It was Saint Patrick’s Day in the not so thriving metropolis of Girardville, Pa. Girardville is the typical Pennsylvania coal region town that time forgot but this is the one day each year that really rocks, with parades, public picnics, and bands spread throughout the village. The pubs fill up early and close late and empty buses that had dropped off fun people from all directions line the main street. Each year it truly is a celebration spectacle with great food, drink, and music.
I was standing at the bar in one of the Irish pubs talking with a long time friend, Mike McCord, who was a local businessman and politician when I received a tap on the shoulder. It was another local politician who we will call Joe in an attempt to protect the not so innocent. Joe was recently divorced and had subsequently dated several local women of which I was aware. He was a handsome, confident individual with the developed insight of an accomplished attorney; not a man that I would consider a player but he did have a great personality and his local fame and position of power provided a certain degree of handiness with the ladies.
He greeted both Mike and I with a traditional male quip and joined the conversation. I asked him how he was doing and he quickly explained that he and his current girlfriend had split, followed by the expected inquiry into whether Mike or I had noticed any lookers in the pub. I told him that I was developing an affinity for an unbelievably pretty blonde who was among a group of four women sitting about twenty feet away across the bar and that I had come to the knowledge that she was indeed single. He stated, “Oh buddy I saw her first!” I retorted, “I doubt that…” but before I could get another word in edgewise he interrupted with, “May the best man win.”
I couldn’t help feeling a little silly as I issued the following statement: “Ok Joe, you know me. I am an individual who usually gets what he wants and right now, I want her. In the interest of friendship and fair play, I will allow you five uninterrupted minutes to make your move. You must agree that if it doesn’t happen in the first few moments it probably won’t, right?” He agreed and I continued, “After that, I will walk right over there and sweep her off her feet.” Mike chimed in, “you guys are just pathetic, macheesemo-touting jerks, I know that girl, she is classy, owns a local hair salon, and neither one of you Neanderthals stand a chance.” I turned to Joe and asked if he knew her or had asked her out previously. He just said, “best of luck,” as if he had just left a pick-up artist class on hooking-up and he was off. I chuckled to myself in appreciation of his enthusiasm.
I was staring intently at the pretty woman even as Joe left our position at the bar. I got lucky and caught her eye before Joe arrived at his destination and provided a grand smile with an accompanying forward rolling right hand gesture while turning my eyes to Joe. She must have thought that this was peculiar because she looked perplexed but didn’t immediately turn away so I followed with a few head nods and a wait a minute hand signal. She just shrugged her shoulders, smiled, gave an additional look of questioning then turned back to her friends. Mike just looked at me and shook his head in disapproval to the whole affair.
As I recall, she was something to behold in that pub that day. Her body language and mannerisms were fun and naturally comfortable, not that of an inviting woman on the make but more of one enjoying sharing great contentment with her friends. She had big, sexy, long blonde hair flowing in harmonic style several inches beyond her shoulders. A face to launch another thousand ships complete with proportioned features and skin that screamed youthful perfection. A mesmerizing, confident smile that could stop a charging bull rhino in his tracks surrounded by a set of pretty, full, collagen free lips, insatiable big blue eyes, the rare blue a shade closer to cyan than the more typical reflex blue of most aspiring irises. And a body that could be the envy of Marilyn herself encased in some exceptionally simple yet stylish, very lucky garments. Every guy in the joint had cast more than a casual glance her way, drinks from would-be suitors were piling up in front of her like a champagne waterfall and I didn’t blame Joe one bit for wanting first dibs.
By now, Joe had engaged the group of ladies and jumped into the deep end of the pool and I was intermittently checking his game from afar while continuing business discussions with Mike. He must have been telling some great stories as the girls were laughing and appearing quite entertained. I also know that he referenced Mike and me because, several times, all in unison they threw a look our way. At one point, I couldn’t help but notice an aggressive hand movement on Joe’s part aimed directly at our mutual prospect and wondered to myself if he actually touched her. I felt a little anxious, jealous even and remember checking my watch to see if the agreed time had elapsed.
Finally, the five minutes were up and I knew I had better head over to Joe and the group of ladies before the next Valentino attempted to move into position. I excused myself from McCord, made my way through the crowd, and was quickly shoulder-to-shoulder with Joe who was still facing and still fully engaged in conversation with the group of girls. I waited for an appropriate break in the dialogue and in a low but audible tone for all to hear with eyes focused on the blonde, not Joe, said, “My turn.” Upon approach, I slipped this incredible woman a hastily written note on a once folded napkin across the bar top in such a manner that she could easily open and privately read the words. As she refolded the napkin and her eyes glanced upward to meet mine, I emphatically said the following, “I have an immediate opening on my dance card.” She smiled the most smug, ingratiating smile and replied, “I couldn’t help but notice you from across the bar.” My next words were, “Let us waste no time,” as I reached for her hand and proceeded to lead her to the dance floor, I caught a fleeting glimpse of amazement and simultaneous despair on Joe’s face.