"So, I..uh...heard you recycle boys.", he said to me as our conversation came to a standstill. Already two minutes into drinks at a kareoke bar in Nob Hill, and I was already regretting being set up by two mutual friends of ours. I just stood there, thanking the diety I believe in that the bar was not only dark, but loud as hell so he couldn't hear me mumbling, "Oh. My. God."
To be fair, I was wearing a t-shirt from Pier 39 that had, "I *insert recycling symbol here* BOYS" plastered across my chest. It was 15 dollars and supposed to be a joke. Plus, I hadn't been home since Friday morning and ran out of clean clothes to wear. However, in no way should this have precipitated anything more than a reason to make a quick glance at my chest.
The night started out routine, in where I arrive, pay for my own first drink and hope that the alcohol I consumed pre-bar kicks in and spending 6.50 for a crappy vodka & tonic would be justified. Standing with a group of friends and awaiting my turn to sing, this tall gentlemen kept looking in my direction. Fine, it's nice to be stared at sometimes. Then AC comes up and mentions how he is the roommate of a friend of hers, and would I like to be fixed up. "You know what, he's tall, I'll give it a shot" (fact: I love tall men, preferably 6'3'' to 6'6'').
Note to self: when your friends offer something nice like that, make sure they aren't drunk, because mine were. I was led to the bar in a non-discreet fashion, and suddenly Tall Guy appears and offers a drink. Do you turn down free drinks? No, it's just rude. Just as he was about to strike up a conversation (I think we got to introducing ourselves), my song came on. It is widely known that "my song" to sing in kareoke bars is "All I Want for Christmas is You", by Mariah Carey. I can't hit the high notes, and I have the lung capacity of an 80 year old man who has been smoking 2 packs of unfiltered Lucky Strikes a day his whole life, but it's still my favorite song until Christmas actually rolls around.
The moment I got off the stage, admist obligatory praise from my friends (don't worry, I love it), he acts as if I could have been Mariah Carey herself. Really? Gee...thanks. I'm just going to walk...over here now. Oh, shots at the bar courtesy of your roommate? Anything to keep me in this conversation, sure why not.
We slam down our shots, and that is when the turtle walked into the bar and everyone waited for it to crawl to the other side of the room. How do you respond to that? How!? "Um, yeah, I'm a total slut. See? I bought the t-shirt to prove it". It might have been in bad taste to buy in the first place, but putting a cherry on top of the awkward sundae is just a no-no. Thankfully, my friends decided a few minutes later that they wanted to leave, and I sprinted out the door. He called me the next day, and set up a sushi date. At the suggestion of my therapist, I broke it off and told him it just wasn't a good time for me. (Fact: Yes, I have a therapist. You don't honestly believe I get through these awkward moments without some mental health checkups, do you?)
Look- there are very few times when a funny tshirt is acceptable to point out. For example, I wore a shirt based on this comic, and I walked around Fry's Electronics just waiting for someone to hit on me. It didn't matter if there was any interest--I just wanted to attract nerds so I could have something to talk about. If your shirt has a punchline designed for a specific interest group, inevitably, you're going to find someone who comes up to you and strikes up a conversation. Like with my shirt: from there we'd able to branch out into different distros, html codes, then to arguing who hates Vista more...and eventually, we will have had a great chat, and in the end at least we made a new friend.
If you are wearing something like this, then rest assured you are getting a fake number. What legend? World's Smallest Penis? Do you have tiny hands, is that why it looks so big to you? WHY ARE YOU WEARING THAT!?
It goes without saying that the shirts you find in Pac Sun, Hollister, Hot Topic, et al, are truly unacceptable for anyplace other than the frat house. We are all grown-up now, kiddies, and it's about time we stop wearing shirts that say "Tastes like Chicken" on it. We all know what it tastes like, thanks for sharing.
Thankfully, there are places out there on t3h internetz that are designed to help the fashion-challenged graduate into adults. One site in particular is run by a very good friend of mine, Karl. Not only does he have a site completely devoted to awesome shirts, but he also loves all things Star Wars and has traveled all over the world. Oh, and he's British. And single. Go buy one of his shirts, and then go forth into the dating world.
I've never been able to end these things at all clever, so uh...
wow this is awkward.