Friday, November 28, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
I love me some Subway. It's "fresh," it's economical ($5 foot long, anyone?), and at the Subway near me, I don't have to utter a word beyond "6 inch" or "12 inch." That's right folks, I have my very own personal Subway sandwich builder.
It has become commonplace for him to pass off whatever sandwich he's working on to another employee when I walk in - or place himself in the correct strategic order so that when he's finished with his sandwich I will be next in line. He doesn't even try to confirm what I want anymore, just peers up from under his snugly-fit Subway visor with a (somewhat off putting) smile.
About a week or two ago, I waltz in and he's over like a rocket to build me magnificence on wheat bread. He grabs the roll, ever so carefully folds the turkey on then loads me up with some provolone cheese. On to lettuce (extra - thank you very much), pickles, light mayo and a touch of yellow mustard. All the while, gazing up from under his brim.
I slide along with my sandwich, giving an encouraging "You've got it!" and "That's it." until we land at the cashier. I'm happy as can be and prepare to tell him exactly what I have. As I open my mouth, he stops me - bellowing out lyrics to what I can only imagine is some Jonas Brothers song.
I am slightly uncomfortable - with one man building me the sandwich he knows I love and the other serenading me in front of a long line of patrons.
"Umm, I have..."
"No need to tell me - he took care of letting me know," he sang, pointing at my main man.
"Oh, ok." Ummm...sweet?
"And can I please have chips and a bottle of Diet Coke," you have to specify or they'll toss a cup your way and you run the risk of flat and/or super syrupy soda.
"Yes, yes I know that's what you wanted, he told me." I looked over at my sandwich constructor and he gave me a sweet little smile and a knowing nod. I look back at the cashier and he smiled ad belted out the crescendo of Teeny-boppers Delight (or whatever it was called).
And then it happened - I blushed. Uncontrollably. I felt my entire face turn Flatter Red. Because the men at Subway have memorized not only my favorite sandwich, but also my fixin's. Then they took it a step further and serenaded me.
Who says there's no more romance in the world?
Then again, get these guys out from behind the counter and I'm sure it falls to pieces.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
So why should being picked up in bars be the same there as it is here? During my Junior year in college, I decided to take a hike over the Atlantic and study abroad. I chose beautiful Goldsmith's College, part of the University of London. Its concrete campus is tucked into the ghetto of New Cross.
Immediately my newfound friends and I adopted Goldsmith's Tavern (GMT - why is was not called GT or GST, we didn't know), which was home to locals, students and some of the most curious people I've ever seen in my life.
One of our first nights venturing into the bar, past the bullet-proof vest toting bouncers, I had my first experience being picked up by a New Crosser. I was minding my own (annnnd everyone else's) business, taking pictures with friends, sitting on a bar stool and drinking Carling.
Then it hit me. Literally. A balled up napkin bounced off my back.
"How rude!" I said channeling my inner Stephanie Judith Tanner and laughing with my friends. The another hit me.
I swung around just in time for a third napkin to ricochet off my chest (that was a crowd pleaser).
I saw the culprits - two juvenile delinquents with grown out mohallets (you know, the weird mohawk-mullet thing) - giggling like little girls.
"Dude, what the hell?" Oh yes, I was a charming little blonde American girl.
Dumb and dumber motioned to open the napkin. Scrawled in 3rd grade penmanship, "Hi, I'm Jimy."
Well well well Jimy, aren't you just the spelling bee champ. I know a guy in New York I should introduce you to - your spelling and his extensive vocabulary would be a force to be reckoned with.
I got up, walked over, "So which one of you is Jimy?"
"Oy! She thinks your name is Jimy. And she's American." And she can hear you, boy genius. "She can't even read."
"Umm it's Jimmy, but if you want me to be Jimy, I will be. Want a pint?"
"Don't ya know how to say names?" Dumber weighed in. Another zinger.
"Yes, and I know how to read." I put the napkin in front of him.
He closed one eye, focused and burst out laughing. "Jim - ya spelled yar name wrong!"
"Yeah, but I got her to come over and talk to us! High-five."
Closing thought: If you're picking up what a dude's putting down when he hits on you, just make sure it isn't garbage, figurative or literal.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I called ahead (yeah - China Town is on speed dial - so sue me) so I could just swing in, pick up the goods and get home to chow down. The beautiful irony of this situation, aside from the fact that I went from killer work out directly to the Chinese take-out place, is that I was in spandex and a beater. Who wants to see a chick in spandex shovel food into her mouth? Right.
So I walk up to the counter, taking quick inventory of the only two other people in the closet sized space. One gigantic brother, sitting down waiting for his food to be ready and one guy in a satin jacket, plastic aviator eyeglasses and a Nascar hat that would do Pennsyltucky residents proud.
"Work out?" The sweet girl behind the counter said while doing a weird Nordic Track movement.
"Yup." And now I'm going to eat my weight in chicken fried rice, thanks.
"Lose any weight?"
Uhhh - why couldn't she just have asked "Why are you single?"
"Hah - not when I'm eating like this!"
"Hmph." Uh oh big man in the chair was preparing to enter the convo. "You been workin' out?"
"Yes, I just came from the gym," my eyes darted to Nascar nation. He gave me a "yeah that guys a weirdo" look.
"Well," he blared loud enough for everyone walking on Houston to hear, "I think you look great."
"NO! No - I take it back." Thanks dude. "You look - extraordinary. Don't she look extraordinary?"
Nascar pipes up, "Yes, I think you look wonderful."
I was knocking 'em out of the park. I had finally found my demo, "Well thank you very much."
"Yes, extra-ordinary," chair-man said, sounding like maybe he meant I was just super ordinary looking. "See? I got big fancy words too. Extraordinary. Fancy word for a fancy girl."
Yes, sir. You're a true poet laureate. No diggity no doubt.
Word to the wise: don't pig out on crappy food after a work out, or you'll be put through some similar awkward situation sooner or later.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I told her that the dating game has handed me lemons, and I am trying to make lemonade, bitter as it may be. She asked for a story and as I tried to pluck one that was family-friendly, I was reminded of the guy I went on a date with who threw me off in more ways than one.
Another blind date (you'll notice this is a trend...also helps keep these poor schmucks anonymous). We exchanged a few e-mails and this guy had a great sense of humor and was a pretty good story-teller. Lots of funny anecdotes about his law firm (yep, a lawyer, this one). One thing we found that we have in common is a head-over-heels love for the movie Waiting For Guffman. A cult classic.
I arrive at Marbles*, a restaurant/bar near Union Square and walk toward the only guy who could have been my blind date. It would have been harder to figure out who he was if anyone else was in the establishment. So I waltzed right up and, as he turned to me, I asked if I should pull up a bar stool.
"Oh, well we can get a table." His lips were very red and pretty slimy. In fact, if he could bottle it, women around the world would pay for that kind of sheen.
Table = potential kiss of death because it can mean a meal. Dun dun dunnn, "Thought we c-could grab a bite to eat."
We all have these grandiose ideas of staring into the eyes of a guy we're crazy about. But what do you do when you don't know which eye to look into - because one is lazy and you can't tell which it is? I looked left, I looked right, I looked at his nose - and he looked at me, looking at him. Aaaaaawkward.
I wanted to get into a conversation to avoid my eyes darting all over the place. Little did I know, getting this guy to say more than two words at a time could have been an Olympic sport. Seriously. I talked about myself for a while; then, I started asking him more questions about himself.
I was running out of things to talk about and he wasn't through with his salad (oh yes, this was a multiple course meal for Lawyer McGee).
"Gosh, I'm sorry. I feel like I'm grilling you. Do you feel like you're being interviewed?" I asked trying to lighten the mood, looking at the table - his forehead - the window - anywhere to avoid the eye(s).
"No-no, it's fine." Three words! Woohoo - with two repeats and a contraction to boot!
The salad was cleared and I almost got up and left with it. Then, in a stroke of genius, "So, Waiting for Guffman. Favorite scene?"
His lazy eyes sparkled with enthusiasm I rarely see in grown men. And then came stumbling block number two.
"I-I-I don't think I could p-p-pi - choose one part."
Oh man. I've got a lazy eyed stutterer on my hands. And I've gotten him all worked up over Waiting for Guffman.
"I love the s-s-s-scene where he (insert bizarre exhale snort sound while chin violently swings to the side) pretends he shops for his w-wi-wife."
Lazy eye? Check. Stutter? Check. Suppressed Turrets tick? Check check check.
What's more, I couldn't get him to stop talking at this point. He just kept going and going.
"It's a z-z-zen thing. Like how many babies (grunty-grunt noise) fit-fit-fit in a tire?" There's nothing like having a joke delivered as a remix.
"Yeah, that's a good one. I also love when Eugene Levy -" I tried to get a sentence or two in.
"Oh w-w-when he auditions he is so f-f-(grunts)-funny."
After having the entire movie recited - with stutters and grunts and a jaw darting about sans boundaries - the check came. He paid (yes, that is worth pointing out. and yes, there is another post to come about that).
We walked out the door and I knew if we were taking the train, we had a 5 min walk together.
"You taking the train?"
"OK. I think I'm going to head this way and walk home. It's such a nice night."
We parted ways. At least we both recognized there isn't a shot in hell that is going to work out. He didn't ask if I wanted to get together again or ask if he should call.
Two thoughtful and stutter-free text messages and an e-mail later, he stopped trying to get in touch. And that is how the story of the triple threat lawyer came to a close.
Lesson learned: ladies, if you have a blind date, have a blind phone call first - and think of something thrilling enough that it has the potential to uncover any excitement-fueled speech impediments. Not much you can do about detecting a lazy eye...
*UPDATE, FOLKS: I was wrong about the name of the place we went to. Get this: it isn't called Marbles - it is called MUMBLES. I kid you not.
Friday, November 14, 2008
...we awake to birds chirping and the sun shining through the shades. PJs intact and all was rosy. Fireman and I talked about how nice it was to feel so comfortable with each other and how it seemed weird that, though we'd been talking all along, this was just the second time we were together face-to-face. Molly was still snugly tucked in on the couch. Oh - and if you're wondering what happened to Fireman's friend, the reading wonder, he walked home. Barefoot. He couldn't find his shoes. Which were sitting by the door.
SLAM. It came from outside. Immediately panic crossed Fireman's face, but his voice seemed calm when he said, "Hmm, wonder what that is." He turned to look out the window above the head of the bed and his face dropped completely.
"Stay here. Whatever you do, stay in this room." Sweet Jesus, really? You couldn't have given me more warning? A sign that this was going to turn south - fast?
"It's my ex girlfriend."
Ahhh those three magical words every girl dreams of hearing. Wait. That's not right...
"She'll try to hurt you."
Then BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM. Christ Almighty - was it Bigfoot? No, it was the ex. Fireman, clad in his Old Navy America Flag t-shirt (yep) and mesh shorts, opened the bedroom door just before she huffed, puffed and blew it down.
I sat on the bed with Fireman's dog - with two dilemmas: 1) do I laugh or cry and 2) should I run to the bathroom or the closet? I chose to not move and listen carefully. This chick was pissed.
He pled with her not to go in the bedroom. She pounded on him – yup I could hear it. "Who is in there? Who the FUCK is in there?" And then...the door flew open. The dog was shaking, I was sitting there with no flippin idea about what I'm supposed to do. She sumo-stanced her way into the room. Her face dropped and I saw her heart break. I decided then and there that if she tried to beat me up, I would let her. I would just curl up in the fetal position and let her pummel me.
"Who the hell are you?"
My mind raced - I was trying to remember my name while taking inventory of Fireman's ex. She looked like she just leapt off Springer’s stage in
“How long has this been going on?” This chick was harboring more rage than an unjustly imprisoned convict (yeah, there’s a story there).
Now, this was a bit of a trick question. If it just started – then I’m a whore for being in bed with him. If I’ve been talking to him for a few months – then her heart would literally stop beating. If I say it's none of herbusiness – then she would stop my heart from beating.
“Uhh not long?”
“Well, I hope you used a condom!”
Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!
“It’s not like that!” Ahhh – come on Fireman – aren’t you supposed to rescue people for a living? Step up dude!
Fireman interjected, “Pizzaz, that is totally uncalled for. You have to go. You have to leave now.” Ok, ok her name wasn’t really Pizzaz, but it will suffice for storytelling purposes.
“I’m not going anywhere with out my dog!”
“It’s not your dog,” Fireman remained calm – using a voice I can only imagine was taught to literally speak someone off a ledge. I’m sure that happened often in Wayland.
“IT IS MY DOG – OUR DOG!” She was on fire.
“Let’s talk about this outside.”
“We were going to get back together! We were!”
“No we weren’t – let’s talk about it outside.”
“Fine.” She turned her attention to the dog, who was shaking and now in my lap. “Come on Abby, come on!” The dog didn’t budge.
“I said come on sweetie, it’s ok.” Oh man, the desperation in her voice was going to bring me to tears. “Abby, please baby, come on.”
Yeah Abby, get the hell off me and go to momma! With a little nudge from my leg (it was a covert, undercover op), the dog went to Pizzaz.
She was escorted out. I was shell shocked.
“Uhhh?” It was a quiet, but distinct sound. Holy shit, Molly.
“Are you ok? That was scary.”
“Umm, I think so. Can I come out?”
“I think so – let me look – oh she’s still freaking out. Come see!”
I tip-toed out of the bedroom, zoomed down the stairs and sprinted to the back of the house, where the ex couldn’t spot me.
Molly and I started laughing and she read my mind “Let’s get the hell out of here. What the hell was that?”
Fireman returned, apologizing profusely and saying, “At least she didn’t have a vacuum.”
We had NO idea what he meant by that and weren't about to stick around to find out. And if that weren’t enough, I actually continued talking to him and we dated for a while when I moved back to
Apparently I can handle a near death experience, but not a guy who is afraid to go past 2nd base after 3 months…
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
In May of 200x, I was living in Boston, attending school and preparing to move out of state for about 6 months for an internship. Around the same time, flexing my multitasking skills, I met Fireman on Friendster (can you see where this is going already?). I should have known better, but thought you just kinda accept anyone as a friend and so we started up a dialogue. He was cute - and a fireman - and after a few e-mails and AIM sessions, we decided we'd meet.
My group of friends met up with his group of friends and we had a blast! Everyone came back to my apartment for a nightcap and we woke up 5 people deep on the pull out sleep sofa - fully dressed. Fireman, living out in the suburbs, was responsible for getting all his 'burb dwelling friends home and the crowd dispersed.
E-mails, texts and phone calls followed - and no weirdo flags flew. I moved out of state and we said we would try to visit - after all, it was only 6 months.
I had my first return trip to Boston over 4th of July weekend. After getting some QT in with my friends, Fireman and I made plans to hang out. He was house-sitting for a friend and was going to have some people over. Being the sweetheart that he was, he told me he could throw a party for my friends, so I should bring as many people out as I wanted.
As it happens, my faithful friend Molly was the only one fantastic enough to be willing to drive to the suburbs - so we made our way out. In form true to any sane, single girl, as soon as we reached the town limits I was rethinking my decision. What the HELL was I doing going out to see this guy who I had only met in person once before? And what's more - I knew I didn't have a way to get home until the morning (hey, I love my friends - I wouldn't dare expose them to this potential torture AND force sobriety on them for the night).
Soooo - naturally I request that Molly pull into a bar for a drink (ok, maybe two). Then we sped off in the direction of the "party" and braced for whatever was to come. After getting lost, which is typical for me, we arrived at the party attended by Fireman, his friend (who later made Molly listen as he read her a bedtime story) and his 19 year old brother and his crew of merry dorks (lovable as they were).
The night carried on - drinks, fun, Molly being a Godsend, and Fireman actually being kinda great. I ran out to get my sleepover bag (equipped with shorts and a button down to sleep in), ran back in to find Molly tucked in on a couch and Fireman and I went upstairs to go to bed, went to first base (watch out!) and fell asleep. I had no idea what was coming in the morning...
I'm lucky in that I have amazing guys in my life - my dad, brothers and guy friends are all fantastic. The "guy category" where I'm coming up short is Boyfriend.
I moved to Manhattan in 2006 and have been a one woman experiment in Murphy's Law of Dating. Seriously.
So for two years now, I've been regaling friends with stories of sad/funny/"cringe worthy" dates. And for two years I've heard "You HAVE to write a book or start a blog about your dating life - you can't make this stuff up!"
This blog will be a mish-mosh of my stories in New York and beyond, guest posts from friends and whoever else decides to shoot stories my way (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Posts to come shortly include: the convict, fireman, chubs, jerry junior and a grown man who wore a paper mache helmet.