All of the awkwardness of Liz Lemon, with half the charm.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Once Upon a Time, I had a Greek Sugar Daddy OR I Did Stupid Shit as a Teenager

I may look and sound all sweet and pure, but on the inside, I’m…I’m…. Actually, I’m neither sweet, nor pure, nor slutty. I think that actually makes me boring, which is the perfect melding of sweet and slutty. But enough about me. I want to tell you a story about my Greek sugar daddy and the summer where I was maybe a little less boring, at least on the surface.

I spent my summers in college working for a conference center as an intern. Basically, I was the conference planner’s bitch, but I got free room and board, even if my soul was not my own. What made this job so freaking fun was that my best friend in college, A,[1] also worked as an intern and together, we would take long breaks, even longer lunches, and joy rides in the company golf cart.[2] We had money to burn and tended to go out to dinner in the evenings, but not with booze or anything, because we were still only 19. One of the places we liked to frequent was this restaurant called Zorbadillo’s. It was a Greek and a Mexican Restaurant. No, not a Greek-Mexican fusion restaurant, but a restaurant with a delicious half menu of Greek food and a half menu of strangely deformed Mexican classics, such as mini crunchy enchiladas. Not yum. Well, the Greek food was fantastic, but the Mexican food was creepy.

The restaurant itself was quite the splendiferous visual experience. The walls were marble, Greek musical dvds were playing on flatscreen televisions high above the tables, and everywhere, there were statues and paintings of Greek art, mostly pseudo-classical stuff. It was a little like eating dinner in an episode of Hoarders featuring a wealthy, Greek man. Every time we went, there was something new to look at.

Speaking of wealthy Greek men, the owner of the restaurant was quite the character as well—a character that took a fancy to me, but ESPECIALLY took a fancy to A. I think she was the visual reincarnation of his first love or something, which is weird because she looks not at all Greek and looks Jewish, which she is. The owner, known as Costas, was a towering Greek man in his early sixties with the world’s most obvious lank, white comb over, which he wore if there wasn’t an occasion for his glossy grey toupee. He was portly, hairy and not dissimilar from the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

One evening, Costas approached our table ostensibly, to check on the meal, but we ended up making formal introductions and staying to chat for quite some time. The next week, he sent over a bottle of wine and told the waitress to make the “lovely girls” happy. He also came over to give us his business card, in case we ever wanted to give him a little call. (Why would 19 year old girls want to call him?) He wrote some key words in Greek on the cards. I believe my word was “Friendship” and A’s word was “Beautiful.” I told you he liked her better than me. He regaled us with stories of Greece, and also stories about his grandmother in Greece, who he was going to visit in a couple of months. The next visit, Costas straight up pulled a chair up to our table, sat down, and motioned for the waitress to come over and take our order. And by “our” order, I mean the food that Costas commanded her to bring, along with a couple of good bottles of Greek wine. He started hinting more about taking us to Greece with him because we would love the beautiful ocean so much and we looked just like two beautiful Greek girls. A and I found it a hilarious adventure, and we kept going back to his restaurant every week, just to see what he would do next. This continued for the duration of the summer. We were 19--give us a break for bad judgment?

On a critical visit, Costas decided he wanted us to eat dessert,[3] but any dessert at Zorbadillo’s was unacceptable. We MUST go find ice cream. And take a ride in his bright blue BMW (I think? I just remember it was fast, expensive and blue) sports car. I think he told us it cost 6 figures. After the ice cream and offers of trips to Las Vegas with him, he took us to his office—several blocks from the restaurant and totally empty, because it was the evening. In retrospect, going with a strange man to a deserted building was not the smartest thing we ever did. Oh, for the stupidity and perky breasts of youth! Oh, I forgot to mention that Costas was a bit of a Colorado Springs real estate magnate—in addition to the restaurant which was his “fun” business, he owned a bunch of property, including a mortuary and a conference center.

His office, he told us, was made entirely out of Greek marble that he had imported from his homeland. I’m not sure if the bearskin rug on the floor was also imported. He took us back there ostensibly to give us gifts—which he did—pricey designer perfume and scented candles. He actually had the perfume in his trunk, but needed to supplement that, because of course, perfume is never a substantial enough gift for two teenage girls that you don’t really know. Again, we got invites to a preliminary Vegas weekend (where we could do all the shopping we wanted!) and then the ultimate, month long trip to Greece. At one point, while he was making desperate sheep’s eyes at A, he told me that it was absolutely necessary that I come along too because they clearly needed a third. I’m unclear whether this was an invitation for a threesome. We hemmed, hawed, and made excuses about having to get up for work, and did not give him a straight answer. When we departed, there was a hopeful glint in his lascivious, aging eyes.

Costas left several phone messages. My friend got a case of the ethical morals, and decided that it would be inappropriate for us to accept the offer of Vegas, Greece, and unlimited shopping. Me, having no such morals and probably much less expectation to put out sexually, was pretty darn disappointed. I always wanted to go to Greece. It was there, on that sad August day, that our source of delicious Greek food, designer perfume, and sports car rides ended. Everybody say awwww….

There’s an epilogue here though. One day, about 4 years later, I’m having lunch with a dude friend on a patio next to a very pretentious steakhouse. It’s maybe, 11:30am, meaning CLEARLY DAYTIME. We see a bright blue sports car pull into the metered spot in front of our restaurant and out steps Costas—who has made the wise decision to forgo both a comb over and a toupee and just shave his head—and a very young Eastern European girl wearing:

1. A cocktail dress (remember people, its 11:30am in Colorado Springs in April. Not cocktail occasion.)

2. Bright red lipstick

3. A short fur coat.

She couldn’t have possibly been a day older than 18. And before you go asking if it was his daughter—I saw him play grab ass with her in ways fathers do not play with their daughters. It would seem that Costas had replaced us, which makes both sad for my lost vacation opportunities, but glad because I would NEVER wear fur. Also, it was probably better for like, my purity’s sake or whatever. BUT GREECE! I’ve seen Mama Mia, that place is fucking gorgeous.

[1] I kind of feel like I’m reenacting Pretty Little Liars with my use of A here, but I don’t know what else to call her.

[2] The golf cart was all fun and games until I fell, off, cracked my head open, and then had to have it stapled back together, but that is a whole other post. Seriously,kids, be careful in things with wheels without seatbelts, because if you’re not careful, you could turn out like me. And that would be terrible.

[3] He didn’t say he wanted us to eat dessert off of him, but it was probably hinted at and/or a likely possibility in his mind. Eww, gross.

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