I beat him to the sushi restaurant. Figured I’d order myself a Sapporo while I waited – really, the perfect sushi date drink next to hot sake. Sapporo shows a football watching, keeping-up-with-the-guys type gal, which perfectly contrasts the LBD (Little Black Dress) with heels, while also tapping into Japanese culture. Apparently this guy lived in Hong Kong for two years out of college before transferring back to the City for work. I’ve got Asia written all over me with this beer.
He strolls in about 10 minutes later, his pinstriped button down covering his toned six-foot frame. The consistent Crest smile splashed across his face makes him easy to identify – he’s still a relatively fresh prospect.
Funny how we met actually. I want to use the word “rebound” here, but there was nothing really holding me to that first missed shot. My former beau Mike had gone to a party with me the night before I met Trevor and a petty argument called for an awkward, needing to “have the talk” type of night. My almost year-long relationship with Mike could have been this healthy and steadfast love, like a picturesque lake emitting a perfect reflection in its calm waters. Every couple of months, however, would lead to a cannonball on my behalf, smack in the middle of the love lake, sending tidal waves of emotions and heartaches. That night, I was gearing up for the tsunami cannonball – the one that would completely dry out the lake and possibly drown innocent bystanders.
But Mike was a man of the past – let’s not get off topic and steal Trevor’s thunder. I knew Mike wasn’t the right one for me, although I let him surpass my usual three month cut-off point. After fighting a few tears and letting him go that night (resurrecting my standard break-up speech was tougher than usual), I threw on some jeans the next morning and ran to meet my roommates for brunch at Blockheads. On my way out, I made sure to grab my brown, layered wig that I wore to my Asian friend’s wig party the night before. In addition to drowning out the heartache I caused the night before with unlimited mimosas, I wanted a new identity. This wig, layered brown locks that reached the middle of my back, represented a new chapter.
The girls were seated right as I walked in, their bent over laughing revealing their high mimosa number. I had some catching up to do. My brown layered locks and eye glasses confused the lushes when I approached the table and then sent a wave of more laughs at my new identity. I grabbed the open seat at the table and immediately felt relieved. Breaking things with Mike hurt me more than I expected, but I knew when the dust settled at the end of the heartache, it just wasn’t the right time for me. It was time to join this support group of girls for a boozy brunch and start fresh.
I throw in my order for an omelet and spill the dirt on my breakup with Mike, all of their heads leaned in and intently listening. The mimosas are going back like yellow Gatorade gulps on hungover Sunday mornings. I’m screening what is coming out of my mouth, as I spy a table of conveniently located cute boys sitting near us. I didn’t want some “crazy ex-girlfriend” label on my new brunette identity. After a few sympathetic comments from the girls and a lot of “you did the right thing”, we decide to break the ice with the table of fresh prospects by ordering them a pitcher of water. Our waitress was all about it – she must have overheard my night. Were my blonde streaks showing through? I kept readjusting my itchy wig. In any event, this was the perfect opportunity to tap into a fresh crowd.
Pitcher delivered. The boys look over at us, confused and smiling. A few laugh, in shock of our bold move. Yes, they were cute and we wanted an ice breaker before we got the bill. As they make their way out, they swing by our table and admit that they were impressed with our move. I make eye contact with a cute one and laugh about the pitcher ordering, trying my best to imply my interest in this short time we have together. His friends are walking out. Can’t get my number, too awkward and forward. He gives me his card, tells me to give him a call. Momma don’t call boys, so I throw him my card, saying the ball is in his court. He smirks, grabs it and runs to catch up with his friends.
This is the man that is now walking toward me in the sushi restaurant. But I’m not ready to hit real time just yet.
It’s Monday morning after the mimosa-drowned brunch. I log into my work email and avoid eye contact with my 50 year old seat buddy sitting less than 2 feet away, champagne leaking out of my pores. A Saturday email pops up first, unknown sender. Subject line: “Hey”. It’s Trevor. Wants to get drinks next Saturday at Blockheads and apparently re-do the whole brunch endeavor. I like it. But how the hell did he get my work email? Did he look me up online? No wait – business card. My work email is the only contact I have on that card. Why didn’t I put my cell number? Didn’t I realize I would be single for a while in this city and these business cards are really just another form of giving out my contact info to prospective husbands?
In any event, I confirm the date and look forward to meeting this man again whose appearance now leaves me. Saturday rolls around and I find myself walking to the restaurant and trying to strategize how I will recognize him. Must look for a man standing by himself. Stand tall, look around but not too much, look down at phone every few seconds like I’m too busy to be there anyway. Like someone is actually texting me on a Saturday morning. I walk in and immediately see a man in his 20’s standing by the host and looking down at his phone. Bingo. I approach him confidently:
“Hey, are you Trevor?” I ask. He did not look familiar.
“No” he replies. “Are you on a blind date?”
Crap. Not only is this good looking man now wise to my situation, but Trevor is probably within ear shot, watching this entire exchange. I needed a lifeline. Fast.
“Are you Heidi?” the host asks. Little Spanish man, no taller than 5’6” and no younger than 40. Was this a joke? Was I that many mimosas deep that I gave my card to the Blockheads employee that morning? Blind date man standing in front of me is now laughing. I turn my back on him and confirm my name with the Spaniard.
“Right this way” he responds. I come up for air. This Trevor guy is playing his cards right. I turn back to the original Trevor and give him a smirk. That’s right, my real date is already seated, ready to greet me with probably a huge omelet and a kiss. Good luck with your Murray Hill life.
Trevor is seated at a small table for two and stands up to greet me, looking exactly as I remembered him: tall (which starts one off with a good lead, given my 5’10” frame) with blonde hair pinched up with subtle gel and a collared shirt. Hello there, husband. I’m glad you’ve finally surfaced. I can’t hide the smile splashed across my face, although he is looking a little less excited. The conversation begins. I admit that I confused him with someone standing by the host stand, he admits that he forgot the time and showed up a half hour before we were planning on meeting. Nervous laughter erupts from both ends, all the while he is still looking at me like a complete stranger. I ignore it and continue on with my banter, feeling the beginning of something great. It wasn’t until a half hour into the conversation when I bring up the previous night’s festivities:
“So the night before I met you, I was at my Asian friend’s birthday party. She made it a wig-themed party because she thought she looked good as a blonde!” I take a giant gulp of my mimosa to ease the standard sharp edges of a first date.
“A wig party” he confirms. “You weren’t wearing that wig at brunch by any chance?”
***Tune in next Tuesday to find out what happens!***