Even Really Pretty Books Can’t be Judged by Their Cover

“What’s your type, Refugee?”  The question fell from the perfectly painted lips of the very blonde architect who was new to our group of friends.  It was the lazy flirt of an extremely attractive woman not accustomed to having to make effort. 


“I don’t have one,” I replied.


“Everyone has a type, Refugee” she insisted and punctuated the declaration with a wink.  VBA craved attention and I had no intention of providing it.

  I had just completed an exhausting day at ABDR and my needs at the moment were simple: beer, time to decompress, and practice time on the pool table before my next league night.


The bartender, an old friend and former colleague, gave me refuge when he said “Refugee, if you still want a pool table 26 is open” as he slid a rack of balls my way.


I gathered the rack, slung my pool case over my shoulder and made my way to the other side of the room. 


“Mind if I join you?” Clearly, she was undeterred.


“Can you play?”


“I guess you’ll have to get me on the table and find out” she said with a slightly exaggerated wink.


I detest the lazy flirt almost as much as sentences that end in prepositions; but no one else wanted to play and I practice better against competition so I waved an invitation.


“Race to three?” she half asked half declared.




“Eight-ball, Nine-ball, your preference.”


“Nine Ball.  What are the stakes?”


“Dinner – winner’s choice of restaurants” she says with another exaggerated wink.


In one of my frequent bouts of extreme candor, I reply “that is a bad bet for me because I have never seen you play pool, but more importantly I don’t see a winning scenario for me.”  It was colder than I would have wanted, but it was very true.


“What the fuck is your problem, Refugee?”  Her angry, frustrated voice could have easily been that of any number of my friends had they witnessed me rejecting the overtures of an attractive and intelligent woman.  She continued “Am I not pretty enough for you?”


“No, you aren’t clever enough, or subtle enough.  You think that some lazy-ass, ham-fisted attempts at flirtation are all the effort you need exude and men should be grateful, but I’m not.”


“How’s the view from your high horse, Refugee?  You know if you spent some time getting to know me, you might realize that I don’t flirt in a manner sufficiently sophisticated for your snobbish tastes because I never learned how.  You might learn that until three years ago no one flirted with me because I weighed a hundred and twenty pounds more than this.  I am sorry I didn’t have a lifetime to learn to be clever enough for you.”


She stood there – her vulnerability laid bare before me – waiting for me to say something.  I had nothing.  After what felt like a commercial break, I finally managed to mutter a “sorry” though I wasn’t quite sure for what I should be apologizing first.


Extending a hand I said “Hello, I am Refugee – normally I am not such a prick.  Would you like to play some pool with me?”  She shook my hand, and smiled a bit.  Then she proceeded to kick my ass up and down the pool table as we had our first meeting for the second time.


11 Responses to Even Really Pretty Books Can’t be Judged by Their Cover

  1. Lemmonex says:

    Wow, that was harsh, friend. Candor is good, but no need to be mean.

    Good for her…making oneself vulnerable is incredibly hard. I can sympathize with her…I sometimes find myself a bit socially stunted still. And good on you for giving her a second shot.

    Not my best moment.

  2. Shannon says:

    I kind of love that woman…she really laid it out for you, without being a jerk about it.

    It’s hard to flirt in a subtle way – if you’ve been off the market for a while (whether due to weight loss, a divorce, etc) it can feel almost impossible. I feel for her.

    You’re right – she was a bit angry but not a jerk about letting me know why. I think it was pretty clear that the “jerk line” was that thing in my rear view mirror at that moment.

  3. Shannon says:

    PS – and I think it’s awesome you posted this, it takes guts.

    thank you

  4. LivitLuvit says:

    It was a long time before I realized that (sometimes) the best way to deal with someone hard or difficult can be to just lay it all out on the table. I’m always the first to open up- if you show a bit of your underbelly to the enemy, it’s amazing the response you can get.

    I think that she provided a great example of vulnerability as a strength.

  5. lastlion says:

    Most important, will you see her again?

    This occured many years ago. If you want the rest of the story, you might try returning a phone call.

  6. i would just like to state for the record…it wasnt me…it was some other attractive blond.. evidently…there is more than one in dc… im crushed….

    more than one, certainly, but no other quite like you i am sure.

  7. Lisa says:

    Holy crap. I’d burst into tears if someone said that to me. Good for her for the quick and candid response!

  8. freckledk says:

    I’m with Lisa. I’d probably bust out crying. Or kick your ass. It’s a toss up.

  9. lacochran says:

    I’m delighted she won at pool, too. Nice touch.

  10. Wait, am I understanding this correctly – you own a pool cue and you tote it around to area bars?


    That’s so….je ne sais quoi.

  11. […] mentioned my pool game before, and I’ve mentioned that I’m a pretty decent shot, but that doesn’t provide full context.  Standard pool ratings run from 2 to 7.  You’re […]

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