Spirituality and Rape (Girl Fail #21)

Lucid

“Ever have a lucid dream?” my friend asked.

Olivia and I placidly shook our heads. Familiar with the unconventional ways of my friend Noam, I knew this conversation was going places. However, I had no way of knowing whether its destination would deter innocent-looking Olivia; someone we had just met at this party. It was obvious that my accomplice and I were fighting for Olivia’s attention by passing around funny stories all night. May the most chivalrous man win her over as well as her number.Noam eagerly continued.

“Well, you know that it’s when you realize that you’re dreaming and you can control some things? Anyway, I had one last night. I was walking around Manhattan or something when I noticed that I was just dreaming. So I started flying around, looting some stores, having fun and such.”

“Did you have heat vision too?” I quipped. #DCcomics

“So I’m flying around when I spot two women by the park. I flew over, knocked one to the ground and landed on the other. Then I just started raping her while her friend is yelling and screaming at me to stop. And I said, ‘You shut up! Just SHUT UP! Or I’ll do you too!'”

Noam gave pause to lick his lips before finishing. “Then I did. Then I raped her too.”

mental

A fireworks display worthy of the 4th of July went off in my head. I was abject. Dammit Noam, you twisted fuck. I need to find some new friends. How the hell did I live with this guy for a whole year? Things were looking promising with Olivia until you went off the rails! Even Houdini himself couldn’t get out of this one. 

Peering over at Olivia, I couldn’t believe my eyes. fascinatedOvercome with majesty, she was utterly fascinated by this dream and wanted to hear more. Come to find out, she’s a spiritual dancer (whatever that means) and a self-trained reiki healer who happens to be obsessed with the meaning behind dreams. She pridefully claimed that her extensive dream journal was well over 100 pages long. Although Freud wrote in great length on the subject, making several revisions to The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), she was no Freud. Whether her reasoning was spurious or not, one thing was clear, if it felt right to her, it was right.

You can probably piece together the rest of her personality and beliefs. Here are a few things I instantly assessed without ever having to ask:

  • Faithful over skeptical
  • Reads her horoscope daily
  • Possibly a little solipsistic
  • Ambitiously gleeful and positive
  • Has shoddy critical thinking faculties
  • Thinks everything happens for a reason
  • She’s more emotionally “intelligent” than traditionally intelligent
  • Believes in tarot cards, palm reading, psychics, mystics, occultists, and the man by Penn Station that squeezes goat testicles while foretelling your future

Noam had won her heart via a dream of sexual abuse and aeronautics. How could the subject of rape, arguably the most traumatizing calamity a woman could ever experience, immersed in the context of a lucid dream not pose as a red flag? I suppose I was the odd man out on this one since she invited him to her next recital and they’re going on a date next weekend.

Don’t let my irreverent sense of humor fool you. I wasn’t putting Olivia down simply because she’s spiritual. I’m somewhat spiritual myself but it’s a pretty wide term and she embodied all the lazy stereotypes of it. Also, my friend isn’t an abuser or psycho – he  has a way of thinking not just outside the box but that there may not be a box at all. Watch him marry this girl and tell her folks how they met.  Surely better than a Tinder love story, wouldn’t you agree?

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

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“Excuse me, are you drunk?” (Girl Fail #12-13)

DrunkHitting on people at a bar has proven to be unpleasantly difficult but I recently found out it’s even worse when the woman’s drunk. While playing shuffleboard with an attractive blonde at an idyllic establishment, our flirtatious banter was interrupted when her boyfriend arrived and planted a kiss on her lips. Sure, that’s a fail but one can’t let a happy couple diminish one’s ambition. There was a time when I thought being the bar-flirt was sleazy but even if that’s true, it’s a moot assertion – it’s survival dammit!

When a man approaches a woman, it’s obvious he’s hitting on her, roughly, 90% of the time. The mission – should he choose to accept it – is not to come off as a creep within the first 30 seconds and successfully convince her that he’s innocuously desirable by the end of the evening. I thought I found my next shuffleboard partner after seeing a woman sitting alone at a table studying her cell phone.

“Hey, you look bored. Want to play a game of shuffleboard?”

She peered up from her device and quizzically gazed at me as if my question was not only perplexing but unwarranted. After a brief moment, she asked, “Pff, what?”

SittingI took this to mean she couldn’t hear me, so I grabbed a seat at the table with her and repeated myself. She smiled and politely declined. Gauging that she wasn’t put off from my sudden presence, I started a conversation with her that lasted for the next couple hours. Turns out she decided to drop by this bar on her way home from a party she had been to, and she was fairly drunk. Just to show you how ridiculous I can be, I thought that if I chatted with her long enough while she sobers up, she’d find that endearing and, possibly, go on a date with me. But like with any slipshod drunk person, the conversation lacked direction and purpose.

My friends left thinking that I was bound to get lucky that night, solely for the reason that I was still chatting with her at 2am. Maybe if I was someone else, it would have led to that but in my experience, it never does. Come to think of it, does it need to? Regardless, she gave me her number right before waving for a cab and disappearing into the disquieted early morning. I texted her so she’d have my number and name but got no reply. A couple days later, I sent this:

Amber

Unsurprisingly, we never went to brunch. After telling this story to my roommate, he said, “You know what your problem is? You should just be yourself and let the women come to you!” We sat in silence for 15 seconds then laughed and laughed.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

Is It Okay To Call Your Date Evil? (Girl Fail #11)

At what point during a date is it acceptable to hurl your glass at the wall and, before you can even hear its explosive impact, begin frantically yelling at the person you entertained the idea would be your next girlfriend? Before you turn away, let me present you with the following which will, hopefully, provide enough context needed in justifying that question.

I met Sarah at one of NYC’s best beer gardens. Eying her from afar, my friend made me promise I would approach her by the end of the evening – side note, every guy needs a friend like that. Out of deference for my peer and noticing that she separated from her group of friends to order another drink, I glided to the bar and gregariously tested my luck.

call meShe was even more enchanting up close but I kept it together best I could. Laughing and sharing rounds, we kept each other entertained at the bar watching live music for the next half hour. I have to admit, there was something mysterious about her that I loved. It sure made it easy to flirt and dally, which is why I was caught off guard when her friends told her it was time to go. Quickly, I took out my phone but before I could speak, Sarah affably said, “Hey, let me give you my number.”


The Date

Seeing how my last date never materialized, I convinced myself that no woman would ever want to go out for Italian for the first date. Instead, it’s best to play it safe and go with what I know. Therefore, I invited her to a stylish pub with great live music. She accepted and seemed rather excited about the idea.

I have said it before but because it was nothing but an impetuous false alarm, I’m finally going on a date after being dateless for more than a year, again. My friend even teased that I outdid myself this time and wished me luck.

To much of my surprise, Sarah not only showed up but was there before I was. At that very moment, I got a benign sense that she cared. Don’t you dare fuck this up, I jokingly threatened myself. We started conversing, which mainly consisted of light yelling due to the band playing, at a stand-up table by the wall. About 5 minutes into our conversation, a complete stranger walked over and stood within close proximity to our table, which was quite odd. It appeared as though he was half listening to the band and half listening to us. Then I realized that she knew him based on how she was glancing at him. After the band’s first song was over, he turned to us and she said (wait for it), “Oh, Single Guy in NYC, this is my boyfriend, Kevin.”

shockedA tsunami of thoughts paralyzed me as I stood there frozen, staring down incredulously at Kevin’s extended hand. I hated him. I hated her. And he expected me to shake his ignorant hand? This was an execrable indignation. Christ! How did I miss this? Maybe this is why her friends gave me a few caustically dirty looks. They weren’t trying to be rude, they were trying to warn me! Shaking his hand would mean that I agreed that I was nothing but a fool and that, in fact, Kevin had been the rightful winner. He was not rueful and any effort to change that would be pointless.

I shook his hand.

The conversation only got worse. She truly didn’t realize how she led me on, nor could she pick up how much her boyfriend despised the fact that I was present. She wasn’t mysterious at all, she was clueless. I didn’t care what I said to her anymore. Besides, half of my words would be swallowed up by the band anyway. She continued.

“Sorry, I forgot to tell you. Hope you don’t mind that I -“

“No, no, course not! Totally fine and welcome. Granted, I was sort of under (finishing the sentence in my head) the impression you’d come here alone since it was you who gave me your number but whatever!”

“It’s just that we didn’t have anything to do tonight as well and we were looking for some good spots in the area. I’ve never been here.”

“Absolutely! Yeah, this is actually an amazing place. Hell, I’d be lying to you if I said it never came across my mind to bring a date here.”

Sensing at what I was getting at, Sarah asked “Did you bring anyone?”

“No! It’s just me. Yup, I’m alone. Living the dream.”

In the end, I didn’t hurl my glass at the wall. I didn’t yell, angrily that is, at anyone. I finished my drink and left them to enjoy their night together. There was no need to hate Kevin. The irony was that although he probably despised me, he had my back without knowing it. I wasn’t going to berate Sarah, he was.

Do you miss me Miss Misery like you say you do?  -Elliott Smith

I think she does.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

Girl Fail #8 (Sandals)

I can no longer remember what it feels like to hold someone’s hand, let alone anything else. If the people I met weren’t scoping for Calvin Klein models making six figures, my petulantly redundant Girl Fails would, instead, romance you to blissful content. However, like any lovelorn fool, I present to you with the following.

Location:  A summer-themed, trendy bar in the boroughs of NYC. There were a hundred sandals dangling from a metal frame suspended above the bar in a figure-8 pattern, which is definitely a conversation starter. The bar was also having a $2 draft night, which is completely unheard of in the city. An amazing cover band, one of the best I’ve seen, was performing on stage with a robust crowd feeding them energy. Needless to say, this was the place to be that night.

Outfit: I was looking snazzier than normal; short-sleeved button down shirt, white khaki shorts, and sandals

Who: My brother, his wife, and I

What: While watching the cover band with my brother and his wife, my single guy senses started tingling, so I turned around. Entering the venue were two average girls dressed for the summer season. As they sat at the bar, I started to contemplate how I would approach them. 15 feet from the bar, there was a Song Cemetery with mini-tombstones that read “Call Me Maybe”, “Blurred Lines”, “Somebody I Used to Know” and a few other overplayed hits. Seeing one of girls point to the cemetery and laugh gave me a clue of how I could start a conversation. And with that, I began my descent.

“So, what happens when the band plays a tune from the song cemetery?” I inquired the two girls after ordering myself another round.

Laughing, one of the girls responded with, “Well, the bar actually forbids any band to play those songs.”

“Makes you wonder what band is dying to impress a crowd with “Call Me Maybe”, don’t it?”

We joked around for a few minutes before introducing ourselves and getting into our occupations. It was going quite well and I’m sure we appeared as long time friends from afar. My flirting was addressed to both of them and whoever had the wittier remark would respond first.

Gesturing to the sandals above, I said, “Please tell me there’s a funny story behind all these shoes.”

“I think there may be. People leave them here and they decorate with them.”

“Perhaps it’s a fashionable recycling outreach program?”

“Good call!”

“Some businesses have a take a penny, leave a penny policy. It’s obvious they have a take sandal, leave a sandal policy. How novel!” I added.

“Oh absolutely. Look!” one of the girls said extending her finger to a worn out birkenstock dangling above us. “That one even has someone’s name on it.”

Following the direction of her extended finger, I read “Jesse Oberman” inscribed on the sole of the shoe. “We must find this person before they go home shoeless!” I wisecrack. “This bar is nothing but a clever disguise for a sandal library.”

In my mind, my adroit flirtation brought us to the pinnacle of conversation that evening. Upon reaching that figurative summit, the girl in the blue dress turned toward her friend and coaxingly asked, “I think it’s time to go to the bathroom. What do you think?”

Looking puzzled for a moment, the friend squinted but then had a subtle moment of clarity. “Yes, I think you’re right,” she replied aridly. Standing up, she informed me that they were both going to the bathroom. I told them to hurry back because the band was too good to miss.

After finding my brother and his wife in front of the stage, I turned around just in time to see the two girls walk right past the bathroom and out the door to the street. I couldn’t believe it and couldn’t stop feeling guilty about this. No one goes to a $2 draft night just for one drink while an amazing band is performing. I must have spoiled their evening. If they resented my company, why laugh at my jokes and keep the conversation going? Why lie to me in order to covertly escape? Part of me wishes I ran outside and confronted them. Not in a contentious way but just to apologize – for what, I have no idea – and let them know that it’s fine to stay and I have no problem leaving them alone if they wish.

How can one not feel a sense of indignation from moments like these? I’m beginning to get sick of being told, by women in particular, how much of a “great catch” I am. Yet, fisherwomen keep tossing me back in the ocean with a hole in my cheek.

Yikes, this was a downer post. I’ll comment on something funny next time. Hopefully.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

The Horrible Wingwoman (Girl Fail #6)

Upon my vindictive return to the same bar as my last fail, Girl Fail #5, my friend Sherry offered to be my wing-woman.

“Just point to a girl and we’ll go over,” she decided reassuringly.

After clarifying with her that pointing at a complete stranger is not the ideal first impression, we made a plan – although contrived and arguably not so ideal as well.

The plan: After selecting a group of girls, she would infiltrate the enemy base, deploy a cunning compliment targeted at one of the girls and just when all hope is lost, I would parachute down, eliminate the threat (Sherry), and hoist everyone to safety with my irresistible charm.

What actually happened: Sherry suggested a group of people behind me, to which I asked, “Which group?”

Extending her arm, she answered “That gro-”

“Don’t point!”

“I’m going to compliment her blouse or something.”

“Whose blouse?” I exclaimed.

And with that she walked right past the group of people I assumed we were talking about and right up to a group of three girls by the back of the bar. ‘The hell with it,’ I commanded internally. I walked over to them, parachuted down, and overhearing Sherry deploy her compliment, assailed her with the following: “You causing trouble over here?” My timing was flawless but my delivery was horrendous.

As if acting on a poorly rehearsed cue, Sherry gestured to me with both hands and, like a circus ringmaster introducing the next act, announced “Well! Let me introduce you to Single Guy In NYC.” (Keep in mind that this was only her second sentence to these strangers.) Mayday, mayday! Abort!

Struggling to recover my balance, not to mention my abating confidence, I peered at the three girls that were addressed and made note of their justifiably displeased countenances.  Turning back to Sherry in an effort to smooth over this erratic transition, I was surprised to see she wasn’t there. Ten feet away from us, fleeing the scene, was Sherry displaying a smile of wholly satisfaction at what she conceived as a job well done.

Bracing for a diatribe from the three girls, I looked at the one that caught my eye and said the first thing that came to mind: “Did you come here for the game?” nodding to the TV overhead. Yes, it was rude of me to address only one of them but I was outnumbered and getting the notion that my efforts would be futile anyway. Instead, I was greeted with a cordial smile and a sincere response from her. Fortunately, her two friends just contemptuously glared at me and turned around. And just like that, we began a conversation that lasted, believe it or not, for two hours.

She was smart, funny, cute as all hell (is hell supposed to be adorable?), and charismatic. Not only that but we lived within 20 minutes of each other (distance is everything in NYC – a Bronx and Brooklyn couple is basically a long distance relationship), listened to the same music, enjoyed the same cafes and bakeries, and both loved Europe. I haven’t felt so much at ease conversing with a stranger for a long, long time. After my last relationship, I’ve grown extremely reluctant to fall in love again but it was already apparent that love would only come naturally if this conversation led to something more serious.

“And do you come here often?” she asked earnestly.

“Wow, worst pick up line ever! I expected more from you.”

Laughing out loud, she remarked “Oh sorry, I honestly didn’t mean it like that. Let me try again.” She took a step back with one foot, dropped her lush hair down to her shoulders, gazed at me salaciously and in a seductive tone asked, “So,” pausing briefly, “you come here often?”

Forget what I said before, I was already in love. Well, as much as one can be the first time one meets someone new. We were so caught up in our flirtatious interactions that we didn’t bother ordering another drink for the rest of the night. Needless to say, I left with her number and was soaring high on cloud nine. I texted her the next night and this was our conversation:

Text Single Guy in NYC

I’ll give you a second to reread her last sentence. Don’t bother searching Google or asking friends for insight. What she said was pure rubbish meant to kill the conversation. The question is why.

She didn’t reply, so I knew I had to think of something witty. After 20 minutes, I responded.

Me:  Are you filling out a mad lib at the moment?

Her:  Haha no just tired  🙂

Me:  Fair enough. Don’t operate any heavy machinery in the meantime

Testing my luck the next day was also fruitless. All I wanted was to have a short conversation through text before asking her out. After our second conversation (if you can even call it that) dissolved into nothingness, I agreed to go with the Hail Mary and ask her out, even though she hadn’t responded to me in days.

Me:  Hey, what are you up to this weekend? Texting is overrated and I know this great brunch place in Chelsea

I never heard from her again. I suppose she had other options and, more importantly, nights like ours were more of a banality to her than to me. Truth be told, since this Girl Fail, I haven’t been able to muster the courage to meet anyone new. It’s now been close to three months and I feel as though we broke up without having dated. There must be something wrong with my head. What do you think?

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

Mind if I just murder this conversation? (Girl Fail #5)

There’s nothing like going to your favorite bar with your pals. As a single guy, I now look at these moments as canny opportunities to assist my friends in refining their wing-man skills. While grabbing a drink at the bar, I hear “Did all three of you just come from work?” Two girls sitting at the bar were turned towards us and after being asked just one simple question, it was quite easy to start a conversation. Following the standard name introductions, topics ranged from movies, music, religion, college, and travel. Needless to say that within the span of an hour, we knew a good amount about one another.

Rachel had my interest. She was laid back, confident, Jewish, and a straight shooter. The problem was that she didn’t do much to add to the conversation. It seemed like she expected the men to play 20 questions and try not to have it appear like a job interview. This is not only a challenge but agonizingly annoying. Yet, why not give it a shot? Nothing better to do.

“What do you do?” I asked.

“Teach.”

“Ah, how did enlightening the city’s youth go this week?”

“Fine.”

This isn’t to say that she didn’t have a personality – she did. But having a conversation with her outside of the group conversation that my buddies were having with her friend was unnecessarily difficult. Granted, she didn’t always provide a one word response but she didn’t show much interest either. After an hour, Rachel’s friend left but Rachel stayed to have another drink with us. At the end of the night, while Rachel was in the bathroom, my friend Mick told me that he overheard her complaining about her love life to her friend – saying that she doesn’t have anyone and it’s been a long time, blah blah blah. “We’re not exactly hitting it off though. You think I should ask for her number anyway?” “Of course! She didn’t leave when her friend left, so she’s expecting something tonight.”

To my surprise, her face lit up with charismatic delight when I asked her for her number. Maybe I was wrong. Was there a connection? Due to scheduling conflicts, we couldn’t get together right away. For a couple weeks, we texted a bunch and I came to realize that we had more in common than I thought. Finally, after 3 weeks, we were able to plan on getting together at a hip bar in Manhattan.

I HAVE A DATE. How do people prepare for this stuff again? Shower? Find clothing? Trim your pubes? All of the aforementioned? Ah,but as always, your luck catches up with you.

After planning out the evening, she texted me the day before our night out. She wanted to tell me that because I wasn’t Jewish, we couldn’t have a relationship. If we went out, it’d be strictly platonic. “I’ll convert!” I texted back, followed by cancelling the date. It’s interesting because I swear to you that I actually felt the joy escape from my body like it was a restless captive.  Till next time.

– Single Guy in NYC

@SingleGuyInNYC

“Just dance…” – Lady Gaga (Girl Fail #3)

My good friend, Puff Girl, invited me to a Latin dance party in the Lower East Side one Friday evening – and like any white person who’s incapable of dancing and dislikes it, I cordially accepted the invitation. The venue was interesting in and of itself. It had a large movie screen playing Jaws (among other classics), plenty of couches and stools, a pool table, multiple bars on the ground floor, and a Rolling Rock Gibson Guitar suspended above an assortment of liquor. However, the dance party took place in the basement of the venue.

Loud music, DJ lighting, sweaty bodies, and a transvestite eyeing me the entire night. It wasn’t exactly my scene. Being the only white person, I stood out like a black guy at a NRA convention. After consuming my 3rd drink, I was prepared to throw caution to the wind and test my sense of rhythm. One thing I noticed right away was that every person there knew how to move, shake, grind, twist, hop, spin, wiggle, etc. Granted, this white man can’t jump nor dance but I’ll try. In the sagacious words of Lady Gaga, “just dance, Da-doo-doo-doo.” Spotting two women dancing alone, I approached one, played a 5 second game of charades in order to invite her to the dance floor, and gave it my all – which was nothing. I went to spin her but must have gestured the wrong way because she got caught off guard and our motions opposed one another till they nullified. She laughed at me and walked away.

After consuming some liquid courage for a half hour, I tried my luck again. I approached the same two girls and gestured to my previous dance partner’s friend to follow me to the dance floor. Openly admitting this was not my forte, I relaxed a bit more and had fun. We occasionally spoke while dancing and grabbed a drink together upstairs. She was friendly yet mysterious in her manner, and fairly cute. Before I could ask her for her info, she pulled out her phone and said, “Okay, I might as well take your number. What is it?” How interesting is this? I thought. This time I’m being asked for my digits; must have made an impression. It was a great close to the night, or so I thought, until I was walking to the metro with Puff Girl (who spent the entire night grinding on gay Dominicans). “You didn’t get her number?” “No, I didn’t think to since she asked for mine. Mistake?” “Definitely.” “Ah, dammit.”

And so it was; she never contacted me. Now it’s possible she met someone else or woke up the next morning and realized she really wasn’t that interested but part of me thinks she chose to ask me for my number as a preemptive measure to avoid giving out hers. It was obvious that I was going to ask and by asking first, it gave me this false sense of, for lack of a better word, accomplishment. It’s a cynical point of view but one would also assume attractive single women in their 30s have some tricks up their sleeves. If so, touche.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC