As I made my way to meet up with a new guy for our first date, I spotted the famous LOVE sculpture in NYC. I stopped to admire it and a warm feeling flooded through my body. I thought hopefully, “This could be a sign that I’m about to meet the love of my life.” I snapped a picture so that down the road I could show him the picture. “I knew we were meant to be right as I was about to meet you for the first time.”
I took the picture from the wrong side…now that should have been my “sign.”
Let me tell you a story about when an Indie guy meets a mainstream gal (with an appreciation for indie stuff).
I went out with Indie guy three times, which is a new record for me in recent times. It’s true! I’ve had quite a dry spell, but never mind that.
How did he earn his nickname, you ask? Hmm…let’s go back to the beginning. We met off of Bumble and in one of our first conversations we wrote about how we spent New Year’s Eve. His New Year’s: “Went to a dinner party at a friend’s, a cool musician, filmmaker. We all started dancing after midnight to Motown with Planet Earth being projected 20 feet high in Peppa’s gorgeous loft.” Well…I thought…that sounds like quite a night! Who is this guy?
My NYE was spent in New Hampshire with my parents where I made my mom marathon watch Game of Thrones with me. Then, at 11pm, we tore ourselves away from GoT to invite my father down to watch the countdown. I told Indie guy, “I was in New Hampshire from Christmas through New Year’s.” The End.
I should mention that he planned what we did on all our dates. He didn’t ask me what I wanted to do. However, in his defense, I put “movies” in my profile as one of the things I love.
Our first date we saw the movie Elena, a very good foreign film directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev. Indie Russian director, maybe?
For our second movie date, some members of the indie band, Belle and Sebastian introduced the French film we saw, Stolen Kisses (foreshadowing?). Again, I enjoyed the movie. Totally indie night, right?
We saw the movie at the indie movie theater, Metrograph. “A beauty of a theater,” his words. “It’s okay,” I thought to myself.
The litmus test of his indie-ness will come later, I promise. So our first two dates were movie dates. Did I mention that? I did. Sorry! As I said before, I love movies, but we didn’t do anything before or after the movies. In fact, we met up both times, at the exact times the movies started. Who does that?
I didn’t feel like I was able to get to know him during those dates. I went with it because from our earlier messages, I got the idea that he wanted to get to know women he meets in a more organic way. His tips for making things seem more organic included, “Doing something casual like an art event instead of just drinks.” We didn’t do that, but I just had the feeling he wasn’t the type who wanted to do the typical, sit down/interview style, dinner date. I wanted to be open to his date ideas and see if it could work better than interview-style dating.
Indie guy also let me know that he’s okay with friendship if that feels more “organic” than a relationship. He knew my main goal was to find a relationship and he too stated that he was looking for relationship. He just wouldn’t reject the possibility of a friendship. Okay.
Something he worked into our conversations in various ways: in messaging, phone calls, and in person on our first date was the timing of his first kiss. In an early message, he wrote, “I had my first kiss at 23 — saving myself for my wedding night or something!” I thought he meant he was still saving himself. I asked, “Did you really have your first kiss at 23? Are you messing with me…And saving yourself? I don’t believe it. I can’t believe any nyc guys would be. Are you making some reference to something over my head?” He responded, “Yes, 23! Super romantic, saving for my wedding night.” I couldn’t believe a 38 year old man in nyc was saving himself. I even asked if it had anything to do with being religious. His response, “Haha, yes, hippie hasidic. But all 5 of my siblings had teenage kisses…” and then he went on about how he liked Jane Austen books. I moved on to asking if he was looking for someone Jewish to which he assured me that he dates “human” and he’s not religious. We moved on from that line of conversation.
For our 3rd date, he asked (see, I’m giving him some credit) if I would like to go to the Bloomberg building to see this speaker talk about Oscar health insurance. There would be a cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres. I was sold on the cocktails and finally, I would get food! Also to his credit, his thought process was because of my job, I’d probably be very interested in hearing all about Oscar insurance. Not really, but it was a solid effort.
What I was looking forward to was having more of an opportunity to finally talk to him during a date! Lead up to this date, he had been subtlety talking up his big “projector.” No, really, he actually has a projector in his apartment. That’s how he watches his shows, movies, or whatever video he’s in the mood to project. “Movie quality sound,” he boasted. Via text I shared a goat video with him from my animal filled vacation I recently went on out west. Yes, you read that right, a goat video. He told me I could see goats the size of trucks with his projector. I joked that he was using his projector as a way to lure me to his apartment. We had quite an emoji laugh over that.
Before this date, I was stressed and tired. Work stuff, out sick one day that week, and then there was the shower clog incident. Ick! I couldn’t go on a date without showering. Ugh. I wanted to cancel the date but everyone I texted about it, asked- do you have a gym you could shower at? Damn well-intentioned friends! Okay, I’ll shower at the gym. At least I’ll finally get some use out of my membership.
I was super tired and feeling rushed before this date. My idea about this date being a whole plan to get me back to his apartment was out of my mind at this point. I had even been texting him about my shower drama (I don’t know why either) but he had a good sense of humor about it.
We didn’t really get to talk before the speaker and during the talk he left, for the bathroom presumably, and didn’t want to be disruptive coming back to our side front row seats. Understandable. After the talk, we had a couple of cocktails and ate some hors d’oeuvres. We finally got to talk more than we ever had before. It felt kind of like a first date. Nice conversation getting to know each other and just general chit chat. We were there for around an hour before the event staff started shooing us out.
This is when he brought up the goats. You remember? My goat video?
I don’t know if it was my fatigue or my ADD but before I knew it, he was saying, “Yeah, let’s go see that goat video.” Meaning on his projector in his apartment. He just started walking to the coat check, I had to go to the bathroom, I’m in there thinking, “When did I agree to go back to his apartment?”
I meet back up with him and he’s still full speed ahead. I’m just trying to keep up with him. I played dumb, “Where are we going?” He replied with what I gathered to be the cross streets of his apartment. I’m still stupidly following him, even though I don’t actually want to go. I’m embarrassed to share this. I didn’t want to go and yet I kept following him. I said things like, “I don’t know. It’s late.” He told me, “The train I needed to get home is actually a closer walking distance from his apartment than where we are now.” Who could argue with that kind of logic? Um, no, I could have argued that logic. I live in Brooklyn, we had to go uptown to get to his apartment. It was the opposite direction from where I had to go to get home.
I still followed him. Looking back, trying to figure out why I just went along with it…well, I have some thoughts…and maybe I’m just making excuses for myself, but here’s what I think.
My gut instinct was that with this guy, I’ll be able to leave his apartment whenever I wanted. I warned him I couldn’t stay long. He’s a small stature, seemingly nice guy, so I wasn’t too worried.
I also think there’s something about my personality, that if something doesn’t go in a way that I’m familiar with, I get thrown off. If he had actually asked me if I wanted to go back to his place, well, I have experience saying things like, “No, but how about we get another drink somewhere,” or “No, I’m sorry, it’s late, I have to get home.” I’ve done that before. This scenario, I had no script for. He never asked me. I didn’t want him to think I wasn’t still interested in getting to know him, so I followed. Also, in my defense, I’m still under the impression that he’s saving himself for marriage. I know that sounds crazy, but he never corrected me or never knew that’s what I thought? So even though this guy never took me out to dinner, didn’t take me on dates where we had plenty of time to get to know each other, I still thought he was kind of harmless.
And he was. He just wasn’t as nice as how he portrays himself. I think he’s the typical guy who wants to see how far he could get with a girl without putting much effort in. Well, he didn’t get far with me! He did get some kissing action (and tried for a lot more) but I was out of there soon after the “look at my awesome projector” portion of the evening. I do mean his actual projector! Not his…never mind. He also wanted to “cuddle” on his bed. I said, “It’s late, I need to get home.” I told you I could use that line effectively!
Right before I was about to leave, as we were standing together, again he brings up how he had his first kiss at 23, but this time he adds something, “As you know my first kiss and the first time I had sex was at 23.” I stared blankly, “What did you say?” I was so confused and so he repeated the same line. I’m still wondering if I heard him right. Up until that moment he only talked about having his first kiss at 23 and that he was saving himself! Was he trying to make himself seem more innocent than he was? Was this just a crazy misinterpretation on my part? I guess all along he meant before the age of 23, he had romantic notions to save himself, but that’s not how I interpreted it. Well, I’ll never know if that was a ruse or me just being incredibly naive or gullible. Anyway…
Time for the litmus test!
While I was at his apartment, I gave him the test. At that point, I didn’t even care about working the litmus test into conversation smoothly. My brother told me the Indie Litmus Test is to ask him if he likes Wes Anderson movies. And if he knows the difference between Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson movies, then that would be a sure fire way to know he’s an indie guy. So I casually asked the question. His face lit up and he nodded emphatically. I said I did too. He asked which were my favorite movies of their’s? Well…I didn’t do my research…so I innocently asked, “Is Shopgirl one?” “No, that’s Steve Martin,” he responded. “Oh yeah, I knew that…um…Bottle Rocket! Boogie Nights!” He was impressed and that’s when the kissing commenced.
You know what gets my goat? He never showed me my goat video on his projector. We watched clips of different shows and movies, but no goats! As I was leaving, he explained the tech reasons as to why he couldn’t upload the video on his projector. That was his whole excuse for getting me to his apartment in the first place and he didn’t deliver! What a letdown.
He walked me to the train. Maybe he wasn’t totally awful but I didn’t feel right about that date. It was on a Wednesday night and I didn’t hear from him until Sunday. I was only minimally responsive because I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to address how I felt. By Monday morning, he called me out on my lack of interest and suggested we transition to friendship. I apologized and let him know I wasn’t sure about things after our last date. That I enjoyed all our dates but I like more time to get to know a guy before going to his apartment. I gave him the examples of going out for dinner and drinks or dinner and a movie. I told him I wasn’t sure if there was a way to rewind. I guess I effectively ended it because he didn’t respond. It’s for the best. We weren’t right for each other. And his projector wasn’t that big.
Currently reading: Fifth Avenue 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman by Sam Wasson