After July’s Better Than Ezra concert, my friend Stan slipped his number to a server. We were drinking Coronas at Jimmy’s Grille, waiting for our DD when a pretty brunette server caught his eye. He scribbled on a napkin and hand-delivered like a man, confident he’d never hear from her.

She called. The server, as it turned out, was a competent saleslady.

He got a grainy voicemail from Hillary at Jimmy’s Grille, telling Stan to come out that Saturday. Curious but skeptical, Stan bought a new shirt and marched up the steps to Jimmy’s, a pavilion-style chicken joint. Ever the wingman, I flanked him.

Nursing another Corona, he panned the room. “That her?” he asked.

Short, brunette, typically tanned. “Sure,” I said, not really caring. It might be funnier were it not.

Bottle in hand (as if it were an explanation), he approached the server, who awaited a drink at the end of the bar. “Hillary?” he asked.

She laughed immediately – whether she recognized him or not, she recognized what was happening. No, she said. Danielle. Reading Stan’s frown, she apologized. They just thought he was Hillary’s.

I asked her to clarify.

Apparently, Stan’s napkin joined dozens of other numbers on a corkboard on a kitchen. At the end of the summer, the sirens of Jimmy’s rang their suitors. Stan was either Danielle or Hillary’s, the server said, but now she recognized him.

Stan smiled and bowed slightly. Silly him. He took it like a gentleman, and returned to his Corona without complaint. It was a good joke, he admitted. After a few beats, I decided to reassure him.

“She is pretty,” I said with a shrug, hoping to at least reassure him that his tastes are well-calibrated.

He laughed, sort of – it was kind of a hmph, a grunt.

“Labor Day weekend,” he said smiling tightly and shaking his head. “Where’d it go?”