Short-listed Entry: Non-Fiction Category
By: K.T. Walsh
Sometimes you meet a man and within the first 30 seconds your posture sinks, your head tilts, and you need a handkerchief to wipe up the drool. Most of the time it starts with his sly, corner-of-the-eye smile. It’s subtle, but you know it’s just for you. Hold on, I need to peel my chin off the floor, try to form actual sentences, and attempt to remember my name, and more importantly my age. And it was just a little ol’ smile. Total swoon. It’s the trifecta of the charming man and no woman is safe from his spell. These men glow with god-given charisma and suddenly all the women in the room are running into walls, tripping over their own shoelaces, and kissing babies that aren’t their own, spontaneously blinded by the stars in their eyes. All the single gals engage their claws.
He becomes a trophy synonymous with a bride’s bouquet. And never underestimate the ultimate power-move: the bouquet toss. We have all seen enough America’s Funniest Home Videos to be aware of the danger in this sport.
The trifecta is a perfectly balanced cocktail of boyish charm, old-fashioned sensibility, and sharp whit with hints of kindness and worldliness. He’s the man who will buy you a drink, subtly reveal a past heartbreak, crack jokes about current events, and at the same time weaving in his admiration for his mother. All while telling you that you are the most gorgeous girl he’s ever laid eyes on. You believe every word. Lap it up.
Not too long ago, I experienced such an encounter with a striking ginger-haired bartender. If you know me, you know I love a red beard. If I had a type it would be Irish. With an Irishman you know what you are getting yourself into, maybe a temper, most likely a drinking problem, but for certain, a fun loving guy with a sensitive side. Not to mention, Irishmen are the most loyal of them all.
I was meeting some Patriots fans to watch a game. Having lived in Boston only a short while before moving to Los Angeles, my allegiance doesn’t lie what-so-ever with Tom Brady, but as a Michigan girl, the Lions hadn’t doing much for me either. Regardless, I love to enjoy a game of ball with a beer and old friends. Boston fans are fiercely devoted (most of them are Irish, case in point), so naturally the Beantown Bar we were trying to cram into was at max capacity. Plan B: throw a stone, hit an Irish Pub, order a pint, and the Pats game will surely be on.
I caught up with my friends at the second pub, my scan of the Sunday Football crowd was pleasantly interrupted by a certain tall Irish bartender. Pleasant is an understatement. It was magical. Hello, blue eyes! Oh that group of loud bumbling Pats fans harassing you, yeah… unfortunately, I’m with them. Thanks guys. I’ll just take my Guinness and be over here, mortified, if you need me.
One could assume that I no longer was there to watch the game. Of course I tried to play it cool as I watched his every move, gracefully dancing from one end of the bar to another, sharing his winning smile with lucky patrons. Certainly, I wasn’t the only one who noticed his charm. Even the burly lumberjacks I came in with were making side comments and developing man-crushes. Good, so it’s not just me, this man has the power to turn straight men gay.
Every once in a while we would make eye contact as he slung beers at my end of the bar. But then when I got up from my stool to graduate to the bathroom, he winked at me. Yup, he winked right at me. Normally, winks are kind of creepy, but this guy had the trifecta, he must have read my weakness. I had a grandfather who would pass me pieces of candy before dinner with a wink. There’s a special place in my heart for winking and I felt satisfied that I had received special attention.
At the end of the game we closed out our tabs and collected right outside the bar. The place was still packed, and I had resolved that the one wink was all I was probably going to get from Mister Handsome. As we were waiting for stragglers, my group started talking about him again. That’s the thing with charming men; they leave a lasting impression. Just as they were patronizing me for not striking up a conversation with him, speak of the devil, he walks outside assessing the area. Our eyes locked, another wink. Okay, now my knees are weak, I need someone to hold onto.
Once under the spell of the Charming Trifecta a lady must make a bold move to prove she is worthy. Fortunately for me, I was surrounded by enough clear thinking people, and had the consumed the right amount of liquid courage to make that bold move. I, like any good soldier, am prepared for anything as long as I have my big purse. I tore a piece of paper from my notebook and with careful tact, legibly scrawled my number. Without allowing too much time for second thoughts, I marched into the bar and right up the gentleman. “I know you probably get this a lot, but here’s my number,” I blurted out trying to disguise my fear. I was sure I was out of my league. Never has a man made me so tongue-tied. My nerves eased as the trifecta took hold of me. The intoxication of his small talk sent me over the edge and into the poppy field. It took all my power not to shout with delight as I skipped out the door.
He said he would call me on Friday and I totally believe him, and his electric blue eyes and dashing smile. And if nothing else, it was truly explosive to make the acquaintance of the striking ginger-haired Irishmen with the trifecta of a charming man.