No Taming This Shrew


Seeing a cute student in a bar

I spent last night in the company of a group I like to call " my DC boys." These are the fellows who make movies, and who enjoy putting my spastic self into said movies. Their longer film "premiered" last night in a friend's apartment (over 30 minutes!) to great acclaim. Hilarious dialogue, excellent special effects, and some truly over the top pop culture references. I'm looking forward to the director's commentary on the extendo-DVD. All of us who were in the movie spent the rest of the evening congratulating ourselves on how truly fabulous and attractive we all were in the film.

(This reminds me of my friend B's paean to Chimay, our favorite beer: "Chimay. It makes you look good and it makes your friends look better." I bet if we'd said it in French, German, or Flemish, the Trappists or the Belgies would have been on that like white on rice. But anyway...)

After drinking the party dry, my friends sashayed into Adams Morgan to one of my favorite bars -- indeed, my second home when I lived in the neighborhood. I guess since we try to be anonymous here, I'll call it "Flintstone Pool Hall." This bar is a happy refuge of pool (which I do not practice enough), darts (I'm bad), and Connect Four (I DOMINATE THIS GAME! PLAY ME NOW FOR MONEY!). It's also got Boddington's on tap (slurpy slurpy goodness) and the place is always at least 2 to 1, usually 3 to 1 dudes to chicks.

This ratio is not only a happy circumstance for me, being a straight gal who enjoys boys who can play darts and lose gracefully at Connect Four, but for everyone present in the bar. You see, this is not the bar for the hoochie midriffs and the low rise hiphuggers. Nor is it a place for the shiny suits and the slicked back hair and cigars. It's just not that scene. I've come in in something short (usually shorts, quite honestly, around August), and the place sort of looks judgmentally at me and then just rolls its collective eyes and moves on. So it's a great social scene, great beers, good pool tables, and no shrieky ladies. Lovely.

But back to my story. I'm sidled up against the bar, cool creamy Boddingtons in hand, with a bunch of my pals -- recently 30-turned housemate A., her boyfriend J, teacher/actor B, editor/wit J, his wife E, the ever-tolerant Momentary, and a few others. We're chatting, probably getting ever-louder, when I spot this good looking kid at the bar past J's shoulder. I'm getting a little nearsighted, so I can't really tell why he looks familiar.

Then it hits me. This kid was in my class in the fall. It's the super cheeky but very bright young man who came to class not very regularly but who thought more about the class than anyone else. DAMMIT! Why is he in MY BAR, not in Turtle Town or really not any other of the more chic or more chick-laden scenes in Adams Morgan?!

He's obviously seen me and is likewise at a loss. So I continue chatting with my friends and sneak a peek here and there at my kid. J. takes it into his head that it will be HILARIOUS to talk to the kid about me, and so he does. They talk for a while and almost with one voice the guys in the crowd start singing pieces of "Young teacher, the subject..." and so on. (These guys are really too old for this.) My Boddington's is no longer as creamy as I'd thought. Finally the kid cracks, pushes through my friends to me, raises his glass, and toasts in a strange voice, "To Shakespeare and to Peace in the Middle East." (He was Persian, this kid, and we went head to head about a few things. Can't talk about Shakespeare without getting into geopolitics in my class. Don't know why.) Then he melted into the crowd. I hope I was setting some sort of example, perhaps in my excellent choice of beers, friends, bars? Damn.