Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Monday, January 24, 2005

A Sunday lunch date?

We passed a couple bars on our Sunday afternoon drive, Hesitator and I. As a compromise on lunch cravings, we’d settled on some place near the Lower East Side since I wanted brunch and he Chinese. The menu met my demands, the ’hood nearly his.

As we passed one bar, he asked if I’d ever been there. Oh, yes, I thought. More times and under stranger circumstances than you can imagine. I was there with Ad Weasel, one crazy, crazy night long ago. Later I went back for parties thrown by the Comedian, one time seeing his friend Jose, to no avail. I am convinced that nothing good ever comes of the man you want seeing his friend kiss you dramatically, albeit in a stage scene. But there were probably other problematic factors there as well ...

Problematic factors I don’t have to deal with much any more. For as I explained to Hesitator, I don’t go to bars much any more.

He seemed surprised. Now even that one you used to frequent? Does he mean Burlesque Bar? I didn’t know my shock-n-awe had gone that far with him. No, the favorite drinking hole before that: Honky Tonk. The one the Captain took me to. “No, not even there. I just don’t do the bar scene much anymore.”

He struggled to comprehend this. That I, the hipster socialite I have often appeared to be, rarely frequent bars, the hub of any New York socialite or hipster’s existence.

Was it something with the bars? Surely she doesn’t actually miss secondhand smoke ....

Well, I said, it was more like the people I’d been seeing. My social habits changed. And then because the bars had been so connected to those social habits — those people — the bars gradually fell by the wayside too.

I suppose I should have thought to order a Bloody Mary at brunch — showing I hadn’t abolished my inner boozehound completely. Instead I turned to that other addiction, coffee, though even then resorting to decaf by the second cup. (Decaf, I think, must be the caffeine addict’s Nicorette. What you take when you purely need the placebo, but can’t stand the night-time wakey-wakey.)

But we had lunch Sunday, yes. We didn’t talk as much of work as expected, but he still paid the tab. Mostly I practiced my new hyper-Jesus-freak bit (which might as well be like Protestant nunship) and didn’t swear a single time ... that I can recall. I have to do something to hold ’em off without that purity ring, after all.

I’m sure this won’t last. At some point the other Anna will have a wild night with Tom Jones ... blasting over the disco speakers. I might not dance on bar top,* or flash my year-old piercing, but there will be good shimmy-shaking and possibly a shot or two. After all, I am informed, I did “learn to drink from a master.” So if I can’t hold my shots and still shake it, something’s wrong.

And ... well ... surely Jesus wouldn’t have been averse to some disco now and then. He hung with prostitutes and sinners, after all. I’m pretty sure their music wasn’t tame, or their hips averse to wiggles. I mean, some religious people dance, after all. I know. I was in Fiddler on the Roof once, and we had to learn a whole dance for a wedding scene!

Crazy Baptists, man. All those damn prohibitions! No wonder all the white men on this continent can’t dance. At least for the most part. I will say my blog/blond consultant did a fair number in a conga line in Cali ... Perhaps there’s hope for Anna yet: this was even at a Christian dance.

*Which, yes, I did the night I defended my thesis. But I was sober(ish), there were five of us, and the bar had a really small crowd. So it wasn’t gratuitous exhibitionism. Just a little ... cautious cuttin’-loose.