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.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Treating the family

This hasn’t been such a great week for Sexless, has it? Today’s excuse: I had to make an afternoon trip to pick up essential reading — a.k.a., the contract for the memoir to be based on this blog. Seeing as how said document is in hand, perhaps this would be a good time to formally announce to you all that, yes, there will someday be Sexless in the City the book ... and maybe the musical. (OK, just kidding about the last part; would you have believed me if I said, Sexless in the City, the clothing store?)

I had high hopes the week would produce fine bloggage, oh yes. You see, last Sunday Sis and I went to the evening service of my church. The very service at which a newish chap I like to call Tall Drink o’ Water (imagine a brainy and unafeared-of-cussing Jimmy Stewart) almost always makes a point to greet me. Even if I arrived mid-service and found a seat in the pew behind him. Perhaps he has special Anna radar?

In any case, Sunday I spied him across the row, not far from his usual place. But Sis and I were especially late, hence seated in a zone possibly out of range of his radar. No greeting smile or wave occurred; the service actually ended without acknowledgement. I found excuses for us to hang around afterward, chatting up my various girlfriends. Perhaps he’d manage to spy us in the cookie room. We waded through the mob to the beverage table, but Tall Drink o’ Water didn’t notice.

Sis and I escaped to less-crowded quarters in the hall where I found another girlfriend to chat up. Maybe he would see us on his way out? The lad’s a friendly one, though, so I started to lose hope. You see, him meeting my sis would be especially crucial seeing as how Sis constitutes the crack back-up suitor-vetting team. Sure, Tall Drink o’ Water hasn’t actually hinted he might like to be a Broadway suitor ... but he’s been friendly. And when we’ve joined a group for post-service supper, he always finds a way to sit by me. Should he eventually ask me out sometime, I will — in keeping with my new policy — have to direct him to the parentals. In this uncertain meantime, I figure any contact with my vetting squads is key. Since Pops Broadway turned down a chance to bond over sushi (he doesn’t like it), getting Sis to meet and size up the man was key.

Just as we were refilling our paper cups a final time, the man in question finally emerged ... closely trailed by a striking but not youthful woman. Oh yes. We had hit the parental jackpot. We easily found a four-part banter that somehow led to talk of Starbucks (probably since Sis and I share such an addiction). But Tall Drink o’ Water disdained said business, which somehow led to talk of American companies abroad. One such example was mentioned, resulting in a mother-son dispute. Each side proved so convinced of the respective position (she: that the business could be in Paris and Paraguay, he: that it could not) that a bet was struck. Sis and I were key witnesses.

When they decided that the stakes should be set, a breakfast was mentioned. My ears perked up. “Will this take place in time for your two witnesses to attend?” After all, we surely had an important role in verifying results. And just like that we were in. The bettors granted assent, inviting us to join them for a 9 a.m. breakfast in SoHo, loser’s treat. As they were departing, his mother repeated the invite “especially if she won,” so as to increase the gloating faction.

Once we reached home that night, several fine German beers from the local Austrian bar later, internet research commenced. Sure enough! The business in question not only had operations in Paris, but also in that Paraguayan neighbor Uraguay. We were golden.

I persuaded Sis to rise early so we could make the 9 a.m. breakfast, but her consequent preparations were mysteriously lengthy. By the time we reached the subway, missed a train and finally made our way to SoHo, we were 20 minutes late. Both agreed Tall Drink and mother seemed like they might be the punctual type.

Not to mention, the swift-eating type. When we reached the breakfast counter at only 20 after, it was deserted but for a slightly wistful gentleman in late 20s or early 30s. (In earlier days, I probably would have flirted with him.) Dejected at our loss of free breakfast/great story (well, OK, those were mostly my regrets), we settled on a breakfast at Balthazar.

And frankly, I guess I really haven’t recovered from that terribly great disappointment. All week, it’s hung over my blogging like a faint but indistinct hunger left unsatisfied. Don’t the best stories come from adventures I have engineered? Certainly I’ve been learning things this last year, but the key takeaway must be that I simply tried to lure the wrong men. It’s not like those failures resulted from my initiative itself ... right?

On the bright side, Tall Drink will doubtless be at church Sunday night — which may result in rather-thrilling blogging next week. But just in case it doesn’t, be so kind as to continue sending your love-life questions.

Ta for the weekend ...