“With all due respect… Don’t make this weird.”
“Oh! I’m sorry, but… I’ve never met anyone with cat ears before!” Why does this always have to happen? I just wanted to sit down and enjoy my drink in peace. You’d expect this behavior from children, not grown adults.
“Yeah… That’s understandable…”
“My name’s Mariah.” I didn’t even ask. Can’t she tell I don’t want to talk to her? “I mean, I heard about the new craze of people getting weird cat ears or even demon horns, but I never thought I’d meet someone that actually went through with it.”
“Well, now you have.” So please go away and stop making people stare at me like I’ve murdered someone. I hope she’ll understand that before Sarah arrives.
“…” She continues to eye me down hard as I slowly sip my drink. Jesus, does she go to bars just to ruin people’s nights? I’m tempted to ask.
“So… I know this may come off as weird or invasive, but… can I ask you a couple of questions?”
“Depends on what you’re asking.”
“So, are people only able to get the ears or horns because of the limitations in technology, or do they allow anything?”
“I honestly don’t know but I’ve heard of people going full cat. I haven’t seen it myself, but it sounds like the technology is there.” People can do what they want with their bodies, but the thought of meeting human-sized cats is a bit terrifying.
“So, the cat ears only function as a style choice? There isn’t any crazy back door reason to it? Like merging cat and human DNA, so cat people can take over the world?” What is she talking about?
“Um… No, cat ears are like tattoos or piercings, but it’s a surgical procedure that’s only for cosmetic purposes.”
“Sounds more like breast implants to me, but okay.”
“I-I guess… But I’d rather not use that as a comparison. Makes me feel like I’m walking with boobs on my head.”
“Interesting…” What’s so interesting about what I said? On second thought, let me not waste my time thinking about it. It’ll do me more harm than good.
“Another question, is it standard that your hair needs to look like that? So that the cat ears blend in?” I’m not sure what she’s asking, but I’ll try to answer.
“I just matched my cat ears with my black hair…”
“I see. If you ask me though, you should do more with your hair. Like comb it back, it looks terribly shaggy. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought a cat was on top of your head. Not a house cat, but a feral cat that’s been lost in the wild for years.”
“Well, I’m not sure if you get what I mean but that cat needs a perm, some people might consider your hairstyle abusive to animals.”
“Actually no, you just need to comb out your curls, then you’ll look more manly unless you want to look like a girl.” This woman. Will not. Stop. Talking. If I knew I was going to get an in-depth evaluation, then I would’ve mixed rum with toilet water and called it a day. She’s so sure of herself too like she was ready for this.
“I’m not one to judge. I love it when people express themselves, but my suggestions go a long way.” Uck… Stop smiling at me… Passing it as fashion tips when you’re insulting me.
“Hey! Oh my gosh, sorry I’m late. I got caught in traffic…”
“Sarah! I’m so glad to see you.” Finally, the whole reason I came here tonight.
“Do you want anything to drink? My treat for being late!”
“Oh hello! Who are you?”, Sarah looks at me strangely as she looks back at Mariah then back at me once again.
“Friend of yours?”
“Hi! My name is Mariah, and I couldn’t help but notice that you two have cat ears!” Why does she sound more excited than before?
“Yes? And?” Sarah snaps.
“Oh, I just got a few questions but I’m going to assume that you two are together, correct?”
“Yes, we are. We’re married in fact. So again, who are you?”
“Married!? That’s so cute! Are you the reason that your husband got cat ears, or did your husband encourage you? Do you guys have a super interesting backstory of how you two met? Are you both obsessed with cats and married due to it? I don’t know how that would work but did something like that happen!?”
“You know you don’t have to be a cat person to get cat ears, right?”
“Really? You think a dog person would get cat ears? That would be weird!”
“Listen, Mariah, I understand you’re coming from a good place, but we need to head home now.”
“Oh… But didn’t you just arrive?”
“If you want to leave then that’s totally fine, but I just wanted to say that your husband seems awfully timid, I assume you take the lead and wear the pants in the relationship, nothing against your husband. He’s not cute enough to where I would’ve hit on him, especially knowing he’s married now. I mean, it wouldn’t have stopped me from trying if he was my type but yeah, my point is, I completely understand if you guys must go. Just keep your man on a leash, or whatever cats wear outside.”
“Keep my man on a leash? Is that supposed to be some pun? You don’t put cats on leashes, you idiot. Have you ever seen someone walk a god damn cat!?”
“Yes, I have! It was a joke—”
“Stay away from me and my husband before I really act like a cat and scratch your eyes out! I know your type… You’re someone that makes fun out of people who choose to be different! Just go away! Nobody is interested in you, Mariah!”
“Don’t say another word to me, or I’ll beat the living pulp out of you!”
“Even if you meant well, I honestly don’t care, because you don’t go about disrespecting people like that, and I don’t keep people on leashes, you weirdo!”
“Come on Mike. Let’s go!”
All I did was like their cat ears… All I was, was honest with them… What… What did I say that was so wrong? Then again, she’s probably the jealous insecure type. And I have seen people walk their damn cats! It’s weird but who are you to judge, stupid couple with cat ears.
“Excuse me? Are you okay?” I was having such a great night up until now. Ugh! I was just trying to start conversation and give actual suggestions! That’s it! It’s just my opinion and if people can’t handle questions concerning their appearance… Then they shouldn’t bother standing out.
“Are you okay? You’ve been staring at the counter for a minute now.”
“Oh! I have? Am I… okay?” Let me think about that for a second. Am I okay? First off, I’m a nice person and very conscious of people’s personal space. I wasn’t hitting on him, just giving suggestions and starting conversation. Besides positive criticism goes a long way. I mean it was going okay until his angry wife appeared.
“Did you hear me? I asked if you were okay? Do you need a drink of water? Or me to call a cab or—”
“Am I okay…?”
“Yeah. That’s what I’ve been asking for the past—”
“Am I okay?”
“Yeah, I am…”
“Okay, that’s all I wanted to know.”
“Actually, then again I don’t know. I literally just got screamed at by human-sized cats for no reason and don’t know why…”
“Yeah, I saw—”
“And who do you think you are asking me if I’m okay!? Just because you’re serving drinks doesn’t mean you can invade me with all these questions!”
“First off, asking if someone’s okay is common courtesy and sadly a part of the job. Then again, I’m a bartender, not a therapist.”
“I know you’re a bartender, I can see that with my eyes! Does everyone want to point out how stupid I am tonight? Like…Like do you think I’m too stupid to figure out that you’re not a therapist!? I don’t understand why people are so rude!” My night was going well up until now, I just want to cry and call it a night. I plan to never set foot into a bar again! The bartender now looks frustrated. “Whatever! I’ll be taking my leave now. Thank you for the drinks. Despite the cat people, you did a wonderful job of adding the perfect amount of zest to my drink. Have a goodnight.”
“I didn’t serve you any drinks, but if you need me to call a taxi—”
“It’s fine…” Well… This did not go as planned. I wanted to make new friends and spend less time moping about my boyfriend never being around.
“Weren’t you on your way out? I’m not going to lie, the way you’re staring at the counter is making me uncomfortable…”
“Yes. I’m going to leave, I’m just contemplating… things…”
“Wait, what? Contemplating what?”
“You were listening in on the conversation, right? I just wanted to make friends…”
“Yeah, I was listening and tell you the truth the cat ears are new to me too, but you came off way too strong!”
“Okay but it’s not my fault they’re built sensitive, the world is forged around nasty opinions and comments. If you can’t handle me, then that shows me how deeply insecure you are.”
“Uh-huh… That can be true… But you do realize you’re talking to strangers, that have no reason to care for what you say. But you didn’t care and continued questioning them on their appearance which is intrusive. The leash comment was…”
“The leash comment was hilarious! Let me explain—”
“No! It’s weird and can you imagine all the inappropriate comments they face daily? If you want friends just compliment them and go on with your day.”
“I didn’t mean it like that, but I can see how it’s weird…But who cares! I like answers to my questions, so I can move on from there. Sure, maybe he was uncomfortable, but it can be awkward making friends.”
“Another very interesting take but you do realize that’s like interrogation, right? Not everyone owes answers to why they do stuff.”
“Then they could’ve said so! He was fine up until she showed up”
“Listen, my point is you shouldn’t make anyone’s appearance center of conversation especially if you don’t know them like that.”
“I just thought it was cute! Maybe I want them one day…”
“Okay, but until you have them, you’re wrong for trying to put yourself in shoes that you’ve never worn before?”
“No. I thought about getting cat ears, so that qualifies as something. Besides that girl, clearly has anger issues!”
“That’s not how it works… Never mind. My point is, know your place, and stop trying to act like you know everything.”
“I never claimed I did know everything, or I wouldn’t have asked so many questions!”
“…” Wow, now the bartender is angry at me. Could the night get any better? “Well, I’m not sure why you’re so triggered…”
“I’m not triggered…”
“Anyway! I’m only here due to my boyfriend. He always says he’s busy but I’m sure he’s lying!”
“Ma’am, my shift’s about to end soon.”
“The nerve of some people… I’m never setting foot into another bar again.”
“Sarah, that’s unreasonable and you know it.”
“Is it really? I’m sick of people disrespecting us because of a set of ears. They need to chill out!” As much as I try to ignore all the weirdos we’ve encountered, Sarah has a good point, people can be super entitled and judgmental. “What was she saying to you before I got there?”
“I don’t know. Something about my hair being shaggy—”
“I think she was just trying to be nice and give me suggestions on how I should perm it, honestly nothing to worry about.”
“There’s nothing wrong with your hair.”
“Yeah, I know. Besides people like that can be easily ignored, they usually get bored and leave.”
“Mike, that strategy isn’t always going to work. Sometimes, you need to put your foot down, so they get the message and go away faster.”
“Yeah, yeah, but she wasn’t that bad. Just entitled, I guess. Besides, people have said worse to us, so let’s try and enjoy the rest of our night in the city.”
Sarah sighs as she shakes her head. “I’d enjoy my night by finding that woman’s car and keying it, so she knows it was us, the cat people.”
“Your cat ears are pouting.”
“I’m wondering if they’re worth keeping now.”
“Hold up! Do you even remember why you got them in the first place?”
“Yeah, because I thought they were extremely cute and always imagined myself with them since I was a child, but I knew I would stand out…”
“Exactly, you got them for yourself so you shouldn’t let others ruin them for you. So, what if you get attention, you’re beautiful and get looks with or without them.” I wrap my hand around her waist, and she hugs me back tightly.
“I mean, yeah, I just wish people weren’t so weird about it.”
“Yeah, I know…”
“I guess I’m used to the odd stares and stupid comments, but that woman was too much. Didn’t she say she would’ve hit on you regardless of whether you were married or not? Even though you aren’t her type? What the actual hell!? Why would she be so interested in you if you weren’t her type?”
“It doesn’t matter if I’m her type or not. You’d think I’d allow someone to hit on me?”
“No! That’s not the point.” Sarah pulls back as she begins crossing her arms looking frustrated again.
“It’s just immoral to hit on someone’s significant other like that.”
“Well, you know people like that exist everywhere sadly, but you don’t have to worry about that concerning me. Also, I’d like to remind you why I got the cat ears. It’s because you inspired me to embrace uniqueness. Before, I was practically a ghost in people’s eyes and I won’t lie, I liked being invisible some days until I met you.”
“Th—Thanks. I just don’t want you to hate me for inspiring you to get them.”
“I will always support you, yeah I wasn’t sure if I’d like them or not but now, I find them cool, you honestly broaden my horizons to what I can do with my appearance.” Sarah continues looking down sighing.
“I guess I always got the impression you went through with it to please me. I like that we are two different people. People think I control you, especially your mother.”
“You don’t control me, you inspired me to embrace myself.” Sarah lets out a gentle smile as she reaches out to hold my hand.
“Speaking of which, when are you going to start those anger management classes because the whole comment on keying her car spooks me out.”
“Seriously? It was a joke. Maybe, a poorly executed one but still a joke.” Sarah stares at me as my face remains stiff. I don’t find it funny due to her doing it before, we’re still paying for the damages, she drew very interesting shapes… “Sorry, they’re starting next week, but do you think we’re banned from the bar now?”
“Huh, no? But that bartender was watching us.”
“Yeah, I saw him in the corner of my eye which is why I’m asking.”
“It’s fine. Who cares if we are? There’s plenty of nicer places to go to. Maybe next time, we might bump into Mariah, and she can show us around.”
“Now, that’s really not funny.”