Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Wink

I have been told by friends that my wink is sub-par, or by more brutally honest friends, simply scary. Instead of a cute flick of the eyelid, I apparently contort the entire left side of my face, making the wink have the complete opposite effect - fear. Because this is a skill handy to meeting guys, I decided I needed to practice, improve my wink and put the new one to work ASAP.

I began this endeavor Friday night. After some practice on my roommates, along with a cocktail at dinner, I was feeling confident. Elaine* and I left our other roommate, Andi*, and her boyfriend to meet our friend Stina* at Bowery Bar. The three of us were seated next to a table of mildly attractive guys, one of which I thought looked like a short Justin Timberlake in an ugly vest. "Perfect opportunity to try out the wink, just watch this," I said. Elaine rolled her eyes. I winked at the ugly-vested Justin Timberlake -- he winked back! Success! This then led to pulling up chairs to their table and making introductions. "So what do you do?" I asked Justin Timberlake. "Well, I'm an actor, director, writer, artist and bartender," he explained, while winking at me at least 3 more times. "I actually had to dye my hair for a part I'm auditioning for. Its normally not this blond. I'm an ash blond -- thats the color of blond, if you burned it." Oh, holy, crap. (Note to self, make a particular effort to stay away from all ash blonds). I looked to Elaine, who was currently sitting silently with her arms crossed, to see if she had heard this amazing comment. At the same moment, blond-vesty looked at her and said, "I was like you once. Melancholy. That was 4 years ago, when my mom died." Oh, balls. He kept going, "Do you know the singer Ray LaMontange? He will change your life." With this comment he took out his i-pod, put the head phones in Elaine's ears and attempted to change her life. After changing the music to Radiohead and explaining her life had not been changed, we decided it was time to make a clean escape.

Walking in Ace Bar, our next destination, I felt much better. Amid the pool tables and skee ball machines, I saw lots of cute, vest-less guys ready to chat it up. While I bought beers, Stina said hello to a college friend and Elaine checked out the prospects. I returned to find her chatting with a cute, but overly aggressive Englishman. "So how did you end up in New York?" I asked him. "I moved here four weeks ago to work for Lehman Brothers." Awkwardness abounds. "Soooo...are you having fun tonight??" Elaine rallies. He looks at Elaine and winks. "Yes, loving this. You're great. When are we going to go dance? Where can we do dancing around here?" She looks at me, perplexed, then back at him and says, "I don't play darts." I realized something had been lost in translation, or at least the strong accent. "I don't know how, I'm sorry. I really think I might hurt someone if I tried." Though obviously confused, he isn't phased, winks again and says, "Baby, lets go dance. I think we can dance in the back, or do you know somewhere else for dancing?"

"Really, I'm sorry, I don't know how to play darts!" she yells. If Friday night is any indicator, I have learned that the wink is a useful dating tool, if handled correctly. However, because you can always have too much of a good thing, an over-used the wink looses all its appeal. Oh, and I learned to steer clear of all winking blonds wearing vests and dancing, British bankers.