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.”
Deeeep breath. Ok. Remember that guy I mentioned last time we e-spoke? You know, the one I wept over while listening to Taylor Swift and painting my bathroom? Well, eleven weeks on, I think I'm almost-maybe ready to discuss the situation with you a bit more in-depth.
I swear I won't cry. Hard.
It was a week before Christmas when my roommate and I found ourselves in a dimly-lit, wood-carved bar typically reserved for summer nights, due mostly to an outdoor taco truck that doesn't really cut it in colder months. Much like Christina Aguilera before me, I wasn't quite myself that night. My hair was up in what could best be described as dominatrix milkmaid braids, while my lips were painted the darkest purple CVS's beauty aisle had to offer--a leftover from a rogue month several years ago when I dedicated my life to becoming Daisy Lowe 2.0. And another thing: I forwent my usual wallet-friendly brewskies, downing Malibu-and-Cokes instead at the same rate. The Internet's a judgement-free zone, right? ...No?
I was a woman possessed. Possessed by the Ghost of Christmases to Come perhaps, whispering in my ear with his frosty breath that if I didn't find someone to makeout with that night, I'd spend the rest of eternity dragging the chains I'd forged in life... ALONE. I didn't really have an option--I had to find somebody, and fast. I grabbed the closest guy I saw near the bar and before either of us could think things over, we were engaged in a full-on makeout sesh.
Next thing I knew, Toby and I were headed back to his apartment, joined by my roommate and a guy with a ponytail whom she had shared a bit more than her first name with at that point. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. But look at it this way: I lived to tell the tale, right? My roommate, on the other hand... kidding. Kidding.
It was almost 4:30am when we got to his apartment a block from the bar; a renovated warehouse with no windows in the common area. The doormat read "Shalom y'all!," which should give you a clue as to how the rest of our evening went. After maybe 45 minutes of chatting, I peeled off my lashes, asked Tobes for some PJs, and sleepwalked into his bedroom--when I realized he hadn't followed me, and here's why: He was blowing up an air mattress for my roommate and Ponytail. Once more for effect: An AIR MATTRESS. (Based on reactions from friends and family, no one else in the world finds this thoughtful, selfless act nearly as impressive as I did. Forget curing cancer or creating peace in the Middle East--I want a man who can take care of house guests!) It was all over from that point on. I was smitten.
The next morning I awoke to find myself fully clothed and my phone fully charged and praise Adonai, Toby was somehow even better looking in the daylight. He slept on a Tempur-Pedic pillow because his dad was a chiropractor. His older sister wrote for The Huffington Post. He really liked funny cat videos. He awww!ed at pictures of my dog. He was 26, originally from Georgia with a southern drawl just thick enough to make me question his political affiliation when lo!--he casually mentioned that his job involved managing a certain liberally-inclined former President's speaking agenda. As in, a former US President. I knew then and there that my grammy in Florida would want for me to marry this man. And I was pretty sure I did, too.
Sitting beside me in bed, he clicked my name on the Fashionista masthead and emailed me from his iPad, "I'm hungry!" So we got dressed and went to find some brunch: I in my morning-after velvet Topshop bustier, he in his employed-by-a-President coat and scarf--no puffer jacket, no sneakers, all amazing. We walked hand-in-hand with Tobes on the street-side of the sidewalk (the way gentlemen do it) til we stumbled upon a new German place on Bedford. We manged on twin sausage, egg, and cheese--hold the tomatoes--sandwiches, which he paid for, while I daydreamed about our life together: Benefits with Bill and Hill, memory foam mattresses, maybe even a mezuzah or two. It was glorious.
Then Christmas came and we both left Brooklyn for our respective hometowns. While he vacationed in Georgia, I spent the next two weeks plotting my move. Forget Christmas--I had a future to plan, people! Most of my conversations during that time focused on formatting my impending text message to my match made in hipster heaven when we both returned to the city, and no, I'm really not exaggerating in the slightest. Toby was going to be away with his family until just after the New Year, so I had time on my side. But when the moment arrived, what would I send? A well-lit selfie? Maru in a box? Hey!? Heyy? Heeyyy?
After more debate/inner turmoil than I'd like to admit, I settled on:
"Hey! How was your vacation!"
An hour passed. No answer. A day passed. Still no reply. Then a week--which nearly brings us back to the start of this arduous tale. I found myself alone on a Saturday evening contemplating painting my speck of a bathroom when I started thinking: Maybe, just maybe, our old friend Tobes had parted ways with his phone over the holidays. Maybe he'd had a rowdy night out in Atlanta and dropped it in a pitcher of some microbrew that my dad read about once in Beer Advocate, an anecdote they'd chuckle over while sipping homemade margaritas on my parents' screened-in porch the first time I brought my soulmate up north to meet the folks. Maybe he'd gone into some rogue witness protection program following a SnapChat security debacle involving table dancing with the FLOTUS--a New Year's Eve gone horribly wrong--and hadn't yet transfered his contacts. Maybe.
With absolutely nothing left to lose except, oh, seven-or-so pounds (ugh!), I picked up my phone and typed the following.
"I'm pretty bummed out to be honest! I thought you were really awesome." SEND.
Thirty-seven minutes later, my phone chimed. I paused before I opened the text. Three... two... brace yourself... ok here we go:
"Hey. I'm sorry I think you're awesome too, but I started talking to someone pretty seriously."
...Cue Taylor Swift.