It was a hot, sticky summer night on the Upper East Side and Emily and I were ready for some good old-fashioned Saturday night prowling. After coming off a somewhat desolate, pitiable spring season in terms of all things sex, dating, and love, we wanted to start summer off on the right open-toed, slingback, four-inch heeled feet. In our oh-so-wise opinions this couldn't be too hard considering Emily's spring had consisted of men pissing in her oven and turning up in a bloodied heap on her doorstep at 4:00am, while mine had been so grievously filled with a string of first dates that never made it to second dates or second base, for that matter.
Considering that my most recent first-and-last date had been with a twenty-five year old who made dinner conversation by asking me my favorite color and bitching about his terrible job in real estate finance (yawn), I concluded that perhaps I was focusing on the wrong age range. I had dated plenty of men in the late-twenties to early-thirties age range, and clearly that hadn't panned out seeing that I was dining alone on sushi on a Saturday night contemplating which Upper East Side bars to lurk that evening.
Two salmon-avocado rolls later I concluded that Emily and I needed to take it to the next age range that night. Men in the thirty-five to forty range surely had something to offer, as they were more financially stable and (hopefully) less inclined to dedicate a night out to getting completely blacked out in an effort to find which equally drunk girl they could convince to leave the bar and help them "walk their dog." We didn't need full on sugar daddies here, just something a little closer. I couldn't do the full-on AARP, insulin-toting, arthritic scene no matter how many pairs of Louboutin's and European vacations were promised to me, but I could do with something slightly sweeter in the form of a good-looking, roommate-less, financially stable, physically fit, sarcastically witty, cat-hating thirty-five year old.
I made plans to meet Emily at T-Bar on 74th and Third. With a cocktail menu offering cucumber sake and jalepeno margaritas, I could only hope that the men drinking these fine spirits were not the same ones who drank out of fish bowls at Brother Jimmy's. I saddled up to the bar and began to study the cocktail menu contemplating martini or mojito as I awaited Emily's arrival. As I was trying to get the bartender's attention to order a drink, I quickly took stock of the clientele. Was that an oxygen tank in the corner and a Panama Jack hat atop a fifty-five year old's head? Cheese and rice, there was no way in suffering, purgatory hell that this was going to be our watering hole for the evening.
The bartender had began to saunter in my direction while a gray haired, weathered man in a black button-down that could be from no other catalog but L.L. Bean tried to catch my eye, I pretended that my phone had rang.
"Oh hey, Emily. I have the wrong bar? No way! I'm such an ass. I'll be right there." I conversed with myself as I put down the cocktail menu, grabbed my purse, and headed for the door.
As soon as my little high-heeled feet hit the sidewalk, I placed an actual call to Emily, aborting our T-Bar mission. We decided to relocate our prowling to Baroanda, an oh-so-Euro in feel Italian restaurant that back in the days of The Englishman and The Italian had been a bumpin' spot. What I encountered when I walked in put yesterday's fortune cookie from my fried rice lunch of "The good old days are present too," to sh*t shame with its empty bar and half-filled dining room of couples. No Englishmen, no Italians, no hope.
Since I couldn't walk out of yet another bar within a fifteen minute time span, I slugged down a fourteen dollar glass of Sauvignon Blanc. As soon as Emily arrived and slugged down her fourteen dollar glass of Sauvignon Blanc, we decided to take our mission south of the border to Rosa Mexicano. That plan quickly went to hell in a taco shell when we walked in and were hit with a stench of wet garbage and refried beans. This was no environment for properly drinking and/or picking up men. We quickly hailed a cab and headed to Whiskey Blue on Lex. This would be our final stop of the night, regardless of senior citizened clientele or aromas of rotting burritos--we were far too sober for bar hopping in this haphazard manner.
We traipsed with confidence and thirst into the crowded bar, weaving our way through a group of gentlemen hanging at the bar. Their eyes followed our asses as we stepped up to the bar. They were well dressed and clearly over thirty-five--ok, clearly over forty. As we were about to order, one of the men asked, "Can I buy you ladies a drink?"
Hell yes you can, I thought to myself. I just took eighteen cabs to get here. I smiled as sweetly as I possibly could, studying his face and trying to determine how many years beyond forty he really was. As long as he was more sugar and less daddy, he would do for our first round...