The Theatre Producer is away in America, which means I’m sort of in limbo. Well I’m waiting. I’m not good at waiting. I get restless.
I also start looking at flights, and wouldn’t you know it, last-minute flights are cripplingly expensive.
I would only be able to go for a weekend (I can’t take any time off this month) so once I’d spent 9 hours getting there I’d only be there for about 10 hours before I had to hop on a 9 hour flight back. It’s a stupid plan, but one I’m still considering.
I am stupid.
In the meantime I’ve sent her some flowers. Ladies should get flowers when they least expect it and thanks to the magic of the internet I can arrange for a plethora of blooms to turn up at her work while I am sat in a boring meeting.
The only tricky part is to fight the urge to smile when I think of her face when they arrive.
Only 19 days to go until she is back. Come on team, we can do this.
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.
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.
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.
7 nights: 1 city, 1 spouse to find. Despite resembling extras from The Walking Dead when we arrived in the country, we dragged ourselves out through a combination of caffeine and peer pressure. Time is short after all and we are on a mission.
Toast has briefly chronicled the kooky bar that we found ourselves in, still jet lagged and bewildered. Within a few minutes of being there I had seen pretty much everyone there and was furtively throwing glances at a pretty Asian girl who had caught my eye and I clearly fancied more than anyone else there.
I eventually got a chance to talk to ‘Kim’ and was bewitched by her delicious accent, asymmetric hipster styled haircut and cheeky smile. By the time we’d left I had her contact details scribbled on a scrap of paper (because I had managed to leave my phone in England) and had set up a date for Tuesday.
Monday night was uneventful as Toast and I crashed out for 12 hours sleep so Tuesday seemed to come quite quickly.
Edit, I forgot about this little gem of info: I warmed up for the date in the excellent bar that Toast’s OK Cupid contact recommended. The toilets in it were even so nice that I would have happily rented it as a tiny apartment. Fearing that we had been wandering the streets a little while and I was just off to meet a girl, I thought I’d take the opportunity for a quick ‘freshen up’ before the date. I’ve mentioned this kind of pre-date freshen up before. Thankfully I can now immediately tell the difference between squirty soap and squirty alchohol gel by texture.
I can’t, however, tell the difference between normal squirty hand soap and super cooling minty eucalyptus squirty soap. I minced back to Toast somewhat gingerly and sat there with a pained expression on my face for about 5 minutes. I felt complelled to explain my mistake.
Since ‘MyLoveLifeInYourHands’ was in Washington I left Toast to wander the streets whilst I went to meet my date.
Kim came straight from work and was wearing an endearing huge fluffy hat and working the smile overtime as she bounded towards me. We set of for a restaurant to grab some food.
At her behest we stopped by a comic shop and I found out she used skate. I tried my best not to go all doe eyed as she was racking up massive kudos.
We had the choice of a HUGE Mexican meal or a HUGE burger so had a quick snowball fight in the park across the road to decide and settled on Mexican with the proviso that we drank margaritas, which seemed like a reasonable deal to me.
Something started to feel very familiar.
The margaritas were huge, I mean seriously HUGE. They were so big that I took a picture of one next to Kim’s face to show how huge it was. It was then I had my realisation; I had been on this date before.
I was sat in a Mexican restaurant with a Filipino girl armed with enough margarita to give even Rasputin a bit of a gyppy tummy. This was exactly the setup of one of my first dates on the wager.
The date became pleasantly silly and we were practicing left-handed writing to see who would be the best at sending ransom notes or something.
Somehow we eventually beat the Sisyphean task (the man who had to push the boulder up the hill forever) of finishing the margaritas and Kim lead me to a bar to carry on drinking. Well, she tried, but I spun her round in the street and planted a cheeky kiss on her lips. Smiling coyly, we walked hand in hand to the next bar.
Although there was a pool table and cool hipster types hanging out, I didn’t really pay much attention as we spent most of the time chatting, giggling and kissing.
Kim had work in the morning so eventually we called it a night and I jumped on the subway with her as I needed to go and meet Toast who was on a date and had the only key to the apartment.
Finding him was promising to be a bit of a trek so Kim casually sugguested that it might be easier to stay at hers since she lived en route. This seemed like a much better idea so we walked hand in hand through the FREEZING wind to her apartment.
There was lots of kissing and other hijinks which was all very lovely, I really like her a lot.
In the morning I walked to the subway with her and kissed her goodbye at my stop with the promise of seeing her on Thursday night. Unfortunately my plan of heading back to the apartment was thwarted as Toast, the keymaster, was staying at girl’s place and MyLoveLifeInYourHands was in DC.
I camped in a Bagel shop for an hour and a half until Toast surfaced. There are certainly worse places in the world to be stuck than a New York bagel shop.
Marriage percentage: 35%
I am really looking forward to Thursday and seriously thinking twice about meeting up with any of the internet dates I had made vague plans with. Gosh, American women are lovely!
Since we are in the Land of Opportunity (or of churros and ENORMOUS pancakes) I should sieze this chance to find my ideal woman.
Unfortunately,I’ve not really been sure what this was and it’s taken a lot dating to try and figure it out. Thankfully I have discovered that someone has been browsing the ‘Dream girl catalogue’ and has recreated ‘Biscuit’s super deluxe dream girl’ on the big screen.
I watched ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs The World’ with my mouth open in astonishment whilst Toast occasionally grinned at me with a knowing look.
In a complete realistic venture, which is not in any way doomed to failure, I am now looking for a real life equivalent of Ramona Flowers.
Seemingly, the following combination of characteristics render me utterly helpless:
- bright pink/blue/green hair
- quirkily pretty
- achingly cool
- sultry American accent
- dry, almost arid sense of humour
- wryly mysterious
- alternative/hipster stylings
- seemingly distant until you break through the shell, then affectionate and warm
- slightly troubled but fixable
- rollerskates that melt snow
- mean ninja fighting moves with a giant mallet
I’m not saying that a future spouse has to possess all or any of these qualities, just that they made me go all weak kneed and made me need a glass of cold water and a little sit down.
Unfortunately the only person I know even slightly like this lives even further away than New York and was born over a decade too late to be a possibility.
As I’ve only got a week, if any American readers can point me in the direction of real-world Ramona then I’ll put you on a great table at the wedding, one where you can see Toast singing. and give you an honarary mention in the speech.
Marriage percentage of real-world Ramona: 100%
I suppose I had better be extra nice all year if I’m going to try and swing this one with Father Christmas in December. Hell, we’re in New York for a week, I imagine I’ll probably bump into her on the street, right?