Last month, I agreed to a blind date at Bacaro, an Italian restaurant in the Lower East Side. I was nervous because I had only met people from the website for drinks, never dinner. To make matters worse, all of the online reviews illustrated what a romantic date spot Bacaro is. A romantic dinner with a complete stranger and I was wearing a gigantic unflattering turquoise sweater?
Beware, New Yorkers...there is a 40 year old Argentinean artist who preys on unsuspecting young women on the loose!
His initial pick-up line was: “I am an artist and any relationship of any type for me goes first through images. I am working on a project invovling pictures of women smoking –especially if they are tall. Would like to take yours.
Oh my god, I went on the best date the other night! We’ve known each other for awhile now, but recently began to enjoy spending time alone together. First, we had a couple glasses of wine at a French restaurant before going to see a Broadway show. Afterwards, we went back to my place and made enchiladas and homemade guacamole. The next day we went to yoga, did some light shopping, got tickets for an upcoming concert, made steaks and spent the evening lounging around watching Netflix.
If you are an avid reader of my blog, you know that I’m a huge fan of Law and Order. My family watched the shows together while I was growing up and my sister and I still watch reruns today. I know every single case and have even been known to reference them in daily conversation. So you can imagine my intrigue when I learned that one of my close girlfriends from graduate school was dating an actor from one of the Law and Order shows.
Back in 2008, I had just finished school and was still living in Boston. My friend was already here in New York, working as a server at a restaurant in Midtown. She had met the actor when he sat at one of her tables one night. A few days later I was flooded with phone calls about how he had taken her out for amazing dinners, bought her fancy gifts, and sent her all sorts of sexy text messages. Now, if you are picturing Christopher Meloni or Vincent D’Onofrio (whom I have a huge crush on– even in his grizzly years) you are regretfully mistaken. The actor in question is a much older gentleman. But it’s Law and Order so WHO CARES?
A few months later, I visited New York for Thanksgiving and stayed with my friend. One night, her Law and Order lover (let’s call him Ron) invited us out for drinks. We met him at an expensive restaurant on the Upper West Side, with an amazing wine list and a ceiling full of crystal chandeliers. I was shocked, upon introductions, to find that the actor who played a noble character on the show cussed like a sailor in real life. In fact, he was a veritable dirty old man– which I was delighted by. He ordered one of everything from the appetizer list and selected a bottle of wine I would never have considered because of its price. At one point, I got a text message from a guy I had started seeing back in Boston. Ron took my phone away from me, saying “You better be F***ing this guy you keep texting while you’re out with me.” He then laughed heartily and invited us over to his place.
Ron’s apartment was huge and beautifully decorated. He had a spacious kitchen and a separate wine cellar, from which he selected a nice bottle of red wine for us to share. We then settled into the gigantic living room, where scripts from upcoming Law and Order episodes were scattered around the floor. I picked up one of them to read, when I began hearing squeals and grunts coming from the armchair to my left. Somehow, in a matter of minutes, my two companions had stripped completely naked and were going at it like there was no tomorrow as I innocently perused call sheets. My friend caught my stare and demanded that I join them in the bedroom. When I said that I needed to leave, she stopped what she was doing and yelled “You had a threesome with your college friends, but you can’t have a threesome with me?!” ”Don’t be scared,” added Ron, “It’ll be something you can tell your grandkids about.” Part of me acquiesced and I followed them to the bedroom, where I got a full-blown look at the johnson of an actor I had been watching on TV since I was a kid. I decided my future grandchildren would not want to know anything about what was going on here.
I told them I had to call the guy I was dating and closed myself in a bathroom down the hall. This guy and I had been seeing each other for a bit, but never discussed the status of our relationship. So I was surprised and relieved that when I called and told him the offer I had just received, his first response was “Do you want to be my girlfriend?” Well that takes care of that! I walked back down the hall, satisfied that I now had a concrete excuse for Ron and also that my antics had prompted “The Talk” from the guy I liked.
“Excuse me,” I whispered as I re-entered the room to find my naked friend passed out atop Ron like an open-faced tuna melt. I told him I was very sorry, and thank you so much for all the nice wine, but I had to go– my boyfriend wasn’t pleased that I was galavanting around town with a pair of naked people trying to get me to have a threesome with them. He nodded and reached for his wallet on the bedside table. Handing me sixty dollars, he instructed me to go down to the lobby and the doorman would get me a car to wherever I wanted to go. I had made my escape! Months later, I happened upon a new episode of Law and Order… the script for which I had seen on Ron’s rug. I tried to watch it, but all I could picture was Ron’s old genitals waving around over a floral upholstered armchair.
And that, my friends, is the story of how I had a sexy encounter with a TV star which jump-started a three year relationship with my now ex-boyfriend. It’s kind of too bad we’re no longer together, for no reason other than it actually WOULD have been a romantic story for the grandchildren… “Once, I almost had a threesome with a sixty-five year old actor, but your grandfather saved me!”
Let us travel back in time again to my senior year of college. One night, I attended a house party deep in central Missouri with a few of my friends. A girl I was with was dating a tenant of this house, and he lived with a slew of other young men. I had my eye on one in particular. His name was Bolten and he had a huge lightening bolt tattooed across his back. Right up my alley.
Much of the usual college tomfoolery transpired at the party, but my favorite was a little game called Strip Rock Paper Scissors (I may or may not have introduced this game to the undergraduate population at my school). A select group of partygoers hid upstairs in one of the guy’s rooms where we locked the door and began to play. The boys were almost naked, Bolten bare-assed on his roommate’s desk chair, but my friend and I still had on our bras and jeans (we were old pros at SRPS). All of a sudden we heard frantic knocking and shouting coming from the hallway, “GET THE F&%# OUT OF MY ROOM!” The angry roommate karate-kicked the door in and screamed at us to leave at once. It was later revealed to me that he was an extreme germaphobe with OCD. That desk chair was never sat on again.
Bolten asked me out a few days later and we kissed under the awning of a used video game store. He had a huge fro of curly black hair, giant blue eyes, the kind of lips that always look wet, and a penchant for optical illusion shirts. At some point, he accompanied me back to my apartment and we made out on my bed. Before anything else could happen, he said he had something he needed to tell me… “I might… uh… have one or two… umm… TINY……… warts.” I leapt from my bed like it was on fire and he said he was going to go. I had never met anyone with an STD before and I wasn’t about to scrutinize his Johnson under a microscope like that science class where I had to scoop around in a pond and then examine its scum.
Actually, that’s not true– I had met someone else with an STD. My freshman year suite-mate had announced to me on move-in day that she had genital herpes and that we would be fine sharing a toilet… as long as she didn’t decide to use my soap in the shower. She also said that I would know when she was having an outbreak because she would be in her room laying naked and spread-eagle for days. I petitioned for a new roommate to no avail, so I ended up just removing everything that was mine from the shower each time I bathed. I didn’t have much room for my stuff in the bathroom anyway, as she kept a lifetime supply of Sweet Love Douches lined up on the shelves. I’m not kidding. She was from Arkansas and was dating a dwarf with beads in his beard, and the only reason she went to college was to get away from her mother… who was having a lesbian affair with her (my suite mate’s) best friend. She dropped out at the end of the semester and I moved off-campus.
Anyway. I had mixed feelings about Bolten. On one hand, it was very mature and respectable that he had told me about his genital warts. On the other hand, I was in a glam R&B group called ChoCha with three of my friends, and it was PERFECT material for my next hit song. Here are the lyrics:
Please Leave On the Shorts, If You Got the Warts
Please leave on the shorts if you got the warts
Please leave on the shorts if you got the warts
You may speak Spanish, you may have a tattoo
But there’s a better reason why I won’t get with you
Loungin’ in the desk chair completely nude
I’m starting to think you’re a real super dude
The lights are low, you’re covered in hair
And of your ailment I’m not yet aware.
Just found out your mother dresses you
But it’s still not enough to keep me from you, boo
I still like your hair, I have no fears
Until you stole my friend’s QTips to clean out your ears
You made me spoon, you forgot to take Prozac
Player, get your own masseuse cuz I ain’t gonna scratch yo back!
Just burned my sheets, had to buy a new cover
When I found out about your warts you couldn’t be my lover
Somewhere in your seven you got a disease
But unlike ingrown hairs, that shit lasts eternities
(Spoken) “You might wanna wash your hands after this…”
A “friend” was telling me about an unusual altercation she recently had at a karaoke bar in Midtown. She was attending a going away party for someone from college she hadn’t even known was living in New York. The bar was full of people she hadn’t seen since graduation day six years prior… which is stressful enough. What was even more stressful is that a guy she used to be involved with was there with his girlfriend. She eventually abandoned her mozzarella sticks to go greet the guy and meet his significantly younger girlfriend. When my friend first moved to New York, she hung out with this guy a few times until his girlfriend sent her a sexual text pretending to be him. She assumed that things would be awkward when they finally met, but the girlfriend was friendly enough. In fact, she even took it upon herself to select a single man at the bar to be my friend’s “project” for the evening. The person she selected was a dark-haired late-twenties guy in town from Los Angeles for reasons unknown. My friend had been nervously downing beers like there’s no tomorrow and figured why not?– so she struck up a conversation with the stranger, choosing to ignore his stale personality.
All of the people she knew there began to depart, but my friend stuck around despite her original intent to only stay for one beer. Feeling impulsive, she got up to sing karaoke– something she wouldn’t normally do because she hates karaoke almost as much as she hates Midtown and small armies of thespians. After her song, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, she sat back down next to the stranger and he leaned in close, whispering “you have a wonderful voice.” She smiled and excused herself downstairs to the bathroom. While washing her hands she heard a noise and looked up to see the stranger burst through the door and lock it behind him. He lunged towards her, forcefully kissing her and grabbing her chest. She lurched backwards and slapped him across the face– her still-damp hand generating a crisp sound against his cheek that echoed through the bathroom. She then ran upstairs and out of the bar.
Enduring the discomfort of a moderate hangover the next day, she was able to laugh about the events of the previous evening. A sad, ironic laugh… the kind that if wine is involved may produce a tear or two. I should know, I was there.
I have a secret. Don’t tell anyone.
Remember when Missed Connections first became popular? Pretty much every girl I know trolled Craigslist (at least once), hoping to find that some eloquent mystery man had made her the subject of her own romantic comedy. To my knowledge I still have yet to be the subject of someone’s Missed Connection… but I wrote one this week.
The other night I attended an improv show with a friend from college. We then went to a bar in Williamsburg where we had a long, self-indulgent conversation about what’s wrong with our lives. After really letting loose with an assortment of personal confessions, we somehow shifted onto the topic of absentee voting. It was then that an extremely attractive man interjected– “I don’t mean to eavesdrop, but I just overheard your conversation…” Oh god. I hadn’t even noticed that anybody was sitting behind us, let alone Mister September from the Brooklyn Eligible Bachelor Calendar. I thought back over all of the embarrassing things I had just drunkenly said to my friend that he may have heard. He cleared up our confusion concerning voting absentee and told us that he had just written an article on voting laws for a popular blog. I was impressed– you may have gathered by now that I have a weakness for writers and musicians. His friend was much more stand-offish, seemingly hesitant to be engaging in conversation with us. They moved to sit next to us at the bar and we talked about writing and rapping (the other guy turned out to be a rapper in a well-known rap group). My friend and I ordered our next round. The cute guy told his friend they should stay for another, but the grouchy rapper said no. They left and I realized we hadn’t gotten their names.
When I got home, it took me all of five minutes to figure out his name thanks to my cyber-stalking skills (honed during a summer 2007 telemarketing job where I got paid to uncover the personal info of top company CEOs in Boston). I couldn’t bring myself to contact him directly, however… that would be TOO creepy. So I settled for a Missed Connection, floating in the vast sea of Craigslist posts like a vacant lily pad waiting for a sexy frog occupant.
To the handsome stranger in the thermal at Basik: Tell me more about WordPress and voter’s rights. Why did you let your friend talk you out of having that last drink?
But seriously, a writer and a babe? I long for another fleeting conversation, perhaps even a sweet caress and/or blog collaboration. Just kidding. Kinda.
For the past few weeks I have been bombarded by a man named Zerkan. In one of his profile photos he is pumping gas, clutching the nozzle in front of his crotch while the hose dangles betwixt his legs. Another depicts a nocturnal scene in the country, where large pillows and wicker furniture are arranged in a grassy field. There is romantic lighting, a large screen showing a movie, and an over-sized wooden bowl filled with popcorn between two of the pillows. The picture was clearly stolen from a Pier One catalogue… but his caption reads “My secret place for sexy-time in NYC.” Right. Did you purchase a quadrant of Central Park, Zerkan? Under “On a Typical Friday Night I Am” he wrote “Going out to salsa party or hanging on my red couch.” OKCupid told me that we are 63% enemies. I should never have responded to this persistent Turk in the first place, but I was amused… and I rarely block anyone on OKCupid unless they are really out of hand. Below is our conversation copy/pasted directly from my inbox.
ZERKAN: Heyyyy !! How Re u ? Today’s fantastic beautiful day , just like u. Hope U’re doing very well. So sorry for bothering u again. (Note: he had never messaged me before at this point) Swear I have never seen a girl like u before adorable and amazing pretty. So if u dont have any plans yet, lets go out for drink something on Rooftop place in the city. -Zerkan
ME: Wow, that’s quite a message. Any plans yet for when….. last night? Tonight? The rest of my life?
ZERKAN: Hey hey hey! Thx for the message me finally. Any plans for tonight. I would like to get know u more drinks something with you Rooftop place in the city. So how’s ur day going ? -Zerkan
ZERKAN: Hey! Goodmorning. How are u ? Today’s fantastic beautiful day, just like you. Hope U’re doing very well. MAY I ASK YOU SOMETHING ? PLEASEEEE
ZERKAN: So U did not respond my message yet ? : ( ( (
ME: What do you want to ask me?
ZERKAN: I just want to talk with you more. U do look amazing pretty and different. If u give me a chance i’d like to get know u better.
ZERKAN: How could i talk with you more ? U see How i am being persistent for get know u more ? Where do u live in Brooklyn ? I do live in Brooklyn too.
ZERKAN: Why dont u want to talk with me ? ? ? How did u like my pictures ?
ME: That’s just the way the wind blows, I guess. Is your “sexy-time” picture from some suburban housewife’s Pinterest?
ZERKAN: You are so sweet. Actually its coming from my friends catalogue. I will try to have same ambient for someone. Swear if you give me a chance for see you oneday , I will try best make sexytime for you : )
ZERKAN: MAY I ASK YOU SOMETHING ? PLEASEEEE
ME: Last time you said that you didn’t even have a question. You can’t fool me, Zerkan.
ZERKAN: How could i talk with you more ? U see How i am being persistent for get know u more ? Where do u live in Brooklyn ? I do live in Brooklyn too nearby.
ME: That is mildly frightening.
ZERKAN: Heyyyy !! How are you ? Today’s fantastic beautiful day, just like you. Hope U’re doing very well. So if you dont have any plans yet, lets go out tonight for drinks something Rooftop place in the city.
ME: I’m sorry but it’s just not going to work out between us, Zerkan. Also, you sent me that exact same message 2 or 3 other times… If it’s the message you copy/paste to girls on here, do you want me to edit it for you? I spy a few errors.
ZERKAN: No no no I just wrote it to you now bc u didn’t respond my messages back. I don’t know how could I show my effort for you ? U see how I am being persistent for you. Please don’t think I am creppy or just looking someone for one night.
ZERKAN: Hey !! How was ur day ? Please do not mad at me and just give me chance for drinks something with you oneday in the city. PLEASEEEE
ZERKAN: Heyyy! How are u? Today is not amazing pretty day. Hope U’re doing very well. So Whats wrong about me ? Why don’t you want me to say that hiii ? : (
ZERKAN: I dont know wht should i have to do for get a message from you ? Let’s give me a chance for get know more each other! PLEASEEEE
ZERKAN: Heyy. I am being persistent for you because i have never seen a girl before like u , fantastic beautiful and sincere. U look very different and real. I’d like to get know u more on my red couch!
I blocked him. I did not want to “say that hi” and clearly he wasn’t going to stop pestering me. On one hand, I felt bad because he’s so incredibly desperate. On the other, you couldn’t pay me to get on that red couch with him.
The three or four guys from OKCupid that I have actually gone out with more than once generally followed the same pattern. We meet, hit it off, hang out a few more times, maybe hook up, then they suddenly become really busy, or don’t text me as often, or we stop hanging out all together. I go back and forth between thinking:
1) It’s not OK that he only texts me when I contact him first/only wants to hang out with me on his timetable which is only about once a month/he’s probably just using me/stop being an idiot and take him out of your phone!
2) It’s cool, man…maybe things will change and he’ll want to hang out more at some point…he’s a guy and he doesn’t think about things the same way I do…he’s busier than I am…and why would he spend time with me at all if he didn’t like me? (Wait, don’t answer that.)
Surprisingly, I went out again with Jimmy a few weeks ago. He had stopped talking to me for a couple months, but resurfaced after reading the post I wrote about him. We agreed to meet for drinks at Art Bar one night after I got out of work. He was late and while I waited, an incredibly strange individual started talking to me. I guess I opened up the lines of communication between myself and this man by asking if the seat next to him at the bar was taken. He looked to be in his late 40s and had on an old suit, a bowler hat, and huge headphones that were connected to a small DVD player which he had situated in front of him on the bar. I glanced at the screen and it was footage of him walking all over New York City– but he was holding the camera, so you only saw him when he stopped in front of windows to capture his reflection. The cars, people, buildings, and everything else in the background were sped up with some trippy setting that made the lights and colors flash and pulsate around him.
Once I sat down there was no turning back…he would not stop talking to me, mostly about what is wrong with society today. His voice sounded exactly like the Cary Grant-esque voice Tony Curtis used in “Some Like it Hot.” He told me he was a visual artist and spent most of his days stalking the owners and curators of famous art galleries, trying to get an “in” for his work. Subsequently, he had been black-listed from several galleries. Something about him struck me as not-quite-all-there, and I texted Jimmy to hurry up and get there. I told the man where I worked and said he would love for me to come over to his apartment and help him sort through thousands of photographs he had taken, dating back to the eighties. He wanted me to tell him which pieces were by the designer I work for so he could put them all together and present it to him. Oh god. Jimmy finally arrived as the strange man began showing me the video of himself walking around, which allegedly went on for hours and hours. Jimmy was still wearing the garb from the soccer game he had come from and he shot the guy dirty looks when he continued to talk to me even though my “date” had arrived. Things got awkward when the man tried to shake Jimmy’s hand and he refused, so I suggested we go to another bar. On our way out, the man stopped me to give me his card and a CD of instrumental music he had apparently made. I felt bad for him and had had a few glasses of wine, so I gave him one of my email addresses- which he emailed three times that very night.
The rest of the night with Jimmy was uneventful. I asked him why he had been absent for months then decided to go out with me again after reading my blog post (in which I lovingly refer to him as a sex addict). He shared that he had been seeing someone and it was getting kind of serious, but he was pretty sure he was “over it.” I asked if he met her on OKCupid and he said yes, he had met her before he met me and had been seeing her the whole time. Well, that explains a lot. I went back to his place with him, only because I was too tired to trek all the way back to Brooklyn. Once there, I immediately fell asleep. I woke up while it was still dark out and stopped at McDonald’s for a smoothie (witnessing a tranny hooker oatmeal argument in the process) before getting a cab back to Brooklyn.
I haven’t seen Jimmy since (no big surprise there). However, I did have another sighting of the peculiar guy from Art Bar. I was enjoying some sushi a couple days ago when a man walked in, sat down, and began singing loudly to whatever music was coming out of his gigantic headphones. I looked up to glare at him and was horrified to see who it was. He had on the same suit, complete with bowler cap and extremely loud voice. There was only one other sushi patron aside from us, but he yelled across the whole restaurant for iced green tea and low-sodium soy sauce. When he got his soy sauce, he scooped a dollop of wasabi into the sauce dish and hammered it loudly with his chopsticks. At one point, he started making wet hacking noises like a cat dealing with a pesky hair-ball. I could feel him staring at me, trying to place where he knew me from, so I downed my sushi faster than I knew was possible. As I was signing my bill, he pulled out the same DVD player and put on the same DVD he had been watching at Art Bar, months earlier. I guess he just sits around every day in various establishments watching a video of himself walking around. I prayed he wouldn’t say anything to me as I passed him on my way to the door. Not three strides from the door he loudly bellowed “Excuse me!” and my stomach sunk. The rest of his sentence, “Could I please have another green tea!” came and I safely exited the restaurant and made it back to work without incident.
I’ll never know if the creepy artist recognized me that day or not. What I do know is that I never answered his emails, and his CD ended up in the mailbox belonging to the drug den in my neighborhood. I hope they enjoyed his jams.
I know I keep saying this, but this time I mean it. I seriously need to be more selective about who I give my phone number/email address to. Like, maybe not a 48-year-old artist with Asperger’s and a portable DVD player.
Hey, at least this one didn’t paint with his ballsack.