Heavy Petting, The Rat Race, and a Sinus Infection…

What happens to yuppie puppies when they grow up? They get together at Saddle Ridge and wear suits and ties and mingle. At least, that’s what they did last Wednesday night. And I was right there in the thick of them, with my very own tie. Oh my god… I’ve become a yuppie.

The XY suggested that, for our Wednesday Night Break-Up, we swing by this Young Professionials shin-dig. It was my second time at Saddle Ridge. The first time, my biggest complaint was that it was full of yuppies who were pretending to be country, while the DJ played this “new-wave” country that sounds more like Crossfade and less like Willie Nelson. This time, it was pretty much the same group of people, only they weren’t wearing brand new jeans, cowboy hats, and boots that they bought at the mall. The music was also different. They actually played Crossfade.

All ranting about the patrons of Saddle Ridge aside, it wasn’t as bad as I make it sound. There were plenty of cute women there, and they were surrounded by men in suits. (Ladies, if you want a meet market, this is the group you want to hang out with.) I wasn’t there to meet new people, though. I had VB, XX, and XY to keep me company. Though as the night drew on, the crowd got tighter and my personal space alarm started buzzing. Thank God we all decided to meander over to Jillian’s.

Jillian’s is more open and more spread out, so I was immediately relieved of the PS Alarm buzzing. The food is also pretty good, which I’ve mentioned before, so I’m going to say that Jillian’s has grown on me. I made a mental note to try and talk to the Rat Race Winners into hitting this place next time.

Trivia was close. We started strong and faded fast. Fourth place yet again. One of the questions was how many minutes are in a year. I got to show off my mad math skills, spitting out the answers faster than the XY could punch them into the calculator. It was the moment I’d been waiting for all evening, because I had to rib VB at least once. As I circled my answer, I said “And I don’t even have a college degree!” It was a good laugh for all, and self-depreiciation is always worth it for an honest laugh.

The end of the night came too soon, primarily because the XY and myself were just dead tired. So we all headed home, to privately reflect on the conversations of the night. One of the conversations had me thinking quite a bit, and has decided to surface here.

After much technical difficulty, VB sent an email reply to my No More Mister Guy entry. Basically, she run some numbers and came up with 12.5f the entrie population falls into the Single Nice Guy category. Personally, I think it’s smaller than that. Anyway, she went on to break the Nice Guys into four categories: Wimpy, Clingy, Geeky, and True.

Thw Wimpy Nice Guy is a guy who is very nice, yet a complete wuss. The kind of guy who will never be able to open a jar for his woman. According to VB, this guy is undesirable. I’m pretty sure I don’t fall into this category.

The Clingy Nice Guy is one who calls all the time. He lives and breathes his girl, and smothers her with attention. Again, undesirable according to VB. While I believe in making a phone call when I feel like it, as opposed to waiting in order to cultivate desirability, I don’t think I quite fir this category either.

The Geeky Nice Guy is the one who can relate to computers more than he can to people. He has zero social skills and would much rather stay in than go out. I think I fall into this category more than the next one, but also less than the stereotypical Geeky Nice Guy. After all, I have social skills.

The True Nice Guy is the one that women, at least VB, wants. He is the nice guy that has it all, and safely avoids the other three categories. So out of the 12.5f the population that is Single Nice Guys, what percent is this rare breed? Who knows?

In other news, I only smoke three cigarettes all day Wednesday, and one of those was only about three drags before I put it out. Why would I do such a thing? Because my throat was bothering me. Had I heeded the warning sign then, I might’ve run by the store on the way home and picked up orange juice and chicken noodle soup. But I was ignorant, and Thursday morning I woke up feeling even worse.

I chalked it up to sinuses and took a hot shower. Sinus problems are always worse first thing in the morning because you’ve been laying flat on your back all night. I went in to work and me, The Kid, and WorkMom drove up to the thriving metropolis of Chester to show a small home health clinic how to use our software. About halfway through the day, I realized that I was not feeling any better than I was that morning. I also realized that I’d not had a cigarette craving at all. There’s a sure sign that something was wrong.

The training took most of the work day, and I coasted through the last hour at my desk riding that “sickness high” that has you pleasantly euphoric and miserable all at the same time. Thursday night, I decided to tough it out and stayed awake to play with my computer buddies. (One day, I’m going to recap a Thursday night and lose half of my readers.)

Friday morning was even worse. I woke up and felt like I had strep throat. I crawled into the shower and stayed in there breathing as much steam as I could until the water went cold on me. I crawled back to bed and called in sick to work. Somewhere during that haze of memory, my mom called to relay their weekend plans and then sent my dad by the house to check on me and drop some medicine off. God bless my parents. By Friday afternoon, I was mobile, but miserable. There was a mission awaiting it’s commander, though, and I had to get on my feet.

Friday night was a very special outing for the Winners of the Rat Race. Giggles’ birthday was Saturday, and I’d be damned if I missed that. So I drank whetever medicine was around the house and popped the pills that Mom had sent over, and forced myself out of the house.

We went to Jillian’s. The group was smeller this time, consisting only of Giggles, The Kid, Maple, and myself. This suited me just fine, because it made for even teams in pool. I grabbed Giggles for my teammate and immediately proceeded to buy her a birthday shot of some girly drink. And then the pool commenced.

The Kid can play some serious pool. No joke. There were not many times that he didn’t sink at least one ball on his turn, and it was usually more than one. Maple was decent, probably about the same skill level as me. Giggles, however, is not going to be winning any pool tournaments any time soon. The important thing, though, is that we had a lot of fun trying to play. By the end of the night, Team Kid had won nine games, leaving only one meager victory to Team Stuckey.

Around one in the morning, my medicine started to wear off and Giggles was getting sleepy. Rather than admit defeat, though, we headed over to the Wild Hare. Another co-worker had been there earlier and had text-messaged Maple for us to swing by. We arrived at the Hare, sat at a table by the door, and the co-worker was nowhere to be found. It took about five seconds for all of us to realize that this place was not for us.

First, the crowd was very young. Like, Five Points young. While The Kid might fit in with them, the rest of us wanted no part of it. Second, the crowd was entirely comprised of white people with the exception of one black guy. But this guy was wearing a Cosby sweater, so he was immediately disqualified. While Maple can blend with us white folk just fine, I decided not to force it upon her. So within five minutes of sitting down, we decided to head out. It was just too late for us old folks to be mingling.

Saturday and Sunday were reserved for surrendering to this sinus infection. It’s one giant blur of napping on the couch, napping in the bed, briefly goofing off on the computer, and football games that weren’t worth watching. (Go Steelers!)

Today I feel only slightly better, but I’m at work anyway, riding that sickness high once again and thinking I might just leave early today. On the bright side, I haven’t had a cigarette since Wednesday night, and I still have no desire for one. Last night I went through the house and truck and threw away every matchbook, lighter (save one for candles and the grill), cigar, and cigarette that I could find.

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