There is no excuse like calling off a wedding to put on party dress and hit the town with some girlfriends. Last Saturday night will forever be known as the “Emancipation of Kathleen” and the start of “Pink Eye Watch ’09.” Being someone who will hit the town in party dress with no excuse, I was dressed and ready to go hours before the first bottle of wine was opened.
First stop of the night, Fat Baby. The name alone told me I was going to like this place! Excited by the thought of having a BMI lower than 2/3 of the people in the bar (not an easy thing to do in Manhattan), I bulldozed my way in. Darn. Turns out the crowd was no different the folks you would find at The Skinny.
Not long after entering the bar some friendly Albanians approached. One of the fellows told me I was pretty so I gave him my phone number to encourage more such compliments. We chatted with them for a bit until Patty suggested the older friend in the group was the more attractive fellow’s dad. Manthrax strikes again!
The next stop on the emancipation celebration tour was another new place. We walked into the bar that was on the street level. At first glance it was your standard pub but not for long. First find of the night – dozens of glow sticks (think 4th of July not rave) and inflatable guitars and microphones that were stashed under a booth. It was like a bar mitzvah in a bag!
Second find of the night – the bar had an upstairs! It was like the Uncle Mings for the not-so recent college grads. One round later Patty was jumping on the furniture and Kathleen had licked a stranger’s face. Third find of the night - was a smart, funny and good-looking guy that I ended up chatting with. As usual it didn’t take long for me to loose all social skills and channeled my inner Rain-Man.
“Omigosh you live in Baltimore”
“Yeah, it’s a great city.”
“I use to live in Baltimore. My address was 5201 N. Charles Street 21210 and the area code 310 right?”
“Actually the are code is 410”
“Oh yeah. That’s right, I forgot they changed it. It use to be 310 but they changed to 410 when I was in 3rd grade which would make it 1991.
“Gotcha. I grew up in Arlington, VA but moved there after college.”
“Arlington! No way, my parents live in Falls Church. Do you have a 703 number? “
“Where did you go to school?”
“No way. I used to live in Boston 02113..hold up did you say Harvard?”
A Harvard grad? Huh…I bet he’s not too impressed zip code memorization. We had another round before heading out. All was going well when Mr. Harvard turns to me and says, “I’m sorry. I need to tell you something.”
Uh-oh. No good news starts with that. What could be so big that it warrants a confession after knowing each other only for a few hours? Was he married?
“Ok, what?” I asked with hesitation.
“I have pink eye.”
“It’s ok, I’ve been on eye drops. But I just feel really bad if you caught it”
“Oh god, you’re serious. Thanks for the heads up but it’s a little late buddy. Shouldn't you be quarantined or something?”
We meet back up with Patty. She asks, “Hey, who’s this guy?”
Mr. Harvard-Pink-Eye reaches out to shake her hand and I interrupt, “No Patty, Stop! He has pink eye!”
“Ack! Stay away from me, I don’t have health insurance!” Patty says while retreating to the other side of the room.
Mr. Harvard-Pink-Eye speaks up, “Don’t worry. I don’t think I’m that contagious.”
Thanks to Patty’s former life as a teacher, she doesn’t buy it for a second, “It’s too late. The pink-eye is everywhere! We all have pinkeye!”
He proceeded to argue that because he went to Harvard his case of pink eye would not be contagious. My rebuttal was sighting an article I read in Glamour about how long pink eye and strep throat are contagious (not to mention where you can get them [shutter]). This feisty debate continued for quite some time and eventually leads us to Googling ‘pink eye’ at 4:30am and reading all the information Wikkipedia offers.
Remembering I had one of his business cards, I felt much better falling asleep that night knowing I could send him the bill for my soon to be needed antibiotics.
The next morning it was hard to tell if had the beginning pink or if I just had that really hot look you get from going to bed after a half dozen beers, some wine and with all of last night’s eye make-up still on. After some coffee and a thorough face wash things were looking good.
*Pink Eye Watch ’09 Update – it’s been 5 days since our encounter and I’m happy to report I have no signs of pink eye. Perhaps the Harvard degree is good for something.