I’ve been casually dating a guy who lives about an hour north of the city, but he didn’t seem that disappointed when I told him I’d be busy for the next 40 days. He travels a lot for work, still, nothing says you’re free to date other people like a seven-day turnaround on a one-word text response.
Back on Coffee Meets Bagel, my most recent foray in the search for love on the Internet. I’ve connected with a guy who went to college with a friend of mine from high school. That sounds nice and safe. I get dressed for an early open mic at Broadway Comedy Club in something that can double nicely for my date.
I’m pretty lazy with fashion. My mom describes my style as, “early 90s college kid” (the rest of the world would call it grunge, or hipster without the irony) and is fully convinced that my life would change if I would just “class it up.” She lives in Colorado, so her definition of classing-it-up is the ‘dresses and skirts’ section of the Prana catalogue. I’m wearing my dressed-up-for-a-show uniform of black leggings, a black Prana skirt (think: stretchy and totally comfortable for riding a bike), black flat boots (his height on the site is 5’8”, which, best case scenario, is likely somewhere between 5’5” and 5’6.5” in the real world) and a green, long sleeved, v-neck, T-shirt with a tree design on it. For me, this is quite dressy.
The show is fun. I found Nurse Sophia’s mic a few months ago and I love it. There’s rarely a civilian audience, but she lets you do tons of time and the other comedians are usually pretty supportive, so it’s a great place to practice. Also, she goes through the list twice, so, if you forget something in your first round, you’ve got another chance. I usually try to prepare for my first set and play around in my second one.
Sophia moves the list around to let me get up for a second time before I have to run across town to the date. It’s usually (more or less) first come, first serve. By the time I leave, I’ve done 18 minutes of comedy (10 in the first set, 8 in the second).
I’m a little late out the door and running across town in some misty weather. My naturally curly, but almost always straightened, hair doesn’t know what it’s supposed to be doing by the time I get there.
“It’s all material,” I tell myself as I catch a glimpse of myself in a glass reflection on my way to the table where he is already seated and try to lick my fingers and subtly wipe away the mascara that is contributing to the dark circles under my eyes. This guy is a little older than I am, but no need to push it. I whip my now frizzy hair up into a bun and am pleasantly surprised to find he looks exactly like the best of his pictures. Bonus!
Our drinks lubricate the conversation: mine tequila, his whiskey. We get more comfortable with each other and when he suggests food I’m all for it (it’s actually a welcome necessity, after three glasses of tequila) but I’m doing the math in my head and playing a scary game of poker with my finances. I like him enough to want to offer to split the bill, just in case that’s what he expects, but I know I can eat for a week on my share alone. The place isn’t expensive, especially for midtown, It’s just that I’ve become very creative with my food/finances.
I think it went well. I offer to split, but he insists on picking up the $100 tab. I breathe a sigh of relief that he didn’t call my bluff and think (once again) that I probably shouldn’t be dating until I get my finances in order. He kisses me on the cheek and walks towards the lot where his car is parked. I walk to the subway, thinking, a little drunkenly, that he’s cute and I wish he’d gone for a kiss on the lips.
On the subway home, I alternate between reading my book and fantasizing about how much material he will provide for my act. I stumble into my apartment and am telling my roommate about the date as my internet date texts to say he got home safely and did I? My heart melts. Caring that I got home safely is on my top five list of sexiest things a guy can do; right next to telling me that he had fun spending time with me. Maybe there’s hope?