When I was 19 my friend had a birthday party for her cat. Yeah, you read that right. It was the cat’s first birthday so, of course, we had on painted cat masks and played a party game.
That’s when I met Mr. Upper East Side. We were paired up as partners during the game. After the nonsense, we ran off together to talk some more.
Although he smoked like a chimney, he was so nice. I had never dated a smoker. In fact, it added to his cool-guy persona. He was also a drummer, had a ton of cool hobbies and lived on Park Ave. Uh, that’s where Anderson Cooper and Vera Wang live! Luxurious. Extra cool points for Mr. Park Ave, especially since this Queens girl had never dated someone who lived in Manhattan.
We texted for a few days before he asked me to join him at a jazz club in the city. I was nervous and excited. I was going on a date with a cool guy! To a jazz club! When I met up with him we went the top floor of a building near Lincoln Center. He even brought me backstage to meet the musicians before they went on.
The show was amazing. After it ended he invited me over to his place, and I was taken aback at the beauty of his building’s lobby. First, we went to the roof where there was a beautiful garden and sitting area – and a beautiful view of the city. I pressed myself up against the fence and admired Upper Manhattan from above. I turned around, and he was right there behind me. He kissed me. I was on cloud nine.
Weeks past and we hadn’t seen each other in a while. I was worried he wasn’t interested in me anymore though we kept in contact. He finally asked me out on a second date – to the Gennaro Feast in Little Italy. I met him on Spring St. in Little Italy and walked around. He held my hand and I felt so important. I was with Mr. Upper East Side! He lived in an expensive place, did expensive things add took me to a hip and trendy festival!
We passed by a pizza stand and it smelled delicious. “Hey, do you wanna get a slice? Supposed to be the best slice in the festival,” he said.
I agreed, and he ordered two slices. We waited patiently and out of courtesy I took out my wallet. I was sure he was going to pay, but I wanted to be nice and pretend I wanted to pay. The pizza was ready. Mr. Upper East Side took them from the vendor, walked away and placed them on a nearby table.
“You got this, right?” he shouted out to me. Oh! Uh, sure, I thought. This was his idea. HIS IDEA. I didn’t say anything. We feasted and continued walking around.
“Have you had their clam chowder?” he asked while abruptly stopping at another food stand. I shook my head. “What?! We HAVE to get it, it’s the best clam chowder at this festival.”
“I’m not really hungry,” I replied.
“No, come on, it’s the best. Would you have some of it with me?” he asked. He didn’t take no for an answer. So I decided I would eat a a spoonful of his soup.
The soup was ready and he began to eat. Didn’t even look up to pay. I just stood next to him – hands in my pocket – and me and Clam Chowder Man watched Mr. Upper East Side devour his meal.
“Are there more crackers?” he asked, finally coming up for air. Crackers in hand and he walked away. Clam Chowder Man looked at me, annoyed, and I reluctantly paid for his soup. And of course, apologized.
As for Mr. Upper East Side, he didn’t even offer me any soup! I just stood over him, watching him inhale his food. So not fancy and cool.