Encounter #21.1: Brooklyn Babe

App: Hinge

Name: Khalil*

Date Location: Tommy’s Family Restaurant and The Hutton

Location Review: 3.5 Stars – Truthfully, I am probably selling this spot short. I was on a diet that week so couldn’t eat too much. That being said, the omelette was good and the hashbrowns had onions in them which was nice.

4.0 Stars– The place is in the most random spot but brings in a good crowd. I only drank beer that night but they had some interesting cocktails on the menu which could be worth trying.

Date Duration: 5 hours

What Happened:

I had not been this excited for a date in a long time. Khalil was the real deal. Worked in computer science, tall, ridiculously handsome, athletic, smart, well travelled, voted democrat, and was from Canada. Since we met on Hinge, I had his last name and may or may not have creeped the shit out of him. Everything was confirmed, he was cool AF (and previously dated a white girl with a similar build to myself). LAURA DON’T FUCK THIS UP.

We were texting and the topic of NJ diners came up since it’s the diner capital of the world. We started joking about how we would have our first date at a diner and then both decided this was the best idea. Khalil picked a spot 10 minutes from me in NJ and we were ready to rock. No lie, going in I had no idea what to expect. This guy willingly offered to come to NJ so that bodes pretty well but my luck was stacked against me.

He beat me to the restaurant and as I walked up to him I was happy to see he looked exactly like his photos. Holy shit. Babe status. He was an interesting guy. Family was from Ghana, he grew up in Toronto, family moved to Alabama, he lived in Charlotte for a bit, and decided to pick up and move to NYC. Clearly much more well traveled than me.

The weekend prior he was in Boston for a conference (where he got to see Obama speak) and I recommended a place for bomb ass hot cocoa. Well he went and brought me back a chocolate bar. WHAT. OKAY. SO NICE.

The diner was ever so obviously trying to get us to leave so we headed out for another bar in Jersey City. There was an accordion player playing “Sorry Miss Jackson”. I was sold. (And I now have his business card so if you have accordion needs I would highly recommend).

The beer flowed and we just kept chatting away and for once, I wasn’t hammered. (2018 is about to be my year guys). As we were talking, I noticed he kept leaning in across the table but I wasn’t sure if it was that he was into me or that it was loud AF. I ignored it and kept laughing too loud.

We shut the bar down, it was nearly midnight on a Thursday, so it was time for us to head home. We shared a Lyft to the train station near my apartment so he could head to NY and I could walk a few blocks home. Within a few minutes he had his arm around me, was holding my hand, put his hand in my hair, and then we looked at each other. And fam, we kissed. And it was great. His lips were so fucking soft and despite being in the backseat of a car was executed really well. So of course we started making out a shit ton.

In an effort to save my Lyft rating, we cut the shit out. He said that he had been wanting to do that all night but thought it would be frowned upon to jump across the table. I then said he made me nervous because he was so ridiculously good looking. His response? “Okay, but have you looked at yourself?” OH. DAMN. I also thanked him for coming to NJ. No one ever wants to and I really appreciated it. Khalil whipped out, “Well I had a feeling you’d be worth it.” SWOON.

We got to the PATH and I walked him to the escalators. We made out in the middle of the plaza in the freezing rain. He asked if we could move under an overhang so we went in front of Duane Reade and made out more. One hand was on my back while the other was tangled in my hair. So. Good. Between kisses he asked what I was doing that weekend which I wasn’t expecting. THIS NEVER HAPPENS.

…we hung out the next night.

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Encounter #17.1: Hollywood

App: Hinge

Name: Todd*

Date Location: Mustang Harry’s & Bar 13

Location Review: 4.5 Stars – Awesome apps, kick ass happy hour, most delightful owner

2.5 Stars – Thank god the lights were off because it’s literally someone’s basement. Don’t blacklight anything. FIRE playlist though

Date Duration: 4 hours

What Happened:

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Oh hey, Luke Perry

I’m just going to say it. I “Liked” Todd because he looked like the guy from 90210 and I wanted to see just how much he looked like him. That was our starting point.

Leading up, we really didn’t talk. Actually the night of our original chat ended when he said he needed to do stuff for work so I should just shoot him a message when I got back from my weekend trip. Ballsy.

In my inifinite wisdom I took it like a challenge and honestly, I was kinda impressed. Instead of ghosting he just said he was busy and wouldn’t answer. (The fact this was my barometer for a decent guy says a lot).

Within only a few messages he asked me out for drinks and had me pick the bar. After a previously unsuccessful trip at Mustang Harry’s, I wanted to try it out.

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He can teach me any time

I met him at a table which was unexpected but welcome because that meant a solid possibility of food. Todd was a really good time. No lags in conversation, kept telling me I was pretty and how great I was, and he seemed to have his shit together. To top it off, he had a decent job in construction management, was Italian, loved Pitbull, lived alone, was also getting into country music, wanted to do touristy NY shit, had a close family, grew up in NY, and looked like Will Schuester in the right light (surprisingly not like Luke Perry as an FYI).

We were having such good conversation and the topic of bachata came up. He had no idea how to do it and I had always wanted to go. With no hesitation he pulled his phone out, asked if I wanted to go that night, and found a spot. Holy. Shit.

We had time to kill before the club opened so we stayed at the first bar for awhile. Out of nowhere the manager came up to us, started talking, and we got free drinks. It was at this point I realized that I was more sober than Todd. I had only had 2 beers and maybe half of my next drink. He had 2 shots, 2 beers, 1 mixed drink, and he finished mine. This is after he said he didn’t drink heavily that often. Oh Todd, you were hanging out with Laura. You will be drunk.

After we finished our last round we moved to the Latin club to get our bachata on. Everything was pretty good until we got to the club. I will be the first to say that I have no patience for other people especially when it comes to dumb questions. The club had a sign hanging from the awning that had the business name. When we got there the bouncer explained that downstairs was the Latin spot and upstairs was hip hop. Todd pointed to the sign and said “What’s this then?” It annoyed me so much for no reason. Then I realized it wasn’t the question that bothered me in this case. It was how he said it. He sounded exactly like my ex. Then as I thought about it, he had other similar tendencies which reminded me of the ex. The way he talked to the manager, how he talked about me, the other questions he asked. I couldn’t unsee it and I was incredibly annoyed on the inside.

But we were at the club and I couldn’t dip from just being “annoyed”. We ultimately headed to the hip hop club and entered a room which should never have the lights turned on let alone have a blacklight on it. No joke, it looked like a high school kid’s dream basement.

Since Todd reminded me of my ex I needed beer. STAT. So I downed 2 Coronas and somehow convinced him to also down 2 despite him already being quite drunk. Ohhh well.

We took on the dance floor and by took on I mean I was breaking shit down while he kinda stood there doing a slight straight-guy-shuffle. Every now and there I’d check in on him and we started getting pretty touchy. But not in a gross way. Actually, he was really sweet. He would pull me in, have his hand on my lower back, pull me close to talk, and keep his arm behind me as we stood at the bar. It may not seem like anything noteworthy, but it had been awhile since someone touched me in such a tender and respectful way. (Once again, these standards say a lot).

It had been a long day, Todd was sloshed, so it was time to head out. When we reached the corner to part ways, we kissed (in front of a food cart with the guy staring right at us).

We texted a few times over the weekend but when it came to setting another date, our schedules just weren’t lining up. He had to work late all week and I was heading home to see my sister that weekend. Throughout that entire time span, not one text from him. And really, I had no complaints about it. We shared a fantastic night but once again, I wasn’t 100% down, I didn’t want to string him along, and I didn’t want to have another awkward fuck.

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Encounter #12.1: A Hanukah Miracle

App: Bumble

Name: Pete*

Date Location: Rock & Reilly’s

Location Review: 4.0 Stars – Cool spot, especially would be awesome in the summer. There’s a patio with tons of benches and the playlist is fire. That being said, if they put some outdoor heaters out they could get decent business in the winter.

Date Duration: 3 hours

What Happened:

Truth be told, at this point in time I was starting to be done with the whole dating thing. I had gone on several first dates, had plenty of awkward situations, and was swiping away with no luck. There are only so many times I can match with a guy, meet him, and he looks nothing like his pictures.

One night, I was swiping through and I saw a decently attractive guy. Definitely not my type and he looked like he’d be a toss up on if he looked better/worse in person. Fuck it. My strategies hadn’t been working. Let’s swipe right and see. We matched pretty quickly and started talking.

His opener was pretty solid, he was from Massachusetts, played music in his free time, had done work for non-profits, and seemed chill so we moved to texting. (Fucker had read receipts on. Fantastic).

While we were texting, I was also texting a friend from home. We were talking about Tinder and how to respond to the following gif:

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I then took it upon myself to try it out on an especially attractive guy on Tinder. It worked IMMEDIATELY. I went to tell her my success story and I done fucked up by texting Pete instead.

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HOW. After such a royal fuck up this guy wanted to go out with me? Either he would be everything I wanted or was bat shit crazy.

I rolled up to the bar and was pleasantly surprised that he was more attractive than his pictures. Shorter, but definitely cute. Hot damn.

Since everyone and their mother went out for post-holiday party drinks we moved to the patio outside. We were both from New England, could dress appropriately for the weather, it was fine.

We clicked pretty quickly. We went over the usual first date things, made each other laugh, talked mad shit to some Steelers fans, the whole thing. As we talked, we kept moving closer to each other on the bench. Pretty soon he was holding my hand, had an arm around me, and I had my leg on top of his.

He was telling me about how he loved music so much but could never teach and then out of nowhere went in for the kiss. BALLSY. I didn’t object so we made out a little. Then we stopped. He asked me a question and I had no idea what he was talking about since the make out was so solid. So we just made out harder.

He asked if I would come back to his place. I had to be at the bus station at 3 am later that night so I declined. He then offered to come to Jersey. FUCKKKK THIS NEVER HAPPENS. I wanted to say yes. I really did. But I also knew that my room was a disaster (mostly that my childhood stuffed animal was on top of my pillow and there was no way I’d be able to move it quickly and secretly). I instead went with, “Listen, I want to but I’m just not a first date fuck and I have a lot to do before I head out. Second date though. I can be swayed”. …so we made out more aggressively.

Between make out sessions it was made pretty clear that Pete was not over his ex and was kind of a player. They had broken up 3 months prior and he made a comment along the lines of, “I just found out she was dating so I figured it was time for me to start dating and try to get over her”. Very healthy. He didn’t tell me what happened between them, just that they did some shitty things. He also told me that he had talked to her earlier that day, still loved her, and they were about 18 months out from getting married at the time of the break up. WOWEE WOW WOW. He also brought up that before he was with his ex he dated every girl ever and recently had 3 dates with this other girl in NYC. I mean I’m not one to talk but, some things don’t have to be shared on the first date.

Despite this, I was into him. I apparently made him nervous because I was “so attractive, down to earth, and chill”. Plus I went down as his best first date/Bumble date ever. He clearly had some shit to work out (the guy pre-gamed the date since he was so nervous) but he was throwing himself at me. In addition to constantly kissing me, within 10 minutes he made some comment about how if this went well and I played it right there may be a Patriots play-off ticket in my future. DONT MIND IF I DO. Also, it had been awhile since your girl got down. She deserved a good fuck.

We got pretty aggressive with the make outs to the point he was laying on top of me and was working his way to more. But I could have sworn I heard a door click. He asked what was wrong and I told him that I was pretty sure someone was there. Pete brushed it off and we got back to business. And then we heard a, “Hey! You guys gotta stop. Management doesn’t like that. You gotta go. You shouldn’t even be out here!” Well that ended the date pretty quick.

He held my hand and walked me back to my train station. We kissed and I went on my way (and had the worst NYC commute of my life later that night). As this was right before Christmas break, we couldn’t meet up again that week. But, we texted the whole time in anticipation of date #2.

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Encounter #9.1: Wrong Page

App: Tinder

Name: Pharrell*

Date Location: Suite 36

Location Review: 4.5 Stars – Definitely a really cool spot to go to at night. Their happy hour was affordable, playlist was on point, and looks like it would be a hot club at night.

Date Duration: 2-3 hours

What Happened:

Pharrell and I had been texting for about a week before meeting up. He suggested we ask each other 21 questions, no repeats, 100% honesty. Gimmicky. But fine. I don’t have shit to hide. He was a really interesting guy. He played football through college, studied Economics/International Relations, from California, and had a really special relationship with his mom. Oh. He was also really fucking hot and looked like a buff Pharrell.

We met up and I was more than happy to see he looked like his photos. We kept with our theme of grilling each other. I found out that he worked at NBC and although I have no idea what exactly his job was, he gets to meet some cool people. THE BOY MET OPRAH. We also had almost exact views on religion and politics and had similar kinks so that was a new experience.

I had asked him, “What’s something I should know now that I’m going to find out later?”. And the other foot dropped. He had been in a relationship for 5 years and now that it was over, he was not interested in being in a relationship right now. Shit.

Crazy Laura heard, “He only says that because he hasn’t dated me yet”. Realistic Laura saw a repeat of the Connor situation where she falls for a guy who isn’t 100% into her but has amazing sex with.

Despite that, I really did have a wonderful time. For the first time in months I went on a date that didn’t make me uncomfortable AND I would have wanted a second date.

He walked me back to my train stop and said that he had a feeling he’d be in NJ by December 10th. I sassed him back. “Oh really. I don’t know, no one ever wants to come out to NJ.” He insisted he would and pinky promised. Shit’s serious.

However, when I texted him the next day with the “Hey, had a good time blah blah blah” text, I didn’t hear back. Maybe it’s for the best? On one hand, I want nothing more than to be with someone who makes me happy. I love that feeling when you just love the fucking shit out of another person and it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to do that. But that’s not what he wanted and it would be stupid to try to force it. That being said, I needed to get laid. Like yesterday and this was another set back.

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Situation #3.1: The Wedding Date

Name: David*

Location: Friend’s wedding in Maryland

What Happened:

When being invited to a wedding there are 2 strategies:

  1. Find a boy to go with you
  2. Take one of your girls so you can get some action

Went for Option 2 and brought my girl Katey. Before even heading to the wedding, Katey asked what my intentions for the wedding were. I said to make out with hot boys and dance my ass off. That mission was accomplished.

We get to the ceremony and I remember looking across the way and seeing a group of cute guys. Target acquired: just needed an opportunity to strike. During cocktail hour the stage was set. It started getting windy and I was helping someone clear a few tables in the corner. I started combining glasses of champagne and then I hear, “Oh, those aren’t going to waste are they?” I look up and there are the cute boys from earlier. I hand the glasses over, say to double fist, and we clinked glasses.

When the dance floor opened you know Katey and I headed on over. We were breaking that shit downnn. And then the boys came over. Out of the group, there were 2/3 really hot ones. Like 9s. Weddings are cool. They bring out the feels in everyone…as does copious amounts of beer.

One guy in particular, David, made his move. We danced and kept getting closer. It got to the point that the bride came up to me and said, “Those are some of Brandon’s closest friends. They’re all great guys. Have fun tonight!” Oh, we did. Within a few songs we were making out, he was grabbing my ass, and kissing my neck.

We walked around holding hands and kept making out. However, something happened. I eat very clean normally. I didn’t that weekend. So while we were outside I let out the most ripe fart of my life. David turned to me and starts saying how it smells really bad outside and we should go in because it smells so bad. …I said nothing.

Despite my party foul we kept dancing, making out, and then the reception was wrapping up. Katey and I were going to head out for donuts and go home but David and his friend asked for a ride to the casino for the after party. It was on the way so we drove their drunk asses back. David found me on Facebook in the car and pointed out the fact that I look hot in my profile pic but it looks nothing like me in person. COOL.

Aside from that, I thought he was really cute and it’s not often I find a man who can keep up on the dance floor. So I messaged him, we talked for a day or so, and that was it. Well, until September.

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Encounter #2.3: Hat Guy

App: Tinder

Name: Dan*

Date Location: McSwiggan’s

Location Review: 4.5 Stars – If you want to watch a train wreck this is the spot. Trivia, beginner open mic comedy, cheap beer. What more can you want?

Date Duration: 5 hours

What Happened:

It was my turn to pick the spot and after doing some Google research (AKA typing in “comedy” and seeing what’s close to my train stop) I found McSwiggan’s. McSwiggan’s is a delightful little shit hole. In the back room they had open mic comedy. Now, I am no comedian but I am a performer. I understand it is difficult to get up there in front of people. …but I also know the importance of practice. Nearly every act turned to the Emcee to ask how much time they had left in their 4 minute sets and followed with an “Ohhhh fuck”. They may not have known it but that shit made it that much better. At one point Dan turned to me and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. You fucking nailed it. This is everything I could have wanted and more” POINT FOR YOUR GIRL LAURA.

Anyways, after watching all the acts we went back to the bar and hung out before trivia started. But there was one thing Dan had to get out of the way. He says,

“You know there’s a lot of tension right now”

Really?”

“Yeah, it’s the third date and we still haven’t kissed yet. Just saying.”

You know whenever you’re ready sir. I’ll be there to support you.

“Fuck I just have to do this”

And then we made out at the bar to Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing“.

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It is at this moment I want to note that he actually really hates PDA and was bright red.

…then we made out more.

We spent the rest of the night basically sitting on top of each other as our trivia team, Slam Pigs, got its ass kicked.

He had to work the next day so we headed out holding hands. We got to the corner where I had to turn for my train and he said he wanted to keep walking with me but it was late and he had to work…but he really wanted to keep walking. We then made out again on the corner, he jumped into a cab, and I went on my way.

As a general note, I’m not a big texter when it comes to dating. I think that if you’re constantly texting someone you won’t have anything to talk about in person and I’m not about the awkward silence. So, I waited a few days to text him and just let him know when I was free that week if he wanted to get together. And then I got this bullshit.

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WE DIDN’T HAVE SEX. Bruh, if you wanted to fuck me all you had to do was ask. Don’t give me these excuses if you never said anything. And let’s be real, I was DTF. I would have gladly gone home with you.

I didn’t really know how to respond so all I said was, “It’s cool. Hope you find what you’re looking for” and never heard from him again. Thus proving, never swipe right on guys in hats.

Encounter #2.2: Hat Guy

App: Tinder

Name: Dan*

Date Location: Pier I & Central Park

Location Review: 4.5 Stars – Beautiful summer spot. On the water and you can order food (and full bottles of wine) at a stand then bring it to your table. Plus lots of people walking their dogs.

Date Duration: 5 hours

What Happened:

I met up with Dan and he was already ready with a bottle of white wine. A man after my own heart. We downed it and ordered fried snacks. It was such a beautiful place and the sun was going down over the water while we chatted.

Once again, conversation was on point. Rarely do I find that someone meets my standards in this realm. Aside from making me nearly pee myself laughing, we got to the shit and had the past relationship conversation. Also, he kept complimenting me in ways I never have experienced. I was telling him a story of how this guy I used to fuck around with chapped his dick from riding a motorcycle and his response was, “That’s really sexy how you said that. ‘Fucking around’. I like it”. And he caught on to how I spoke and pointed out my “Laura Catch Phrases”.

We walked over to Central Park and he took my hand and pulled me over a fence to watch the cast of Shakespeare in the Park rehearse. I couldn’t tell you how the actors were because we kept making our own commentary and crude comments.

We strolled around for awhile trying to find the area of the park where dogs walk at night but ultimately gave up and sat in a gazebo by the lake. Then things got a smidge awkward.

Everything was business as usual until he said, “You know this is really weird for me. It’s the second date. Usually we’d be getting down right now…Oh I made you uncomfortable. I’m sorry. Taking it slow is different for me but it’s really nice. It’s good”. KAYYY. But who am I to judge? Typically I don’t do second dates so maybe I should restructure my methods.

We walked to the train station and rode the subway together until we had to part ways on the platform and did the “who’s going in to kiss” look. Dan says, “You’re really sweaty. I’m really sweaty. Now is not the moment. I’ll text you later”, we hugged, and parted ways.

He did in fact text me later and we were on for Date #3.

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Encounter #2.1: Hat Guy

App: Tinder

Name: Dan*

Date Location: Fat Cat Lounge on the Lower West Side

Location Review: 4.5 Stars – Super cool bar. There’s live jazz/swing music, cheap drinks, and dark lighting

Date Duration: 3 hours

What Happened:

I took a chance on Dan. Typically I will not swipe right on a person if they only wear hats in their photos, (Really, what are you hiding under there?!), but I figured I should stop being an asshole and give him a shot.

He met me outside of the bar and I was pleasantly surprised to see that despite wearing a hat, he was quite dreamy. Over 6 ft, blue eyes, broad shoulders, nice smile. DAMN.

He has probably been one of the most interesting people I’ve met. He lived off the grid for a year, before going “FUCK IT. Moving to NYC”, used to play football in high school despite being a shit, and now holds a management position in a construction company. For those who know me well, I’m really into men who can fix things.

It has been a long time since I connected with someone so quickly. There was no awkward silence or scrambling for a question, we made bestiality jokes, discussed racism, shared our most embarrassing moments, and exchanged numbers right then and there.

He walked me back to the train station and we awkwardly hugged. I got home, he had checked in to see if I made it back okay, and we got to work on the second date.

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