When it comes to dbags, there is nothing like New York. This city breeds them like free-range chicken, giving them an abundance of space to run around and grow and prosper and become the most bizarre, damaged, f*ed up versions of themselves. As a result, we have stories like this one, recently recounted to me by a close friend over a blissful sushi dinner.
My friend is a very beautiful girl with one fundamental flaw: she believes in love. Carrie Bradshaw love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love. This blind faith propels her to make two grave mistakes: give men Real Chances, most of which lead to nothing but time wasted, and attempt to Save Men, which leads to even more poignant disasters. So, when she told me she had recently gone out with a guy who was nice, handsome, but past the point of Chances or Saving, I knew we were looking a whole new level of weird.
The date was a setup orchestrated by a family friend. My friend was shown a picture of a pudgy, nerdy bloke of the standard Upper East Side, RL-donning variety, but agreed to meet him anyway in an attempt to manifest her newfound maturity. (This is what happens when girls hit 30.) Imagine her surprise when she turned up to dinner at Bond Street to discover a gorgeous, chiseled guy, nothing like the man in the photos. Fifteen minutes into the date, he revealed the secret to the dissonance: after a life-long struggle with his weight, he had recently lost about 90 pounds. My friend admired this accomplishment, and they quickly bonded over their shared love for healthy food and exercise. He was a truly nice guy, and my friend did a little internal emoji girl dance for her initial open-mindedness.
For their second date, Elvis (what else can we call a weight-fluctuating man?) suggested a trip to Soul Cycle, followed by dinner. Yes, only in the unique hemisphere that is New York City is it acceptable for a straight male to invite a woman to a sweaty, overpriced spinning class and pass that off for romance. And yet my friend, a devotee of the spinning torture chamber, was only too happy to agree. “What’s not to like? I burn my calories before dinner and save $34, shoes and water included!”
After 35 minutes of hell on wheels (literally), they headed to ABC Kitchen, where our nerdy Elvis had made a reservation via something called DiS Dining Agent, an app that pre-books restaurants under Disney character’s names. (Once a dork, always a dork..) After a long, pondering dinner, he announced that he had planned four options for what they could do next:
1. Head to a bar to drink tequila for National Tequila Day.
2. Got to Momofuku Milk Bar. (Kind of surprising, given that one pack of Birthday Truffles is probably worth a week of Weight Watchers points…?)
3. Got to his rooftop for a private tasting of Arctic Zero. For those who still consume gluten, Arctic Zero is this new miracle fake ice cream that, for the bargain price of $8, contains only 150 calories per pint. After my friend had mentioned her penchant for it, Elvis had gone out and gotten 10 PINTS of it, which he wanted to taste together. (I think my French readers are having a heart attack at this point.)
4. Nothing. If she wanted to, she could opt out.
A woman after my own heart, she opted for #1. At the tequila bar, he presented her with another round of options, this time in the form of an 10-shot tequila tasting. Since most normal human beings cannot handle such copious amount of alcohol, they were offered guacamole on the side. My friend was just starting to get excited about the yummy guac heading her way, when Elvis decided to inquire what it came with, and, finding out that it was tortilla chips instead of crudités, cancelled the order.
Drunk and heartbroken over her avocado deficit, my friend requested dessert. They stopped by Momofuku and picked up some goodies to go (obviously, options were paramount to this whole endeavor), and then headed back to his place, where the Arctic Zero feast awaited. In his apartment, a sprawling penthouse with a million-dollar view of the city (presumably more, given the current real estate climate) she discovered her next surprise.
In the bathroom, next to the toilet, was a stepping stool. That’s right, a little ladder that helps you go #2 by propping your feet up. A female de-boner if there ever was one.
Praying that her eyes had betrayed her, she stepped into the bedroom, where she was in for another treat. You see, on Elvis’s his giant, King-size bed, was every option of pillow available to man. Round pillows, square pillows, rectangular pillows, down pillows and tempur-pedic pillows were displayed in all their vast glory, enticing one to jump on and commence a Taylor Swift-worthy pillow fight. Confused, my friend turned out and inquired about this resemblance to an Ikea warehouse. “Well, since I’m being honest”, he replied (when does anything good ever follow these words?), “You see, before I lost weight, if I could actually get a girl into my bed, I would want them to stay, and I would get them to stay by offering them every option of pillow, like Cinderella.”
My friend wanted to be nice. She wanted to give him a hug and melt into his pillow oasis and be the first girl to accept his new, slimmed-down self. But she couldn’t. “I’m so stupid, Marina”, she told me later, “he has everything going for him: rich, good-looking, family-oriented and so NICE.. Next year, he will be an asshole and I won’t even be able to get him. Now is the perfect time to grab him, except that now I cant f*ck him because he’s keeping pillows so girls can sleep over and keeping a pooper stool in the bathroom!”
The final decision was made on their next and last date, yet another sushi dinner. They ordered a crunchy spicy tuna roll; Elvis asked to remove the crunch. Apparently, that’s the straw that broke the camel’s back – not the Soul Cycle, not the pooper stool, not the pillows, but the crunch. You can do a lot of sh*t, but you cant take the crunch off a girls spicy tuna. The crunch to the spicy tuna is the zest to life – and sometimes, a few extra pounds is a fair price to pay.