We’ve all heard the expression: “There’s plenty of fish in the sea.” Well, whoever invented that saying should have clarified that a “good catch” is rare and rather difficult to find. Throughout my young life, I’ve caught some fish, but the majority of what I reeled in was short-lived disappointments.
One winter night, a couple of years ago, my friend and I went to this hip city pub. According to my friend, this place was where the “mature guys” hang out. As a young college girl at the time, I was unfamiliar with the “mature guy” breed. A sophisticated man seemed ideal compared to what I was used to: frat boys who played way too much beer pong and believed that drinking spiked fruit punch from a bathtub was completely acceptable and sanitary.
As I sat at the bar, I noticed this one guy who seemed to have this radiant charm. So, I decided to hook my bait and cast out my fishing rod; I gave him a little flirtatious smile. Soon, he was intrigued and made his way over to me.
“Hey, I’m Jay.”
“Briana, Nice to meet you.”
Before we even had a full conversation, he drunkenly said: “Sweetie you’re actually in luck… I’m like the Santa Claus for hot broads like you. Why don’t you come sit on my lap and tell me what you like.”
Not only was this easily the worst pick-up line I had ever heard, but it was also the strangest thing anyone has ever said to me.
“Aw Sweetie, you’re actually out of luck… I’m Jewish.”
I could hear the bartender burst out in laughter as I walked away from that douchebag.
The next fish that caught my eye was sitting diagonal from me at the bar. He seemed nicely put-together, well groomed, and not so intoxicated and stupid like the last fish. This time instead of throwing out an easily misleading smile, I decided to go over and sit down next to him. I mean it was 2010 and times have changed… There’s no law that states: “girls are forbidden to approach guys.”
I asked the bartender for a martini on the rocks. I’m really not a big martini drinker, but I thought a martini would give the impression that I was a classy, mature and a sophisticated young lady.
While the bartender was shaking and making my beverage, I was struggling to think of a way to start a conversation; but fortunately, this fish had the balls to initiate it.
“Aren’t you a bit too young to be drinking martinis?”
Great. I felt like I was in high school again and my parents caught me in the act of underage drinking.
“No, I swear I’m of age.”
While I rushed to pull out my ID, the fish started laughing.
“No, I believe you’re of age,” he said. “That’s not what I meant… I meant martinis are usually the kind of drinks that women over the age of thirty get. Maybe it’s just me, but when I worked as a bartender, martinis were very popular among recently-divorced middle-aged women.”
Lovely. My drink order reminded him of divorced middle-aged women… Just lovely.
“Well, before you shot down my choice in alcoholic beverages, martinis always reminded me of James Bond. I mean they’re classic, simple, and strong. But from now on, they will remind me of drunk divorced cougars- so thanks,” I said, hoping humor would help me stray away from a potentially awkward situation.
“My apologies. You definitely proved my martini-drinker stereotype wrong. You know what?”
He called the bartender over and ordered a martini.
“Shaken, not stirred,” he said and gave me the most charming smile I had ever seen.
“I’m Mike, by the way.”
“So Briana, you don’t happen to have a huge, scary, threatening boyfriend at the bar with you, do you?”
“Hah no, I’m a single woman… How about you?”
“Nope, no boyfriend. No girlfriend either. I’m a single man,” he said.
How convenient, I thought. Did I catch the big prize? Could it be?
Mike and I sipped our martinis, laughed, flirted, and then we laughed some more. We talked about life, family, friends, and our hopes and dreams. Every minute, I felt my hope -in finding a good guy- being quickly restored. But then, things took an unexpected turn for the worse… After Mike gulped down his third martini, he started talking about his recently broken heart. Oy Vay.
He told me that he was in a relationship with this girl for three years, and just last month she left him for another guy. Oh, and did I mention he told me he’s still in madly in love with her? Yes, and that’s when I threw Mike “the heart-broken fish who drank far too many martinis” back in the water.
Fishing for love is not an easy task. A “good catch” takes time, patience, and optimism. It’s a grueling waiting game, which makes me think that maybe I’m better off being a fish, rather than the fisher. Maybe I need to put down the fishing pole and just swim freely in the sea. Maybe I’m better off trusting fate to take its course. And maybe, when the time is right, I’ll find a hook worth biting and be reeled in by the fisherman of my dreams.