Illustration by the uber-talented Kelcey Vossen
In the game of sourcing Dbag Dating content, I often feel like the mountain that is constantly chasing down Muhammad via every Bumble and Raya vehicle available, which makes it quite nice when Muhammad occasionally shows up to the mountain in the form of a completely impromptu encounter, reaffirming my faith that meeting unhinged human beings really is my true calling.
Let’s throw it back one month, to the first Friday night in February. #DryJanuary is officially over, I’m back to myself drinking, the world is making sense again. I also have no social life to speak of, so I take a friend up on an offer to go to some random guy’s going-away party in Nolita. Two hours later, I’m standing in the middle of one of the most bizarre places I have ever been to in NYC – it’s called Tropical 128 and it looks like a merger between a Cancun beach bar and a traditional pool hall, swarming with underage NYU kids and the occasional LES hipster. Our party is concentrated by the pool table, where I spot human kryptonite in the form of a tall, tattooed, man-bunned hipster strutting around with a pool stick and a very serious look on his face. It’s one of those situations where I can probably spend all night swapping cool stats with him if I really want to, except that it’s a new year and I have resolved to grow a brain.
“Do you think ‘View Collect’ is a good name for a company?”
I turn around and see that the universe has thrown me an unexpected surprise in the form of a cute, slightly pudgy Jason Segel-lookalike, just the kind of guy the newly mature 29-year-old me should be meeting. He immediately informs me that he’s a real estate lawyer (which explains the weird conversation-starter), and we launch into a heated discussion about New York real estate, law, expensive views, and other things that I have zero hands-on experience with. Luckily, Jason Segel doesn’t seem to mind. He offers to buy me a drink and we head to the bar, where I run into an ex (yes, at Tropical 128 – welcome to my life), a slightly discombobulating event that I decide is best digested with tequila. JS is sympathetic about the ex sighting and starts opening up about his own personal life, immediately pointing out that, at 36, he’s running quite late on the marriage train. This seems promising! In fact, the more I look at Jason Segel, the more he seems like the kind of nice Jewish boy you want to bring home to your parents, just so your mother can feed him endless knishes and pick out names for your future offsprings. (This is strictly hypothetical. My mother has never cooked a knish in her life and has long given up the hope of offsprings.) Suddenly, Jason the knish man decides to stomp on my wholesome daydreams by sharing that, in addition to his job in real estate law, he also has a side passion for – wait for it – taking photos of HANDJOB SIGNS. In case you, like me, don’t quite understand what this means, he’s referring to those signs that you see on the doors of Asian massage parlors, promoting reflexology treatments and the possibility of a happy ending. I briefly wonder how many of them my new friend had tested out in person, then quickly remember that I write a blog called Dbag Dating, which legally prohibits from judging.
Still scarred by the ex run-in (they do that, even the long-forgotten childhood love kind) and invigorated by my tequila, I declare my desire for a nightcap and allow Jason Segel to accompany me out, bravely stomaching his friend’s ‘somebody’s getting lucky!’ winks like a big girl. We head over to the Leadbelly on Orchard street, where we sit at the bar and order more tequila. It’s a nice setup that lends itself to an existential conversation about life and freedom and travel, during which JS proudly declares his loyalty to New York. Now, don’t get me wrong – I love New York with its bipolar climate as much as the next gal, but, surely, there are other cities out there? Not according to Jason Segel. He informs me that New York is the only city that actually matters, evoking a déjà vu of that SATC episode where Miranda goes out with Manhattan Guy, a man who hasn’t left the island in ten years. The only discrepancy is that Jason Segel lives in Brooklyn Heights. “Why Brooklyn Heights?” I inquire, curious as to why a single guy would move to such a family-oriented neighborhood. “A woman.” He sheepishly explains that he had been with his ex for six wonderful years, up until the point where she had expressed a desire to start a family.
“Do you want a family?”
“Yes, of course.”
“So what was wrong with your ex?”
“Nothing, she was great. I was just stupid,” he tells me, a guilty look on his face, similar to the one my dog Chloe gives me after peeing on the rug.
The tequila hits hard and I get mean.
“Let me guess. You thought there is somebody better out there. In fact, you think there is always going to be somebody better out there, but what you are actually doing is running away from growing up. Also, what I think you fail to realize is that you are no Tom Brady and you are not going to be able to do this forever.”
BAM. There I am, at 2am and 4 tequilas deep, projecting the sins of douchebags past onto poor Jason Segel.
I expect him to throw one back at me, to tell me to shut my trap and point our that I’m no Gisele Bundchen either. Instead, he just sadly nods and utters the words every woman dreams of hearing: “You sound exactly like my therapist.” As I sit there trying to make sense out of my out-of-body experience as a Sex and the City character, he counters with some positive news – his therapist has recently pronounced him in official remission, which now qualifies him as a “REFORMED COMMITMENT-PHOBE.” The Reformed Jew is actually a Reformed Commitment-Phobe! How’s that for an unexpected curveball?!
We ask for the check, at which point Jason probably realizes that the night is turning out to be a complete loss on (tequila) investment, because he decides to throw down his final card. He takes my hand, kisses it and whispers, “You are so amazing. You deserve somebody incredible. I just wish it could be me.” I kid you not there may have been tears in his eyes.
Despite my better judgment, I agree to have him drop me off in a taxi, because it’s on his way to Brooklyn Heights and because I’m cheap. In the cab, Jason Segel leans in and gives me my first kiss of 2016, first sucking on my bottom lip like some scary pelican-leech hybrid, then performing the exact same maneuver to my top lip. I stare out of the taxi window while telling myself to start making real money so that I never have to skimp on cab fare again in my life. If I am rich one day, I have nobody to thank but Jason Segel.