NYC turned out to be full of totally unexpected random adventure, which I absolutely love.
I wound up having a totally trendy, spontaneous, glam Saturday night!
I didn't write about this beforehand, because my parents read my blog and they'd fret. I had a date with a stranger in NY. In fact, two dates with two strangers. Or three dates with two strangers, depending on how you count it.
I just knew that if they read beforehand that I'd be meeting a stranger in NY they'd call asking, "Who is this fellow?"
"Someone I don't know." (Always reassuring.)
"Where did you meet him?"
"On the Internet." (Even more reassuring.)
"Do you think this is safe? Where are you going to meet?"
"Of course it's safe. We're going to meet in a dark alley at 2:30 am." (Heh. Just kidding.)
So I figured I'd just wait until it was clear that I'd survived and then break the news that I was still alive and had had a great time. Both of which are true.
As some of you know, I've been intermittently doing the Internet dating thing. And a few weeks ago this guy wrote to me and said, "I know I'm in NY and you're in DC, but I'll be down there next month on business, and so I thought I'd write. . ."
Damned if that didn't happen twice. Two different guys. This was great! People to play with while I was up there! And so I wrote back and said that by sheer coincidence I'd be in NY the end of January.
Date #1 was on Saturday. I talked to him Friday to confirm, and he invited me to join him at his club to work out Saturday morning before going out.
Work out in front of a stranger? Too personal. I mean, I work out in front of lots of strangers in DC, but almost my entire gym is gay men, and I'm totally invisible. I like it that way. I mean, actually invisible. Not pretend invisible like when I go running or mince down the hallway in high heels.
I told Stu on Friday night that this guy I was meeting the next day had invited me to his club to work out, and wasn't that odd?
"Is he in finance?"
"I think those guys in finance do that sort of thing. I think it's normal for them."
So we met at MoMA in the afternoon, in lieu of a dark alley in the middle of the night. Totally above-board. And it turned out to be really fun. He was cute, so easy to talk to, smart, interesting. So when he asked if I wanted to grab a glass of wine, afterwards, well, absolutely!
We went to this very charming wine bar at Rockefeller Plaza and wound up drinking an entire bottle of wine and snacking on cheese. I know this next bit is just going to make you cringe, because you're going to think "oh, God, Lis, there you are at an elegant wine bar talking about bugs, and can't you just have one normal conversation on a date?"
But I promise, I didn't bring it up. . .this guy is Italian, and his grandmother used to eat this Italian cheese called Casu Marzu, which turns out to be maggot cheese. They give it a very particular flavor and texture. You eat it with the maggots still wriggling in it. Because if they're dead, it's too far decomposed.
Despite the maggot cheese conversation, or perhaps because of how impressed I was by it?, he asked if I'd like to have dinner that night. My plans were, well, nonexistent, and I was having fun, so I said sure!
I went back to the hotel, napped briefly (wine in the afternoon - very difficult), changed, and we met up at a delicious Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village. Ohmygod my gnocchi was so good! And we of course had another bottle of wine with dinner. Because one bottle a day is not enough.
After dinner we met some friends of his for a drink at this super-trendy bar in the Hotel on Rivington. And then to end the night we headed to a really elegant lounge-y bar at 60 Thompson for one last drink. Boy, I drank a lot this past week. Month. So far this year, in fact. But when people keep handing you delicious wine, how can you not?
Everyone at the last two places was sooo young and sooo glam, and I was very happy I had brought along good jeans and super spiky black boots. But I was also thinking, "oh my God these people are so skinny and hip and cool, and underneath this outfit I've got on Supergirl undies and red and pink stripey socks!" I can't manage NY glam, but at least I wasn't outwardly totally provincial.
It was a fabulous night. The kind of night that seems totally New York to me. I mean, totally high-end, trendy, spendy NY. It was kind of like watching TV, actually. Not entirely real. Not the kind of night I would want regularly. Nor the kind of night I could afford every weekend, actually, and it was amazing to be treated to such glam. But the kind of experience I feel lucky to have stumbled into.
My date, my very gracious 12-hour date, poured me into a cab at 1:30 am, and we wished each other well.
I awoke to the alarm at 7:15. I'd started work at 6 am the other days, so hadn't realized that some previous guest had left the alarm set. Rat bastard.
I slept as late as I could, and then totally hung over - as one might expect after a day of that much wine - I threw my suitcase together and ran off to have brunch with Date #2.
I arrived at the place and saw a guy, who didn't look like the guy I was expecting, but you never know, standing in front of the restaurant.
"Are you Jeremy, by any chance?"
"Excellent. Okay then."
"But someone who looked like he was looking for someone just walked in."
So I walked in and it wasn't him, and I walked out the door just as my phone was ringing, but I accidentally hung up when I tried to answer, and I was starting to dial. . . Totally discombobulated all around, with the not-Jeremy fellow I'd accosted standing there watching me in amusement, when a voice from above bellowed, "Lisa!"
I spun around.
"Lisa! Look up!"
Not-Jeremy and I both looked up, and I said, "God?"
It was Jeremy, who turned out to live in the building across the street. So I sheepishly turned to the waiting guy and said, "Well, there he is."
I felt ridiculous. "So, are you meeting someone you actually know?"
"Yes, I am."
"Well, that makes things easier. Heh heh."
Jeremy arrived, we got seated, and then not-Jeremy and his date got seated right next to us. Which I didn't realize until they were getting up to leave and wished us well. And not-Jeremy gave me a conspiratorial smile.
NY glam. Absolute grace. That's me.