tales of a girl in the city

juillet 07, 2005

A Recent Friday

The one with the pink tie was first to approach.

Leaving his friend alone with the girl who'd made the unfortunate black-underwear-with-white-pants choice, Pink Tie sauntered over. Before he opened his mouth I guessed, "Banker." After he opened his mouth I guessed, "California." I was semi-right on both counts. Salesman at bank. California by way of Wisconsin.

Guessing again, I thought, "Pink tie because he's differentiating himself from the conservative, uptight men he never thought he'd work with."

Bingo. Practically the first words out of his mouth are a comment on the "laid-back" casualness of his attire (a shirt and tie with slacks) and the flack he'd received all day from his Brooks Brothers officemates for the pink. I am three for three.

Friend of Pink Tie has managed to somehow excuse himself, and now he's approaching as well. They went to business school together; Pink Tie is the one who turned himself in to work for The Man, but his friend has remained true to his youthful dreams of saving the world. Friend works as an environmental consultant. He is promptly nicknamed Whaleboy.

We're a foursome now, standing on the roof of the Met with plastic martini glasses in our hands.

The conversation is good; lots of quick responses and humor. And they're both handsome. A rare combination. I'm not enamoured, but I am entertained, and it feels good to laugh and get a little tipsy on the roof of such a fine establishment.

The patter is going smoothly when suddenly cell phones ring--theirs--and we wait while they exchange glances and confer.

A third friend has arrived in the lobby and the guards won't let him up. The museum is closing.

The mood suddenly changes. The boys are rolling their eyes at one another.

"Our friend looks like Christian Bale," Pink Tie says uneasily.

"And, if he comes up, he'll totally be the center of attention," Whaleboy says.

"I mean, he'll make himself the center of attention. It's just the way he is," adds Pink Tie.

I've never witnessed this particular tact before. On the one hand, it's kind of cute in a displaying-my-insecurities little boy kind of way. On the other hand, judging by the not-so-glowing things they continue to say about this supposed Batman look-alike, I can't help but think, "With friends like these...."

I've been ripping apart strangers all night--there's the girl in a sausage-casing almost-swimsuit who apparently thought the Met was an Eastern European discotheque. There's her companion, who, judging by the bones jutting out from her back, considers the two olives she just ate to be "dinner." For the week.

The roof is full of easy targets; that's half the fun of Manhattan. But I'd never talk about my friends that way. And I would certainly never introduce anyone in my social circle to strangers by prepping them with a list of my friends's most negative qualities. I don't hang out with anyone who I like so little. Why waste my time?

The boys continue to plan ways to ditch Batman.

"We can go out the side door," they say.

Em and I shrug. In the end, it's nothing to us. We head downstairs and don't protest when the guard motions us to a side door.

As we walk out, I think about the "Christian Bale" look-alike, and can almost hear the origins of his nickname: some drunken co-ed on a now long-finished trip to Tijuana, spluttering out, "Hey! You look like that guy from Wittle Lomen," just before stumbling over to enter herself in a wet t-shirt contest.

Bottom line, as we bee-line for the alternate exit, I think it's safe to assume we're not missing out on anyone who is really as hot as Mr. Bale. And if his friends like him so little, I'm sure he's not someone I need to date.

A few minutes later, Pink Tie gets a conscience, "We should totally go get him."

"Okay," Whaleboy agrees.

We do, and I find that I'm now four for four. Christian Bale's cute second cousin, maybe. I must be psychic.

Still and all, however, Em and I have not done badly. Between Pink Tie and Whaleboy and now Batman, we've found ourselves in fine company. Besides, there are some things I need to get my mind off of, and three good looking men equals perfect diversion.

They invite us downtown to a swanky Soho hotel bar. We accept. The taxi ride is full of Batman doing exactly as his friends had promised he would, but I'm glad we've gone with them anyway. Plus, I find it fun to continually thwart Batman's attempts at dominating the conversation; I'm forever bringing Pink Tie and Whaleboy back into the mix. It's a secret joke between the four of us. Nice.

Anyway, the next bar is black lacquer and cow hide chairs--the accoutrements of a Manhattan hot spot. Pink Tie gains points when he remembers my drink, and there's a dirty martini in my hand before I have to ask. His point accumulation, however, is not so high that I don't notice him scoping out another blonde, and all at once I'm ready to leave.

In my half-martinied haze I look at this other girl and think, "The casting director from All My Children just called me stunning. I've got a genius IQ, a Fran Lebowitz sense of humor, and boobs that talk. I'm fucking special and sick of men who don't make me feel that way."

I don't know where this comes from, but it's what happens and I want to leave. I guess when I'm drunk I'm bitchy and self-righteous.

So, Em and I excuse ourselves politely. We're off to eat fries at The Tribecca Grande, we tell them.

Of course they're incredulous. Off so soon? they say. What they mean is, "Ditching us for French fries?" I'm sure they've never heard of such a thing.

As we're leaving, Whaleboy asks for my number, and I give it to him. The real version.

They're already text messaging me in the cab ride home.