About once a year I’ll be out with friends at dinner and I’ll take a look around the table and realize: Paul, you could do a lot better than this crowd.
But who is this better crowd? Where do they hang out? What kind of dinner jackets are they wearing this season so I can bring myself to their attention? And after I find this better crowd, how do I guilt them into inviting me to a party?
And not just any party, but a yachting party, because I’ve become increasingly convinced that this better crowd I’m seeking is the yachting crowd.
I’ve never been on a yacht but I’m certain I’d enjoy it because it’s the kind of thing I’d look good doing. How do I know? Because of the opening lines of Carly Simon’s song, You’re So Vain:
You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner
They’d be your partner, and…
She managed to perfectly describe the way I always enter a party. Also the way I enter a Starbucks. And apparently the way I enter a party and Starbucks is the exact same way one should enter a yacht. Nobody taught me to wear an apricot scarf and dip my hat below one eye. Nobody taught me to stare at myself in the mirror. Nobody taught me to be the type of guy girls dream will be their partner. It just came naturally.
But here we are almost halfway through the summer and still nobody has invited me to a yachting party.
Where does the yachting crowd hang out? Here’s the short answer: not Starbucks.
It seems I’ve tried everything to grab their attention, like when I converse with my current string of low-grade friends I loudly use words I know they’ll like, hoping a yachtsman at another table might overhear. Words like chartreuse, because when a yachtsman shows you his new yacht, your face doesn’t just turn scarlet with envy, it should chartreuse with envy.
I’ve also taken to adapting all my idioms for the seafaring crown.
“Before you judge a man, be sure to swim a nautical mile in his wetsuit.”
“I couldn’t get that guy to shut up. He was talking a knot a minute.”
“There are plenty of other fish in the sea.”
I don’t know what I’m doing wrong because to me it seems obvious that I’d make a great yachting guest. I’ve tried everything short of checking Google to see if Shanghai even has a recreational marina.