Monday, February 25, 2008

Glen Hansard, The Ladies and a Hungarian

Glen Hansard won the Oscar last night for best song. I have a bone to pick with Mr. Hansard. I was first introduced to him by "The Ladies" (or "ladieth" after we've had a few). The ladies were my college roommates who callously left me to live in Dublin for six months after we graduated college. Granted I was living in Seattle at the time, but that's not the point. The point is they ran off and had a bunch of fun without me (Yes, their story might be different than mine. They might tell you that they asked me over and over again to go but I decided that I couldn't because I'm a total jackass. Their story is probably closer to the truth.) So the ladies sent me a CD of this great band they had found while living in Dublin. Turns out the band is The Frames, an Irish band, whose front man is none other than Glen Hansard. The Frames are awesome, and if you haven't listened to them get thee over to I-Tunes and download Dance the Devil, you won't be sorry. My favorite song is #5 (you can thank me later).

So anywhooo, I listened to the CD over and over again. The only problem was, I listened to it during a break up. Now you know what a train wreck you can be when you're breaking up with someone. Especially if you're in your early 20's and the person you're breaking up with is the person you think you're going to marry. I was a mess and The Frames were there for me every step of the way. I finally got over the guy, but what I didn't realize had happened was that my heart was put back together with a little wrinkle. That little wrinkle was that I thought all Irish guys were as nice and as soulful as Glen Hansard. It was a little wrinkle I didn't realize existed until last year when I finally went to Dublin with the ladies for a vistit.

We went to see Michele, a friend Digs had made while she worked for a bank in Dublin. Michele had gotten engaged and was having a big party and what the hell, we'll cross the Atlantic for a party. Michele immediately put us to work and made us run around to get ice. Easy enough, right? Uh no. Apparently ice that comes in massive bags at the local grocery store for $1.59 is a U.S. phenomenon. The only way to get loads of ice in Ireland is to send your American girlfriends into the local pubs to smile pretty and say "um hi, our friend is having a party tonight and um, we said we'd buy some ice but we didn't realize we couldn't and well ... could you help us out?" To which we'd inevitably get asked "where's the party?" while the cute Irish bartenders would load us up with bags of ice. See, they're so nice (and Michele is so smart)! So lots of flirting with the local boys, yes. But quality time, no. Not until my last night in Ireland.

We were out in Temple Bar (read: tourist mecca) bar hopping and having a grand time when Spleen's cousin and I spied a cute bartender. He filled me up with Club Lemon and Vodka (oh Club Lemon, how I miss you) and we proceed to chat. He advised us when some drunk guys from Scotland started to swarm "you don't want those guys" he said in his cute Irish accent then winked. Hmmm ... I decided he was right. I wanted him, my very own version of sweet Glen Hansard. So cute boy's other bartender friend hangs out with us while cute boy has to go pour drinks and he asks us if we want to meet up after they get off work. Spleen's cousin says "yeah, we like Irish guys!" or something equally flirtatious. "Bummer," cute bartender's friend says, "I'm Hungarian." From the other side of the bar cute bartender looks over his shoulder at me and gives me a cute little smile.

We decide to meet upstairs at a bar down the street about a half hour later. But you know how time goes when it's 3 a.m. and you're in a foreign country. So we MADE it to the bar, but didn't actually make it upstairs. So another hour or so goes by and I see the Hungarian, but no cute bartender. Hungarian yells at me and says "we waited for you guys for over an hour!" I say innocently, "I've been sitting right here." To which he yells "We said UPSTAIRS, this is CLEARLY downstairs." I decided I didn't like the Hungarian. An Irish guy would never talk to me like that! "Where's your friend?" I asked looking to be saved and maybe groped a little by the cute bartender. "He left, and I'm leaving too!" "Okay," I calmly replied turning back to my friends. He paused, halfway out the door and said "unless, you want to come with me?"

"WHAT?!" I almost spit out my Guinness. "You said you liked Irish guys." he replied, anger gone completely out of his tone and probably directly to his wanger. "You're not Irish, you said you're Hungarian." was all I could think of to say. "No, I said I'm HUNG like an ARIAN." After laughing hysterically for a couple of minutes and saying no to promises that he could take me to the airport the next morning, I realized Glen Hansard every Irish guy was not. They were just like guys in every other part of the world--some incredible, some assholes and some apparently hung like Arians. The Arian went home alone.

So it was fitting that Glen Hansard's song last night was called "Falling Slowly" (or in my case add "if ever"). And of course because he's lovely and soulful he wrote and sang it onstage with his costar from Once. And then he had to go and be all Glen Hansard like and sweep her off her feet in real life too. Fair play to you both.

On a more joyful (and less envious) note a special shout out to my ladies, I will see you guys Wednesday!