Monday, August 8, 2005

Single and Subversive

A caveat of the New York dating scene: if he’s over 45, single and extremely successful he’s subversive—more sexually subversive than the rimless Silhouette glasses or Helmut Lang suit could ever suggest. After Friday and Saturday nights I feel like crossing the Mason-Dixon—running, screaming—and marrying the first gentleman cotton farmer that crosses my path…

The first man we’ll call Andrew. We met at the Four Seasons bar, “5757,” and in that beautifully muted, tasteful setting he seemed interesting, normal—almost refined (real-estate developer, weekend home in E. Hampton, China and Brazil are favorite vacation locales, plays basketball with Adam Sandler at Reebok). Nothing was excessive that night, not the drinking, innuendo or sexual tension. Two martins for me, 3 Sam Adams for him and I then I left for late-night escargot with a neighbor at Blue Ribbon on Sullivan Street.

He called the next morning. I didn’t answer because I hadn’t had my wake-up hour of coffee and the “Times.” Did I find his prompt response to be courtly or worrisome? I wasn’t sure so I didn’t call back. He rang again. I hit the “7” delete button and began to realize that the hard-to-get act really does drive men crazy. A last ditch effort on his part:

“Hi, B, this is Andrew and I’m in desperate need of a decadent, champagne lunch. I just closed a major deal and I need someone to celebrate with me. It’ll feel like playing hooky, promise. Call me back and let’s set up a time.”

Should I really respond to his blatant bribe of champagne and imported food products?

Of course.

We decide on “Cipriani’s Downtown”—my favorite locale for spotting men like him and women like me (except that the women are prettier, thinner and being paid by the hour). I know our roles: he pays for the exorbitantly-priced lunch, I pay my keep with a sexy dress, towering heels and soft eye-makeup. I arrive 15 minutes late and Andrew whistles under his breath, “Whew, you look fucking fantastic.” Expletive red flag—you’re too into me too soon, very déclassé.

We have champagne, prosciutto, mozzarella di buffalo, the utterly perfect grissini as only Cipriani’s can make and then, “How does it feel being beautiful, knowing you can fuck anyone that you meet?”

Whoa! Put the skids on your mouth and tuck it back in your pants, Andrew. “I don’t think about that mainly because it isn’t true,” I reply, looking down at my Branzino alla Veneziana “Come on, don’t be modest. If a woman like you can have whatever whenever, what do you dream about? What’s your biggest sexual fantasy?”

I want to say something so off the charts, so kinky that he’ll redden, harden and then knock over his $9 Italian beer on the starched, white table cloth. But, I feel that he would enjoy it too much. It’d be a waste of my imagination.

“I don’t think I know you well enough. But, if you’d like to share your fantasies with me, feel free.” You’re gonna back down, aren’t you? I think. You’re all smoke and mirrors and really a fan of the lights off and a woman that loves missionary.

“Ok, I’ll tell you my erotic fantasy,” he said, visibly readjusting himself at the table. “I saw this porn flick a few weeks ago and the black leather-clad blonde—who looks a hell of a lot like you—strapped on this huge, black d…”

My eyes must have widened just enough to let him know that he sickened me, that I all I wanted was to leave him at the table, retreat to my apartment and watch back to back episodes of the “Golden Girls.”

“I’m sorry, have I said too much? Have I offended you?” he asked, suddenly a meek, well-bred boy from the Upper East Side.

Check, please.

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