Monday, November 07, 2005

A Weekend to Remember When I’m One of those Crazy Old ‘Wear a Purple Hat’ Ladies, Plus, the Diminutive “Jew(d) Law”

New York is frequently an abhorrent place to live, but that’s not saying anything bad about it, really. The rotting garbage smells, the icy blasts of winter on a wind-tunnel avenue, the high rents, the soulless corporate strivers can all be tolerated. Because, just as often as it is abhorrent, it is magical. It is the metropolitan equivalent of bipolar disorder. And I don’t want any lithium or Prozac, because without the bad, the good just wouldn’t seem as sweet. Spoken by a true sufferer of mood swings.

At any rate, this weekend was one of those gilt-tinged, pink and shining string of days that make me want to like make out with this city and perhaps even make it my common-law partner. Saturday I had an excellent day rock climbing with my buddy Dean (alas, indoors – no outdoor trips were planned as I had no idea what a killer weekend this would be), lots of roof action that left my back a mess of knots but elevated my endorphins at the time, and afterward we went for a five-mile run along the Hudson River, past the sculptures and the parks and the trapeze school, watching the orange sun slip down over Jersey, turning the (somewhat) polluted Hudson into a shining pink and orange flowing ribbon as a breeze miraculously transported the smell of the ocean into our happy faces. New York even smelled good. Something unusual was happening.

That evening, a very handsome man with dreamy blue eyes and long curly lashes made me dinner; he even went to the trouble of using a cookbook and placing GARNISHES on a plate. Garnishes, people. We had a pomegranate-glazed chicken with roasted fennel and shallots, with salads, butternut squash with honey and cheese plates for dessert. I brought a bottle of Sancerre and afterward, the kind professor – who resembles a somewhat unfortunately short Jude Law – spent a couple hours showing me pictures he took while traveling in Kenya, Ethiopia and Eastern Europe. It was a very nice night, and it’s been a long while since someone has done something that thoughtful on a date for me. Usually, plans run more along the lines of “Let me get you drunk on an empty stomach and then try to make out with you in an alley/cab/bar bathroom.” I’ve had enough. Anyway, he was such a gentleman and so adorable that I even forgave him for being a couple inches shorter than me.

More troublesome, of course, is that he is Jewish. I’m aware that living in New York and trying to date a Protestant – though at this point, I’d even settle for a hard-core Roman Catholic – is like living in Salt Lake and trying to date someone who doesn’t wear “magic underwear.” I’m aware! But still, it is so disappointing when meeting a Ivy League-educated Jude Law lookalike who uses garnishes to learn that someday down the road, even if we hit it off like Sonny and Cher, I would feel compelled to break it off for the sake of future children that we currently don’t have to avoid the big clusterf*ck of a mess raising children in a mixed-faith home would be, not to mention my recurring disappointment that I’d have a husband who didn’t want to attend my perfectly reasonable Presbyterian church with me just because peskily they don’t believe in Jesus. I’m aware that I’m being unreasonable, but I just can’t help that it’s something I want.

ANYWAY, Sunday I woke up for church and afterward attended a New York Marathon-watching party at Merchant’s on First Ave. with my friend Steve from church. The unlimited mimosas were flowing as we watched the runners pace their way through mile 16 or so below. Somewhat guiltily scarfing down a plate of free bacon and other breakfast goodies, the sun slanted through the windows and I thanked God for another fantastic day in New York. After the party, I hauled my bubbly Champagne-cheered self over to Central Park to meet Dave and watch the runners finish up – when floating on a Champagne cloud, 9 avenues even go fast. We took off our shoes and I dug my fishneted toes into the hill as we watched the runners kick it in, enjoyed the sun, and discussed our respective dating lives. After awhile, we headed to Rosa Mexicano for pomegranate margaritas (recommended) and a bunch of cheesy, chorizo-y, huitlacoche-y dishes and more gossip/encouragement.

As I explained the conundrum regarding “Jude Law” the Jewish hottie to him, we discussed various nicknames I’ve had for recent dates – the dirty Greek, the overeager lawyer, and a third that shall remain unreported for the sake of not starting a riot. He decided the perfect name for my latest pretty-eyed crush was “Jew Law.” Oy vey.

What’s a girl to do…at least it was a sunny weekend, filled with free champagne bubbles and a boy who went to the trouble of picking the seeds out of a pomegranate in my honor.


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