Thursday, April 14, 2011

Suave v. Rico Suave (Apostrophe Over the E)

Its girls’ night after a long week of late hours at the firm and I'm going out. Clearly I couldn’t make it one more day to Friday without an alcoholic beverage. It was that kind of week. I didn’t even bother to go home and change into “going out” clothes. I head straight to the bar from my office around 8 pm. It was the kind of night that I didn’t even bother to check out who was there and who was not when I walked in. I take a seat in the back corner of the bar and order a whiskey on the rocks. The bar tender smiles as he slides me my high ball and without a word turns for the front end of the bar as I wait for my girlfriends to arrive.

I am wearing my don’t-bother-me mask to ensure that no man, potential lover or friend, would interrupt my complacency with a stiff drink and my own thoughts as my only companion. Moments later, a mid-twenty-something male in a suit appears to my left. The top button of his mint green dress shirt is undone and his neck tie loosened. I presume he is also looking for a stiff drink after a hard day and hoping he recognizes that too is the ONLY thing I am interested in at the bar.

As soon as the bartender puts his rum and coke on the wooden bar, he turns to me and just smiles and stares. Oh Christ, I have a regular Rico Suave sitting next to me, I think to myself. For those of you living under a rock or whom have just not come in contact with this specimen, Rico Suave is a common nickname for douche bags who think that they are charming. In my first few years of college at Penn State, some girlfriends of mine would call me Rico Suave when my daytime charm school skills of seducing a man, turned into creepy sloppy stalking in my drunken stupor. Since, we started to call men who give us second hand embarrassment from their seduction skills, or lack thereof.

Women who fall for this act of seemingly subtle seduction are clearly misinformed or just plain blind. In my younger years, I may have fallen for this clean shaven creep. However, with time comes wisdom (most of the time). And my jaded judgmental soul can spot Rico even before he speaks. I had to kiss a few frogs before I came to recognize this prince incognito, but I am now a professional.

Rico stands next to my stool, posing and smiling from ear to ear. He is the kind of man so arrogant that he thinks a combination of his smile; outfit and inviting eyes will do the trick without even having to utter a word. His pose appears to be something he saw in a magazine. No, not GQ, but possibly the JC Penny catalog where a man is modeling yacht-wear. I’m fairly certain that no shopper of JC Penny owns a yacht and Rico’s demeanor is as fake as the model’s.

After I continue ignoring him for a few moments, knowing full well his body is completely turned in my direction, he bites his lip in a way that I am sure he thinks is attractive and introduces himself. I am nice enough and at least give him my real name. He then asks, “What do you do?”

“I’m a writer,” I respond. While legal writing is not necessarily the image that a stranger associates with “I’m a writer,” I have come to discover that that response usually fends off the majority of Ricos in the world. And so, it is my defense mechanism each time I am asked that riveting question by men at the bar. No metro sexual wants to be wrapped out with a writer since they are presumably complicated, or so says the stigma that comes from “I’m a writer.”

“I love Catcher in the Rye,” he says. “I wish I could be a financial writer. I’m in finance. Lots of room for upward mobility and growth in salary. I hate my boss, but it’ll be worth it when I’m boss in a few short years.”

“It was nice meeting you,” I say and get up from my stool. I see my girlfriends finally trickling in and I am saved by the bell. Rico looks at me dumbfounded as if to say, “What did I say?”

A lot of men have it all wrong. Your boring tidbits of information in regard to your salary are not going to make me panty drop in the dark corner of the bar, it’s going to make me drop you. And Catcher in the Rye? Really? I realize that every men’s magazine will tell you to feign interest in a girl’s career/conversation, put please put forth some effort before you name drop the only book you probably ever read, and it was mandatory in high school at that. I enjoy Holden Caulfield as much as the next person, but let’s brainstorm before speaking next time.

I actually feel a little bad after writing this. He’s just a guy looking for conversation at the bar. But rico suaves are by definition arrogant. If this was just the average Joe, I probably wouldn’t be so hard on him. Maybe I am jaded after being in contact with too many ricos. Maybe I am too into one particular rico to want to deal with any others. There are a multitude of maybes that probably form my attitude. But I’m going to be me. Take me or leave me or just leave me alone at the bar after a bad day!

But then he does it. he validates every stereotype I have ever created for Rico Suaves everywhere. He calls out “Amanda!” after me and asks what he said wrong.

I could have informed him that that is not my name. I could have informed him that he is not just a nice guy looking for conversation in proximity at the bar, but a run-of-the-mill Rico Suave looking to take me home after enough whiskey. But I don’t, experience has taught me that some uninformed younger girl will bed him that night and over time, she will learn what I have. Rico Suaves are not so suave.