tales of a girl in the city

mars 21, 2004

That Bitch Stole My Unicorn!

Unicorn is my booty call from California who comes to NYC several times a year to visit friends. He is called Unicorn because, prior to meeting him, I believed such men were mythical. Here is a short list of the mythical qualities he actually exhibits:

1) Unicorn is handsome.

2) Well-educated.

3) Thoughtful. Leaves the occasional adorable phone message. Sends the occasional adorable email.

4) U is the friend of a friend from college. This means that I can make out with him without having to worry that he's a psycho killer who is in fact just posing as a great guy so that he can get close to me, kill me and then use my hair to make a himself a sweater. Which I guess is faulty logic (except the part about the hair-sweater, that makes perfect sense.) Obviously, he very well could be a psycho killer and still be friends with my friend from college.

But then that would mean that he's an Excellently Secret Psycho Killer who is so efficient that none of his friends even suspect his psychotic murderous tendencies.

Meaning that he is very good at what he does.

Which I find sexy.

So we're fine.

5) Unicorn is emotionally and physically giving. He is familiar with the terms "snuggle" and "cuddle." And he knows when to do them.

6) U has a way of making me feel rather special. Like I am more than just a transcontinental booty call. Case in point: he says things like, "If I lived here, I would date the hell out of you." I like the sound of that.

7) U is charming. Exhibit A: He visited for the first time the day after Valentine's Day last year when I was still dating M. He said the following in regard to the fact that M and I were not together the night after Valentine's Day, "If I was dating you, I'm pretty sure I'd want the whole weekend." See what I mean? Unicorn.

This is our pattern: he emails me. He calls me. He comes out to visit. We make out. He goes back to California. He emails me. Calls. Comes out to visit. Etc. Six month cycle. Which I suppose adds to his general Unicorn-ness as well: seeing him is rare, brief and always exciting.

So when Unicorn phoned yesterday to say that he was on his way into New York, and would love to see me, I immediately did the following:

1. Let out a small, celebratory scream.
2. Blasted New Order's Bizarre Love Triangle and danced around my office.
3. Felt real sorrow over the fact that I have not seen Bella recently.
4. Considered making appointment with non-Bella bikini waxer at nearby salon, but then rejected that idea due to fear that Russian mafia would put a hit out on me.
5. Rushed home to find hot Victoria's Secret underwear scrunched up in back of drawer and blow dust off of it.

Sure, U hadn't responded since I'd last emailed him, but it is only fair to point out that in all my years of writing letters to Santa Claus, the Jolly Fat Guy has never written back ONCE. So I feel as though mythical people must just run on a slightly different schedule. Or have a hard time accessing email, magical glades being what they are. Bottom line: mythical creatures deserve some slack.

In any case, I was looking forward to an evening with my Unicorn, his two friends P and J, and my best friend, Emily. Tonight, I thought--for real this time--I will surely be kissed.

So you can imagine my surprise when I entered the bar and saw two Model-Like Women seated at the table with The Boys.


Fancy that.

And then I get a reception from Unicorn that is akin to the greeting you'd receive from a rather overzealous ex-babysitter. Brief. Semi-awkward.


Wait a minute I'm thinking. Our hugs are not brief and semi-awkward. This is my Unicorn. Our hugs are warm and long and filled with the promise of a night that will last until five or six a.m.

Clearly, something is amiss.

Then, simultaneously, Two Horrible Things happen.

I am ushered into a seat in a corner that is as far away as possible from where U is sitting--a seat that is even on the same side of the table as he is, so there will not even be an opportunity to make use of the only weapon at my disposal at this point: The Full-On Flirtatious Glance/ Meaningful Half-Smile Combo.

AND... of the Model-Like Women begins speaking Italian.


They're multilingual.

This is worse than I thought.

As soon as I am settled in the corner, Unicorn's friends, P and J, begin to enthusiastically welcome me.

Unicorn? Not so much.

I make chipper small-talk, and text-message Emily to apprise her of the situation:

//Come quick. Pretty girls. Am threatened. Help.//

While waiting for her response, I begin to feel out the Model-Like Woman nearest me.

Her name is Sylvie. (Of course her name is Sylvie. Model-Like Women always have names like Sylvie.)

After only a few moments I am able to discern the following things about this Sylvie person: she is very drunk and very skinny. These things I can handle.

However, then I find out that she is the most frightening type of all Model-Like Women--Quirky. Think Holly Golightly meets Zelda Fitzgerald. Within the first few seconds of our conversation, she has already begun peeling the labels off of my beer bottle and playfully lifting up her skirt to stick them on her thighs and arms. She crinkles her nose often. Add to this her penchant for breaking up her adorably accented English with long strings of excited Italian. Top that off with her super-cute flapper-esque short haircut. And finally, complete the image by punctuating her sentences with occasional drunken hiccups. Translation: every man at the table wanted her to have his baby.

Text message received from Emily:

//On bridge. Be there in a sec. How pretty?//

Immediate reply:

//Tres. Multilingual.//

Emily writes back:

//FUCK. Am conjugating French verbs in prep.//

(This is why Emily is my best friend.)

Unicorn has still not spoken to me, which prompts me to write Emily again, just so she is fully prepared for the gravity of the situation:

//Am in corner. Like Baby. Sans Patrick Swayze.//

Meanwhile, P and J are happily quizzing me on everything that has happened since we last saw one another. "You were just about to start on-line dating last time we hung out. How'd that go," says J.

"That's right!" says P.

Then, A Small Miracle.

"That's so funny. That's how Sylvie and I met," P continues.


Yes, yes, yes! Yes!

Sylvie and P are dating. U has not been put under her bobbed-hair, Italian-speaking spell. Relief. One Model-Like Woman down. One to go.

I offer up my best on-line dating horror stories while checking out the Model-Like Woman sitting next to U.

Personality? Too far away to tell. Possibly silent, heavy-smoking type. Hmmm. As bars in NYC are now smoke-free, is difficult to assess. Several minutes of observation later, Far Away Model-Like Woman has still not opened her mouth. Smiles often, though. Finally--Ah-ha!--leaves to smoke. Am happy. Pegged it--silent, heavy smoker, indeed.

Now can move over to speak with Unic--

Unicorn follows her out.


It is serious then. Being from California, Unicorn has an aversion to smoking, and yet...there he goes. To be with the smoker. To stand with her outside in the rain. As she smokes and smiles in Model-Like silence.
My heart sinks. This is bad.

As the night wears on, I am not even given the opportunity to put up a good fight. Unicorn is fully and completely occupied with Smoker Girl. They sit together, stand together, smoke together, drink together, and so on. I speak to Unicorn only once, as the group is deciding which bar to head to next. I offer up my suggestion--a place only one block away with good music. Unicorn acknowledges my contribution...

...and promptly turns to SG to offer the suggestion to her.

It. Is. So. Not. Fair.

Who is this mysterious Smoker Girl? How did they meet? Why is she so irritatingly silent? And, most critically, why did she have to go after MY Unicorn? Why? Why? Why? Why? WHY?

Forgive me for stomping my foot like a petulant child but, *she stomps petulantly* this blows.

I wish the story ended differently (you have no idea, trust me), but...I ended up leaving.

I normally reject games entirely, but, for the sake of putting my Good Vicki's Secret to some use, I would've stayed if he had established that he was just trying to make me jealous. I can flirt and play games with the best of 'em. (Plus, I actually speak, so I'm pretty sure I'm even better at flirting than The Smoker Girl.) But U clearly wasn't playing a game. He really wasn't acknowledging me. At all. Which is not fun or sexy. And certainly not in keeping with The Unicorn Code of Conduct. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Real Unicorns are deathly allergic to Model-Like Women. Even the Quirky Ones. And especially the Smokers.

In any case, as it became clear that the people in our group were going to pair off, leaving me as The Odd (But Still Sexy) Woman Out, I knew it was time to depart.

And so...

In the cab ride home, I was sad and annoyed and buzzed and horny, and far too aware that my pretty underwear was now just a lacy reminder of the fact that I had anticipated a very different ending for this night.

Huh. Unicorn.

Too bad.

Turns out, they don't exist after all.