Me: Did I ever tell you about the really bad, embarrassing date I had at that place once?
D: No... I don't think so...
Me: I was with this guy, and he was really boring, but I was in my naive, accommodating mode and kept assuming I wasn't working hard enough to make the conversation work. I finally decided to step inside the ladies' room to splash my face and try to make my eyes look perkier. When I came out...
...the stupid guy said: Blah, blah, blah.
Young Me: What?
Stupid Guy: Blah blah blah.
Young Me, leaning into him in a warm, coy way: I'm sorry... what did you say?
Me, to D: This went on a couple more times.
D: Was the place crowded and loud or something?
Me: No, it was right after work, and the place was empty. The guy was just one of those stupid, mumbling assholes! Finally, I laughed and leaned even closer into him...
Young Me to Stupid, Mumbling Guy: I'm really very sorry, but I'm having a hard time understanding you...
Stupid Guy yells: You have a bunch of fucking toilet paper stuck to your boot!
Young Me, turning beet red: oh.
D: No, you never told me that story.
Me: Well, he was an asshole.
It's interesting... that used to be one of those memories that made me turn red and want to shrink into a corner whenever I thought of it, even 15 years later. I used to swear at myself for being so unaware, naive. Tonight, though, I just thought about what a stupid jerk that guy was -- not because he told me about the toilet paper but because he was #43 in a long line of mumbling, uncommunicative, unkind assholes I dated 15 - 30 years ago.
Thank goddess I'm a middle-aged, happily-married woman who gets to relax next to a sweet, communicative man and chat while watching The Daily Show. You know? Life is good.