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.
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.
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!