I’ve decided to call the new guy PR here.  My friends refer to him as “pld” or “poor little dude.”

I met PR at the 5 star hotel on Christmas. I was hanging out, drinking champagne with my girlfriend D, the quirky artist. We went from one hotel bar to another, enjoying the day on our own. I’d had a date scheduled with TNG, but he was ill and canceled.

After two glasses of champagne at the elegant lobby bar, D announced her friend PR would be joining us. She gave me his briefest bio, which essentially amounted to, he’s bored, he lives downtown. Okay, fine.

He walked in  and he was cute.  A hipster.  Slightly pudgy, but really attractive.  It had been getting progressively colder and he was dressed more appropriately than I was — great jacket, hat, etc. I was sitting along a bank of windows, charging my phone in a nearby plug. Rather than sit in the empty chair next to D, he sat next to me.

We were having a lovely time and chatting here and there. At one point, I got up to use the bathroom and discovered that my period had kicked in.  Yay. I was prepared and the hotel was well-stocked, so it was an easy fix, but I was gone for a bit.

When I returned, PR leaned over to me and said, “okay, couple behind you ‘the old ugly Willem Defoe’ and the girl… daughter or mistress?” I love this game. We eventually decided she was a 20 year old girlfriend, and certainly a golddigger.

I retold the now famous story of N dating BFD’s ex-GF and how she gave him a hard time in front of me and TNG for not driving his supercar (in the Top Gear sense of the word as a luxury six figure sports car) on their first date the night before. The story was maybe five minutes long.

If you know me, which you all do by now, you know that I date a certain type of man, grew up in a certain type of town, and I am quite comfortable with the profession and lifestyle stuff.  I am poor, but like landless gentry.  What I did not realize is that I was signalling to him all of these things — I am comfortable around and not impressed by money (were I a golddigger, I would have dated N), I have no problem in social situations, and I am a woman who wildly successful men pursue.  He heard everything I said and understood the subtext I did not realize he also heard, as I did not know he was listening to that frequency. To completely mix metaphors.

It was here at the hotel lobby bar, unbeknownst to me, that he becomes smitten.

So, we decide we’re going to do sushi next … it is Christmas, after all … and wander off to a new spot.  It was great.  Oh, and he picked up the check at the hotel, which was mostly our $15 glasses of champagne. He handled it deftly, we all pulled out our wallets, but I understood the move and leaned over to him, nodded I understood, and said that’s very kind of you.  He said, despite D being uncomfortable and glitchy about it, happy holidays, ladies.

We headed off to the sushi place and the temperature was dropping, so I put my arms in between both of theirs, and we walked quickly over. At the restaurant, he sat opposite us, across from D.  The music was great — a mix of dance rock and British Indie stuff — that got us talking about music.  At some point, he referred to the movie “Singles” as being an important movie about “our generation.” I laughed . . . first, that’s a crappy movie (I much preferred Say Anything), and second, I asked, “our generation? Dude, no.  My generation.”  He asked how old I thought he was.

I’d not given it much thought, as I was not looking at him from a potential partner standpoint. I guessed 4 or 5 years younger than me . . . I said the real number, which would have made him mid 30s, and he was insulted, as he was 7 years my junior and in his early 30s. I did not tell him how old I was.  He did not ask.

We all got miso soup, as it was freezing outside, sashimi platters, and he had an elegant unfiltered sake, while D drank hot sake. I switched to club soda, as I’d had 3 glasses of champagne over the course of the afternoon and wanted to keep my wits about me.  The food was surprisingly excellent. We have a nationally prominent sushi restaurant in town, which happens to be 5 blocks from my building.  It’s where LP took me on our first date.  You can easily drop $200 there just looking at the menu. Any discussion of great sushi/sashimi involves that restaurant. I mentioned that using the citrus with the red snapper reminded me of the excellent sashimi I’d had there.  PR turned to me and said, “if you ever have a chance, do the $400 omakase menu there.”

I managed to not roll my eyes or display any real reaction, but I hear what you’re saying PR: you have money and love food.  Okay, got it.

When the check comes, I insist that we split it in a way that doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable.  We each throw in cards, with no one looking at the tab, and mosey on.

I finally check my phone and I have lots of messages from my and D’s friends who are doing their own Christmas day tradition: dive bar crawl. PR, who could have bailed at any point, decides to come with us. It is now even colder and I am without a heavy enough jacket nor gloves. He wraps his arm around me as we walk, essentially to keep me warm.  But I now know he is interested in me:  rather than wrap his arm around my waist, he wraps his arm around my mid-back and holds my rib cage rather firmly.

Interesting and quite aggressive in a way only I could really notice.  Yes, I liked it.

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