I seem to get lucky when I go to New Orleans for Jazz Fest.
It was my first year in business school. I was still feeling rather glum about dumping some hot guy I’d been dating. We had nothing in common. Believe me, I tried to find some common ground, but our conversations never took off. I called it off one morning while we sat in his kitchen with absolutely nothing to say. All I could think about was how I should be at the library working on my Economics problem set. As attracted as I was to him, I felt like he was a waste of time.
It was during this state of glumness that I got invited on a trip. The second years plan an enormous amount of trips during their last year. Did I mention that business school is one big vacation? Someone had reneged on her Jazz Fest plans and I was invited to go along with the big kids. The second years were protective of me in a sincere big brother/big sister sort of way; I felt special being there with them.
Anyhow, I met Blaine the last night that we were there. He made his way over to me at the suffocatingly crowded bar The Cat’s Meow. We spent the rest of the night and the morning drinking and talking. Before the sun set, my cell phone rang continuously (no doubt the second years checking up on their little one) as we frolicked in his hotel room. It was a fun one night stand. I’d never done that before and was kind of in shock that I did. We did the obligatory exchange of contact information, but I didn’t think I’d ever hear from him again.
Well I did what any devout Catholic school girl would do. I prayed. Not only that, I sent an intention to these cloistered nuns (who happen to answer online prayers). I told them that I sincerely believed I’d met the most amazing guy but that he lived in New York while I was in Chicago. Any reunion between the two of us would have to be through God’s intervention.
Well, people, this is why I’m a devout Catholic. I prayed. The cloistered nuns prayed. And Hallelujah, God came through. I must say, God always answers my prayers. I very very rarely ask God for anything, but when I do, He listens.
Blaine came out to San Francisco while I was home doing my summer internship. He met my core high school girlfriends which is a rarity. I’m with guys for such short periods of time that they never get to meet my family or friends. He also came out to Chicago. So the one night stand turned into something more, albeit short-lived. Still, the fact that there was something more made me feel less ashamed.
I went to Jazz Fest again this year with my dear high school girlfriends referenced above. We had never taken a big trip together as a foursome. Two of the four are engaged and we realized there was no better time than now to be together. We treated ourselves well and indulged, staying at the Ritz in a room that was bigger than my condo here in the city (I’ll even toss in the square footage of my downstairs storage area plus my parking space–It was still bigger than that!).
Waiting in line with my three friends at the ever popular Clover Grill on Bourbon Street, I got bored and headed down the street to LaFitte’s for a morning cocktail. I hopped onto one of the tall chairs at the bar and ordered myself a bloody mary. Someone sat next to me and did the same. We got to talking. Next thing you know, my friends called. They were being seated at the grill. They called for me to join them. Pete and his friends begged me to stay. I blurted out my order over the cell phone and told them I’d be there in a few. After a few more bloody marys and a couple of vodka shots, I was ready for my bacon double cheeseburger. I left the bar. The guys made me promise to come back. Pete also made sure to get my phone number before I took off. I scarfed down my burger and brought the girls back with me to the bar. The rest of the afternoon consisted of more drinking, picture-taking, and laughter.
Fast forward to midnight that same night. Pete and I meet up at the same bar. After a very long day and fun-filled night, my friends slowly make their way back to the Ritz. Pete and I stay, down more shots, and close out the bar. He walks me home. We’re completely drunk. We get to the Ritz, take the elevator to my floor, and I’m thinking, “What the hell am I going to do with this guy? My three friends are sleeping in our suite.”
The elevator opens, we walk a few steps, and I see a door labeled, ‘EMPLOYEES ONLY.’ Mischievous little me opens the door, peeks inside. Coast is clear. I swing Pete around and we full-on start making out. We’re on the floor rolling around when a very intimidating Louis Farrakhan lookalike demands that we get out. I’m so wasted, I don’t know whether to laugh or fear for my life. The situation is just so bizarre and my brain can’t seem to process what’s going on with any sort of logic. Pete and I dust ourselves off and make our way out of the Ritz, escorted by our own anti-bodyguard. I take him out to where the taxi cabs are, give him a kiss good-bye, and laugh the whole incident off as another New Orleans Jazz Love Fest.