Homecoming Queens, Cheerleaders, Stewardesses...
These are the three types of girls that I'd like to say I've dated at least once in my life. When you grow up wearing coke bottles on your acne-covered face, you tend to make these little "someday i'll..." lists, so I'm not going to make any apologies. This just happens to be one of the more superficial of my lists. Besides, when you're a teenager, you're not really known for much depth.
Eventually thought I did start blooming, and have been lucky to have had a fairly active dating life. So much so that I've even been able to scratch off two of the above. Namely the Homecoming Queens and Cheerleaders...
The one I had to wait for was the Stewardess. And it's the one I still have to wait for...
Last June, on a cool Sunday night, I agreed to meet three of my co-workers on the outside patio of Suzie Wang's for a drink (of coke). For a place that gets labeled a "meat market" by many, it was surprisingly mellow. So mellow that there was easily a 2-to-1 ratio of wait staff to customers, but that didn't matter, we were just there to catch up with each other. As I walked upstairs, I noticed two girls leisurely sipping on their drinks near the inside bar. I made a mental note and headed on outside. After a few minutes of talking, one of my co-workers mentioned the two girls they noticed while walking in. I couldn't help but nod in agreement. And then, as the last of our group finally shows up, he immediately walks up and asks if we had noticed the two girls at the bar.
Of course, we all laughed, but continued on with our drinks for the next hour or two. I had commented to one of the guys that it was too bad it was his last night in town and he didn't get a chance to see the Beijing nightlife. I told him that we'd take him out the next time he came through to make up for it. From there, we decided to call it a night and head home.
That is, until we passed the table where our previous "sightings" still remained glued to their drinks. Of course, they hardly noticed us walking by, at last until I got struck with a uncharacteristic burst of courage. Once again, I was drinking coke all evening so there may be some caffeine-induced delirium involved here. So taking the opportunity given to us, I grabbed the only other single man in group...our soon-to-be-departing friend...and pulled him to their table, where I launched into a speech about how my poor friend never had the chance to meet any of the beautiful women in Beijing and how this might be his last opportunity.
Now whether they even understood my little English speech is still a mystery. All I know is that they started giggling, which to most males is an undeniable sign of permission to sit down and annoy you the rest of the night. We quickly discovered that their English was rather limited (as was my Chinese at the time), so my friend ended up playing the on and off translator for the rest of the evening. I was finally able to have a small English conversation with the girl I was sitting near, and it was enough to discover that they were both off-duty stewardesses for one of China's domestic airlines.
Of course, my friend and I were secretly ecstatic about the news as evidenced by the immature "they're stewardesses!!!" text messages we sent each other later that night. Still, we played it cool and were somehow able to parlay this into two hours of mojitos, martinis, and cokes. Eventually though, the night had to end, as the two ladies had an early flight to catch. Quickly stepping up to the plate, my friend quietly asked for and received "his" girl's phone number to which I also followed suit with mine. Stewardess fantasies bouncing through my head, I was completely oblivious towards the impossibly frustrating attempt at a follow-up that was soon to come.
Knowing they'd be busy that week with work, I waited 5 or 6 days before I decided to drop her a quick message. Surprisingly she responded, and after some awkward texting and actual phone calls, we agreed to meet the following Sunday for lunch.
When Sunday rolled around, I wanted to confirm we were still on for lunch. Unfortunately, all my text messages and phone calls went unanswered. I had been stood up. For the first time in my life. After waiting for about 45 minutes, my primal sex drive got replaced by the more necessary hunger drive and I gave up. I actually tried a few days after that to get back in touch, but even then, nothing. All my fantasies suddenly went poof!
A few weeks later I received a message from her. Apparently...she had lost her mobile phone on one of her flights and was unable to get a hold of me. It was only then that she was able to recover her phone and get back to me. I was willing to accept this, and being a sucker for pretty girls, was more than happy to give her a second chance. So over the next few weeks we got stuck in a game of phone tag consisting of us making and breaking plans due to our mutually changing schedules. With her schedule being even more chaotic I got burned out on trying and we agreed that she'd just message me when she was free.
And so the age of silence began. It wasn't until the new year (2007, not the Pig) that I finally heard back from her. And even then, it was because I happened to send everyone in my phonebook a New Year's greeting. I'm not sure if that prompted her to remember me, but she replied back. Surprised, and relaxed again after my vacation, I thought I'd take another go at it.
So again, we finally agree to a time and date. This time, it was a Wednesday, and I'd made a reservation at a Yunnan restaurant here in Beijing. Because work was busy, I let most of the day slip by without messaging her to confirm. I had learned my lesson from last time, so I had made sure we had a definite place and time. Unfortunately, it didn't help when I tried to call, as once again she was a no-show.
I'm not accepting a lost phone as an excuse this time. This is just pure idiocy. Can someone really be this inconsiderate in not responding? Had she possibly lost her good sense by sticking head outside the window during mid-flight? Apparently shecould...
And apparently I could easily give this one up. Sure, it's a boyish dream, but I'm old enough to know that I don't have time for this. I never waited around for her before and I'm not going to do it again. But as a guy, we can't help but act stupid every chance that we get. And I would get yet another chance. And it would only be three months later.
This time, there were no actual phone calls, just a long barrage of text messages. So for the sake of historical accuracy, I will share them here. Items in red are her, blue are me, and black is Jiminy Cricket.
[7:07 am] I am <name withdrawn>! remember me? (if you introduce yourself to a guy this early in the morning, you better be doing it by rolling over and tapping him on the shoulder. sorry, had to go lowbrow on that one.)
[7:12 am] Yes, I do. How are you? (by the way, i'm extremely nearsighted. i had to hold my mobile 3mm away from eyeball to even write that. i now have a permanent retina burn that looks remarkably like audrey hepburn.)
[4:41 pm] Fine,i am very sorry (cool, it only took her 9 1/2 hours to respond to my last message. this is going great!)
[4:42 pm] What happened?
[4:44 pm] I not have dinner with you (i'm not going to be childish and make fun of her english, ok?)
[4:45 pm] I know. :-) are we going to meet sometime? Or should i give up? (bam, right to the point! owned!)
[4:47 pm] are you angry? (let me think, this is the first i've heard of you since january? you tell me)
[4:48 pm] A little. I was actually more worried that something bad happened... (i'm now a cute and fuzzy bunny)
[5:13 pm] So, will we meet sometime for dinner? (ok, so she couldn't translate my bunny-talk. i had to reload)
[5:27 pm] Sorry,and then i have a meeting!do you can have luch?
[5:35 pm] Not sure about lunch. When are you free?
[5:37 pm] TOMORROW (did it suddenly get a little loud in here?)
[6:53 pm] Sorry, had to check schedule. I'm free. What time? (i know, you're thinking it now takes me forever to respond. really though, i had to check my calendar)
[6:58 pm] what about you?
[6:59 pm] I have time for lunch or dinner. It's your choice. (i hear women like men who make a decision. i'm glad i was such a putz here)
[7:01 pm] 12:30Pm?where?
[7:06 pm] Do you eat pizza? Or would you rather eat chinese food?
[7:07 pm] Pizza!i like! (you know you want me to make the "i like pie too" joke here)
[7:09 pm] Ok, meet me at the 3x3 store on sanlitun tomorrow. Ok? (ok, post-de-putzing, i make a decision...)
[7:15 pm] Sorry,i will fly tomorrow!i am very sorry! (only to get shot down 6 minutes after making it)
[7:16 pm] You are killing me. (but then again, aren't all women just trained assassins of the heart, aren't they? oops, temporary college-esque misogyny came burping up there)
[7:18 pm] I am so sorry! (...for being a nutcase)
[7:19 pm] Then meet me tonight. My plans fell thru, so i'm now free. (attempting to bluff her out)
[7:35 pm] Yes? No? ;-) (until i re-putz and cry like a baby)
And so it ends. I have not received any further responses for her. And since I have not heard of any plane crashes in the China area, I can only assume that she is still alive.
Now whether or not this is the last chapter of this saga is still yet to be determined. I'm at the age where I know what's worth wasting my time over and what's not. However, there is still the "thrill of the chase" that all guys suffer with that secretly hopes this saga continues. If this pursuit does ever yield any results, I'll now be free to move on to #4 on the list...
Chinese bar girls who wear Heineken dresses.