This year Friday turned out to be, if not the biggest , at least the most dangerous shopping day of the year. (Perhaps Wal-Mart should consider a sale on some sort of trample protection next year, if not just common sense and manners).
Amidst the shopping mayhem, City council blew their shopping wad all in one place by giving Saks Fifth Avenue $6.6 million for remodeling. At least mayor Charlie Luken shops around for a better deal. It wasn't six months ago that I noticed him spending his dollars on a nice pair of black slacks at the Saks outlet at Forest Fair Mall.
Some heard the money talking and headed downtown for their Friday fix while others didn't let the dramas of their everyday life have a second of holiday interruption.
Kicking off the holiday season is traditionally done in my family by heading downtown on Friday after Thanksgiving. Hey, if city hall can give Saks a few million, I have to do my share and throw around a twenty here and there.
Lunch was at Hathaway's, which is soothing with its pink vinyl and paper cone cups. The burgers are yummy and the men in suits strike me as the hard-working type.
Fortified with a bacon cheeseburger, I headed over to the Craftsfair at the Convention Center. The best looking art accompanied the best looking artist! Mr. Whimsie had on jeans, plaid and longish hair that was thick and clean. Traveling with my friend Chris up and down the aisles, we agreed he was Best of Show.
Since Chris and I play in different sandboxes, it's safe to say one of us has what he likes. This time Chris did and made plans to catch a drink after the show at Palomino. Good choice for an out-of-towner since Fountain Square was gonna go up in lights.
My friends were in the mood to do Main Street figuring lots of people would be in to visit family and go downtown to the places they know and love.
Jefferson Hall was younger than I remembered and RBC resembled a mob scene at the bar. I drifted off across the street to Jump Cafe & Bar solo and for a moment reminisced of the days when Main Street Brewery provided plenty of denim and laughter.
Anyway, I sat in the corner and watched the scenery from my perch with drink in hand. The bartender and a patron debated tequilla. I window shopped until I found the man that I would lay down the credit card and purchase for the night. Luckily, he was beautiful and bold.
Marching straight over, he asked the chap next to me, "Hey man, is she your girlfriend?" He assured him that he had just met me. With all systems go, he looked at me with the greenest eyes and longest lashes I have seen on a man and said, "Is there anyone in your life that would be offended if I bought you a drink?"
Be my guest.
Saturday night stumbled forth, making it a week since I'd heard from Aces With Braces. Forgoing convention and perhaps common sense, I decided to call him. Maybe his cell phone situation was finally in order.
"I was going to call you tonight," he said immediately. Ah, a 50% chance of deceit in the forecast.
After a brief chat about how much he'd been constantly working lately, he invited me to visit him at his valet job. He was pulling third shift alone.
It didn't seem like much of a date. Although I missed him and wanted to hang out, I couldn't envision my Saturday night spent in the basement of a hotel.
Over dinner at the Cactus Pear in Clifton, I presented the dilemma to Brian, good friend and pool partner.
"Don't go down there," he said between mouthfuls of spicy, fried calamari, "You made the first move. Let him make the next."
He was right. Sometimes dating is like playing pool. You make the first shot fine, but then get too eager or self-assured and end up missing the second. Although pool is my favorite way to pass time and I'm pretty sure I know the rules, dating finds me a novice after all these years.
I went to Half Price Books in Kenwood that night and spotted "Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus" by John Gray, Ph.D. From all I'd heard about the book, it seemed to have earned its place in recent pop culture. What was behind this planet business? Are men and women really so alien?
One major difference, according to Gray, is that men tend to go into their "caves" when they are upset. Women go into "wells." In caves, no one may enter until brooding is complete. Men want to deal with problems on their own. My roommate pointed out that I, like a male, retreat into a cave.
I have so far been unable to differentiate between a cave and well. However, after having glossed over "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus," I've concluded that some books are from Uranus.
At 2 a.m. Aces With Braces called, wondering if I was coming to visit.
"I don't think so," I said.
"I don't blame you," he replied. He said he would call sometime later.
Maybe the biggest difference between caves and wells is how the time is spent inside of them. Late Saturday I stayed in a cave, but not alone. I invited Brian and Shawn over to watch a movie. Unlike some, my cave comes fully equipped with electricity.