Every so often when swiping on dating apps, your heart skips a beat. I was on JSwipe (essentially Tinder for Jews) trawling through the lackluster offering, half concentrating and uninspired. Suddenly, a slam-dunk handsome movie star type appeared on my screen, and I jolted upright.
He had chocolate brown, curly hair, a chiseled jaw, a knowing half smile, sparkly eyes, and was sporting a cream, V-neck, woven sweater. His profile said he was a lawyer who’d studied at Berkeley and Cambridge. Ding Dong. I swiped right hastily and crossed my fingers and toes, tightly.
Later that day, we ‘matched’ and he messaged; mini gymnasts did back flips in my stomach. In my over-excited, childlike state I almost blew it. I responded to his question with a long, babbling response before realizing I hadn’t asked him anything back. Desperate to continue the conversation, I typed the first thing that entered my panicked mind: ‘Is this rain planning on stopping soon? I hope so.’
The lamest message of all time.
I waited almost 24 hours, neurotically checking my phone for a reply that was never going to come. There was only one thing for it; I had to ask him out: ‘So, slightly forward but you may be the cutest guy I’ve seen on this app. Drink?’ As per usual, making the move paid off.
We met on the Upper East Side on a Saturday night at a cocktail bar of his choice: Vinus and Marc. Nervous, late and slightly under the weather, I headed uptown wearing a sequined blue top, short black skirt, black tights and boots.
He was waiting outside the bar, and immediately I recognized the catch: he was really, really short. Shorter than me (I’m 5’4″ and a half) in my small heels. I should have seen it coming, but not all was lost; he was still facially gorgeous… especially those dreamy eyes.
We sat at the bar, drinking cocktails and chatting away. He was from New York but had lived in Syria, Israel, Egypt, London, California, and Afghanistan during the war. We got on well, and decided to grab food nearby at The Milton. Is was freezing out, so comfort food was on the agenda: I ordered creamy tomato soup, which I dipped my grilled cheese challah into, and we shared piping hot, truffle chicken nuggets.
Continuing our Upper East Side tour, The Auction House was next. The bar was decadently adorned in dark wood and cherub paintings, and we sat next to each other on a red velvet couch. In no time we were kissing, slowly and sweetly.
When we’d finished our wines, and were on the verge of making those around us uncomfortable, he pulled a genius Jew move. He enticed me back to his apartment by telling me he had a bag of the best bagels in New York in his kitchen.
I was down for some more lip action, plus nosily wanted to see his place; he lived alone in his dad’s former psychiatry ‘office’. It was my time of the month, so sex was off the cards, and I told him this upfront to keep expectations in check.
The apartment was large and clean, but formal and square. In his kitchen, we greedily devoured the Everything bagels (from Absolute Bagels) right out of their brown paper bag. They were phenomenal: chewy and salty. For dessert, we enjoyed a horizontal make out session on the former waiting room couch (kinky). Eventually I tore myself away, and hopped in an Uber.
We messaged the next day about wanting to see each other soon, but neither of us proposed anything concrete. I would have met him again, if he’d asked, but for whatever reason I didn’t find myself thinking about him, and wasn’t motivated to initiate anything further. Before we knew it, the moment had passed.
Some dates feel like the start of something unknown, enticing and potentially incredible. Whereas other dates feel ‘complete’ in themselves; as if you’ve seen the start, middle and end of the movie, finished your giant popcorn, and can leave the theater content. This was a case of the latter.
Jswipe didn’t deliver the man of my dreams this time, but at least I now know where to find my dream bagel.