This past weekend's adventure brought me to Chicago, and more specifically, a special area aptly nicknamed "The Viagra Triangle". At the juxtaposition of expensive shops, hotels and restaurants lies an area infused with older gentlemen and younger ladies. My late night dinner plans dropped us smack dab in the action at an old school Italian place packed with music, people and laughter. As I descended the stairs into the pit & bar area, eager for my first sip of champagne, I couldn't help but notice I was surrounded by my prime demographic. Old men. Don't get me wrong- I absolutely adore grandpas. I would choose a gang of old WWII vets to spend the afternoon playing Euchre with over those of my own age. But I also historically seem to catch the eye of those older gentlemen interested in snagging a female rather than reminiscing the depression era.
I maneuvered myself into a tiny area between a couple making out and two older gentlemen dining at the bar and patiently waited to catch the bartender's attention. Before I could pretend to be studying a menu, the man next to me struck up a chat.
"I have to tell you, you are beautiful." Of course I blush, look down, anything to divert the attention. Creepy or not, it's always nice to be told you're beautiful.
"Oh, well, thank you." I replied.
And of course, the conversation didn't stop there. I'll spare you the details. But, once he and his friend discovered I was drinking champagne, they offered to buy me a BOTTLE of Veuve. My favorite. And, very expensive. Politely I declined. In my mind, letting a man buy you a drink is letting them buy your time. As a woman with a boyfriend, I find this misleading and inappropriate. My boyfriend, however, would probably like it if I had other men buy me drinks so he didn't have to so much....regardless, I had to wonder- what would have happened had I allowed them to buy me the bottle? Where would the night have gone? One man was a writer, as I fancy myself once and awhile, and perhaps he could have hooked me up with connections? Who knows? Instead I went back with my friends, waited another 1.5 hours for a table, and ended the night with a crushing migraine.
But you have to wonder sometimes about these moments, where a choice alters the entire path...