ORLANDO — Two young women sat at one end of the bar at TGI Friday’s after a long day of work or play and relaxed chatting and talking. They were dressed nice and wanted to be noticed. I was there with the family for dinner.
Two young men sat at the other end of the bar noticing the young women who wanted to be noticed. They chatted with each other but you could tell they were chatting about the two young women. The approach was near. The scene reminded me of my younger days when I used to go to Flood’s on Friday nights when I lived downtown. It was pickup night for many Detroit office workers. People wanted to be seen and be part of the scene.
There was a woman with brown skin, freckles and thick braided hair that I thought was absolutely beautiful. She dressed to be noticed and her braids were as thick as the ropes that kept cruise ships from floating adrift. I wanted to talk to her but never got the courage. I could tell she was popular. People were always around her and she seemed to be the life of the party even when she sat alone.
One day I got the courage, thanks to a couple of rum and Cokes, and I approached. I told her my name was Terry and that I would love to buy her a drink and talk for a moment. All I asked for was one drink.
She looked at me and said: “Noooooooooo. Thanks.”
Now she did not say “no thanks.” She drew out the words and I felt like a complete fool. She walked away and I went to my side of the bar.
Two weeks later I went back to Floods on a Friday to meet friends for a drink. The women with the thick braids was there and I still felt the love even though my heart was broken. About a half hour into my visit the woman approached me.
“Are you Terry Foster from the newspaper,” she asked.
I told her I was.
“We talked a couple of weeks ago. Do you remember,” she asked.
I was thinking how could I forget? You shot a cannon ball through my heart.
“Well you need to promote yourself better,” she said. “I would love to have that drink with you.”
I didn’t know what to do. I hated her and loved her at the same time. I foolishly bought her the drink and felt like a fool for doing it. We talked and chatted and laughed but I wanted no part of her. Afterwards I did not get her phone number. I didn’t even remember her name. I just wanted to move on. I did not know if she were shallow or just wanted to be with someone with a little profile.
I saw her from time to time and we said hello. But that was it.
Back at Friday’s one of the guys approached the two girls. They talked for about two minutes and he went back to his pal. He shook his head. They were rejected.
I wonder if they would have said no if the guys played for the Orlando Magic.