Monday, July 14, 2008

New York Post Date: The Recap

The redeeming part about going on a disappointing date is that you usually get a good story out of it, or at the very least, a good meal. Last night’s New York Post setup with 38-year-old musician Mark--see and click on this week’s daters for more--provided both.

Mark and I met at Steak Frites, a laidback bistro down on Varick Street. The conversation kicked off easily, as Mark and I had discovered earlier in the week (when he posted a comment right here on the blog) a shared passion for dessert. Over the next two hours, I learned quite a bit about Mark. I learned that he has spent more than a month aboard a Carnival cruise ship entertaining passengers, that he loves conceptual art installations, that his older brother and father possess Mensa-level intelligence, and that he “wasn’t blown away” by closing Broadway show “Passing Strange.” And what exactly did Mark learn about me? Not much, since there was little room in our conversation for my end of it.

Apart from asking me one question (“what kind of PR do you do?”), Mark’s focus remained squarely on himself. Perhaps it’s too much of a cliché to say that narcissism is typical of artists, but then again…stereotypes exist for a reason.

Thankfully, Steak Frites more than met my expectations, offering service with a smile and a meal that was delicious from start to finish. Since the Post was picking up the tab, Mark and I indulged in four appetizers—including two types of gazpacho, crabcakes and shrimp cocktail. For my entrée, I selected a sublime lobster risotto with pan seared scallops, followed by a red-wine glazed cheesecake that was to die for. A glass of sweet wine topped it all off and cemented my kudos to the Post for choosing such a fantastic restaurant.

When Mark and I parted at the subway, he said, “We’ll talk soon.” Translation: not going to happen.

Full from my decadent three-course meal, I exited the 1/9 at Columbus Circle and walked a couple of blocks to try and burn off both the calories and my disappointment. What is it about a lackluster date that makes romantic chemistry seem impossibly out of reach?

To cheer myself up, I signed in to Facebook, curious about what old flame updates awaited me. I was already zero for two, having learned earlier in the day that a high school sweetheart is gay and a college ex is married. With bated breath and more than a little trepidation, I logged in and wondered what response I would get from the adorable Aussie who enchanted me six years ago when I was Down Under. Turns out he has just moved to Canada, news which made me smile. Our cyberspace exchange reminded me that you never know what’s right around the corner and left me feeling hopeful.

After all, in an era that offers so many virtual and real world opportunities to connect and reconnect, how can I be anything else?

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