Archive | NYC Adventures RSS feed for this section

Flirting Fail

14 Mar

Last week, I introduced you to the concept of the Two Prong Dating Approach, in which – as you know – I am one of the two prongs involved. Aside from the two adventures C and I are planning, I’m also trying to be more outgoing and flirtatious with gents I actually find attractive. (I’m very good at being flirtatious with gents I do not find attractive, which really never works out in my favor. Or theirs.)

Anyway, one evening I find myself at some bar for happy hour with friends. I lean against the bar to order a drink and – lo and behold – the bartender is gorgeous. Tall, dark hair, light eyes … and an accent! I was obviously immediately in love and, since I’d had three Bud Lights, was tipsy enough to have the confidence to flirt completely shamelessly.

I decide the perfect approach will be to highlight my sporty-girl prowess to this Euro-Hottie. And the subsequent (fairly one-sided) flirtation goes like this:

“So, where are you from?” I could already tell he was Irish, but I wanted to play it cool.

Irishness confirmed, I continue, “Are you a football fan?”

Predictably, he asks me to clarify whether I mean “my” football or “his.” Feeling extra cool at this point, I smile and say I mean his. Sadly, he says he isn’t really a fan.

I play out my disappointment with what I’m sure is a charming grin and say, “That’s too bad! We’re going to watch the football game on Saturday!”

Confused, he asks me to clarify what the hell I’m talking about.

“You know, the game! It’s Ireland and Scotland! You should come and help us cheer for Ireland.” At this point, I’m just thrilled with my superior European sports knowledge and pretty much on top of the world.

Until he looks at me with a look that perfectly combines pity, amusement, and something else that suggests I’m about to be very embarrassed.

“Um,” he says, “That’s a rugby game.”

Advertisements

That Time I Skyped With Amazonian Tea Farmers

7 Mar

So, C and I decided back in January that we were going to go on two “out of the box” adventures every month. The point is to meet new people – who are hopefully attractive gents who’d like to date us. We’re calling the plan “The Two Prong Dating Approach, In Which We Are The Prongs.”

For February, one of the adventures was originally a (free) tour of the Chelsea Brewery. Always the creative thinker, C had other ideas for us. “Why don’t we go to this Spanish Speakers Meetup in Brooklyn?” she suggested innocently.

I kindly reminded her that I speak approximately 12 words of Spanish, ten of which are numbers.

“Don’t you think that might be a little awkward for me?” I replied, wishing we could stick to beer, which would at least be in a language I could comprehend.

She’s persuasive, though, and sent me details – something about tea farmers and the Amazon and Skype. At the very least, this would be hilarious. At the most, it would actually be fun. I soon acquiesced, having pretty much no idea what I was getting myself into.

The Saturday in question rolled around and we trekked our way out to Brooklyn. Really, it wasn’t so much of a trek as a 15 minute subway ride, but still. Brooklyn feels far away. It felt even more foreign when we showed up at the address listed on the event website …

If this isn't exactly what you imagine when you imagine a Typical Abandoned Brooklyn Warehouse, then you need to amend your imagination.

Seriously, this place appeared to be some kind of abandoned warehouse. “Whatever happens, this was YOUR choice,” I reminded C, laughing but also confused, curious, entertained, and slightly freaked out.

We walked through the front door and through an unheated, eery-as-hell hallway. I’m talking – there were mannequin torsos and detached limbs strewn about, scraps of fabric and old rugs, dilapidated chairs and tables. Going up the creepy elevator, I was fairly certain we were in some kind of horror movie.

But then it all transformed! We walked into a cozy (still warehouse-y, still very Brooklyn) open space that clearly served as several offices/headquarters. But it was heated! And not creepy!

And…everything was in Spanish. I smiled and nodded and laughed along with the crowd until someone started asking me questions and all I could do was stand there. Mute. Because, you know, when you go to a Spanish Speakers Meetup, everyone assumes you speak Spanish.

SHOCKER.

Anyway, C did her best to translate and I was actually quite entertaining to most people as I stood, grinning and mute, in the middle of the room. We got to Skype with legit tea farmers in Ecuador, which was hilarious to me only because I could understand none of what they were saying.

We drank the tea and even got to take a box home for ourselves. I flirted shamelessly with the company’s founder (in English) before I found out he was living with his girlfriend. C chattered coherently to everyone but me in her fluent Spanish.

And so we launched our Two Prong Approach – in which we are the prongs – in an old warehouse in Brooklyn drinking tea virtually hanging out with Amazonian tea farmers.

I’m calling it a success, since I couldn’t understand a word anyone said. I assume they all loved me.

In Which I Become a Heap of Girly Hysteria

24 Feb

In the four years I’ve lived in New York City, I’ve only ever had to kill a full-size disgusting cockroach once and it was after NYC basically flooded for three days so no one was that surprised. When I killed the roach (in a bath towl, dripping wet, with a 90-second spray of hairspray, BY THE WAY) I was shaken up. I felt gross and creeped out. But I was glad that nasty little giant thing was dead.

Recently, I tweeted that I saw a mouse in my bedroom. I saw the mouse once, and then twice, and then three times.

#MouseTweets

After almost a full week of knowing there was a furry little rodent scampering around my bedroom, I emailed my landlord. He plugged up a hole under my radiator and set a trap in my bedroom. He set one in the kitchen, too, but that one’s still there. I know you know where this is going.

Four days after he set the trap, I reclined onto my bed to have a chat with C on the phone. I leaned into my pillows, felt my muscles relax and then – I shrieked and hung up on C.

There, just under my radiator, was the back half of the furry little gray rodent. It was clearly dead. The trap worked. I should be happy, right?

Not so much. I burst into what I call Girly Hysteria, but might better be likened to Kristen-Bell-with-a-sloth only on the TOTAL OPPOSITE END OF THE FEELINGS SPECTRUM. Big fat tears rolled down my face while I laughed maniacally. I curled up onto my bed, half crying, half laughing, rocking back and forth wrapped in blankets.

I mean, I turned into a complete crazy person.

Here’s the thing: I’m not scared of mice. Quite the opposite, actually: I had a pet rat when I was little! Her name was Squeaker and she was my very first pet that wasn’t a fish and I loved her so much. I blame Squeaker (and Adam’s rat, Nibbles) for my hysterics. All I could think of was how the mouse had suffered and how his potential family didn’t have him anymore!

Really, those traps are terribly inhumane, but I am sane enough to realize I could not have a mouse just chillaxing under my heater/dresser/bed for all eternity.

Boy-roommate was a remarkably good sport during this ordeal; I give him a lot of credit. He cleaned up the dead mouse even though he was totally grossed out and didn’t want to do it. He found my reaction hilarious, which made me laugh harder and cry less.

After I calmed down, I told him we were bound for life. He replied eloquently,

“Yeah. Shit just got real.”

Everyone’s On Fire, or That Time My Grandma Set Me Up

13 Jan

So I got fired recently. Oh, you heard about that? Ok well lucky for you that’s not the point of this story.

I sent the obligatory Crappy Life Update Email to my ginormous immediate family since they are all (very loving) gossip mongers and hounds and if I didn’t tell everyone the (simple) story myself, it would snowball out of control until what really happened is that I was actually lit on fire.

(Yes, I actually got laid off, which is different from getting fired, but I didn’t want to make a joke about my family thinking I got laid. Or something.)

Moving on. So my grandma calls me shortly after this email goes out. She’s so frantic you might assume she was actually on fire, but no, she’s just very concerned and loves me very much and wants to know how I’m doing.

Unfortunately, it’s in this same conversation that I have to admit to having a boy roommate. It sounds like her already palpitating heart comes to a complete halt until she very nicely composes herself and accepts my explanation that it is 2012 and girls can live with boys and not date them and not be awkward and also not be destined to burn in hell. (Again, with the fire. That was unintentional.)

After her shock wears off and she’s sure I’m definitely not on fire or going to be on fire or suffering some deep emotional duress from being laid off (hold the sex jokes here, it’s my grandma), she has some other news.

Her friends from church have a daughter who just moved to New York. Will I please call her?

Seriously – that’s what she says to me. “My friends from church have a daughter who just moved to New York City. Can you call her?”

I said, Grandma, that’s awkward. But if you get me her e-mail address I’m happy to reach out to her that way!

Did I mention my grandma lives in Idaho? Can you imagine that phone call?

“Hi, Sara. [Oh, yeah, we have the same name, too.] This is Sara. My grandma knows your parents at church in Idaho. Want to hang out in NYC?”

Right? Awkward.

But then I get a letter in the mail with some stationery with Sara’s information printed on it. All of Sara’s information. Her e-mail address, her phone number, and her physical address. Like I might mail her something. Grandmas!

So I got this letter the other day and I sent Sara an email seeing if she wanted to hang out. Of course she did, since I’m nice and we have the same name and we are both from Idaho and now we’re in New York. Also, since she’s new and wants to make friends.

I met Sara today at Cafe Lalo, which is that super cute cafe featured in that horribly dated movie You’ve Got Mail, which is of course all about being introduced by that awkward old guy telling you that … you’ve got mail.

Appropriate setting, I think, for a blind friend-date set up by my grandma. In Idaho.

Oh, and there’s still no one on fire. Or getting laid.

Teddy Bears & Gorilla Suits: A Harrowing Tale

2 Sep

This is a story about fear. Not the kind of vaguely exciting fear that comes with a new life change and not the kind of fear that grips you when a spider/roach/bee comes too close. This is a story about the kind of fear that remains dormant in your subconscious for years, only to be awakened at the most unexpected moment…

When I was 2 years old, I was obsessed with teddy bears. I had tons of stuffed bears of all sizes and loved them all. Apparently, I loved teddy bears so much that I wanted a teddy bear-themed 3rd birthday party. Not one to shy away from themes, my mom went all out. I had a teddy bear cake, teddy bear plates, napkins, party favors, etc. I’m sure I also had all my stuffed bears attending the party as well. Probably in outfits, since that’s the kind of kid I was.

See? I loved teddy bears.

Anyway, since it was my 3rd birthday party and I was officially a Big Girl – I even had a little brother now! – my mom wanted to make the experience extra special. There was a surprise coming!

In walked a giant singing bear! My mom looked at me expectantly, waiting to see my face light up with a huge grin. Instead, I crumbled into a pile of screams and tears.

I was absolutely terrified.

I guess my parents had the bear leave, simultaneously apologizing while trying to console their now shrieking 3 year-old. Needless to say, the “real life bear” was a bit much for me to handle.

This is me at 3, having recovered from the Giant Bear Fiasco

Fast forward 21 years and I’m about to turn 24. I’ve been at a new job for a few months and Twin had just begun working with me a few weeks earlier. Since she was new to the office and since we have a habit of humiliating each other on our birthday’s – in as public of a way as possible – I had gotten her these two enormous clown balloons that she then had to carry home with her. On the subway. To Queens.

There were two of these monsters.

So, on the day of my 24th birthday, I’m a little apprehensive going into work. I arrive and my desk is empty. No giant balloons yet. As afternoon approaches, I’m a little on edge. And then it happens.

While I may appear to be laughing, I'm actually shaking with terror and holding back tears.

Four of my best friends had gotten me a singing telegram. In the form of a giant, hot pink, coconut-bra-and-tutu-wearing gorilla. And as Twin look at me expectantly, ready for my face to light up with laughter, I fought back tears. See, I don’t really remember my 3rd birthday party with the Giant Bear Fiasco, but that fear that was instilled in me back in 1987? That fear is still very much there.

There’s a reason I hate the Times Square characters on the street. There’s a reason people in animal suits absolutely petrify me. I’d simply forgotten it was there – and of course I’d never mentioned it to my friends.

I mean, how do you casually say, “By the way, I have an unreasonable yet paralyzing fear of people in animal costumes but I’m not totally sure why.”?

After this harrowing experience – you can see my facial expressions were mangled with laughter and grins hiding my utter horror – I called my mom and explained what happened and the anxiety that plagued me. (I mean, I was shaking for hours after this).

She simply burst out laughing and – albeit slightly guiltily – relayed to me the story of my 3rd birthday party.

%d bloggers like this: