So, if you haven’t read part one, go catch up. All caught up? Great.
I absolutely abhor tardiness. I’m almost always early, and that’s doubly true for a date. As a note of etiquette, the proper protocol for a gentleman is to check-in with the hostess, and then wait outside the restaurant so you can escort your date in. I would like to thank my mother for somehow embedding that in my brain. Unfortunately, a man cannot do so if he’s fucking 15 minutes late.
Now, to put this in context, I live on the east side of Manhattan. Going north-south in New York is the easiest thing in the world. I have to travel 50 blocks? Give me 7 minutes on an express subway, public transportation is magical. However, try going east-west in Manhattan? It’s comparable to the damned Odyssey, minus the monster slaying. Oh, and it was raining, so you know, even more of a clusterfuck. Lincoln Center, and the restaurant where we were getting dinner, is on the west side. To exacerbate matters, the Philharmonic starts at 7:30pm, the earliest that we could meet for dinner was 6:30pm, which means that dinner would be a race against a clock, which is really no fun for anyone, especially on a first date. Oh, and I forgot an umbrella. So, as I pulled up to the restaurant slightly damp, rushed, and 15 minutes late, I was understandably worried that I would make an incredibly shitty impression.
One does not simply stroll into Lincoln Center in jeans and a t-shirt, however nice those jeans may be. In order of declining fanciness of your attire for events at Lincoln Center, I believe it goes: Opening Night of Anything–>Opera–>Ballet–>Philharmonic–>Jazz. Therefore, with the night being a mix of the last two, I figured a suit with no tie would do. Jo was sitting at the bar waiting for me, and I apologized for being late, and I remember wanting to see what she wore so I could figure out if I overdressed or underdressed, but here’s the weirdest thing…
For the life of me, I can’t remember what Jo wore.
I’ve literally sat in front of the computer racking my fairly prodigious memory for a while, and I’m drawing a complete blank. Honestly, all I know is that once we started talking, everything else kind of melted away. Sometimes there’s a disconnect between the texting and talking, this was not the case. She was witty, quick with a joke, sarcastic, and just fun to be around. Most importantly, she ordered a damn steak for dinner. Rare.
Setups by Lee: 1 Dating Choices by Me: 0
Halfway through dinner, I stopped giving a damn about the time. I love it when that happens We talked about everything and anything, and by the time dinner wrapped up, we’d blown by the concert start time. We left the restaurant and dashed through the drizzle, and I think we were both a bit taken aback at how gorgeous Lincoln Center looked, it had been a while for the both of us. We missed the opening number, but after we got seated, we were treated to a once in a lifetime concert.
The New York Philharmonic played some standard classical compositions, but also Led Zeppelin, Al Green, and Leonard Cohen among others. Hearing the philharmonic go absolutely ham playing ‘Kashmir’ is something that I’ll never forget. The best part is, Jo was into it too. I don’t think there’s anything better than a date when you both experience something new. Dinner and movie is safe, but dating should be fun and exciting.
Anyways, after a very long encore, we walked down the stairs, and even knowing it was a school night (yes, I’m almost 30 and I still consider weeknights ‘school nights’) I asked if she wanted to grab a drink. Jo had to trek back to Brooklyn, but she said yes, so we headed across the street for drinks and oysters (another first for her, if I remember correctly). We talked about TV, movies, but most importantly, how to mess with Lee the next day. Bets were placed, ridiculous stories were concocted, and after the last sips of our drinks were taken, good nights were exchanged.
I would definitely count my first real set up as a success. I’d say that I’d be down for another, but the funny thing is, you don’t really want more setups, because it means that the last one ended poorly. Plus, you don’t want to gain a reputation for being the shitty date that never goes anywhere. So yeah, we’ll see, but I’ll leave you with how Jo and I decided to mess with Lee:
Lee: How was last night?
Me: Uh, is Jo a big drug user?
Lee: Not that I know of…why?
Me: I’m like, 90% sure she took ecstasy just as the concert started
Lee: Interesting. Did she start acting weird
Me: Just my impression I guess
Lee: Hm. Sorry. I wouldn’t purposefully set you up with anyone who’d go to the Philharmonic high. Not my jam.
Me: I’m just messing with you. We had a lot of fun.
Lee: WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS
A good deed never goes unpunished…
[Art Credit: Amelia Mikel]