Episode 1 – Roberta in the City / The Dating Pool (2006)

by Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Well I’ve just completed my 1st month in New York. What have I learned? You’ve never been a minority until you’ve been here. It’s the only place I’ve ever been or could imagine in the US that I could be on a filled train and I’m the only Black person… The only black OR white person for that matter. I’m dealing with the diversity. It’s still Interesting that you never know who you’ll meet or the potential of everyday even in a minuteness schedule.

The good news is I haven’t got mugged. The great news is I found a decent job with potential in three weeks. The bad news? I almost fell on the train and I work across the water in NJ but its only a10 minute commute from the city but an inconvenience when you’re late.

I’m experiencing different level of extremes here in the city. Men in particular, it seems that there are so many datable ones but everyone’s complaining they can’t find the right one. I’ve been here 1 month and it’s a safe bet that I’ve been asked out at least 20 times. Of the 20 I may have gave my number out twice. Any other times those may have gotten a card for networking purposes.

It’s a strange new dating pool and I haven’t even gotten in the water. Friday I went to an after work networking event at club/lounge called “F40” cozy and very classy. It was probably my third time really going out in NY. I had heard about it through my roommate, I had been there my 1st week here when I helped host her birthday party. From that I had previous dealings with “him” the owner.

I was celebrating my 1st week of work and mainly alone. After work I walked around Times Square for a while. Entertaining thoughts of pick pockets and enjoying the weather. I settled on happy hour at Applesbees, it was just two streets over from where I was going to meet a friend at seven.

After I had a couple of drinks (3) I was on my way. Mind you drinks in NY are twice expensive. After paying my $42 tab I swore I wouldn’t buy another drink that night. When I got to F40 the place was hot already Final Fridays didn’t have a thing on it. A bunch of US … dressed professionally. Picture suits, ties, heels and wing tips. A dream, everyone armed with a business card, title and a dream. The same one we were all striving for in the end.

So I’m in the spot. Dressed quite appropriately, black casual flare skirt, white form fitting tee shirt and pink and white form fitting button up camisole. Shoe game tight, 2 and a half inch 9west black pumps. No I’m not a true New Yorker… I won’t be subjected to the train tennis shoe game. I walk in and call the girl I’m supposed to be meeting because of course she isn’t there. After I finish “he” comes over to me and extends his hand. We exchange pleasantries and I’m impressed he remembers my name through our brief casual dealings. I smile so does he and he offers a martini…. You know me! Keep track, that’s number 4.

My friend finally arrives but not alone, she’s brought some tall Harvard grad with her. Either way I’m thrilled. Despite the class in the venue there was an abundance of cornballs. You’ll find this any and everywhere the only difference is these guys have careers and cash. Nonetheless it doesn’t change much. So I’m conversing with her and a few other guys (Africans I assume, everyone has got an accent.) They offer me drinks and food but I decline. “He” comes back over to me and offers myself and my friend drinks. They bring us 2 each… That’s 2 more margaritas with salt for me.

Throughout the night he systematically stops by and chats. There’s always a photographer at NY events so people are taking photos and enjoying the music. In a while the DJ makes an announcement “its nutcracker time” I have no idea what that means. I found out a nutcracker was a drink “he” the owner made up. Something red. I’m paying no mind and he extends a shot sized portion of the red liquid in a champagne flute. I ask what it was he said “drink it,” so I obliged. I’m flirting with him, of course because I’m a little tipsy by now. I’m drinking it while holding his gaze. He motions for me to come over; I excuse myself while the Africans are calling me rude. Pettiness I’m listening to typical comments like “ohh you got it like that huh?” I smirk and sashay over to the crowded bar. He asked me if I like the drink I said sure and kissed him on the cheek. He says “somebody get this woman another” I laugh and he really gets me another, as well as my friend, her friend and himself. We all did the shot together. We commenced to some light chatting, just the basics, basics I can’t remember cause that was my 2nd shot.

The night goes on and I’m still “networking” and collecting a purse full of business cards. People seem impressed when I offer that I work at a financial company or that I’m a designer. I let another guy that seemed amusing to a drunk Roberta by me a drink. Bad idea. Shortly after that I got a stomach ache. You’re aware of my limited eating habits, and that and drinking just don’t mix. After using the bathroom I announced to someone I was leaving. The guy that bought me the last drink offered to walk me to the train. Ladies and gentlemen, I have no business being in the city intoxicated. He walked me to the train, the R train when I needed the F. LOL luckily I’m not too drunk to know I can get off the R at a certain stop and catch the F. That’s all folks!

I awoke an 8:30 in the morning to a voicemail from “him.” During some conversation during the night we had exchanged info (perhaps it was when I dabbed his perspiration with a napkin,) his number was even saved in my phone. He left an amusing message asking if I made it home ok. Of course I called back so he didn’t think I was hung over.

So my first dip of many in the wading pool was fun but a bit fuzzy. I have to stop drinking in the city.

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