50 First Dates
Ive come to realize that the best things in life make you sweat.
Heart beating. Sweat dripping. Deep breathing. Food. Sex. (and love). Fitness. Whatever it is that makes your heart skip a beat --To remind you that yes, in fact you are alive - and human, mistakes included. For me, much of this reminder has come thru love lessons - to remind me of life lessons … no mistakes, just lessons, thru the men ive sweat with - in food, fitness + otherwise. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. Below is a manifesto of sorts.
All in good fun, in the end - each has taught me more about myself. Unpeeling my layers, as i learn about others. But a leopard never changes its spots. We are who we are.
Short stories below. Names have been changed. And Grudges have been dropped. And i am more than conscious that there are 3 sides to every story - mine, his + the truth. Take a peek.
Below is two versions of the same story. The second is more vivid than the first, but the same story nonetheless. Sharing a deeper side of me. Less fun, more feeling — a 7 date series. And thru the same story twice, a variety of emotions came + went -- happy, sad, excitement, disappointment, confidence and insecurity. And while I will never stop wearing my heart on sleeve, i might soon consider layering before leaving the house.
i met him over photos, I guess you could say. He slid into my DM’s looking to Fill his time rather than fuel my life. He asked me to dinner in ten days and while I dont typically make plans, I obliged. He called a few times prior, but I never answered. First date at i sodi showed sophisticated taste for a man in baggy pants + pink shoes. Within the first hour over fiorentina for two he told me “he could love me.” red flag. He doesn’t live here but keeps a place to keep him company. Our first date turned into four consecutively. I popped into his birthday party next night to watch him cook cowboy steaks for twenty five. Midnight struck + as i was walked out, i pulled him away from some trashy company, and stuck my tongue in his mouth to let him know i “could be interested...” and was equally unimpressed with said company, and left.
Yoga, brunches, QT before he flew off to his next destination and then quickly flew me to his city to play. And we played. But as i became more available, he stopped calling. He is strong minded but weak hearted, has conviction, rigid edges, strong hands and worn palms. He is calculated but caring -- usually comes with a gift + a smirk to mask small insecurities -- an entrepreneur who knows only to be about him, except in bed. A few months into age 32 and i found newfound clarity and the best sex of my life to date. Will i give him the credit? No. But i will share it. Because sharing is caring and it takes two to tango. We tango’d. And then it was time to say goodbye to a close minded, close hearted, insecure boy who likes toys. But play time was worth it. It was that good. he asked if we fucked, made love, or had sex. At first i said all 3. My heart was so open but his was closed. Towards the end, after my last time seeing him in new york, he texted to say how much he’d love to make love to me right now. My response, ‘we fucked - we don’t yet make love’. His answer, “wishful thinking.” A boy + his toys, who toyed with my emotions. Manipulated conversations, situations, and my body in the best way possible. And while I so love to play, i will not be played. Game over.
Same romance, deeper dive. The breakdown.
He slid into my DM’s on my birthday and asked me to dine in 10 days. It felt sexy until he suggested we meet in the park, to which i replied, “not today.” My outfit did not bode well for park benches, nor my shoes for long walks. I sauntered towards him in a sheer slip + strappy shoes to our shifted destination i sodi, revealing a sophisticated palette for a man in pink suede slippers. Within 45 minutes he told me he could love me -- his bold footwear matching his expressive tongue. i laughed, but loved it + swallowed every syllable, while swallowing his impressive order pour deux: mache salad with parmigiano, spicy rigatoni, bone in fiorentina, mezcal negronis + amaro to end. He didnt’t live in NYC but kept a place to keep him company. First date ended with running in the rain + happy birthday songs over vanilla haagen dasz + amaro while staring out at the summer streets thru the Dutch Soho windows. Date one turned into four consecutively, a magnetic pull i hadn’t felt in a while. I leaned in.
He invited me to a party, he was cooking for friends. I spontaneously floated into his flat in neon blue jimmy choo and silk dress showing just enough skin. I said hello as he seared steak from the Japanese butcher on Great Jones and before long - one drink turned into four hours later. -- as he played host, i i watched coyly from the corner of my eye. Friends joined me to get lit, laugh and leave before midnight. On my way out, he excused himself from his harem of low level catalogue models moonlighting as massage therapists to ask ‘why so soon?’ Beauty rest, i replied and confidently grabbed him to mark my territory with my tongue in his mouth as said onlookers looked. Exit stage right.
He phoned energetically the next morning and asked to join me for yoga. Sundays are my solitude, but i was drawn to his darkness. i soon learned that 90 minutes of heated flow aside an unseasoned student is where you really get to know someone. Hot yoga made hotter as he enthusiastically open mouth breathed on me for the majority + then insisted we shower + brunch. Third date at Jacks Wife Freda led into our intro to intimacy. Lets just say he took care of me. And then i took myself home.
Monday arrived with revived energy, multiple meetings, and no time to daydream. Between teaching class + taking calls, he called to meet for coffee. Not in my working agenda but he was leaving town for 10 days, so i dragged my home office to his place while he packed. There was a strange comfort in shared silence as i voraciously took charge of my to do list, typing away on my labtop as he tidied house, with sporadic communication and no need to communicate at all. Solace in silence with a stranger is rare. Before leaving he swooped me onto his bed where black mascara lined his white pillow cases. red flag. my lashes are much longer, i declared, and kissed him goodbye, until we meet again.
Two weeks later, we did. He flew me to his city where i arrived with an open mind + only 4 pairs of shoes.
I slipped on a short dress to slurp spicy thai noodles as electric energy consumed me, controversial conversation confused me + copious cocktails lubricated any first night nerves. Back at his house, I cozied up on the living room floor, enveloped in the rug as he enveloped me. uncovered floor to ceiling windows did not distract my desire. i demanded he fuck me for the first time. It was cathartic and fulfilling enough to do it again and again the next morning. Afterwards he made me breakfast fresh from his garden, sweet peaches + cucumber with hunks of white cheddar topped with fresh basil, olive oil, turmeric + cayenne. We ate with our hands before setting out to sight see. Long walks + deep talks held us over til lunch. We ate ice cream that melted almost as fast as we could eat it and went lake swimming before devouring each other again. That evening i flew back to reality but it wasn’t long before text messages poured in of pictures of peaches asking when id return. I found cans of canned fish in my purse as a sweet gesture of some of my favorite things stashed away from him. I melt anchovies religiously, and he was simultaneously melting my heart.
The following weekend he flew in, but something changed. His stories felt like half truths. It was all on his terms. I sweat it out at Higher Dose, threw on something sexy underneath something sexy and headed to his place. We got high on his couch and held each other before heading to Augustine. The chef cooked us a dry aged ribeye and sent over champagne. We overzealously ordered mezcal negronis and amaro with dessert. The gratis cocktails turned a few into five, four more than my allowed limit and we stumbled home to drunk sex and more the next morning. Grey skies, light rain, and heavy energy penetrated his hollow walls, heavy on my heart as my gut brought clarity to my head. And as Madonna’s melancholic power of goodbye hollered from his sonos speakers, i knew this short lived love affair was coming to an end. The words “your heart is not open so i must go” prompted my departure and echoed in my ears as I walked home in the rain, finding small celebration in the self provided sweet nothing in my purse. A mini banana laffy taffy for breakfast, to fill the emptiness in my belly as i tried to make sense of it all. I pulled myself together to teach 1045am class + manage teacher auditions after, but my emotional lethargy hanged heavy as my hangover seeped in. mid mock class i excused myself to the loo + puked my brains out. Empty. i think i let go of him in that moment. And the 5 drinks too many from the night before. I had to protect my heart.
And as i pulled back, he leaned in. his ego had a hold of me. I let it. For two weeks longer and one last adventure my intuition warned me to cancel but i will never stop believing in happy endings. He suggested i wear something casual. A faux pas to suggest what a women wears without warrant --- and if my man is flying in for dinner, the only casual will be my casual desire to keep him company. So i slipped out of the shower + into a black cut out onesie, weather permitting no outerwear + me permitting no underwear. And with no reservations, we slipped into 4 charles prime rib for carnal consumption, ate meat with our hands, and ravaged each other after, ferocious from start to end. Melancholy morning music, hot yoga, and brunch at ATLA before he flew home. He texted me throughout his journey, and then disappeared for two days -- days that felt dark. His grip was already too tight on my heart, so i called it quits. I sent him a note declaring my detachment and opted out of being his option. With a heavy heart + longing libido, I resigned.
These scars we carry are stories. This is one of mine. The thrill of the chase, the ego of a boy, and the hopes we hold onto along the way. A few days following, still hoping, i sent one last late night message, “as you make your way to your next conquest I suggest you choose your words more wisely. We all have feelings. Do not create false expectation to fuel your ego.”
But looking back -- perhaps it was just me creating false fairy tale expectations about a playboy, his toys and his aforementioned first date declaration that “he could love me.”