Ever since we hired Nora as an intern (and then made her a permanent fixture here), the new-New Yorker has regaled us with her sometimes sad, sometimes unbelievable, but always hilarious “only in New York Williamsburg” dating stories. We figured you should get to hear them, too. So we’ve asked her to share her trials and tribulations as a single 20-something trying to bag that elusive not-too-hipstery non-asshole–and coordinate the perfect outfit to go with. Taking some inspiration from that other Nora, the legendary Ms. Ephron, we present, “Love, the L Train, and What I Wore.”
I've made no secret of the fact that one of my major life goals when I first moved to New York a few years back was to find and makeout with Gossip Girl lothario Ed Westwick. Unrealistic? Maybe. But I never knew how close I'd actually come (well... proximity-wise, anyway).
One night a while back, I happened upon a small beach-themed bar off Bedford with sand covering the floor--fun theoretically, but murder on my heels. Me being the rational dresser I am, I was wearing sky-high platforms and a skin tight black bodycon, balanced out by an old black cardi. And I was so tan. Siiigh... It was mid-September, and I was out on a group escapade with a couple of girlfriends and some guys we half knew. We scooted around the picnic table benches and ordered our Yuenglings when what to my wandering eyes did appear, sitting only about four yards away?
I'll just let that sink in for a second.
I went into full-on shock mode for obvious reasons. "That can't be him," said one of my male cohorts. "This guy has an English accent." LIKE UGH ARE YOU EVEN KIDDING ME? In a sand pit full of people who did not seem to care that my romantic destiny was staring me right in the face, I felt more alone than ever before. It was torture defined. I frantically texted my GG-faithful friends back home in the hopes of stirring up an appropriate reaction to my situation from them, but it seemed no one in the world could match my unbridled enthusiasm for sharing air with that Mother Chucker.
Amidst this haze of alcohol and potential love interests, I managed to narrow my viable options down to two: One, approach Ed Westwick and convince him to fall madly in love with me without letting on that I'd just recently rewatched the first three seasons of Gossip Girl and have envisioned this inevitable meet-and-makeout scenario since 2007, or two, white flag it and move on to one of the guys in our group. After hyperventilating for seven minutes, I rationally decided that my best bet was to forgo a future with Mr. Westwick (FOR NOW) and divert my attention back to my own pic-a-nic party--an effort which required the consumption of several more Yuenglings and my GFs forcing me to the opposite side of the table. When I turned back around, Ed was gone.
Several weeks later, my roommate and I found ourselves back at the very same bar, treading the very same sand Ed Westwick had trodden before. A decently attractive waiter sporting a David Beckham beanie (you know exactly what I'm talking about) greeted and escorted us to a small table and offered up some slushy bevs with plastic monkeys swinging from the straws. He was cute: Blue eyes, blonde, maybe tan--who's to say at 2:30 in the morning--and I was feeling chatty.
"Ok so I have to ask you something," I slipped in oh-so-subtlly. "Does Ed Westwick come here a lot?" I went on to detail my goal of bagging a Bass and swimming off into the sunset. "Yeah, he does," quoth waiter Jack. "He lives at the end of this street, on the water. He's here all the time actually." Jack... pot!
But he wasn't there that night, so... ole' Jacky boy and I got to talking for quite some time (between his table rounds, natch). This being Williamsburg, he of course turned out to be a musician with an already sizable, largely female following on YouTube. He was originally from Texas and had been working at the bar for a year and a half. And when I opened up my bill for the evening, this is what I found:
That's "I'm no Ed Westwick! :) This one's on me," followed by his digits. And no, I had no idea people did this in real life, either.
The next morning I sat huddled over my laptop, trying to envision my future as the girlfriend of a YouTube sensation. What exactly does that role require? A steady hand to viddy? A partner for duets? Someone to sort through song requests? A rabid Internet protector to flag all the nasty-yet-secretly-super-jealous commenters? And was I up to the task? I was willing to find out.
Jack and I exchanged flirty texts casually over the next few days, but no plans were officially set in place. I'd sometimes find myself mindlessly typing the first few letters of his name into Google (ILY autofill) as I worked my way through his back catalogue of Usher covers and a few less-than-stellar originals, many of which he performed in his bedroom shirtless.
The next weekend, walking home solo from a bar not far from Jack's, I had a vision that involved free pina coladas and late night chats with a smooth talking cutie pie bartender. I texted him.
"Hey are you at work?" I wrote, before noticing the metal security grilles being pulled down over the facade as I passed by the Sand Bar. "Actually... I'm walking by now and it looks closed sooo..." "It might be. It's late," he replied. "So you aren't there anyway then! Never mind," I texted back. Meh. Whatever, I thought. Another time. And then my poor, defenseless, virginal white iPhone received THIS verbatim:
"You can come over here, rub my back and watch a movie :)"
"Lol subtle," I somehow managed to type between dry heaves.
But Jack wasn't finished. "I'm in my pajamas now and took a sleeping pill I'm gonna lay down and watch a video :)"
Well, now that ya mention it! Seriously, has an invitation to rub a sedated stranger's back while watching 2 Fast 2 Furious on VHS ever worked as a come on? (Maybe I don't want to know the answer.)
He continued: "...you can come over if you want lol"
But I didn't go over. And I never walked into Sand Bar again. Ed Westwick or no Ed Westwick, no amount of Wet-Naps could wash away the slime that Jackass was spewing. And though I've yet to spot dear Ed again, I figure there's plenty of other Bass in the sea...