If my life were a movie, it'd be an absurd combination of a female-centric High Fidelity and Bridget Jones's Diary without the Colin Firth beau.
Take my latest escapade. It was one of those nights that began with vodka and a classic 20-something angst movie that had way too much dialogue and words like "vivisection." Anyway, I decided that since I'm in my 20s, I should be having one of these conversations at a bar instead of watching one on the tube.
Besides, getting loaded alone is a telltale sign of alcoholism, and being a master of denial, I thought it more appropriate to binge drink with some friends.
So I called my pal Sam, an impeccably dressed person who leads a life of excess (fashion shows, galas and exclusive parties) yet has no known source of income. Plus, he infuriatingly delivers political rants without ever having read a single book. I hooked up with him at one of those painfully trendy hot spots on College.
He'd previously warned me about the irresistible charms of his friend Mark: "He can make any woman drop her pants in a nanosecond."
I'd retorted that I wasn't any woman. I pride myself on the panther-like skills that have allowed me to avoid the pitfalls of charm (whatever that means).
In fact, up to this point, my one-night-stand virginity status had remained intact. (I'd slept with guys on the first date before, but it never ended after that one night.)
Mark was comically loud in a very NYC Jewish kind of way, like a young Larry David or Ben Stiller, and well versed in everything intellectual. He was quickly familiar and incredibly obvious as he plied me with flattery, both characteristics that have historically been my kryptonite.
Recognizing the signs, I avoided conversing with him alone. Feeling quite proud of my feline skills, I manoeuvred out of predator Mark's range - until the point in the evening when he cornered me and I pounced on him, like, well a cat in heat.
After my first move, we enjoyed some quick nonsense banter and spent the rest of the night shoving each other into corners and tongue wrestling.
It felt great, it felt wild, but we periodically had to come up for air to say, "OK, I'm really drunk. What's your name again?" This, of course, signalled a mutual understanding that we'd be screaming each other's names at some juncture in the night.
It seems that I am any woman, because I did drop my pants. Not in a nanosecond, but pretty quickly. We ended up at his apartment, fumbling around for the parts that fit.
Note to all men: Alcohol and drugs drag out the process. Movies lie. You do not come faster when intoxicated.
After what seemed an eternity, we crashed into a sweaty pile and enjoyed a 12-hour slumber, periodically moaning and touching each other as if it were the most natural thing in the world to be in each other's arms.
Post-coitus, I thought he must use his bravado as a way of protecting himself from being hurt. Anyone who's a cuddler and moaner has to have a sensitive side. Besides, based on the decor in his apartment and our early evening conversation, Mark's a practising Buddhist and culturally astute. He feels that voting is a privilege squandered on the jaded in our society. I decided we were going to have a relationship.
A few attempts at phone conversations ended in awkward silences and the realization that Sam was right.
In one of his advice-giving sermons, Sam had told me to "take everything Mark does as an indication of who he is; don't listen to what he says. Remember, he is a really charming guy."
This classic advice was, of course, whispered to me after the fifth cocktail and third round of tongue wrestling. I'd given the same advice to so many of my girlfriends, so how did I end up in bed with Mark? Was it the humour, his artist profile, the meaningful conversation we had about the effect of Noam Chomsky on pop culture, or was it the magic of alcohol? As I passed a poster of the newest Ben Stiller flick, the truth hit me.
Eureka! It was the 20-something angst movies. Instead of choosing the well-adjusted paramour, the protagonists in these movies always end up lusting after and sleeping with artsy alcoholics who suffer from philosophy syndrome and whose bed-hopping habits make them excellent candidates for the newest STD.
Fearing a repeat offence, I quickly ran home and bagged my whole collection of angst-laden 20-something movies. My new Friday-night viewing is My So Called Life: Season One. OK, so there was only one season, which makes for repetitive watching, but even though Angela spent her time pining over an emotionally unavailable boy, she never slept with him. Angela Chase is my new hero. I will no longer be a philosophy syndrome groupie!