Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fox hunting

I was told by a friend I must give details about a specific portion of my San Antonio trip.  She believes people will find my story entertaining and maybe a bit funny.  I'm not sure I'll be able to do the story justice without big hand gestures and the intermittent laughter you would get if you were sitting across from me with a glass of wine but I'll do my best.

On the second night we were in SA the girls and I decided to do dinner at our house but then go out for drinks on The Riverwalk.  The challenge had been quietly placed before me to continue a tradition that started at Adrienne's wedding.  At her bachelorette party I found a way to get into the good graces of a guy at the piano bar we went to after dinner so that he paid for our (and a lot of other people who joined our gravy train) entire tab.

The legend of the Silver Haired Fox was born.  (His name was Michael just to give him a little dignity lol)

Now before I get too far into this story I have to explain a little bit.  CB and I have been using the term "Silver Haired Fox" for a long time.  It is a long standing joke between us.  It seems a little bit like it's derogatory in the way it's being used in this story but it isn't at all.  My ex's nickname on here is/was SHF.  Get where that came from?  CB and I always talk about finding a Silver Haired Fox of our own.  CB is married to a brown haired handsome man so we decided it was really up to me but it isn't going to be something that makes or breaks a relationship.  Again, it's a bit of a longstanding joke.  SHF has light hair and unfortunately given his life circumstances the past couple of years (and his age - let's be honest) he has become partially "silver".  He didn't like it when I first pointed it out but it was something I really liked about him.  It made him look distinguished and I always thought he was a handsome man - even when he had his stupid mustache for Movember.  Even with facial hair, which I generally turn my nose up at, I thought he was very attractive.  A big part of that was the silver in his hair.  SO while SHF might seem a bit like a negative nickname, or rude, or derogatory, or condescending it really isn't any of those things for my ex or the random men in this story and in stories in years to come.  I was proud to have found my Silver Haired Fox.  And the same goes for the Silver Haired Foxes I've met randomly throughout the years.  The scenarios with them have all been positive and have made me happy.

But anyway, I digress.  Back to my story:

Adrienne's wedding was in 2011.  In 2012, Adrienne, Erin, Molly, Jenny and I started a girls trip.  The first year we went to Scottsdale/Phoenix and laid by the pool/baseball diamond for a few days as well as exploring Sedona and some parts of Northern Arizona where none of us had been.  At one of the baseball games there was yet another Silver Haired Fox.  This interaction was FAR more benign and less financially beneficial for us but still, it continued a trend.

So this year, when we went to SA, the girls made it clear they were challenging me to find this year's Silver Haired Fox.  Now for those of you who know me, you know if I am challenged to do something I'm going to find a way to get it done.  It might kill me but I'm going to die trying.  The same can be said for the Silver Haired Fox Challenge.  On Saturday we met a group of men from Boston as we floated a river north of SA.  They were nice and I enjoyed drinking Margaritas out of a gas can with them but they were far too young and definitely not in the financial place I hoped This Years Silver Haired Fox would be.  The Chemical and Oil Convention was in town.  I figured if I couldn't find someone fairly wealthy I was a failure - and I'm not a failure.

Saturday night was perfect for a girls night but I struck out on the Silver Haired Fox.  We were still too focused on getting to know SA and spending time together after not being together the five of us for a year.  Sunday night though I knew it had to happen or it wasn't going to.

We ended up going to an Irish Pub that was also a piano bar called Durty Nellies.  We heard from a number of people that this was a good place to go and we gave Molly the nickname Durty Nellie early on in the weekend - really because it's the most ironic to use on her.  We walked in the door and I immediately went on the lookout.  At first there didn't seem to be any type of even remote prospect.  Too many couples.  Too many young people.  Not enough "silver".  But then. THEN. A group of men in suits walked in.  I spotted Brian immediately and knew he was done for. (haha)  He was just old enough but not too old (I found out he is 50 - that's the sweet spot - 15 years), he was dressed well but not over the top and he went straight to the bar.  He was with a group of about five other guys all dressed well and it was very clear they were there for the convention.  The only problem was Brian went to the bar and stayed there.  We were at a table a little bit away from the bar where we could see the piano and also see what was going on.  I struggled with how to make a move but then Adrienne used Molly as a pawn and sent the two of us up to the bar to get some waters.  Classic move A.  Classic.  And money.  I saw there was an opening next to Brian at the bar so I practically shoved Molly out of the way and moved in next to him.  At first he didn't acknowledge me.  It took me asking him a question about getting service I think before he noticed we were standing next to him.  We chatted a little and he made fun of us for getting waters but then the conversation sort of died down.  Molly and I got the waters and I went to sit down but then Brian stopped me and told me he wanted to buy me a shot when I was done drinking water.  Of course at that point I knew everything was fair game.  I took the waters to the table and went back to him and his buddies and he ordered a round of Patron for everyone.  The conversation was pleasant but I could tell the one shot was all I had earned so far, when the guy from California moved in.

That kid was either stoned or drunk out of his mind.  And he REALLY wanted to talk to me.  So of course I teased him mercilessly because he was an easy target in his inebriated state.  When Brian's guys heard me teasing him they decided to get in on the act as well.

But then California sealed the deal for me with the guys.  He grabbed my arm and asked me how much it would cost for him to spend the night with me.  I knew the kid was drunk and an idiot so I wasn't really offended by the comment but I did tell him it was offensive and asked him if I looked like a prostitute.  One of the guys overheard the conversation and the rest was history.  They swooped in and basically kicked him out of the room the bar was in - into the room where the girls were.  The girls told me he was eventually kicked out of the whole bar for throwing a chair or something.  I'm telling you, the kid was off his hinges, but his stupidity locked me in with Brian and the rest of the guys.  So I talked with the group mostly at first and they ordered drinks whenever I wanted them for me and the girls.  Brian spent some time out at our table talking to Molly and the other girls and the girls spent time in the bar area talking to the guys as well.  I loved being able to walk out to the table with handfuls of drinks to deliver to the table. 

That's getting my job done.

Eventually, Brian and I locked into a conversation.  It turns out that I sort of hit a home run with him as far as finances were concerned.  I asked him what company he worked for (the largest privately held company in the United States) and what his role was (owner/manager) and figured his credit card could keep up with a group of teetotalers like the five of us.  (After we got back to the house I told Jenny who he was and she knew of him and his family and their wealth.  Any guilt I had for taking a bit advantage of him evaporated.)  He really is a nice man; super complimentary of me - all the guys were actually.  I felt like I was a treasure.  They fawned over me.  They wanted to know over and over again why I wasn't married.  It was very nice because I was also very clear beyond the few hours we were spending at Durty Nellies there was nothing in it for them and it clearly didn't matter to them.  That's being a gentleman.

Eventually, Brian started to feel guilty about our conversation and I decided it had gone on long enough.  It was time to get myself and the rest of the girls home.  I sent him on his way.  We parted with a hug and thanks for the great evening.

So what are the rules for a successful end to a Silver Haired Fox Challenge?  First, look for someone who is approximately 15 years older than you are.  He needs to be well dressed and obviously not with a woman.  It really helps if he is with a group of men.  He also needs to have a nice smile.  This gives some insight into whether he is in for a good time or if he is there to unwind and be left alone.  I didn't know Brian was the ring leader of this group (Michael was clearly the one with the money at Adrienne's bach party) but there was a charisma about him that made it clear he was in control to some extent.  That is key as well.

Then you just have to be willing to have a good time and be respectful and appreciative.  Really, I guarantee you Brian walked out of that bar feeling that the money he spent was well worth the fun he was able to have chatting with us.  His ego was stroked by a group of youngish women paying attention to him.  He didn't have to talk to his employees exclusively.  And frankly I would bet it gained him some points with those guys the next day when they were able to ask why he didn't join them at the second bar they went to.

It's a win/win right?

So to my friend AZA who wanted me to write this blog entry - there you go.  The details.  The rules.  The fun.

More SA stories to come in the near future.

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