In my last post some of you were left wondering whether I ever went for that drink with The Artist. The answer is yes…
We went for a drink
After meeting at Dr Sketchy’s, the Artist followed up with a text before I’d even reached home. I generally like the keen approach – it appeals to the manners that were instilled in me as a child. I see it as saying ‘Nice to meet you’ or sending a thank you card. A few casual witticisms later we had agreed to meet for a drink that week. He courteously made the trek from Brooklyn to my neighborhood and picked a civilized location for our first rendez vous. When he arrived, he actually seemed a little flustered and less self-assured than when he’d had been clutching his sketch pad. Though nerves are not obviously attractive in a Neolithic man way, the hint of vulnerability was somewhat appealing after my long run of self -involved, overly self-satisfied New York men. The wine was good and the conversation intelligent. He was raised by liberal artsy parents and was doing cool shit with his life like traveling, taking photos and teaching himself to tattoo on citrus fruit, while still earning enough freelance cash to live on his own. The perfect mix of un-dull but responsible enough to pay school fees. He wanted to walk me home, but knowing how that goes from the movies and remembering my manners myself, I declined.
We went for dinner
Date two was held in celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday and the Artist suggested breaking his vegetarian tendencies with fried chicken at an authentic Harlem restaurant. I liked that he had come up with a cool idea all on his own and that he was willing to break his own rules for an occasion. Also, fried chicken is yummy. The evening was pleasant. We talked American history and politics and devoured deep fried everything washed down with beer. Then we had a sexy subway journey downtown, punctuated by rat sitings. I panicked when he ‘missed’ his stop and got off at mine to reroute, thinking he might attempt to kiss me on the rat-infested platform, but thankfully he had picked up that it wasn’t quite the moment.
We went on a foodie walking tour
I’d decided that this guy was cool and probably worth kissing. He’d also cunningly alluded to a little skiing day trip, the kind of flippant future looking reference men make so that women start to picture their lives together. Although I totally saw through this, I decided to take it to the next level and suggested a walking tour of the Lower East Side, with the intention of being able to observe him in a normal environment. It was the perfect non-date. We walked, we talked, we nibbled on (vegetarian) dumplings and flatbread from a hidden Matzo factory. He laughed in appropriate places and asked the guide smart questions. After the tour we sheltered in the oldest bar in the East Village and drank, laughed and flirted until the sun went down. By the time we made our way to the dreaded subway I was starting to think anywhere would do for a first kiss but he was apparently not in agreement. I got the awkward hug goodbye.
We went for Oysters and Champagne Cocktails
I’m not sure if men are actively aware of the power they have when their behavior throws you into a state of confusion. Does he want to kiss me or not? If he doesn’t, then why not? I’m going to make him want to! So a week later we reunited at my instigation for another seemingly great date or non-date at Maison Premiere to consume some aphrodisiacs. Again with the conversation, the compliments and the open body language facilitated by swiveling bar stools. Again with the non hand-holding walk to the subway and the awkward hug.
We went nowhere
Four dates and no action should’ve been a massive warning flag. But when I went traveling for a couple of weeks he continued to flirt via text and suggest romantic things like cycling over the Brooklyn Bridge when I returned. I wanted to give this shy Artist one last chance to make his move so when I got back into town I got in touch and suggested we attempt the trans East River Crossing.
That’s odd I thought, maybe he lost his phone. Or got hit by a bus. Or met someone else. Or maybe he had to go to Sweden to retrieve his dog from his ex and doesn’t have signal in the Fjords . A week passed and I deleted his number. Then another week passed and I got angry. What happened to those manners? When you finally get out of the hospital or get network coverage back don’t you reply to your messages? Or when you meet a super model don’t you drop a courtesy text to the person you were fake dating and let them know you had a good time but met someone hotter? So I decided to trace down his number from his website and send a text for all womankind:
Me: ‘Hey what happened to you, I was looking forward to more adventures but maybe you changed your mind…or circumstances?
Him: Hey, ya, my ex showed up and complicated my life for a bit…
Now, what was so hard about saying that? I’m not sure why he couldn’t have raised this road block without being force prompted. His ex had obviously been complicating his life since she’d told him he should get a new girlfriend two years prior. Suddenly I was pleased that he was with her and not me. I want to be with someone who can stand up for himself and tells his nasty ex to piss off when she comes groveling back.
On the whole, I’m pleased that I had this experience. Not only was I hopefully able to coach some basic etiquette into him that will benefit future sisters, I also taught myself that if he talks about his ex too much or has left a living creature with her for safekeeping, there will absolutely not be a second, third or fourth date!