I started going to our local coffee shop, which is also a bicycle shop. You can get a pour-over coffee, a new set of handlebars, and join a squad of 30 riders for a day trip. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll time it just right so that once you get settled in with your computer and coffee and cup of water, a sea of sweaty people ride in with their suction bike shorts and tiny shirts, aerodynamically packing the entire place, chugging energy goop from a tube, slowly surrounding you, slowly and gently touching their asspads into your shoulders. Slowly, gently.
Anyhow it’s great. I made friends with a barista there who seemed to always be happy to see me. In a place where smiling is not a thing, she remembered who I was, which is wonderful. She is now my friend and she reads this blog.
She and I went out for drinks a while back, and I employed a brilliant comedic tool: I started calling her by her first and last name. They can’t teach you this stuff. “Sarah Reynolds.” I said it once, and she laughed, I slipped it in again, and she was cracking up. Sometimes you don’t know what is going to make someone laugh, and this surprised me. I thought, maybe I’m saying it in a funny way, or maybe she thinks it’s just hilarious that I’m going out of my way to say her full name. Whatever the reason, I kept striking the iron.
“What’s your middle name?”
I was going in for the kill. The grand finale.
“Sarah. Lynne. Reynolds.”
She exploded with laughter, eyes filling, about to cry with laughter. I looked around the bar like a champion, admiring my handiwork. You all see this? It’s not even a challenge. This isn’t my best stuff. I’m just saying her name. When you get to my level, it’s really not that big of a deal because it happens a lot.
I gave her a ride home, went to bed, and the next day I went to text her to tell her that it was fun hanging out. But I can’t find Sarah Reynolds in my contacts. Strange. I scroll through texts and as it turns out, there is no Sarah Reynolds. The person who I have been speaking to is named Sarah Richards.
For the entire night, I called her by the wrong name. She was laughing at me because it was hilarious that I was saying the wrong name. I texted and asked her who, the hell, “is Sarah REYNOLDS?”
“LOL. You were so committed to calling me that, I didn’t have the heart to correct you.”
It gets worse. Or better, if you’re sick and you like seeing me fail. She dropped her debit card in my car, so I found it, and thought how funny it was that our cards looked exactly the same. We spoke on the phone about how great it was that I found her card, and how it looked like my card, and how dumb I felt about calling her the wrong name and I said that I might just spend her money! We laughed.
THAT VERY NIGHT I was with some friends, I pulled out her card and thought, “I better not pay with this card because that would be bad!”, and I put it in my pocket and then I took it out and paid with it. SERENITY NOW!
And I said to her, “I did what I was joking about!!!”
She is now on our coed soccer team.