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March 23, 2001

Ashley wants to meet him, and she can't really bitch because she's disappeared with the Aussie, whose name is Bob for just as long as I have with Ethan, so we decide the perfect solution is a double date.  That way everyone can meet everyone and we can judge each other all at once and get everything out of the way.  I mention it to Ethan and he seems perfectly okay with it.  I was a little scared, because I haven't met any of his friends yet, and you know how completely it deep sixes a relationship if your best friend doesn't like the guy you're dating. 

Ashley suggests we go karaoking down at the Gaslight.  This sounds like the worst idea in the world.  I can't do karaoke unless I'm really drunk, and I think it's way too early in the game to display this particular side of myself to Ethan.  And it's really hard with karaoke.  You have to drink enough to get up there and belt something out, but just one drink too many and suddenly you're grotesquely off-key.
  But Ashley's fearless, probably because she can sing no matter how many beers she's pounded down, so she mentions the idea in front of Ethan. Even worse, she's already enlisted the Aussie on her side and he's all excited to go.  So it's two against one, and Ethan's the tiebreaker.  And he looks at me, and I'm trying hard to nonchalantly signal him without Ashley seeing that I hate this idea.  But he smiles at me, and I just can't help but feel the rush.  The rush that's fast becoming familiar.  I will do anything for you as long as you keep smiling at me that way.  "Whatever's good with you" he says to me, and Ashley immediately takes it to mean we're going to the Gaslight.

The Gaslight is such a dive, that's why we love it.  If you put your name on the list right at 9, it only takes maybe an hour and a half for you to go up, and that's plenty of time to get comfortably sloshed enough to chase those stage fright jitters away.  Of course, with Ethan being around, the jitters have practically tripled in size.