June 22, 2006

It’s No Coincidence That Totti Rhymes with Hottie

Posted in Happy Hour, Lessons Learned at 5:11 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

The first time I faked it I was out with my first boss for a "get to know you" drink after work.  I was worried about ordering a cool, sophisticated, impressive drink and doing so while looking over 21, which I wouldn't be until August of that year.

My prior drinking experience was limited to whatever could be lifted from my friends parent's liquor cabinets without being missed, jungle juice straight from the bathtub at TKE and of course Milwaukee's Best, aptly called "The Beast," at crew parties.  I didn't know what sort of wine I liked, I didn't see jungle juice on the menu and I wasn't about to order a beer.

I continued to review the bar menu as my boss ordered a gimlet up. I looked at him and then the bartender, put on an air of indifference and said, "You know what, I'll have the same thing."

The gimlet would go on to become my signature cocktail; however that day I was shocked when it was served to me in a martini glass.

Since discovering the gimlet, I have faked my way through Super Bowl parties, only after a run down with my father as to what to yell when; Art Gallery openings, where I would spend the first fifteen minutes or so next to a guy who looked like he knew what he was talking about, then pass his comments off as my own; Phillies home openers, spent staring at Pat Burrell; several Olympic Games, after a lot of internet research and Today specials; and a rock concert, hint when lip synching to a song whose words you don't know watermelon fits in perfectly almost every time.  Faking it has become my most marketable quality, and yet I can't figure out how to add it to my resume.

So the other day when my lawyer friends L., Em and K2 invited me out to watch the USA and Italy in the World Cup, I replied in the affirmative with a huge amount of enthusiasm, despite having never had any interest in professional soccer.  Still, I knew the afternoon would be spent at an Irish pub surrounded by soccer fans, drinking beer and screaming at a TV; I was not going to let a little thing like not being a fan of the sport get in the way of my good time.

The key to faking it is to know at least a little bit going into the event.  I knew these girls were fans, so I checked out some websites, talked to some other soccer fans, even read a little bit about the World Cup in the newspaper.  By the time I arrived at the bar, I knew that the U.S. needed to win, not tie, to secure future play in this tournament, Brazil was expected to win the whole thing and that it was taking place in Germany.

However, no amount of research could have prepared me for the hotness that is the Italian team. The first close up of Francesco Totti, at about five minutes into play, and my knees went weak. A slight moan escaped from my lips and my cover was blown.  L. turned to me, looked at my face and just laughed.

As she yelled things like "corner" and "come on" waving her arms frantically and turning away in disgust, I just stood there, awestruck by the beautiful men on the field.  As the Italians near me screamed about the red card given to Daniele DeRossi for the elbow he threw at Brian McBride's face, I uttered a single, low "oh" when the camera cut to McBride shirtless on the sideline.

However, the crowning moment in my failure this weekend was at the end of the game, a close up of Fabio Cannavaro.

"Oh my god" were the words that escaped my lips.  L., laughing yelled "Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner."  The Italian gentleman, who was raised in England, whispered to me, "You should have seen him before he cut off all his hair."

I shrugged my shoulders, smiled and said, "You have your reasons for watching, I have mine."

L. just shook her head at me.  What was I to do?  I was a girly, silly disappointment and much like our soccer team, powerless against Italians


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