Thursday, November 8, 2007

Coffee talk

"OMG, we need coffee talk," my friend A emailed to me, G and F. "Girl chatter. Please. I need estrogen!"

A is a scientist working at a chemistry lab uptown. It's her and six guys and she goes crazy at least once a month.

Serendipity 3

We met up at Serendipity 3, which has been in the news because it created the world's most expensive dessert. The group decided to go for something a bit less expensive but tasty nonetheless. I got a hot chocolate to warm up -- fall has finally come to Manhattan. After a few sips and bites, we immediately started chatting. And didn't stop for hours. I love girl's night out. We caught up on boyfriends, work, anything and everything.

F was particularly livid about an article that the gals at her work had passed around. A speed dating study at Columbia University had found that men did not want to go out on dates with women who were smarter or more ambitious than them.

"That's pretty much every woman in New York City," she snarked. "What the hell is the big deal?" She wondered why men wouldn't like a smart woman.

"They don't want to be threatened," A, who is married, responded. "It's OK to have a little healthy competition but most men want to be the breadwinner."

"The worst are the women who pretend to be dumber than they are," F said. "It's completely wreaking havoc on the system."

The girls continued to debate for a little while. Finally F cocked an eyebrow in my general direction. "You're awfully quiet," she said. I smiled weakly. Finally, I admitted that I had played dumb to get dates with cute boys before.

The girls groaned. The general sentiment was 'How can you do that?' I shrugged. I told them that it's not a pissing match and any boy can find out later how smart and ambitious I am. I don't want them to feel overmatched. Lull them in, I said, and then reveal.

"It's not like it's worked out well for me anyway," I half-joked with a smirk. More groans.

We moved on to a debate about why so many male scientists do studies to disprove the intelligence of women, or to try to qualify lame actions like cheating through biological factors. The subject later completely changed to Thanksgiving plans, and then holiday plans.

Hours later, we'd had our fill of tasty treats and yummy drinks, and it was time to go home. We gathered our coats and said goodbye. As I stood up and started to put mine on, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I wheeled around and was shocked to see my ex-boyfriend D smiling at me.

"Hi!" I said, more astonished than anything to see him. We'd dated for a few months last year casually. We'd broken up because my last job made me miserable to be around. He greeted me with a warm hug and asked how I was. We chit chatted for a couple of minutes. He was leaving too and offered to walk me out.

The girls waited off to the side as D and I caught up. Finally, he said, "I overheard you ladies talking about playing dumb for men." I blushed but confirmed. "So...did you do that with me?" He asked. Oh lord. How could I answer? I tried to think of a response, but had to be honest.

"A little, yeah," I replied. "It's just part of the game. Like you literally bumping into me at the bar as an excuse to buy me a drink." D laughed. "I suppose," he murmured, giving me the once over. "You shouldn't do that."

We just kind of stood there for a minute in that awkward do we want to hang out or not moment? Luckily my gals swung in to rescue me. As they pulled me away, I shouted goodbye to D and once around the corner we sank into a fit of giggles.

"Ugh, I know like five guys in this city and one just happened to be sitting behind us listening to me admit my game," I cried. "Or lack therof," A said. More giggles.

I swear, my life is a sitcom and I'm the only one who can't hear the laugh track.

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