The Moment

So a funny thing happened at karaoke.  If you want to know why I was at karaoke, I’ll have to direct you to Challenge 50 of “50 Two Cents.”  If you want to know what was so funny, I’ll have to ask you a question: have you ever had “a moment”?  One of those chance encounters where you make eyes at an attractive stranger, you both smile and then fireworks explode, blinding you with love?  Yea, me neither— I think they’re more myth than reality.

But when I went to sing karaoke, I met a guy (who “always starts with a ballad”) and he swore he had “the experience”.  I was at Jimmy O’s in Del Mar, a confused sports bar that wants to be a club, but is really just a cougar den, and my friends, my brother and his fiancé were all hating the fact we were there.  It was crowded, the tables were stacked on top of each other and the strobe lights were blaring. 

“I feel like I’m going to have a seizure.”  My brother, age 28, recently became engaged and simultaneously, an old man.

We were talking over the din and making fun of a couple trying to hold each other up at the end of the bar, when two awkward men practically sat in our laps.  One was a Labrador puppy sniffing for any kind of attention he could get; the other had a comb-over and the look of clammy hands.  We smiled, nodded and went back to our conversation.

They backed their chairs into us, “accidentally” bumped our elbows, they even did the whole, “I’m going to catch your eye by moving erratically within your line of sight.”  When none of this worked, they waited until my friend Julia got up to go to the bathroom.

“Excuse me?”

“Yes?”  The Labrador was so close to my face I thought he was going to lick it.

“That girl that just got up to leave—does she have a boyfriend?”

“Nope, why?  Are you interested?”

“Well, when we sat down, she and I had a moment, and I just wanted to see if she, you know, felt it too.”

“A moment, huh?  What exactly does that look like?”  This was actually a serious question—I’ve never been able to recognize these fabled “moments”, and I was wondering if this eager beaver held the key.

“Oh you know, you lock eyes and smile and… I don’t know, you send messages of interest.” 

“Messages of interest?  Right.  Yea, I think you should ask her if she picked up on your ‘messages’.”  Otherwise, the mother ship may want you back for further training.

Unfortunately, the “moment” had been one-sided and Julia was not only rejecting all telepathic messages, but his most vocal ones as well.  I came to the conclusion that these so-called moments are like Fight Club—the first rule is to never speak of them.  Once you do, everyone around you thinks you’re crazy and you could end up with a split lip over nothing.

I watched the poor guy press, prod and eventually back-pedal, giving up all hopes of salvaging his pride.  I felt so badly I almost bought him a drink.  But then, wouldn’t we be having a moment?

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