I’d been in New York 2 weeks when I was asked out via the Bumble app. He was mid-30s, Mexican-Jewish with dark hair and friendly eyes, handsome looking and researched cancer for a living.
I hadn’t been on a proper date for 3 years, and was surprised at how terrified I was by the prospect. What if it were awkward? Would I run out of things to say? Maybe he’d be a psycho and spike my drink? What if I couldn’t get away? I told him I was keen, but I was too chicken to nail down a time and place.
Several drinks into a West Village night out with a couple of girls I’d met recently and barely knew, dutch courage took over and I texted to ask if he was ‘around’, at 11pm. Turns out he was around, and close by, so we agreed to meet in 30. This might sound strange, but late night dates in New York, the city that never sleeps, are definitely a thing!
Walking to meet him, clad in elegant black jumpsuit and heels, the nerves kicked in, as well as the realization that I was actually quite drunk and one more drink might tip me over the edge. In a desperate attempt to sober up, I dashed into a late night convenience store and purchased the healthiest carb I could find: a Nature’s Valley Oats and Honey bar. I devoured it in the street, like the classy lady I am, before topping up my red lipstick.
We met at the venue he suggested: an intimate, quiet basement bar called the Bell Book & Candle. He was easy to spot when I walked in, sitting alone at the candlelit bar. He was on the short side, although the high bar stool helped, and pleasantly good looking with a hot beard (I have a well established weak spot for facial hair). His smile was warm and kind so I relaxed immediately. We ordered 2 old fashioneds.
He had a thick Mexican accent, despite living in New York for years, and I had to ask him to repeat himself occasionally. He was sweet, intelligent, and the first person I’d met who owned an apartment in New York! However, from the get go I experienced a pet peeve of mine: when someone spits on you as they talk. This forced me into the subtle maneuver of casually and unnoticeably wiping tiny globules of his spit from my cheeks. I was slightly grossed out, but gave him the benefit of the doubt.
About 10 minutes in he turned up the flirting, stroking my leg and back constantly. It didn’t feel sleazy; more passionate and touchy-feely. Fast forward 20 minutes and he leaned over to full on kiss me at the bar. I was taken aback, but instinctively returned the kiss, trying to ignore the fact that we were in full sight of the barman! The kiss was so so; a little on the sloppy side for a ‘bar’ kiss. For the semi-reserved English girl that I am, it was all a bit too much, too soon. Although flattered, I felt like I was drowning in his saliva, and I wasn’t into it.
When we emerged from the bar, his height (or lack of) became more apparent. I also noticed his footwear: strange dark leather shoes that cut a sharpish diagonal angle at the front. I couldn’t help but think ‘elf’ in my head.
The intensity continued as he dropped me home in a cab while holding my hand en route. He messaged immediately, calling me a ‘cool cat’ and asking me out. We messaged on and off since but I didn’t agree to meet him again.
So, New York date number one was complete. I didn’t find a Mexican Jewish husband, but I did find a whole bunch of dating confidence. I’d made the move back into the dating scene, and was ready for more.