6 Inches

Note: The next few paragraphs don’t necessarily have anything to do with dating but hey, sharing is caring, no?

Writing Prompt: We’ve all had exchanges where we came up with the perfect reply — ten minutes too late. Write down one of those, but this time, make sure to sign off with your grand slam (unused) zinger.

Feeling sensitive…and yes, I’ll admit it (sorry dudes) – being a girl with not-always-the-best-self-esteem causes me to think of verbal conflicts I have had in the past. I try to relive them internally in a way that makes me feel better about how I handled the discussion / situation / moron who I shouldn’t have even spoken to in the first place. This past weekend called for such thinking.

I was at a crowded bar with a friend, happily sipping my daytime cocktail (stop judging, it was the weekend) at our awesome seats at the bar. Every now and then, someone would come from behind us and order something from the bartender. If they got too close to us, we would either attempt to help them order, or they would “say excuse me, sorry” like polite people and everyone helped the drink acquisition work in a friendly way. Until Chip-on-his-Shoulder rolled in (will now refer to him as “Chip.”)

The woman sitting to my left happened to be older, pretty inebriated and apparently sitting a few feet away from her husband (who I never saw). Chip came up to the bar and essentially leaned on me, while waiting to order a drink. Older drunk cougar lady seemed to fall in love, as I heard this part of their discussion going on behind my increasingly-tensed back:

Cougar: Hi I’m Cougar.

Chip: I’m Chip. Kinda hard to get a drink here…

Cougar: What do you do for a living? Do you work in technology?

Chip: Actually I’m in the military…stationed (somewhere), I do some tech work…

Cougar: Oh you look like an engineer…my husband’s an engineer…he’s over there somewhere.

Chip: Oh yeah? That’s great.

Cougar: Yeah, my husband…he’s an engineer.

Chip: Right…right.

So the deep conversation continued and Chip stood like an anvil all up in my personal space while flirting with married older woman. My friend had gotten up for a bit and then came back and asked me to move over so she can actually fit into her tightly-spaced seat again. I was already just watching Cougar and Chip for a minute or so, hoping that perhaps someone would notice that he was essentially on my lap and not moving (longest drink order ever, by the way).

There was no stopping their poignant conversation, so I said, “I need you to move over just a bit.”

Not the warmest way I could have asked him to get the hell out of my space but I don’t think it was too aggressive. Or that I deserved this answer:

Chip: (doesn’t even look up from his bill that he’s signing) Oh, the 6 inches is really bothering you, is it?

Me: Um…well you’ve been in my space for a few minutes, with your back to me and have not moved.

Chip: (Nodding and acting as though I’m the rude one). SO SORRY to be bothering you…(and some other mean crap about me needing room)

By this time, I had already turned red, gotten upset and had turned around to see my friend with the “please don’t ruin our time by being pissed about something dumb” look. So I complained a bit and we moved on. Until I heard Chip behind me again…this time with a friend, BOTH of them now chatting up drunk cougar.

All I hear is “6 inches!” and I whip around again, only to see him pointing at me and 3 people all looking at me like I’m a criminal who wants to maintain a seat. I argue with him again, and Cougar actually says to me (twice) “Look at him – you should be happy that someone so good-looking wanted to be so close!!” Chip is still pissed and I basically sputter that he’s a baby and turn around again. He was obviously sore about my lap not being his bar stool and it was my fault.

I wasn’t happy with my response to him. I should have taken the “6 inches” comment and said “Is that what you say to all of the ladies?” and when he said it again, tell him that shouting his size to everyone is not too attractive. Yes, a penis joke would have been awesome in this situation and I regret not thinking of it until it was too late.

Additional notes: Besides what my real response should have been to Chip, I just want to be clear that I was not in New York City when this incident occurred (since everyone judges the people there and assumes they are the rude ones) and you’re in the military, dude? Way to represent.