I was having dinner with former co-workers at my usual bar Monday. There’s a new bartender, a cute young fella with a charming smile. Too young for me, but I was thinking he’s kind of sexy.
My friends were interested in dessert, so I asked for a dessert menu, but true to form I manage to make all things awkward when my inner dialog about the bartender overlapped with my outer attempt to language.
Me: Can we please have a dessert menu?
Him: We don’t have a dessert menu, but I can check with the cook and see if we’ve got anything in the back.
Me: (thinking he’s cute and sexy) Cool, anything sexy….uhm, uh… (brain stalled out mid-request when I realized I said sexy, and not “delicious” as I’d intended. Words poured out in an awkward fumble)… to, put in my belly…. (I finished lamely)… maybe chocolate….
Anything sexy to put in my belly? Really, Athena? Really?
Panic heat flared up my neck and I struggled to block the inner thoughts from mixing with the outer dialog. I was certain he’d seen on my face what I’d been thinking about doing to him.
Crap! How do I pull those words back? He looks terrified! Poor thing!
My friends started laughing and we all chuckled, and I tried really hard after that not to make eye contact with the bartender. Later I tried to tease myself about it and ease any lingering weirdness with my peeps and the server. But I drove home feeling like a social inept, again.
Poker face, Athena. Poker face and poker words in public.
It was a struggle even before hermitage in the woods to keep my inner and outer thoughts from overlapping. It’s definitely more of a struggle as I spend more time writing and isolated than it was when I was in regular daily habit of censorship.
It seems I’m going to need to make more of an effort to engage in regular, constant dialog with strangers and keep some skills from rusting…and gumming me up at the most inopportune times.
Maybe I’ll pick a different bartender and practice.