Let’s Call it a Poon-Doggle

Those of you who have the “pleasure” of following me on Snapchat know that one of the unofficial perks of my job is that I’m frequently wined and dined and otherwise spoiled rotten both locally and while traveling for business. I’m routinely invited for meals at restaurants where I’d have to wash dishes for weeks just to cover one of the bar bills if my gracious benefactors suddenly decided to dine and ditch (me). I’ve told myself that it’s a well-deserved karmic payback because after 16 years as a practicing lawyer, I now sit in a cubicle, working on Excel spreadsheets and use a headset. A headset, people! But the truth is, that professional “downgrade” was one of the best things to ever happen to me and has been paid back in spades, and not from all the meals and gifts, but from the once-in-a-lifetime things I’ve gotten to experience along the way.

The very first week I started, I was gifted a lovely pink Pashmina scarf, a Vera Bradley bag big enough to hide a body in, and a personalized French fashion caricature that made me look like a much younger, waaaaay taller version of myself, all while dining at a Parisian-inspired “picnic” overlooking the picturesque Logan Circle. Since then, not only have I amassed a collection of brightly colored body-bag swag, I’ve experienced things I know I never would’ve had I not walked away from tacking “Esq.” to the end of my signature 4 years ago. So as I sat in my hotel room in Cleveland a few nights ago a bit stressed and somewhat wistful (read: randy and maudlin) after yet another out-of-my-price-range dinner and drinks with some of my favorite people, a walk down boondoggle memory lane seemed fitting:

I’ve drank a $200 bottle of Cabernet in Napa whilst our tour guide explained that the vineyard was in collaboration with Disney to utilize heat-seeking cameras for their helicopters to improve the property’s irrigation. Not sure it was really a needed improvement – that was the best glass of Cab I’ve ever had (and you know that’s saying something given how much wine I drink).

I’ve seen the best view of the Vegas strip – inside a glass ferris wheel pod (replete with a bar) from 550 feet up in the air after an evening of singing along to some of my favorite Elton John songs during his final year of performing at the Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace. That same night, I also rubbed glitter-coated cake pops all over my cleavage (which may or may not have been caught on video) while celebrating a colleague-turned-friend’s birthday. Yes, I know most people would have just eaten the dessert. But given my unfortunate relationship with gluten, not partaking of the sparkly sweet treat in some way would have been just plain rude. It WAS his birthday after all. #WhatHappensInVegas.

I’ve watched my Philadelphia Eagles soar to playoff victory over the Falcons on the road to becoming Super Bowl LII champions – from the 5th row at the 50 yard line.

I’ve stumbled through the streets of New Orleans wearing 140 pounds of Carnival beads after an incredible meal at the original Emeril’s to go sip some Pappy.

I’ve smoked a hookah while listening to Middle Eastern EDM at the “only international lounge” on Long Island. It was quite minty. The hookah, that is. Though if we had kept smoking, perhaps the music would have tasted minty too…

I’ve been given a very generous gift card which I used to treat myself to a day of pampering at a Ritz-Carlton spa in our nation’s Capitol. In addition to some much needed R&R, it was a trip which allowed me to spend the weekend pursuing another passion – photography. It also proved to be the location where I took the two highest-liked Instagram pics of my tatas thus far. (No worries, I’ll still be here when you get back from scrolling). I should be pampered more often. Clearly.

I received 7,000 bottles of wine one Christmas (ok, more like 19), at least 6 of which were – due to a shipping error – meant for Mike and Donna in Brooklyn, but ended up in my cubicle (and later, mouth). Merry Fucking Christmas to me! And before you get all judge-y about me keeping Mike and Donna’s Mixed Red Gift Set, I totally called and informed wine.com of their error, and Mike and Donna still got their wine, just a few days late. And to thank me for letting them know about the mix-up, customer service let me keep the erroneous bottles and sent me the “correct” order. Twice. I didn’t call them back the second time. Whatever.

I’ve imbibed way too much wine from essentially a red Solo cup at the Grand Ole Opry before heading off in a limo to a Santa-themed bar located in a double-wide trailer that Kid Rock purportedly frequents. Turned out the bar was closed for the night because someone died. But not, like, at the bar.  At least, I don’t think so.

I’ve been scared shitless (and selfied) touring Alcatraz at dusk.

I’ve seen Hamilton. (That needs no further explanation).

These are just a few of the myriad experiences that have been graciously bestowed upon me over the last few years. And every one of these adventures was shared with people who already were or who have most assuredly (and most unexpectedly) become some of my dearest friends. The kind of friends who would totally help me hide a body in one of those large paisley swag bags. (A tidbit of info for the general readership, and maybe a PSA for those of you whose bodies might belong in those bags. You know who you are).

Most of these benefactors are incredibly talented, bright, successful lawyers who could totally get me acquitted if those quilted paisley bags didn’t quite fit the bodies I tried to hide.[1] They are also only slightly less bat-shit crazy than yours truly. I mean, it’s pretty much a prerequisite to be my friend. It follows, of course, that in addition to the wining and dining, we’ve partaken of all sorts of drunken debauchery over the years. How I have not ended up drunkenly roaming around in a party bus looking for a liquor store at 2 am, or gotten into a fight with a very drunk Scot trying to take my cab, or even just randomly lost my shoe is beyond me.

About a year ago, some of this crew of misfits (myself included of course) descended upon the city of Brotherly Love the night before a work conference for some much needed catching-up of the alcohol variety. It started out innocently enough with a few drinks at the Bellevue. Then there was dinner at Rouge on Rittenhouse Square followed by more drinks at Del Frisco’s. (For those of you not familiar, there’s a common theme here – none of these places are even remotely in my budget). After a few too many overpriced yet scrumptious cocktails, we decided it was time to go somewhere a little less fancy and so we headed to the “Contented Cock” – or something kinda like that (use a thesaurus, my sleuthing friends). Despite the large group, we all managed to pile into a  booth for more shenanigans. Our waitress came over and almost immediately starting ribbing us. And by “us” I mean mostly me and my friend, “Alex the Mormon.” The waitress (let’s call her “Portia”) purported to be a flight attendant while making fun of my overhead compartment-sized purse; rolled her eyes when I asked if they had Hendricks; and chortled when I told her I’d decided last minute to stay overnight in the city (despite living less than 30 miles away), but didn’t have a change of clothes so would be repeating my attire the next day…with all the same people.

Because I know you’re probably wondering, this was not the shtick of the bar – we weren’t paying to have our balls busted. Portia was slightly younger than I was, attractive in a quirky sort of way, and unapologetically brash. Mormon Alex (who is definitely NOT a Mormon) and I drunkenly spent a good 20 minutes trying to decide with which one of us she was flirting. As the night (and drinking) progressed, the scales definitely started to tip in my favor – a point Alex comically (and maybe slightly finger-crossedly) conceded.

I should probably stop here to explain that while I consider myself mostly heterosexual, I have enjoyed some not-so-heterosexual interactions in my life (and I don’t mean drunk make-outs with girls at bars to get guys’ attention that some girls are known to do). Ironically, this was a fact I had shared with Alex earlier in the evening over extremely expensive French burgers. Other than these few encounters with girls, while I have found myself attracted to various women over the years, I have never acted on it. But for reasons that are still not clear to me, that night was the first time in my then 45 years that I was so willingly and blissfully oblivious to gender that I flirted back. Hard. Alex watched this unfold with laser-pointer focus (even for a drunk Mormon) while the rest of our intoxicated crew was thankfully oblivious. Every trip to the table, she would take the opportunity to chat with me. She complimented me on my overall appearance and asked me about working out, telling me I should join her at her barre class sometime. She feigned (I think) surprise to learn I was older than she and had birthed children. She casually mentioned that her “girlfriend” had told her she wasn’t allowed to wear the kitschy Boston Terrier sweater she had on anymore. In my drunken state, it wasn’t clear if the girlfriend reference was “my friend who is a girl” or “the girl I go down on.” Alex was convinced (once again with fingers crossed, probably) it was the latter. Totally taking the bait, I inquired why the shirt had been given the ax.  She lowered her head down a bit and looking back up at me with slightly pursed lips, proceeded to slowly raise her arms, her fingertips dragging up her thighs as she did and, almost purring, said “because it does this” as the hem of her shirt rode up, baring her quite toned midriff.  I’m pretty sure I bit my lip.

As the night wore on, I found myself more and more drawn to her, but as much as I trusted my fellow table-mates, I begrudgingly resisted the urge to push the boundaries with Portia any further with them around. These are people I work with regularly, and I didn’t want to put them in an uncomfortable position. Also, I knew some of them would have lined up to watch. Portia and I exchanged more flirty banter, but eventually said our goodbyes. My friends and I all stumbled back to our respective hotel rooms for a few hours of sleep before a day-long insurance conference. The next day, sitting at the conference (yes, in the same clothes), I could not stop replaying the evening’s interaction with Portia. I racked my brain trying to remember her name or any other salient detail about her that might help me find her, all the while cursing myself for not at least pretending to be interested in that barre class just to get her number. This fascination with the kinda cute, definitely quirky and maybe-into-me waitress continued for the better part of a week until I finally decided I needed to do something about it. So I convinced a friend not from the original group to go back to the same bar the following Tuesday, the same day of the week I had met Portia, and see if she was working again. (And by “convinced,” I mean he willingly offered to photograph the whole event when I told him if anything went down, he would not be participating.) He rather un-smoothly asked one of the bartenders for Portia’s whereabouts, not even trying to hide my motive for inquiring. The bartender was both intrigued and perplexed as there was no woman fitting the physical description we gave him save one, and that woman was most assuredly straight (as far as he knew). Not convinced, I texted Alex the Mormon to see if this other name was familiar, but to no avail. I was like Prince Charming searching for Cinderella, except there was no glass slipper. Or carriage. Or strap-on.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I had all but forgotten about Portia. Well, almost. I was having a random conversation with a co-worker who just so happens to be friends with one of the owners of the bar where I had met Portia. My colleague was not there that night, and so she had no clue what had transpired. She also knew nothing about the NSFW, questionably heterosexual version of the cube-mate with whom she discussed spreadsheets and claims data on the regular. While I certainly could not share my true motive for inquiring, I had to ask if she knew Portia. It was quite comical trying to say we were openly flirting with each other without actually saying we were openly flirting with each other. But thankfully my description of her appearance and demeanor was enough to confirm that my co-worker did in fact know her. From what she told me, Portia was a pretty batty, very single, and moderately medicated woman who did not actually work at the bar, but merely helped the owners out on occasion. While she confirmed that Portia was essentially straight, she was not surprised to learn that she was flirting with me given her mental stability, which I like to think of fondly as her “quirkiness” instead.  She even showed me her Facebook page to confirm it was the same girl, so now I can stalk her check-ins with reckless abandon at least know her full name.

I’ve only been back to that bar once since the investigative trip shortly after meeting her almost a year ago, and much to my disappointment, she wasn’t there. While I could probably just inbox her with a “what a small world” opener, that’s a move I’m not sure I’d make even if she were a he. I mean, I can barely message first on Bumble without second and third guessing myself, compulsively checking and re-checking the guy’s profile for any clue that he might not be worthy of the right swipe. Add to this dating anxiety the fact that it’s a girl (we’re way harder to woo so I’m told) with a quasi-work connection, and the idea of reaching out to her is beyond daunting.

So for now, I’ll keep enjoying all the amazing food and booze thrown my way while I scheme a plan to get my friends to “randomly” go back to that bar for, let’s call it…a poon-doggle. Something tells me, knowing this crew, I won’t be twisting any arms.

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[1] This initially said “get me off” but it was too obvious a double entendres…and maybe wishful thinking.

 

12 thoughts on “Let’s Call it a Poon-Doggle

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  1. That’s for sharing another of your humorous life episodes. Glad your career change has allowed you to experience so many perks. Keep up v the great writing and look forward to seeing more of your photography.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I share your happy memories. The moments in our lives that we remember and cherish the most are happy memories.

    I’ve done things that would raise the eyebrows of my co workers

    Yet they remain my secret hidden treasures

    Much like you..

    Ps. It takes one to know one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For the record, I regret every thing I have ever said
    We are so susceptible of our public image
    I missed out on stuff that ain’t ever coming back
    New day new opportunity
    Being the best we can every day isn’t just a clique
    Love yourself, others notice….. everyone wins…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was a little tipsy and extremely enthralled reading this last night. That second post about regret and for the record was just me deflating myself because I’m as insecure as the rest of the world. I truly mean what I say. I however suffer from survivors guilt when I participate in anything that remotely makes me feel I have the whole world in my hand. I work hard to achieve such lofty heights and my success is truly euphoric. The backsliding begins when I feel remorse for having so much joy. I think that most of my peers will never reach the giddy heights I have ascended to. I could be totally wrong and my peers could be experiencing things that make me look like the button downed dude. What I’m trying to say, is I try and enjoy life as much as humanly possible. I thoroughly enjoyed your post, to the point of chastising myself for experiencing all that joy. Am I worthy of that much happiness. Of course I am. I unfortunately then post a disclaimer saying I might have had way too much fun with that, let me knock myself back a peg. No one else has this much fun. Well after reading your post, I can dial my insecurities back a lot. You’ve proved to me there are others living their lives and having fun and making memories that only we truly believe cannot be replicated by others. I am happy knowing that there are people out there enjoying life as much as possible. I don’t see that enough these days, thus the self flagellation. Hopefully this makes sense. If not, no worries, I know I can’t change because I’m who I want to be. Thank you for making my Friday night at home seem like one of the best nights of my life. Life is what you make it, and I’m grateful for those of you that send me rocketing into space.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure if you have ever exposed yourself as rawly to others through something like writing. I do read the comments closely and appreciate the time people take to both read and comment. While you’re certainly entitled to your opinion, is is exponentially easier to express negative ones from a place of anonymity. I’m also not sure if you’ve ever read anything else I’ve written, but I’m assuming you have not. If you had, I think you’d know that there’s not a bragging bone in my body. I have tremendous gratitude for the good things in my life, a life which, if you read anything else I’ve written you’ll see, is not a cake-walk by any stretch of the imagination.

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