I’m not an avid “Curb Your Enthusiasm” fan, but I’ve enjoyed quite a few episodes. So when I heard Jeff Garlin and Susie Essman were the headliners at “Unleash Yourself! A Night of Comedy to Benefit the ASPCA” I bought a ticket. I’d always wanted to check out Gotham Comedy Club, it was for a good cause, and hey – maybe I’d meet some interesting people men.
The evening held promise. “Bipolar,” a curiously named jazz quintet, kicked off the event. The opening acts along with Susie Essman were enjoyable, though her shtick consisted of menopause jokes and picking on a Doctor from NJ who was sitting in the front row and wearing short shorts.
Then, Jeff Garlin took the stage. Little did I know that within 30 minutes I’d go from a peaceful woman to one who wanted to use a shock collar. On a human.
He asked the audience for questions and I exposed myself as 30-something singleton living in NYC with 3 cats & 3 fosters and did he have any dating advice? His response? That men and lesbians alike run away from my fur covered body. Fine, I should have expected that.
But I didn’t expect him to launch into a rant about his dislike of animals. He proceeded to tell us that his wife had a cat when they met and that he wasn’t a fan. Oh, and by the way, their neighbor killed the cat (no explanation as to how or why was provided). And while he likes his dogs – I guess we should be grateful for that – he doesn’t like pit bulls.
It seemed that while standing beneath an ASPCA emblazed sign sporting photos of a cat and a dog, he’d plum forgotten where he was.
In fairness, which one of us can honestly say they’ve never misread a room – or failed to read it all together? I began to think about times in my life where I’d been completely out of touch and clueless about it in the moment.
It must have been about ten years ago when I attended my friend K__’s wedding in New Jersey. It was a large affair and the bride promised she had the perfect guy for me – M___, the groom’s banker friend from college. She’d be sure to seat him next to me at the reception dinner.
In an effort to avoid an awkward moment of approaching the table and trying to locate M___, I made sure to be the first person seated at the dinner table.
When M___, a tall sandy-blond cutie with long lashes took his seat I was at the top of my game. He was friendly and seemed pleased (or perhaps relieved) upon meeting me. M____ was a good conversationalist, entertaining the table with the collegiate escapades of he and the groom.
Glasses of champagne were passed as the groom and bride were announced and entered the hall. We all took a swig of our champagne, save M____. I lifted his glass and placed it firmly in his hand, reminding him it was tradition to toast the new couple. Not doing so would be bad form – not to mention bad luck.
At some point M___ excused himself to use the facilities. Oddly, he did not return. I hoped he hadn’t gotten ill but I didn’t know him well enough to go off in hot pursuit.
In fact, I never saw M___ again. As I found out after the bride returned from her honeymoon M___ was a recovering alcoholic. Hadn’t she told me? No, she had not. And without that important tidbit of information, I’d greatly misjudged my audience.
And there was that business trip to London four years ago. Off I went to help on a new business pitch for a brand I was already working on in the States. I understood the product and if we got the account, there was a chance I could go to England myself (read: an entirely new pool of eligible men).
The meeting had gone swimmingly. I was engaging and knowledgeable, the prospective clients smiled and nodded throughout the presentation reinforcing we were on the right path. My British colleague and I “ham-and-egged it” (that’s when you trade off talking, going back and forth – kind of like playing ping-pong). We all left feeling very good about our chances.
It turns out Ham-and-Egging it didn’t go over well with the Brits. At least not when a Yankee is involved. Seems they find our kind a bit entitled. And loud. The nods and smiles were likely tight smiles of annoyance and a desire to be polite. There would definitely be no trans-Atlantic work for me. Gone was my chance at finding my very own bloke. Hrumph
Well, I’m grateful for the knowledge that however inappropriate or clueless I might have been in any life situation, Mr. Garlin has me beat by leaps and bounds. To wrap up the evening he told a story… about an imaginary pit bull farm. Most of the dogs were “nice and normal” and a quarter ‘fucked up.'” Earl, the pit-loving guy who ran this imaginary farm, loved pits, but longed for a woman. A woman who lived in Manhattan in a small apartment with 3 cats and 3 foster kittens.
It all sounded slightly familiar…