I recently had my phone stolen and realized I hadn’t backed anything up since March of 2011. I came across a text that made me want to share a story.
Last year, I went on one of the most awkward dates of my life.
I met Borg online, (that’s not his real name, but it was something VERY similar).
According to my friends, I’d been out of the game for a little too long and it was time for me to get off the bench. I disagreed with this theory until I found myself sitting at home one Saturday night with five cups of Chai tea reading “A Discovery Of Witches”. It was then that I realized I was about one page turn away from being my upstairs neighbor with the grates on her windows.
“Oh, you’ve got to use Okcupid!”, said a(n enthusiastic and anonymous friend) “It’s like a dating game show!”.
With a few clicks here and there, some lines about myself loving roller coasters, and a few pictures, voila! There I was, ready to find the love of my life. Or rather, someone to have a cocktail with who shared my enthusiasm for Nitro at Six Flags.
A few days in and many messages from weirdos revealed that this online dating thing was much like my recent search for a studio in Manhattan. The realtor shows you so many crack dens that finally, when you see a paint-chipped place above a greasy Chinese restaurant you say, “I’LL TAKE IT!!!”.
I fell pray to this scenario.
Borg was very handsome, but his profile indicated he was most likely a grade-A douche. Red flags like, “Not to toot my own horn, but…” and “I am a man of acerbic wit…” were everywhere.
I ignored them.
We had a date to go to the MOMA on a Thursday afternoon. This worried me because he was going to see how little I knew/cared about modern art. Also, the concept of a day date was annoying to me. What was I going to wear? Flats?? A button down??? Ugh. And no drinks? PUH-LEEZ.
The morning of said date I awoke at 8:30am to a text message from Borg that simply said, “Amy’s Bread instead. Noon.”
I rolled over and went back to sleep.
At 10:00 I woke up to another text from Borg, “?????”.
I responded with a, “Just waking up. Okay, Amy’s at noon! I’ll bring some exclamation points too!!!” text. But at this point, I knew I was doomed. “????” texters can be some of the worst. You know the ones. (PUSHY!)
It was raining so I decided on my “French outfit”. Skinny jeans, blue crisp button down, riding boots, and my red trench coat with a Pucci scarf. C’est bon!
I noticed Borg the moment I walked into Amy’s crammed storefront. He was very handsome. This might not be so bad.
He bought me a cherry cream scone and himself a coffee and we sat down at a tiny table and got to chatting,
B- “So, your full name is Valentine Bureau?”
V- “Yes, it’s French, but I was raised here in New Yor-“
B- “Sounds a bit like a media cabinet I’d purchase at Crate and Barrel, no? (chuckle) So, your name’s French but you’re American? You don’t seem like you’re from New York. You strike me as a back woods Colorado type of gal.”
V- “Ah, hmm. Okay. Well, I’m sorry, but isn’t your name Borg? That sounds hauntingly like an Ikea bed set name.”
Awkward passive/aggressive laughter here.
B- “You seem like a rich girl. My family and I grew up in studio in Hell’s Kitchen. My mom’s a poet. My dad’s a conceptual artist/circus nomad. I was teased a lot as a child for being foreign and not having money.”
V- “Well, I’m not a rich girl, wait I’m sorry, didn’t you just say you grew up in Hell’s Kitchen? How is that foreign?”
B- “My parents are from the Ukraine, and New York isn’t really America anyway.”
More silence. Scone nibble.
V- “So you said you’re a lawyer? How’s that going for you?”
B- “Well, I’ve been an amazing disc jockey for years, that’s my real passion. But, things aren’t what they used to be, iPods fucked everything, so I studied to be an entertainment lawyer. Of course, now there are no jobs, hence me being here at Amy’s Bread mid-day with you.”
V- “Sounds rough out there. My brother is in law school right now and I hope he finds a job he loves.”
B- “Well it’s all who you know. He probably won’t. You’re an actress? You look like one. You’re pretty. You actually remind me of a J.Crew model.”
V- “Yes I’m an actress, thank you for the compliment. I love J.Crew.”
B- “Well, a J.Crew model circa 1992 I was going to say. Listen, I know I said we’d go to The MOMA but I forgot my membership card and I really don’t feel like shelling out the money to get in. How about we head to Dave and Buster’s for some old fashioned ski ball?”
V- “You know, I actually think I need to head home.”
B- “What? Too high and mighty for Dave and Buster’s?”
I start to get up.
B- “Wow! You really are!”
V- “Listen. I love D&B’s. My friend Rob is actually the manager there and I even have unlimited game cards. I just think it’s time for me to go.”
B- “Very well, Valentine. Au revoir.”
Awkward kiss on cheek.
After a “date” like this it’s pretty obvious that nobody’s calling nobody, right?
A few days later, I receive a text from Borg asking if I’d like to go see John Leguizamo’s new show. Why?! I decide to respond in the most straightforward way I can.
Here is our exchange: (I’ve since re-named him)
DOESN’T HE KNOW I WAS WEARING MY FRENCH OUTFIT???
*Oddly enough one year later I was writing a musical parody about the OKCyoops and met the most amazingly funny, lovely and handsome man I now call my boif. And he loves my soccer mom outfits.