At a party this weekend, I met That Guy. We’ve all met That Guy. You know the one. He walked into the party with a group of friends. His friends proceeded to the basement to get right to work playing Beer Pong, while he stayed upstairs with us in the kitchen. (Everyone knows that the kitchen is where the party really is.) That Guy announced to us that his friends were lame, that he was tired of them, and he was looking to hang out with us. We smiled politely as he introduced himself, and then shared a quiet laugh when That Guy promptly left the room to find something else to do.
Incidentally, we never did see That Guy’s friends again. They stayed in the basement playing Beer Pong, and we stayed upstairs not playing Beer Pong.
Throughout the evening, That Guy would occasionally circle into our area, and try to engage someone – usually one of the women in the room – in some conversation. He was overly aggressive, and didn’t take hints. He approached Andy and I and asked, conspiratorially, whether Dawn was seeing someone. He noted that Dawn had “the best personality” but didn’t want to get ahead of himself if she wasn’t available. I noticed almost immediately that while he was talking about Dawn, he was in fact pointing at Beth. I questioned him on this. As it turns out, he had gotten their names confused, and it was Beth about whom he had been speaking. “That’s my wife,” Andy said, with a hint of menace in his voice. That Guy quickly changed gears and begin inquiring about Dawn.
Dawn kept him at bay for awhile, so That Guy shifted his attention to Hannah. At first she was polite, though noncommittal toward his advances: she didn’t jump into his arms, neither did she really push him away. I think she was hoping he would get bored and wander off on his own. Alas, that didn’t happen. He stuck around, and continued to ask things like “Do you like what you see?” as he lifted his shirt to reveal his belly. Hannah firmly rebuffed him, but to no effect. After several iterations of this, Hannah finally announced loudly that she had no interest in him whatsoever, and that he needed to leave her alone. Several of us nearby overheard this exchange, and simply stared at That Guy as he stood there mute for several moments. Finally he left Hannah, and circled back toward Dawn. Things got slightly worse from there, and we ended up leaving soon after that.
I’ve always been terrified that I’ll end up being That Guy. I’ve been terrified that I’m going to inadvertently piss off someone’s husband or boyfriend, or that I won’t pick up on what should be an obvious clue. As such, I’ve historically been the wallflower at parties, too timid to engage people even if I wasn’t trying to flirt with them. After seeing just how badly That Guy behaved this weekend, though, I don’t think I have anything to worry about.