Sunday, February 21, 2010

Worst Date #3. Part Deux

3215 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 327-8861


Brew & View At The Vic
3145 North Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657-4434
(773) 929-6713

Dear Reader, I am a poseur. Not to the scale of one of those Lincoln Park bitches who take four hours ordering at Starbucks, but at the level where I must blush at my hypocrisy. I am not always as efficient as a machine. Sometimes things, like feelings get in the way. Sometimes when I get lonely and stupid, yes, very stupid, ridiculous actions on my part are made.

So 2010 rang in with a bang. I literally had six dates (7 if you count one where there was a ridiculous exchange of hatemail between me and another) in the first week of the New Year. Keeping my proverbial powder dry, I didn’t let anything physical happen in any rendezvous, plus I wasn’t really into any of the suitors. But I wasn’t concerned. Shit, if I could get six dates in one week, think of the next 51! Then something happened – a drought. My phone was silent. Every fifteen minutes I would tap my phone to see if I somehow turned deaf and had a miss call. Helen Keller’s AT&T bill was probably larger than mine. My love life was a bear market, and the Chicago gays were shorting my stock.

I was getting desperate. Every time I went to Argo, my ego was insulted. There were couples all over the place. People were on dates, they were in relationships, they had kids. Even the neighborhood dogs were dating. What did I have - a bunch of Harry Potter books and my two cats. I was going to bite the bullet. I was going to call my “Option”.

In financial terms, “options” are used to hedge against dramatic changes in the market; for example if you own stock in GE, you could purchase an option to lock in the price of GE in case the stock goes down. Well, options are also found in your rolodex. Dear Reader, there is probably one person that you dated, whom if you called, he/she would give you fallatio over the phone at the mere tenor of your voice.

But let’s face it. My “Option” is not my “Boyfriend” because he is inherently defective. Now I want to be clear, this is not a fuck-buddy. You don’t go out with your fuck-buddy. You fuck your fuck-buddy. With the Option - you go out - on a date - with dinner – because you are lonely. And maybe, just maybe, that defect can be overlooked. Maybe the defect is no longer there, maybe he changed, maybe I changed. Perhaps the Option can be exercised.

Option and I were walking from my apartment to Leona’s. For those who do not have to suffer through the winter of discontent that is Chicago, just realize this, it is cold here. I am talking apocalyptic cold here. And my date was complaining like a little bitch about the obvious. It was cold. Dear Reader, I have very little patience for taxis in Chicago. I often find the drivers to be inept, and they tend to forget English at the most inconvenient times. But Option was complaining so much, “I asked him, do you want to get a taxi?”

“No it is ok, how far away is Leona’s?”

“A little bit past the El.”

“Are you sure it is open, it is kind of late.”

“It is 9:00 on a Saturday.”

“It is a shame if it is closed, I mean it is so cold.”

I almost gay bashed him right there.

After almost ten minutes of listening to Option’s incessant whining we get to Leona’s. We are immediately seated in a booth and I noticed a placard advertising Miller Lite Bottles for $2. I instantly order two for myself. Option orders a Diet Coke.

“Diet really? I thought you drank gin and tonic.”

“Oh my god, you remembered, it has been like a year. Yea but I don’t really want to drink tonight.”


“Last time we went out drinking you broke my heart.”

It was true. Dear Reader, if you follow my blogs, you may remember “My 10 Dates of 2009.” Option is actually #3. Oh yes, I was desperate and lonely.

In the middle of repeating “I broke your …” two massive land animals come to our tables and clap Option on the back. They exchange gay pleasantries, which for some reason involve kissing. I don’t mean the French variant where there is an innocent peck on the cheek. No, this is lip locking, and to make things even more ridiculous, there are arms a’flailing. I don’t mean locked in ecstasy but rather, arms flailing in the air as they greet. I am so disgusted I begin to contemplate the logistics of heterosexual intercourse. Option moves over to the other side of the booth for the two water buffalo. I was staring in disbelief. Not so much that Option was so uncouth about the situation, rather I was concentrating on how the booth did not collapse. The Titanic had more structural integrity than that booth, but with some feat of magic, it was holding those three.

Option and the juggernauts were talking about their Lutheran church and the waitress drops off the drinks. I immediately start for the beer. The waitress asks if we are ready to order, but the Lutherans are carrying away about church politics, so I tell her to come back. As I nurse the Miller Lite, Juggernaut One gives me a disapproving look.

“Aren’t we starting early.”

“It is $2 a bottle, I was afraid the offer would expire.”

He looks at Option, “Boys, nowadays.”

I am pissed now. You can call me an asshole, a cretin, a pissant, but do not refer to me as a ‘boy.’ “Hey asshole, wasn’t Luther a drunk.”

Juggernaut 2 intercedes, “That is a misconception, he argued that people should talk about religion while drinking, so it makes for a freer conversation.”

“Ok, well fat-ass we are on a date, I don’t know you. In fact you two elephants didn’t even introduce yourselves to me as you intruded. [I take a long drink]. I think God, would disapprove of you interrupting a night of amore.”

Juggernaut 2 turns to Option and does the gayest lisp I have ever heard, “Wheeee will seeee you tomooorrrow at CHurCH Byyyye.”

I start on my second bottle. Now I don’t really drink that much, but for some reason I was going through a total shame spiral. It has been five weeks and my hand was hot, now I am reduced to Option. I need to drink.

The waitress comes back and I insist on the pizza with pesto. Option stated he hated pesto but he would “settle” with the 1950 Traditional, which was essentially a sausage pizza with some vegetables. I told him I really liked pesto. He told me he really liked “meat pizzas” and the 1950 was his way of compromise. Fine he wins, I don’t care.

The waitress looks at my two empty bottles, “Can I get you anything else to drink.”

“Yes, anything but Miller Lite. It is disgusting.”

“What about the Stone Mill Organic. It is umm… organic.”

“Thank you for caring about what I put in my body, organic beer it is dear lady.”

Leona’s is actually a relatively large pizzaria in the neighborhood. It is essentially two store fronts. Their motif is essentially, neighborhood pizza place, a’la Pizza Hut. But the one thing I have noticed about Leona’s is that the pizza has degraded in quality over the past 5 years. When I first arrived in Chicago, Leona’s was the only pizza I really craved. Then it became really good, which transitioned to pretty good, transforming to ok, and then becoming “what the fuck is this shingle I am placing in my mouth.” But it was my fault, I chose Leona’s because Option does not like Asian food, or Mexican, or Middle Eastern, or Italian. Option was essentially the culinary Bubble Boy.

Here is the thing, I thought Option might have been the real deal. I “broke his heart” because a year ago he told me that he would never eat Asian food because he did not like it (even though he never tried it). Ever the optimist, I thought surely – after a year, he must have had fried rice at a food court. Nope. Option’s time value fully decayed, and I wanted out of this date.

We were talking about mundane stuff until he brought up the subject I really did not want to talk about.

“I can’t believe you ditched me over food.”

“Jesus, Joseph and Mary, looking at the company you keep, I figure food would be really important to you.”

“Fuck you, Eric that was really rude of you. You could have been nicer to [Juggernaut 1 & 2].”

“They sat down without introducing themselves, an act which you could have done too. And – and they were judging me because I am drinking. I don’t even drink much.”

Without missing a beat, the waitress drops off the Stone Mill Organic. Instinctively I reach out for it and take a sip. My God, I could make better moonshine by having my cats take a piss in a bottle and setting it out for two weeks under the sun. I gagged and reached for water.

“Would you stop being so dramatic, it can’t be that bad.”

“Well Option since you are the epicurean here. Please try and elucidate me.”

He takes a sip, and he purses his lips. “Yea it is pretty bad.”

The pizza arrives and I tell the waitress the beer is undrinkable. She takes it away as if it was a common occurrence. The pizza was just as bad. Now, we ordered a traditional crust, rather than Chicago style (which is essentially a cornmeal casserole covered in cheese) and it was insipid. The cook actually forgot to use SALT! Seriously, there was no NACL on the pizza. Sure, sausage is inherently salty, but sans the pork, the pizza was absolutely tasteless.

Option looks at me “Please don’t send this back.”

“You know me so well. We can’t eat this.”

“I think it is ok.”

“You are paying.”
“Ok. What are we going to do after this.”

I stare at him. Oh my God, we are doing something afterwards? I was just hoping that we would go our separate ways after dinner. This was not planned.

“What do you want to do,” I asked meekly.

“We could go to your place.”

I almost had a stroke. “What if we catch a movie at the Brew & View?”

“What is that?”

“It is a movie theater, where we can drink.”

I SWEAR TO GOD THIS IS WHAT HE SAYS: “Sure anything you want as long as we are together.”

I vomit some tasteless pizza. A side note: the waitress still charged Option for the Stone Mill.

We enter the lobby of Brew & View. The place looks like a movie theater back in the 70s. Note, there is only one theater, but it has balconies and alcoves; thus making the place pretty awesome. I find out that “Wayne’s World” is playing.

Option gives me a look of disdain “Uggg… I don’t want to watch a stupid movie.”

The guy at the ticket counter looks like he is about to punch Option. I was wondering if I could date the guy at the counter. “Wayne’s World is a classic. Stop being a d’bag.”

“Why don’t we just go back to your place.”

The guy at the ticket counter looks at me as if he was witnessing a pack of lions about to tear up a gazelle. He sighs, “Look, what if I sell you guys one ticket and both of you get in.” I immediately fall in love.

The theater is not arranged like a normal theater. There are a bunch of banquettes and tables strewn about. Option goes to the bar to pick up drinks. I look at my phone to see if a potential paramour called. No Miss Calls. Shit. Option offered me some beer in a plastic cup.

“Thanks. But what is this?”

“I don’t know, I just ordered two beers.”

I don’t particularly like Wayne’s World, but I feigned laughter and enjoyment - anything to divert attention from Option. But then he did the reach around, and I immediately excused myself. The bathrooms were in some basement, and it required an exorcist. There was green slime hanging off the handles of the urinals. WHY – is there slime on the HANDLE? The mirrors were cracked as if it was the result of some demon leaping into our world. And the pipes, they made this weird bellowing noise as if I was in Hell’s waiting room. I quickly scurried upstairs.

The movie ended and I told Option that I had to get back home because I had to watch Iron Chef. He gave me a puzzled look, and I literally sprinted out. All I could hear was the guy behind the counter laughing.


  1. You have no soul. He was obviously in to you! You could have been nicer.

  2. Oh gosh...I've had those "option" dates before. Bless your heart for even going through that in the name of getting out of the house. It kind of annoys me when people don't want to try new kinds of food though. And funny...I've never been to Leona's before either. I've heard of it before though.

    And way for those two juggernauts to judge you like that. What's up with those two just inviting themselves to sit down like that? I would have been completely annoyed like you were with this date.