bartender to come with me to the wedding. And timid, mousey me might have balked when I found out it would be a two hour trip there—asking too much! But this aggressive me is dismissing that. If he says no he says no, but people travel to go to weddings all the time. And I’ve decided I won’t be awkward about it. The next time we’re alone, I’m going to pop the question casually and gauge his reaction. And if he turns down free alcohol and a party because of having to spend time with me … or be at a wedding—well then, I have a backup plan to eliminate any future awkwardness as well.

This new me is scary and quite heady.

I have been so controlled by my fear of what may happen that I finally see it doesn’t matter as long as I don’t give it power. And I’m not going to.

You see, I did give in to it once and I feel like life has come full circle.

The day of this wedding will mark exactly ten years since I last put myself out there, completely, for a guy.
From the first grade, I knew I liked him. He was cute and had ginger hair and masses of freckles. Alas, I cannot help my seven-year-old taste. My sister called him Carrot Top and while some may find that name offensive (as surely my sixteen-year-old sister meant it) I always savored it fondly. In fact, I took it to the next level, eating baby carrots for snacks, sides, breakfast. I just wanted to be closer to my gangly, sharp featured seatmate.

For years I was a casual friend and loved him from afar and finally it was the sixth grade, the end of the year. Next year I knew we would be going to Jr. High. A part of the high school and he might be lost to me forever. I had nothing to suggest he returned my feelings, but I was young and thought my crush unsinkable.

Our elementary schools would combine, and in anticipation of the event, we would go to a camp and celebrate on Memorial Day weekend with a camping trip and dance. I was nervous and plotted and schemed out the ask and one day I caught him getting his backpack in the cubby area all alone. Thirteen and fully equipped with every awkward stereotype associated with that tween age, I stumbled through an ask. Would he come to the dance with me? I’m sure it was far less smooth. But the point was delivered and he was very nice and kind as he explained his mom would be a chaperone and wouldn’t it be weird to go to a dance with a girl when his MOM would be there? Oh yes, I agreed, desperately trying to fight the deep red flush of shame filling my face. Totally I agreed, before I ran off.

I was devastated.

Now, of course, no parents were chaperones and he went with A, a girl who had been my friend for the past six years. A and I drifted apart after that—no major drama, but it was embarrassing to talk to the girlfriend of the guy I had crushed … who also knew every mortifying detail. I hope they didn’t laugh about it and to give him credit, we still speak as friends occasionally five years after our high school graduation.

But the ten year anniversary is looming and I realize it is ironic I have landed myself in this same situation. Now, I have only had the hots for Hot Bartender for a few months and we are all adults now and I’m not TECHNICALLY asking him for a date, but still, same scenario basically.

I have thought about this and while I was thinking that things would be different this time–he might say yes–I realized last night that it’s not really about his answer at all. Instead, it’s about what I do with that answer. Even if he says no, that doesn’t mean it has to be a repeat of history. This one won’t cripple me. I refuse to give anyone that kind of power over me that I don’t even have a relationship with for heaven’s sake!

So I’m going to ask him and he may well say no. But if that happens, this time I’ll hold onto my dignity and shake it off as the “not a big deal” it really is.

That being said, I really hope he says yes, because I think it’s time to shake my life up. And a certain bartender has a mean shake …