Now that I am without a boyfriend, I decided to make my way to "The Ball," thrown by LetMyPeopleGo.com. I originally thought that this was the same event as "The Matzah Ball" and they had just shortened the name, but there were actually two separate events happening at the same time, just a scant few miles from each other. Since there were slated to be 4,000 people at the one I went to, you can just imagine how many Jews we have in all of New York City.
It wasn't really a ball. The women were all dressed up nicely, in dresses ranging from somewhat revealing to very revealing and the men were mostly in khakis. I could probably pontificate about that for a good two to three paragraphs, but I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.
I wish I could tell you that I had a great time. I really do. But all in all, well, I didn't. I admit that I was not in my element. On the plus side, we got there early, when it wasn't massively crowded and people were still a little sober. The DJ, for reasons known to himself, kept saying things like, "Make noise if you're from Connecticut." The reason this is weird is because if you go to New York for a party, I'm not certain that you want to advertise that you're from Connecticut. I digress.
I was in a group of six or seven people, two women (including me) and the rest men. Oddly, most of the men in the group weren't Jewish. I didn't know who to complain to about that. Anyway. I stuck with Rachel at first. Now I didn't know Rachel before this evening. I found her way of introducing herself to men notable. She would go up to someone, hand extended for a handshake, and introduce herself. It was startling, but I have to give her kudos for straightforwardness and being on the offense instead of the defense. I myself prefer to be approached. But I took to heed the advice of a newly single male friend which is this: Make eye contact and smile. I knew that, but it's always good to get the reminder. It's still hard. Anyway, here are the highlights of the evening (Keep in mind that these true stories are better told face to face in order to imitate timing, cadence, etc, but I'll do the best I can). I'm telling you in the order they happened, not in order of importance.
1) I started chatting with this guy. It was a little awkward, but it always is since you're talking to someone you've never met. After about five or ten minutes into it, he says he is going to the bar and asks if I want to come. Please note that he asked me if I wanted to come. I said, "Sure." Bar service was a little slow, so we were awkwardly finding things to talk about. The bartender (why aren't they called barmen?) asked what he wanted, he told her, he got the drink and then left the bar area with me trailing stupidly behind him. Please understand that I don't expect fellows to buy me drinks willy-nilly. However, when someone asks me if I want to go to the bar, I don't expect that it will be for the view. In retrospect, I think what he meant to say was, "I'm going to the bar, I'll see you around." It's not a big deal, but it is kind of funny.
2) I was standing to the side of the dance floor. I have a natural reticence, it's true, and I tend to stand off to the side; I'm working on it. So a fellow comes up to me and says that I'm the most intelligent-looking girl there. [Editor's Note: No one wants to hear that.] I must have looked aghast because he said, "No, it's all right, I'm a college professor." Oh, ho! A college professor - promising. We start dancing. He's standing a little too close for comfort, but you know, it was crowded. He tells me how cute I am and how cute my glasses are. He asks me if I love him, if I am in love with him. I say, "Not quite yet" and he acts crestfallen. He tells me he's written a book. He tells me he's written another book. He tells me to give him a kiss on the cheek. He tells me he's the next Hemmingway. I told him that I prefer Raymond Carver. He reminds me he's a college professor. And that he wrote two books and will I read them. Now we're dancing this whole time and you have to get pretty close to the other person's ear to understand what is being said. This goes on for a couple of minutes and then he says, "I have very fertile sperm." For one moment, I think that perhaps I have misheard him. But no, he repeated it for my benefit. The first thing that flashed through my mind, seriously (and I don't know what it says about me), is "How do you know that?" And it's a real question. How do you know you have fertile sperm. In fact, how can sperm be very fertile? Does that mean you routinely make twins instead of singles? So, I could not resist it, I asked him how he knew. He, in a little sing-song voice said, "I'm not telling." So that's all the time I had for the professor.
3) I started talking to this very nice guy, Rex. He asked me if he could get me a drink. I suppress the urge to verify that he wants to buy both of us a drink. It took us at least half an hour to get our drinks. During this time period, my friends and I were all supposed to meet up to go to a different place. This party was simultaneously being held in four different venues and you could go from one to the other with just the one cover charge. Anyway, we were still waiting for the drinks, and I didn't want to just leave this guy so I figured, correctly, that they would just go ahead without me. Rex got our drinks and it was a little quieter upstairs so we could talk a little easier. We talked about whatever we talked about. He gave me his card; I gave him my number and told him he could call me.
4) I was getting tired and my feet really hurt. It got oppressively crowded. I decide, you know what, it's late enough, I can go home. I go to where I checked my coat and it turns out that the line goes up the stairs and through one of the rooms. What am I going to do - I have to get my coat, right? So I wait for like half an hour (the reason that everything that happened took half an hour is because I left my watch at home so I don't know really how long any of these things took) in line, with my hurting toes when I get towards the front of the line and when the line guard is distracted, this guy cuts right in front of me. He kind of hangs back to the side, but still trying to get with the people who are in front of me. Well, I wasn't going to be aggressive about it, but I wasn't going to just take it either, so I tried to maneuver my way ahead of him. As it happened, we reached the front of the line right at the same time (there were two ticket takers). While we were waiting for them to find our coats, I turn to him and said, "You know, you totally cut in front of me." So he explained how he was waiting for a long time at the top of the stairs and then he came down, so it wasn't really like he was cutting. Now, two words out of his mouth and I realized he was Israeli. I wasn't buying his line either way. He said, "Don't go, let me buy you a drink." Who am I to say no? We go back upstairs and we wait for at least another half hour to get drinks. We finally settle into the couches upstairs and start to talk. It turns out he's a carpenter. I refrain from the obvious Jesus jokes. We're about fifteen minutes into the conversation when he leans over and tries to make out with me. I'm like, "Um, stop." He asks me why - I say I just met him. He says something like, "Well, we could wait for seven or five dates. Or three. But this saves time." I can see how logic like that would make sense to someone who's been drinking, which is one of the reasons that I had had one alcoholic drink with dinner and was sipping Shirley Temples the rest of the time. That, and I like grenadine.
After that, I called it a night.