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I ended up having a fabulous time with Batchelor #3 although it wasn’t the kind of first date where Mary Martin is on autocroon in the background softly singing Getting to Know You.

Batchelor # 3 turns out to be quite the talented crowd punker.

Thus, he proceeded to get roughly half the diners at Le Petit Bistro in on the first date.

“So, how did you two meet anyway?” asked Richard and Ronald, the charming couple seated to my right, almost in chorus. They were once real estate developers in New York City; in retirement, they bought a mansion in Rhinebeck and opened a liquor store. (It’s the same liquor store where the feral Astors from Rokeby hang out.)

“Oh, on one of those stupid Internet dating sites,” I said.

“No, no, no,” said Batchelor #3. “She’s embarrassed. I’ll tell you the true story. One day, I was looking for a book. A particular book. So I went over to Bryant Park and the library—Do you happen to know the names of those marble lions?”

“Patience!” said Richard.

“Charity?” asked Ronald.

“Fortitude!” said I.

“Patience and fortitude. Two things you gotta have in the real estate biz. So, I went up to the librarian and asked, ‘Excuse me, but what shelf is Fifty Shades of Grey catalogued on. And she gives me the Dewey Decimal Number and I set off. But when I get to the shelf, there’s this woman there, and we reach for the book at exactly the same moment—“

“That’s not true,” I said. “I’m a writer. I would never read Fifty Shades of Grey—“

“See? What did I tell you? She’s embarrassed.”

“The book was 120 Days of Sodom,” I said. “Or wait! Maybe it was Missionary Impossible. Or Big Trouble in Little Vagina.”

Richard and Ronald thought our act was hilarious.

Batchelor #3 silently mouthed I like you over the exquisitely seared scallops.

I pretended not to be able to read lips.

Anyway, the evening went on like this. He even got the restaurant to vote on whether we should go out on a second date—the Yeses slightly outnumbered the Nos.

Batchelor #3 would be a lot of fun to hang out with in Las Vegas.

The problem is that I can only go 48 hours in Las Vegas without lapsing into that state of intense angst that Marybeth and I used to code-name hollow mirror.

That first 48 hours, though! That would be tons and tons of fun!

I did like him. Under the walrus mustache and the Panama hat and the bulk of that impending 70th year, I could see a skinny Italian Brooklyn kid doing his first real estate deal: He’d pay $5,000 and not a penny more for that crackhouse on Myrtle Avenue. He’d slap a coat of paint on it, throw another layer of linoleum over the rotting floor and presto! One year later, he’d flip it for $15 K.

It takes brains to make money from nothing. And patience. And fortitude. And an openness to risk-taking that translates into brashness and swagger in the interpersonal sphere.

I’ve never been able to make serious money in my life. Even at those times when my nose was practically slammed into the opportunity.

“Hey! Like my mother always told me,” he said, laughing and shrugging over the oysters. “All they can say is No, right?”

Anyway, I’m fairly sure he’ll ask me out again.

He’d probably be great for a casual relationship. He would take me out to expensive places and parties with tons and tons of people, and I would never have to reveal a single thing about my inner life to him: He simply would not be interested.


One other thing happened yesterday.

I was at the supermarket. The woman behind me at the checkout stand had a little boy in one of those shopping carts that’s modeled to look like a car. He was a very imaginative and rambunctious little boy. He made Zoom! Zoom! noises with his eyes all lit up.

The cashier and I watched him together, laughing.

“I love to watch little kids,” the cashier said. “Don’t got none of my own to watch, so I watch them here.”

“You don’t have kids?” I asked.

“Oh, I got one,” she said. “But we don’t talk. I made too many mistakes.”

Everybody makes mistakes,” I said. “You did the best you did under circumstances that were far from ideal. Be gentle with yourself.”

“He don’t see it that way,” she whispered.

“Be gentle with yourself,” I repeated.

And I looked over at her and saw that two big tears were seeping from her eyes.

I felt awful.

I can’t even buy cat food without making cashiers cry!

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2018 08:07 pm (UTC)
Sounds like the two of you would make a good traveling road show. And I like the hatz :)

Oh - what's that in his pocket? It looks like an assortment of tooth brushes.

Edited at 2018-08-11 04:06 am (UTC)
Aug. 11th, 2018 03:29 pm (UTC)
Those are the ribbons off the tiny gift I'd brought him—a packet of seeds for his garden. He's quite the gardener. It actually took a good long while to make the ribbon thingy. The ribbons are silver, but I think they picked up the other colors in the room.

Aug. 10th, 2018 08:27 pm (UTC)
:’D I love this!
Aug. 11th, 2018 03:30 pm (UTC)
Awwww! :-)
Aug. 10th, 2018 10:50 pm (UTC)

Yeah you made her cry—in the best possible way.

Aug. 11th, 2018 03:30 pm (UTC)
Crying on the job is never good.
Aug. 10th, 2018 11:23 pm (UTC)
You do look cute together. I think the tears of the cashier were cleansing tears. Feel good.
Aug. 11th, 2018 03:31 pm (UTC)
Cleansing under other circumstances maybe. It's never good to cry on the job.
Aug. 11th, 2018 01:36 am (UTC)
I once made my son's ASL teacher, who was DEAF, cry.

Beat ya.
Aug. 11th, 2018 03:32 pm (UTC)
Ding! Ding! Ding!

We have a winner!
Aug. 11th, 2018 05:50 am (UTC)
Batchelor #3 looks really good! I would (as a female) let him pursue me. Seems good!
Aug. 11th, 2018 03:34 pm (UTC)
Well, we'll see if he pursues. I live about 100 miles north of Manhattan where one of his homes is located and about 150 miles north of the Hamptons where his other home is located, so there are geographic issues.
Aug. 14th, 2018 03:10 am (UTC)
I've maintained relationships (my wife included) with people thousands of miles away.

It would be sweet to have a place in Manhattan and in the Hamptons! ;)
Aug. 11th, 2018 05:56 pm (UTC)
Sounds like it was a great first date!

Your "He'd probably be...." observations are interesting. Perhaps he would surprise you.
Aug. 11th, 2018 06:28 pm (UTC)
He might.

He's an awfully good photographer—although not at your level. You have to be observant to be a good photographer.
Aug. 12th, 2018 05:48 am (UTC)
But those tears, I suspect, were in part from having someone say something from a place of understanding and sympathy. You know how you can hold it all in until someone asks how things are going and offers a coffee? Like that. It was good you said what you said.
Aug. 13th, 2018 02:38 pm (UTC)
Maybe. But she was at work.
Aug. 23rd, 2018 08:03 am (UTC)
But that is not your fault. And she needed to hear it - it was needed for a very long time, but nobody else said it.
besides -- betcha cash money that she kept her chin up and kept her job.
Aug. 13th, 2018 06:25 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a very fun first date! Someone fun in short bursts who lives 100 miles away sounds like a perfect FWB situation.

Reminds me a tiny bit of Charles. "I'd like extra sauce on the pizza, please. I like it saucy, just like my women, har, har!" :P Sorta corny, but I like that glimpse into the mind/life of someone more outgoing, getting to talk to people I wouldn't otherwise, etc.
Aug. 13th, 2018 08:08 pm (UTC)
Yup. I do like it that he's good with crowds!

I couldn't take that crowd-hustling thing more often than maybe once a week—maybe! :-) —but it is fun.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )