Long-time readers will have noticed that the chap who is MyLoveLifeInYourHands has popped up in this blog a few times. Because of his column we went to America and had a jolly good time, we’ve gone out lots of times and it’s because of him Biscuit and I met The Fleet Street Fox. So far so good, right?
However his column has also been the source of some woe due to the pesky voting of the readers of the Guardian.
Before the Theatre Producer and I started dating she met up with MyLifeLifeInYourHands with some other chums. They had a lovely time and what would happen next was put to the dastardly readers of the Guardian.
Out of the three girls that had been at karaoke, they voted that he should go on a date with The Theatre Producer. We weren’t actually dating at the time so I could do little but fume from a distance.
The Theatre Producer, or Laura as she was known in the column then went off to America (I blogged about it a bit), but the evil readers of the Guardian wouldn’t let that get in the way. So a ‘video date‘ was arranged.
At this point I was reading up on the Irish Duelling code, but I thought with the ‘video date’ out of the way I was safe.
No, no I wasn’t the frankly evil readers of the Guardian decided that another date was in order.
Thankfully by then The Theatre Producer and I were officially an item and she was rendered immune to the powers of the nefarious readers. No-one had to get stabbed with an épée so it all worked out in the end.
And that is how the readers of the Guardian nearly ruined my love life.
Last night there was a small gathering of some of the regular characters on the blog. MyLoveLifeInYourHands was around with the visiting Marni (also known as Blossom on this blog), FleetStreetFox was celebrating her birthday and some of the Schwingalong Girls were out.
I had invited the Theatre Producer along too. We were going a fancy pants party, but it didn’t start till later so we joined the gang in a pub for a few drinks before the bash.
There was a lot of giggling. The girls were all exceedingly well dressed, lots of floaty dresses, power pencil skirts and some-what optimistically shorts. Optimistic because the weather hasn’t been exactly great.
Everyone got on very well.
The whole affair was terribly pleasant, but also had a hint of MyLoveLifeInYourHands and I presenting girls we like to Her Royal Foxyness for judgement.
I had tried to get Biscuit to appear too with Jen (who has already been fox-judged) but he made up some rubbish excuses.
After a few drinks the Theatre Producer and I walked over to our swanky party. There was free champagne and a BBQ with proper grown-up food. Not tiny canapés. This was a very pleasant surprise and so we set about eating and drinking slightly too much while playing ‘Is that a famous person?’
While we were playing this game the bar ran out of pink champagne, so we had to slum it and switch to normal coloured champagne. Tough times.
Some time later we went back to the Theatre Producers place, which incidentally is a proper grown-ups house rather than the ‘Lost Boys nest’ that Biscuit and I live in.
She gave me the presents she’d got me in America, they were all silly, pointless and lovely. The stand-out items were three water-pistols that were shaped like dinosaurs. She said she’d got three so she, Biscuit and I could use them at the same time. I thought that was unbelievably sweet.
We chatted, I was given the guided tour and ended up staying the night.
The next morning I quizzed her on important facts. I’d already decided that I wanted her to be my girlfriend so I was just clearing up some final details which included her views on white chocolate, avocados, robots and David Bowie’s trousers in Labyrinth.
She passed all the questions and so I asked her, “So Theatre Producer, will you be my totally awesome girlfriend?’
She said yes. She also said that she’d never been properly asked out like that before. Men of the world, up your game.
When she was out of the room making me a cup of tea I punched the air and said ‘Yesssssssssss’.
Marriage percentage: 56% – Steadily rising.
Biscuit should start looking decidedly nervous if he has any sense.
Having resolved to return to gentlemanly conduct (after my shocking behaviour on my date with Shannon) I had my next date with Jen to arrange. We bounced around a few possibilities then settled on a comedy night that Toast and I were going to with a few chums. This would be our fourth date.
Jen met us at home and travelled to the club with us. When we arrived, most of the gang was already there, including MyLoveLifeInYourHands and Fuckwittery. It emerged afterwards that I had neglected to mention there would be other people there and this caught Jen on the hop slightly.
As we sat down, I noticed to my amusement that I had done naughty things with all three girls at the table. This was not lost on Toast either who took a serupticious photograph of me with all my ‘wives’ as he put it.
I have since realised that this was the first time in this wager that I had introduced any of my dates to my friends. I hadn’t even given this any thought because Jen is such a gregarious person that I hadn’t considered that she wouldn’t get on with everyone. If she was nervous about meeting people she didn’t show it.
When we grabbed our seats Jen was sat next to MyLoveLifeInYourHands and the two of them quickly hit it off, even with some Hugh Grant style bumbling from MyLoveLifeInYourHands when he touched Jen’s knee by accident and got into a cycle of earnest hurried apologies. Fuckwittery excitedly enthused to us “Oh my god you talk the same!!!” after Jen used a phrase she’s picked up from me.
I met Toast’s sister later that evening and I’m still utterly baffled as to why she might have thought I was a womaniser as I’d been nothing but polite!
We watched the comedy. Some of the acts were very good. Some were rubbish. One was so bad that I had to hide my own face to cover the mortification of being party to such an atrocity. I was worried that I might be called to The Hague and be found complicit in crimes against hunmanity due to my silent participation.
Watching live comedy is a great gauge of someone’s personality as you can see whether they find jokes about Hitler, casual racism or cocks funny and see how comfortable they are letting go and laughing in public. If the night was a test, which it wasn’t, then Jen would have passed with honours, a lollipop and a gold star. She’s got a outgoing, miscreant sense of humor that often seems to be bestowed upon those that were raised in the North (of England, not the pole).
In further testament to her joie de vivre, when the comedy was finished asd we were all set to head off home she was the only one who was keen to stay for the late night disco. However we were all sleepy and it was a Thursday night so we sauntered off home for bed.
I am not very functional in the mornings, it would be fair to say that I struggle. As Jen was awake before me she was doing all sorts of nice things and extracting what little conversation she could from me. When she asked if we’d also arranged to meet Saturday (which was the following day) because she that had been on the cards in the organising stage, I mumbled “sort that out when I wake up properly”. After dragging myself to the shower to force myself into consciousness I did a lot of thinking.
I really like Jen and I didn’t want to give her the impression that I was being evasive or wasn’t interested, I just wanted to take things slowly as I value my ‘boy time’ (this might involve xbox with Toast) and don’t want to make the mistake of rushing into this. After the shower I made us a cup of tea and sat her on the sofa for a chat (it seems that a cup of tea is mandatory for any chats).
I took a deep breath and started my measured explanation, which went something like this:
“I don’t mean to seem evasive about seeing you on Saturday. I do enjoy spending time with you, I’m just very cautious after being well and truly burned by my last girlfriend. There’s also been a couple of people that I’ve been interested in but didn’t end well.
This is the first time I’ve really done ‘dating’ and I’ve been on a LOT dates over the last year or so but all the relationships I’ve had to date have happened really quickly from the outset. I’ve never done that progression from dating into relationship so I’m not really sure how it works.
Basically I’ve been WAAYYY too keen a few times recently and have then suddenly lost interest. I don’t want to do this with you as I really like you so I’m trying to be calm and measured. That’s why I’d rather see you in another week or so rather than tomorrow, I’m just trying to get things right this time”
Jen looked a little relieved and said that her last relationship was about 9 months ago and she was very guarded too. If I had been talking about any sort of commitment at this stage then there would be a Jen-shaped hole in the front door. She wouldn’t consider any sort of relationship without at least three months of dating first.
She said it would be really helpful to know if I was seeing anyone else too as she had a couple of people asking her out. I answered that I had been but I had already decided to stop because it all gets a bit confusing for me and I don’t want to put myself in a position where there were two people I liked at once. Apparently there had been three other people she was seeing at first but as soon as we did naughty stuff she knocked the others on the head, so I had sort of won the competition I didn’t know I was in.
It was such a relief to have got that all into the open and we both slumped exhausted on the sofa to finish our tea. This is the first time I have got this far with someone during the wager. It feels really promising but also slightly scary too, as I’ve no idea how I’m going to deal with the prospect of trusting someone enough to risk the kind of gut-wrenching fallout I went through with Cupcake.
After all this I promised to come and see Jen at her place the following weekend as she had made all the travelling effort so far. This is kind of a big deal as it involves going outside of the M25 and EVERYTHING! I must really like this one.
Marriage percentage: Still a solid 53%.
After seeing Claudia off to the Subway station and getting a grilling from Toast and MyLoveLifeInYourHands for my behaviour, we discovered that we had an extra day in New York. Toast has already covered that revelation and some of what we did during the day.
At some point I’d like to share some of the hypothetical questions that the other were posing to try and work out which of the girls I should marry. I won’t go through them here as they deserve a post in themselves but I will say I objected at the point that the questions turned to “The three of them are trapped in a burning building by a girder that has fallen on all three of their ankles. You have a hacksaw…”.
Boys are sick.
Seeing as how I had bailed out on Kim the previous night, I arranged to see her that evening. I even left a party and had to negotiate replacement subway busses in a journey which ended up taking about 90 minutes, but not before having some fun at Toast’s expense in revenge for the merciless questioning he’d given me on the ferry.
There was a lady at the party who Toast knew and had specifically banned me from kissing. This wasn’t a problem as I had no intentions of kissing anyone after my conduct over the previous week. His chum was such a good laugh that I ended up ‘fessing up about my actions and the fact that Toast had banned me from kissing her, which she thought was rather lovely and protective of him.
My revenge came because Toast spent the whole time throwing me ‘don’t you dare’ looks from the other side of the room. Tee hee!
When I arrived a Kim’s she was spending the night with her housemate recovering after the events of the preceding evening. Things felt slightly strained between us and I wondered if this was anything to do with having bailed on her the previous night. Eventually her housemate went to bed and Kim and I moved onto the same sofa.
Then Kim did something entirely unexpected: she turned the telly on. I found this a little confusing as she had specifically said that I should go over to see her. Resigning myself to the rubbish American teen show I laid down on the sofa and put my head in her lap where I eventually started to doze off. Had if not been for the TV this would have been an entirely agreeable situation.
It was a sleepy last night in New York and a lazy morning kissing and talking about music and photography. There were some goodbye hijinks and we gave each other a big hug before I had to leave to catch the flight.
Marriage percentage: 33%
I was confused by the TV move but I probably deserved a lot worse considering my behaviour the previous night.
Mostly I was sad that I had to leave and that it would be very tricky for me to see any of the girls in the near future.
Lesson learned: I heart New York.
Having accidentally (but happily) gained myself a promised American wife AND having been on a great couple of dates with Kim, I felt that this qualified the New York trip as an unmitigated success beyond my expectations. I specifically wasn’t looking to kiss any more girls.
As Saturday was (supposed to be) our last night in the the city, I had arranged to see Kim after work for drinking on the town and had invited Toast and MyLoveLifeInYourHands to join me after we’d had our fill at the brewery. I knew that Kim was planning for a messy night as she had some naughty pills that she was planning to share with a friend but thought it would still be fun.
You probably already know what happened, since Toast has spilled the greatest spoiler since revealing the end of Titanic: I kissed a girl.
I have several points in my defence but nothing that really excuses the behaviour:
- She looked like a young Claudia Winkleman.
- She had an initial air of ‘bemused quizzical indifference’ that piques my interest (in a Ramona Flowers style).
- The moment I heard her accent I fancied her.
- She had an adorable laugh and beautifully coy but sincere smile
- She saved my beer from being stolen TWICE.
- She looks hot in a balloon hat.
As I had arranged to meet Kim I held back from kissing her several times when the moment was conducive to it. The tension was becoming almost intoxicating, but I also knew that there was an outside chance that Kim might be joining us if her plans didn’t work out.
I got some increasingly mashed messages from Kim saying that her plans were all on and we should join her. By this point I was rather mashed myself and having way too much fun with present company to want to negotiate the subway network for the best part of an hour.
Eventually I got a slightly garbled message saying that she was staying out and I should join her. It was shortly afterwards that I kissed Claudia. Toast was making us pose for a photo looking wantonly into each other’s eyes. I can’t remember the scenario but the basic premise on Toast’s part was get me to kiss her.
We spent a lot of time talking whilst the others played pool in the next bar. I had already decided to stay. I felt really torn but I knew I wasn’t leaving Kim by herself and I was a little reticent to go given that she had obviously taken the naughty pills (yes, I clearly am attempting to justify my actions).
In a moment that almost made me melt because it felt like something straight out of a trashy American teen film, I had paused mid conversation and was just looking at her when she raised her eyebrow and said ”I know that look, you want to make out don’t you?”.
‘Make out’! I’ve never heard that term used in its native context before!
We did make out and it was very good making out indeed. However it was making out in a bar and I think we had already breached the etiquette of the situation. As the others were all happilly engaged in pool and fledgling bar brawls I said “soooo… would you like to go and make out somewhere else?”
That’s how we ended up with a house guest the following morning.
After we had all had morning tea and I had walked Claudia to the subway station, I sat back in the appartment and said to the others “Oh god, I’m such a bad person”. Toast replied “You’re not a bad person, you’re just acting exactly like one”.
At no point have I ever gone out with the express intention of kissing girls and I’ve never kissed any girls or done naughty things just for the sake of it. With all of them I’ve seen potential for something more than hijinks. This however, does not stop me feeling like something of a womaniser.
Perhaps I’m just not ready for the power that an English accent bestows whilst in the States.
Marriage percentage: 35%. I can’t believe I’ve met three people who I would happily pursue a relationship with in the space of a week. I’m still not entirely sure how it’s all happened.
Lesson learned: Applebee’s really does have the WORST coffee I have ever tasted.
It was our final day in New York, well half a day.
Out flight was early in the afternoon so we had time to be hung over, make polite conversation with Biscuit’s new house guest and clean the apartment before we left.
I decided to take advantage of the online check-in facilities before we set off for the airport.
I logged in, entered my details and saw a very surprising number.
Our flight wasn’t for another day.
I don’t know how it happened, but for some reason we had convinced ourselves that our flight was on Sunday. It wasn’t, it was on Monday. We are morons.
There was a lot of loud confused conversation and some laughter.
Then logic kicked in. It would cost more than a hotel room to move our flights a day and thus Bonus Day was born. A whole extra day in New York
Biscuit frantically called the lady who we were renting the apartment off to see if we could get the place for an extra day. She didn’t answer her phone. Between her calling back and us digging out our booking details we discovered that we had the flat for the day anyway. He had to explain to her on the phone that we were berks, but she took it well.
A whole extra day in New York! I had to make a quick call to my work to arrange another day of cover and then we were all good to go. A whole day of doing what ever we wanted.
We set off into the lovely sun, it was still cold but not freezing. Since it was Bonus day we went and took the free ferry that goes past the Statue of Liberty. It was rather impressive, the ferry and the statue. We ate some exciting new street food. I don’t know who first thought of putting a hot-dog inside a pretzel but they deserve a medal.
On the ferry MyLifeInYourHands and I quizzed Biscuit about his girl situation he said he liked all of the girls a lot and couldn’t choose between them so we asked him a series of hypothetical questions to find out which one he should marry. I’m sure he will share some of these questions in a future post. He told us off for a couple of them so they must be good.
After the ferry ride we picked up some booze and headed to a house party that a British friend of mine was hosting. We got drunk with slightly grumpy Brits for a bit, I was amazed that they could be leaving in New York and be grumpy but there you go.
Later on in the evening the group split up. Biscuit went off to see one of his girls and MyLifeInYourHands went off to see Blossom. I stayed with my chums who de-grumped and we went to Soho House to watch the Oscars. It was a lovely final night in New York. I drank too much gin.
The trip had been everything we’d hoped and nothing like we’d expected.
I had really enjoyed it but was exhausted by the constant drinking and misadventures.
Also there was a part of me that really wanted to get back to London to see the Consultant and find out if she liked the fancy underwear I had bought for her from Victoria’s Secret…
The day started rather late. Biscuit had appeared at about 9-ish looking and interesting combination of sheepish and pleased with himself. There was no sign of MyLoveLifeInYourHands.
Biscuit and I wanted to go shopping. Our chum still hadn’t appeared by midday and he wasn’t answering his phone so gave up waiting and set off out to see New York. We only had one key which made things more complicated but we figured that MyLoveLifeInYourHands was a big boy and could look after himself.
He called us back when we were just about to get on the subway and then appeared so we gave him the keys and set off out. It was a lovely warm day and Biscuit and I spent far too much money on things we didn’t need and saw some more things we’d always wanted to see.
The plan for this evening was to meet up with a girl who MyLoveLifeInYourHands had met on our first night in New York city. There was a brewery tour and then a bar afterwards. This seemed like a good plan.
We wanted to drop our shopping off before we went out so we had to co-ordinate a meeting with MyLoveLifeInYourHands near the flat. This didn’t go exactly to plan. He was lost somewhere in South Brooklyn and had the only keys to the flat. Biscuit and I waited on the steps for a bit until it was too cold and then went for the worst coffee I’ve ever had in Applebee’s.
MyLoveLifeInYourHands appeared and we went back to the flat to drop off bags and freshen up. Refreshed, we hopped on the subway up to the brewery and then waited in a queue for ages. We were about two hours late and were stuck in a queue that had formed. Yes we struggled to organise a piss-up in a brewery.
Eventually we got inside, poured amazingly cheap beer into our faces and then tried to find the girls MyLoveLifeInYourHands knew. We found them and started to get very drunk. They were pretty, and also tiny, so we towered over them.
Biscuit instantly took a shine to one of them and started making balloon hats for her. I have now learned that this is foreplay for Biscuit.
We stayed in the brewery drinking and larking around for well, ages. I think, until it had closed actually.
I can remember it getting really empty suddenly and someone with a broom asking us to leave.
MyLoveLifeInYourHands had been talking to one of the girls who had really curly hair and Biscuit had almost kissed the one he liked. We found out later that MyLoveLifeInYourHands snogged his curly-haired friend near the loos.
I had been happily chatting away to the third girl, who was the one MyLoveLifeInYourHands met on our first night. She was small with brown eyes and had her hair tightly tied back into a bun. She had a surprisingly deep voice.
We went to another bar nearby that had a pool table. MyLoveLifeInYourHands and Biscuit were supposed to be meeting Blossom and Kim respectively later in the evening. Both of them had now kissed at least one of the Brewery girls at this point.
Then we got introduced to triple kissing. It’s when three people kiss at once, not with tongues or anything. We were drunk, there were various demonstrations of how it works. Let me just state two things.
1) One of the girls said she had never triple kissed with two boys before, it seemed impolite to refuse that request.
2) I understand now why some girls don’t like kissing men with stubble.
Lets move on.
MyLoveLifeInYourHands and I played pool with two of the girls. Mixed teams, it was a surprisingly close match. He was probably the best player but his team-mate was triumphantly bad so it balanced out. She may have been playing extra bad so that MyLoveLifeInYourHands would lean over her and show her how to hold a pool stick.
I ended up kissing one of the brewery girls as part of the celebrations from potting four balls in a row. Yeah, you heard me, four balls, in a row. She said I smelled nice but kept doing an awful faux-English accent that made my ears sad.
A man tried to start a fight with me when I politely asked him to move so a brewery girl could take a shot. He got all offended and started doing the ‘strong gaze’ and mumbling threats.
I just looked back at him nonchalantly because I was mashed and not entirely sure what was going on. His friends dragged him out of the pub and we didn’t see him again. This probably looked cooler than it was.
In the mean time Biscuit had been snogging his new friend at a table. It was a very kissy evening. At some point MyLoveLifeInYourHands disappeared off to meet up with Blossom. Biscuit jumped in a cab back to the flat with his new friend. Poor Kim.
I stayed with the remaining two girls and we went on a pub crawl. I got a lot of secondary abuse from the girls because MyLoveLifeInYourHands had disappeared into the night. Apparently he should have stayed because he would have got some.
There was a bit more kissing, when appropriate, but eventually we left the bar and got cheese sandwiches from a deli.
I jumped in a cab and headed back to the flat. The cab driver had no idea where he was going and a 5 minute journey ended up taking 20 minutes which was probably for the best so I didn’t catch Biscuit doing something rude with his new friend on the sofa.
Eventually I crashed into bed absolutely ruinously drunk.
It wasn’t really a date but I’ll give a marriage percentage for the Brewery girl: 5% She was cute and quite good fun but the near constant faux-English accent made me wish I was deaf.
The cheese sandwich was amazing though. I’d like to see it again.
Friday in New York, New York was almost Friday in Reno, Nevada. After MyLoveLifeInYourHands dashed off to Washington DC for reasons only understood by him, I felt inspired to pursue a similarly whimsical folly. So, goaded into action by the other two, I attempted to jet off to the other side of the country for hangouts (not sexy hangouts, just hangouts) with a pink-haired girl I’m chums with as a result of too many hours online Xbox play. Sadly I was foiled by a sudden increase in airfare so I was left with the slightly more sensible, but no less enjoyable, option of another night in NYC.
As Toast mentioned, we met Blossom and her chums for another drink. As with last time I was not exac ly on top form but was also sat on the end of a long table and all the conversation was directed away from me. This meant that, in combination with the background music and being a deafo, I basically couldn’t follow any of what was being said and so resigned myself to appearing antisocial.
When more of Blossom’s friends turned up I found myself sat opposite a girl with a lovely soft accent and next to the man who lived in a car (who I thought he was quite interesting) who had both turned up together. I assumed they were an item and so made great pains to chat to the car man so he did not think I was hitting on his lady.
After a bit, however, I got the distinct impression that they weren’t together at all. The girl was explaining to me exactly what a midwestern accent was. Apparently it’s so bizarre that the people in the American meeja never let the outside world hear it as I had NEVER heard this accent before. Thankfully it was very soft in her speech as she had lost the most obvious elements and sounded delicious. As she was talking to me I realised she was leaning forward a little, making lots of eye contact and playing with her hair a little.
I also realised that she had very kissable lips.
‘The Midwesterner’ was very sharp with her witticisms but also very kind in nature and had quite an interesting and responsible job. Conversation with her more than made up for whatever I appeared to be missing out on at the other end of the table. She also had a beautifully soft face with a kind smile and keenly intelligent eyes.
I opted to keep her company for a smoke under the guise that the place was too warm and making me sleepy. In truth however I was intrigued and wanted to know more about her.
I decided we would get married when she declared ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is by far the best Star Wars film. I said I loved New York and wanted to be able to stay and she said that she quite fancied spending her 30s in England.
This marriage announcement took even Toast a little by surprise.
Having decided that we would get married, we spent the rest of the night demonstrating our spousal qualities. The Midwesterner was proving to be a supportive wife and I excelled at hunter gathering by bringing a gallon of cider and huge platter of meat. There were many more details that I would love to relate to you but the gallon of cider has not helped my memory at all.
Toast thought that he had the scoop of the evening when he slyly papped a picture of us holding hands under the table, however we had already snuck a kiss in the meat queue. Hee hee!
Toast asked “so, are you going to get married then?”. I thought for a second and coyly grinned back “yes”. I later confessed to Toast that I would have gone to a 24 hour marriage place if there had been one nearby as it seemed like the most perfectly impulsive thing to do.
After a few hours of giggling, comparing life priorities and sharing cider we decided that we would actually rather go somewhere else so that we would not feel so guilty kissing at the table. Saying our goodbyes to the rest of the crowd we walked hand in hand to The Midwesterner’s place.
Some things happened but they were between a husband and wife. They were very lovely things though and I would be very pleased if she were were my wife.
In the morning I was sad to say goodbye as I knew that the likelihood is that I wouldn’t see her again that holiday and she is so lovely. I took her number and hope to stay in contact. It’s not totally unfeasible that either of us will be in the same place again in the not too distant future.
Maybe we should arrange a trip to Vegas? Star Wars wedding?
Marriage percentage 50%, though I suspect this would only go up if we spent more time together. Despite the distance, I wouldn’t say she is off the cards.
It was Friday so we decided to see some more sights in Manhattan and then meet up with a few people in the evening.
MyLoveLifeInYourHands wanted to see as many people as possible so the evening was mapped out very carefully.
We ‘grabbed a slice’ before wandering around looking faintly lost while we tried to find the bar. After only a couple of wrong turns we found the right place
Blossom was there with one of her male chums we had met before. It was a classy place and everyone was drinking wine which felt strangely sophisticated compared to the events of the last week.
One bottle turned into a few. More fun people turned up and soon we were bring pressed pretty hard to stay with them and go to a BBQ place for supper.
Biscuit had made a new friend, they went out for a smoke (him was just keeping her company) and when they came back they announced they were getting married.
In light of this big announcement we gave in and ambled over to the BBQ place. I got some booze and MyLoveLifeInYourHands waited in the queue for food with Blossom chatting away.
Once we had some drinks we (the other chums) had to hang around waiting for a free table for us to take. It was like musical chairs but while carrying a gallon of cider. Musical chairs should always be played with a gallon of cider.
Eventually we grabbed a big enough table just before MyLoveLifeInYourHands ordered. It was perfect timing really.
There was a mass scrum to sit down and I ended up sat in the corner, next to Biscuit and his new wife.
They were secretly holding hands under the table, which made me suspect that their ‘marriage’ had a bit more too it than just a throw-away joke.
I’ve known Biscuit for a while but I’ve never seen him move so fast, they had known each other for hours. I think we can all guess which way this story is going.
Opposite me were MyLoveLifeInYourHands and Blossom who had been glued at the hip all evening. I was right on the end so I ended up having a conversation with a man with a massive beard, and then sitting in silence. It was an evening of awkward moments.
Biscuit and his new friend had started snogging at the table. Marcy turned up with some other people and apologised for texting while drunk last time we were out.
Everyone had finished stuffing amazing meat in their mouths so we stumbled on to another bar for more drinks.
The crowd thinned out a bit and so I was left making awkward conversation with a man who lived in a car while MyLoveLifeInYourHands and Blossom chatted away furiously. Biscuit and his ‘wife’ left for ‘a walk’ and we didn’t see them again for the rest of the evening.
We went onto another bar because it had old arcade machines. The crowd thinned some more.
Blossom and MyLoveLifeInYourHands were playing games with each other on the machines. I was struggling to keep the conversation going with the ‘living in the car guy’. There is only so much you can talk about the freedom of the open road and getting good miles to the gallon on your house.
This went on for a while before I thought I’d just bow out and get a cab home. I said goodbye to MyLoveLifeInYourHands and Blossom and jumped in a cab. I didn’t see MyLoveLifeInYourHands until the next day either.
The cab dropped me off at the end of our block and I got to witness a rolling street fight between a group of youths. It was quite exciting. I was a bit worried at first, I was drunk, wearing a waistcoat and a pink tie but they acted as if I was a ghost and just ignored me.
It had been another exciting evening, although one where I had felt a bit like a third wheel. I think I should have gone into Soho, but regrets are for other people.
The chaps had fun and I did get to swig from a gallon jug of cider so in balance I’d call that a win.
Even though I’d planned a number of internet dates with New Yorkers, I’d had such an awesome time with Kim that I had decided to concentrate on her as I felt she was cute, funny and able to take her margaritas in a fashion that even a sailor would have been proud of.
Toast covered Wednesday night’s activities. I was very good, I didn’t kiss a single person or even try to kiss them, even though I found that I fancied girls immensely more the moment they opened their mouths. Thankfully Blossom’s friends weren’t classic Biscuit types and I was particularly off form after a day walking round the city and feeding myself almost exclusively on sugar.
Thursday I traveled over to meet Kim at work. She works in a large studio divided up into different areas. She came out to meet me and was wearing a cheeky nautical themed number, complete with canvas deck shoes. When she took me upstairs I got a little too excited over the lift (el-ee-vay-tor) which was a huge industrial affair that looked like it should have a robot exoskeleton or massive mother alien xenomorph climbing out of it. However, by far the best part was the free bar. It looked a little like a film set because three sides were decked in a style resembling a cozy London pub, with antique photographs adorning the walls , comfortably worn leather furniture and Chicago Blues wafting across the smoky atmosphere. The fourth wall was open and a studio audience was conspicuous by its absence, which gave the place a simultaneously homely and yet unreal feel.
Kim and I ended up on opposite sides of the bar at the far end and there was a little bit of a heavy atmosphere as one of their colleagues had just been sacked so no one was particularly chatty.
I had a secret weapon however: I am English.
With Kim chatting to a colleague I turned to the nearest person and thrust my hand out to introduce myself and started chatting. I did this with anyone who came into range and was soon chums with most of the people there.
Being a bit of a deaf-o, and unaccustomed to the accents, I kept mishearing everyones’ names. Soon we had a ‘Charleston’ and a ‘Graham’ and I was being called upon to knight everyone with their new English name.
After a fair amount of free booze we all set off to see an art show of a colleague of theirs. It was in a bar and was filled with slightly wanky meeja types and girls a little too cool for school. Charleston complained that he was rubbish at approaching ladies (even though he is ‘chiselled’ handsome) so I decided to help him out by explaining that you just need to ask the right things, about robots or lasers.
Offering to demonstrate, he pointed me towards a lady he wanted to talk to so I politely introduced myself, apologised for disturbing her and told her that my friend wanted to ask her a question about dinosaurs.
Apparently, when he asked “what’s your favourite dinosaur”, the girl just looked blankly at him and said “dino… what???”. I consoled Charleston that any girl who did not know what a dinosaur was didn’t deserve him.
Kim and I were just chatting and having fun. There were no shenanigans because I was pretending to be a chum she met in England, partly for giggles but partly (I suspect) so she didn’t have to explain why she was taking a man she barely knew out with her!
Most people were very nice, the girls especially so as soon as I opened my mouth. One girl even got a bit fighty when she thought I had pushed into a queue. As soon as I spoke she turned all sultry and said “well you can just talk to me in that accent all day long”.
This was clearly more of a potent effect than I had expected. Suddenly I knew how Spiderman felt: “With great power comes great responsibility”. One of Kim’s friends even got quite flirty and touchy whilst dancing.
In a moment of sort of sexy ambivalence, the touchy girl and Charleston had a’ lap-dance off’ for me, Kim and ‘Rosemary’ as we sat on the sofas. It was simultaneously arousing and disturbing so I stuffed a couple of dollars into Charleston’s belt line and he gleefully ran off to the nearest group of girls to dance for them and flash the cash sticking out of his pants.
I think it was around this time that I fell in love with New York.
Eventually it was time to grab a taxi home and so Rosemary, Kim and I piled in. After we had dropped Rosemary off, Kim asked what I was planning to do. Looking a little blankly and hopful I said “…err… I could stay at yours?”. She smiled and agreed on the stipulation that it was just for sleeps as she had work early.
It was lovely just cuddling up, although less lovely dragging myself out of bed in the morning to head to the subway for home.
The following day she sent me a really sweet text message:
“My friends love you. And I really wish you could stay a bit longer cause its so freakin rad. I think you brought us all closer last night”
I beamed to Toast and MyLoveLifeInYourHands that I would happily have her as a girlfriend if I was staying.
Marriage percentage: 35%
I had loads of fun, even though we were pretending to be just chums. It made me sad that I knew I had to leave in only a few days.