Saturday was a long-island-to-start kind of day. It foreshadowed an eventful night filled with exhaustion, jaywalking, Carson City Saloon, the communication skills of a potato, and 3 am mac n’ cheese. But who knew it would also be a Phil Kessel kind of night!?
It took me a minute to work up the courage to say hello to him but once I did, I told him that I was thinking about naming my future dog after him. (Classy and casual, right?) He said, “OK.” At first, I thought that was a lame answer to such a clearly well-meant/not weird-at-all statement, but then again, maybe he pictured me yelling at dog Phil to stop pooping on the neighbors hydrangeas and felt a little weird. So I said, “Sorry for being awkward. I was born this way.” To which he again said, “OK.”
Cue my frustration.
Later that night, I saw a gaggle of drunk girls dancing up against his back. It was kind of like watching a group of ducks going at a piece of bread. He showed no interest but they were persistent, and looked like they hadn’t washed their hands the last four times they went to the bathroom. I leaned over and yelled to Phil, “I don’t feel as annoying for asking to take a picture with you now.” His only answer was an uncomfortable half-smile.
Dammit, Phil! Give me something to work with! I just want to be your bestest friend in all the world. Is that too much to ask?!?!
I’ve only met a couple of Pens players, but this was the most sedate interaction by far. For instance, I once met a former player who sang Tiny Dancer to me (a-cappella), and one who complimented my meatballs (I was a cocktail waitress at the time). But Kessel did not compliment my meatballs, oh no. And if I had asked him to comment on my meatballs, he probably would have said, “OK,” and then nothing.
Right at that moment, an eager looking fellow (a bar creep) emerged from the shadows and approached me.
Bar Creep: “Why so serious?”
Bar Creep: “Can I guess your name? You look like a Rachel.”
Bar Creep: “Can I buy you a drink? Why are you so serious all the time? Try smiling!”
Me: (Gives *Spock eyebrow and turns away).
Then, it hit me! I am the equivalent of Bar Creep. I am to Phil Kessel what **Bar Creep is to me. Perspective, folks, and a lesson in humility. Just remember…everyone is someone else’s Bar Creep. ***They aren’t trying to be cruel when they ignore you or say, “OK,” they just kind of want you to go away. Respect that.
I will think of this night fondly every time I watch the Pens play in the upcoming season, and I’ll raise a hot-dog to Phil, cause he’s a hell of a player who taught me a lot with just one word.
*I spent years perfecting the Spock eyebrow and it is the most useful weapon in my arsenal.
**I’m almost positive that Bar Creep was wearing a fake beard, or had a very affectionate chinchilla strapped to his face.
***Anecdote: My sister has dressed up as a hamster for the last 1,800 Halloweens, but on one special Halloween, she ran into Grey’s Anatomy actor, Jessie Williams. She asked if he liked her costume, and he said no! What a hamster-hating butt head (with beautiful eyes). Though, to be fair, that costume is slightly intimidating.
Update: My sister read this post and said: “To be accurate I asked, ‘Do you like what you see?’ while doing the robot. Then he said, ‘No.’ …Again, to be accurate.”