Parties are different. At parties, there is a sense of community and one has reason to believe the chances of a serial killer being among the group are below 10 percent (at least.)
So when a Heath Ledger look-alike approached me at a friend’s party in Bushwick, I didn’t immediately have the urge to fall asleep. In fact, I don’t even think I yawned.
We flirted, played flip cup and made out in a dark room. It was fun. The following week, we had some solid texting (he had good texting skills, which is very important in this day and age.)
He picked a good spot on the Lower East Side for drinks. He looked good. Everything was good. It was destined for disaster.
I had arrived earlier without knowing he was already there so we both had drinks in our hands when we sat down together. The conversation was fun and flowed easily. Unfortunately, the drinks did not.
The waitress approached us and asked us if we’d like another. I ordered a beer, but he decided to hold off on another whiskey — at least, that’s what I thought.
The server wasn’t two feet away when he reached into his pocket, took out a flask and poured its contents into his empty bar class. I was shocked. I thought there would at least be some kind of joke (embarrassment? humility?), but no.
“I’m in law school,” he said, as if that explanation were the answer to all my life’s ailments.
We went to another bar.
Why did I continue hanging out with him, you ask?
The truth is, I had double-booked and was meeting another guy afterwards. Don’t judge me: I live in New York and I’ve been single for two and a half years.
I decided I was going to need a stronger drink for this one. I ordered a Stoli Blueberry and soda, then turned to Mr. Stingy to let him order. But he wasn’t looking at the bartender — he was staring at me aghast, as if I had just ordered Foie Gras with his grad school tuition loan money.
“I’ll get this one,” I offered, just to get that awful look off his face.
It was as if I had saved his life. He beamed a huge smile my way and said to the bartender, “She’s the best.”
It was single-handedly the most tragic compliment I’d received in my entire life.
Finally, I went to meet up with the other guy, who actually had a wallet filled with contents other than some old Bazooka Joe wrappers and change.
But before I could leave, Mr. Stingy demanded a goodnight kiss. He even suggested we go back to his place!
The next day, I awoke to a text from him asking when we could hang out again.
My response was honest, if a bit harsh.
I replied, “Perhaps if you put away a dollar a day for the next three months, Christmas could work.”
“Great!” was his response.