Monday, July 25, 2011


“Maybe too much is what you need.  Did you ever think about that?”

My mother has a tendency of speaking truth at the least palatable of moments.  I was sitting in the park pretending to do work, over-analyzing whether or not I should accept a new gentleman's offer to buy me a ticket to D.C. for the day so we could have brunch in the nation's capitol.  Brunch.  Yeah right.  I am sure brunch is exactly what he had on his mind when he made the invitation.

“You are doing it again.  Stop. Thinking.”  I know this is probably my most serious character flaw but telling me to stop thinking is like telling a quadriplegic to go for a jog - the request is ridiculous and a little bit cruel. If I could stop I would.  If I could be different, I wouldn’t be a 29 year old with chronic insomnia and the beginnings of serious crows feet. I can say I will quit but we all know it is bullshit.  There is a reason I am an artist and a writer and a student...and single.  I have a lot of brain space to put to use.

To be fair, my relationship with Fancy started off in a way that warranted worry. And yes, I named him "Fancy". The name wasn't wholly original but it was fitting and the best I could come up with under the circumstances.

I met Fancy at a party a few days after I returned to New York. I should preface this tale by saying that things were just starting with the boy who would eventually dump me on my birthday which made the events of that evening  feel even more complicated, and confusing and terribly, terribly guilt inducing.

The party had been a straight-up former frat boy free for all, filled with friends of my friend's boyfriend. I gravitated to what few women were in attendance but the crowd of testosterone volleyed for attention. Between tales of Hollywood movie deals and summer homes in the Hamptons I would look up and see Fancy, leaning back, taking it all in and waiting for someone to catch his eye.

I didn't need to speak to him to have him a pretty damn good idea of his m.o. He looked like every guy I went to high school with - immaculately groomed, in a perfectly pressed polo and $300 jeans, forever aware of the room around him, waiting to be adored. He was gorgeous and he knew it. That type of guy always did.

I smiled politely as he approached. I always find this moment just before the conversation the most amusing.  There is a split second to guess what the line might be, if this introduction will go well or if it will just be added to the endless list of awkward unmemorable occasions.

This being said, I don't actually remember his opening line - I feel like it had something to do with the bottle opener.  I forget because, in truth, what happened next left such an impression everything else faded away.

He was a resume guy. You know the kind that gives you about enough time to utter your first name before he starts reciting off his accolades. I always wondered why 'that' guy didn't just have miniature copies of his resume laminated and tucked in his wallet for occasions like this, you know, so he wouldn't have to be bothered to speak - he could just wait for the panties to drop to the floor.

And it was easy to understand why he thought they would; high society upbringing, ivy league ed, international start-up companies and a corner office on Wall Street proper, not to mention having penned several books, one of which showcased a foreword by a former president.

Like I said, Fancy.

Despite what I am sure he believed was a stellar performance of Mr. Fancy's hit parade, I could tell he was left confused. He had been expecting me to swoon and when I didn't he looked as though his world may have come unhinged. I don't mean to give myself too much credit. I couldn't have been the first woman in his history to remain unimpressed as he uttered the sweet sweet words, Simon and Schuster, Bill Clinton, condo on the upper west side but I am sure we were few and far between.

And thus what could have been a passing conversation with just another orifice for Fancy became a challenge he couldn't resist.

I was not naive enough to assume that his interest would linger once he received some sort of validation so imagine my surprise when even after the evening turned into a cloudy version of "Eyes Wide Shut" Fancy would persist.

The next morning I sent him a text, "Did you seriously just Facebook me?"

Fancy brought out the bitch in me. 'That' guy always did. Somehow I thought sneaking out of the (and I quote) "black tie optional" pseudo sex club he had tricked me into patronizing and catching a cab to Korea Town with his good friend to stuff our faces before passing out in his suite at the W would have been enough to make Fancy lose interest.  Plus he had gotten the validation he was looking for at the the club, (drunken stupidity makes it possible to look over the most blaring character traits and give in to what my mother would agree were really really bad life choices) but Fancy wanted to prove he wasn't 'that' guy, which was what I called him most of that evening.

"Do these lines really work for you? I am sorry I am not amazed enough for you. God you are so that guy."

The bitchier I was the more intrigued Fancy appeared to be.

For weeks he would send random text messages from whatever city he happened to be vacationing in and ask about my day.  Photos from Aspen over the Forth of July, messages from San Francisco and finally a series of invitations, which ironically began right after my birthday.

"Why don't you come to DC for brunch?  I'd be happy to buy your ticket." Or some butchered text version of that.  Then there was Philly, Austin, Boston and so on.  Every time I explained that a) I am a poor college student not exactly available for flights of fancy and if I was I would need more than 4 hours to prepare.  

He eventually made his way back to the city but invitations were more of the same,  last minute and romanticized. 

Seriously, who invites a girl to meet up for afternoon tea?? Dude wasn't even British.

I would counter his offers with something a little more practical, usually involving 24 hours notice but that never seemed to fly. When my last attempt to meet up at a mutually convenient time (notice the key word mutually) was rebuffed, I finally said enough.  This was the shit that drove women to madness and I just couldn't take anymore. I didn't need one more game player hovering in my universe.

"You know what, I am good," I told him, "How about this, if you are ever really around (instead of some hypothetical rendezvous in a city requiring plane fare) and you legitimately want to hang out - in a way that calls for an actual invitation of one person to another in a form a little more personal than a text message, you let me know.  I would be happy to join you. Otherwise, I think I am good.  Take care and safe travels."

The next day,  I saw Fancy for the first time in a month.  I don't like to think of my text  as an ultimatum but he certainly got the call to action.

He took me to dinner at a bistro on Park Avenue and we talked about art and politics and our families.  I told him my theory about the resume cards.  He found it amusing.  I asked if there was ever anyone who called him on what I could only describe in the moment as cockiness.  He said no.  Then he amended the statement with his sister.  I decided immediatly that I liked her.

After the first round of Pellegrino and before we ordered wine I told him to come clean.  Seriously who asks a girl to Paris or afternoon tea?

"Well, Lyndsey," there is something about the way men use your name in a sentence such as this that can put you in your place with nothing much else at all, "I wanted to see you.  I felt bad we hadn't been able to get together before.  And I thought it would be fun."

Okay.  And afternoon tea?

"I am from India, Lyndsey. I grew up in London.  My parents have afternoon tea every day."

And I am an asshole.

Then we actually started to talk - a little less banter and more actual conversation.  The thing I find so incredibly attractive about him (aside from the eyes and the abs and the persistent invitations to Paris) is the fact that he gets it done.  He calls and says lets get together at this time or that and whether or not I can actually make it happen, he has a plan.  He isn't wishy-washy, he isn't insecure, he is grown-up. And that is HOT.

In the middle of dinner we were discussing relationships and the lack of ceremony that has taken over our generation.  "I don't want to revert back to out dated gender roles but there is something to said for courting," I said. "I don't know, I figure at this point I will probably just marry the next guy to bring me flowers.

A few minutes later he excused himself and entered into a hushed conversation with the maitre de who scurried behind the bar and started digging in the cabinets before pulling out a silk rose.  He walked back to the table and gave it to me without ceremony or a big speech. He just smiled like he knew exactly what he was doing.

And suddenly I was weak in the knees.

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