Tag Archives: first date

The 12 Phases of Relationship Lies

The first date: You can tell him about your suspicions about your roommate’s alcoholism. Better to say this before you knock back your fourth or fifth cocktail. Of course you have a high tolerance — you’ve been living with a drunk for the last two years! Why else would your apartment look so messy? It’s not you! It’s the intoxicated train wreck in the back bedroom! God. Don’t you wish someone could just take you away from all that?

The third date: You can admit you lied on your profile and no, you never read Infinite Jest— but you did read half of that lobster essay and that was really, really life-changing. What’s that? Oh, yeah. You still eat lobster. It’s delicious. Please.

[from my pseudonymous column at The Gloss]


The First Date Tango

Subtitle: Einstein’s Theory of Singletivity. It works, right? No? Look, I’ve never been much of a headline writer. Anyway, I wrote this.

Someone once misquoted Albert Einstein as defining insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The same could be true about dating in New York.

There was a point last November where I was going on first dates four or five nights a week. I remembered every little detail about each man—that was never the problem, though often I would repeat stories. The Writer had dropped out of college, moved to New York at 19 and developed a crippling self esteem issue that would only be resolved behind closed doors with his therapist and a heavy dose of antidepressants. The Salesman took his clients out drinking on Thursdays and followed up all alcoholic activities with a journey to a strip club fueled by Jack and cokes and bathroom coke. The Lawyer pretended he was 27, and it wasn’t until he admitted his real age (38) did his two-bedroom palace on Park Avenue with working fireplace, antique furniture and extensive Italian wine collection finally make sense to me, though I still maintain his diminishing hairline could have fooled anyone.

[from my column at The Gloss.]

That’s what young tech media types do these days.

I’m on a first date. Is it a date? It’s not really clear. I like to negotiate my way into these half-dates, these maybe-romances, by meeting friends of friends for drinks of drinks.

I haven’t seen him in a month, maybe two. He is there already, his back to me, halfway through his beer. He is on a corner at the bar, and when he sees me, his face brightens, and he pulls a stool over for at me, so I am at an awkward angle between him and the bar and a scotch (he remembered).

We don’t really know each other at all. He has five years on me and thirteen inches. His thick hair is edged with white, but only in the back he shows me. I can’t decide if he is handsome, or handsome to me. I drink more.

He overhears the girls next to us discussing Foursquare. We both take out our smartphones, and the conversation turns to new media, to web apps, to venture capitalism.

“You know, they’re testing a new BlackBerry Foursquare app,” he tells me.

“I do know,” I smile. “I’m one of the first hundred beta testers.” I show him the app.

He loses his cool. “God that’s hot.”

And we made out. Because that’s what young tech media types do these days. And that, apparently, is how you woo friends of fiends.

Outside the Funeral Home

Before he leaves the bar he asks for my number and I’m just drunk enough to give it to him, no questions asked, and even agree later in the night to meet him this weekend for a drink.

He is late, and I am one drink in.

If I were him, I’d be late on purpose. I’m much nicer one drink in, one un-chilled cask of Macallan 14 with a little eye-dropper of water and my little finger flailing off the side of the glass.

He is taller than I remember, which is good. I don’t remember anything else. I had written his first name down good but his last name looked like a small K followed by a long scribble. His eyes laugh. I hate that sentence, but it’s true. His eyes laugh even when he is serious, even when we bring up maybe things we shouldn’t bring up because we are too smart to play that game. Smart people invented games and refuse to participate in them.

He used to be in politics. That explains the eyes.

That explains the height.

We kiss outside of a funeral home, our backs pressed against the marble, our foreheads lit by overhead florescence and the passing glow of cell phones. We kiss slowly at first. I lean my head up in such a way he is kissing me more than I am kissing him, my feet arched on toes, my hands on his neck, supporting myself against the funeral home.

He asks me if I smoke. I tell him I quit. He doesn’t smoke either. We bum a Dunhill off an old man and split the cigarette in half, right down to the filter, blowing extra hard because we can’t tell if it’s smoke or if it’s our breath in the cold air.

I wish I didn’t smoke, he says later, his arm around me, his fingertips skimming up and down my spine. Our foreheads press together like ink blotters.

I don’t smell anything, I say. And anyway, I quit.

His fingers trace my collarbone. Yes you did, he says, his eyes laughing.

Later, at the Bar.

The new one takes me for wine and oysters, and a few hours later, single malts and charcuterie. We talk about the oysters and other important details of the evening, like the herbed gravity bong, the truffled popcorn and the handful of characters behind the bar. When our lips meet our chins do, too. His hands hold my shoulders. My fingers touch is cheeks. We smell like fine grained booze and thinly sliced meats. We taste like smoke and the aftermath of an expensive date with an effusive appetite.