Have you ever noticed how politicians pause during a speech after they’ve delivered an especially powerful line? They seem to have a sixth sense about exactly what will get the crowd cheering. That’s an art–one that’s been honed during their time on the stump.
Last week I joined a new online site. After having this blog infiltrated by a date, I’ve become a little paranoid.
This particular website allows the members to post a date and others members can respond if they’re interested in participating. It also has a variety of questions that are not the slightest bit invasive. Below are a few examples of those easy/breezy inquiries.
I secretly want to be:
I have a weakness for guys/girls who:
My first concert/dream concert:
The movie I’ve watched the most times:
An awesome place I’ve visited:
Whew, a fresh start.
I answered the questions, posted a photo and created a date—Why don’t we take a cooking class at Eataly. Before I could log out, Roger sent me a message asking if I’d like to meet for a cocktail. So much for my cooking class idea, but I do like that the site is all about the date. Too much time is wasted with back and forth email messages. I wasn’t sure about his photos. In one he looked much younger and was posing with a well-known actor. In the other, his face was slightly obscured by his phone. Seriously, nothing good can ever come from taking a photo of yourself with your phone and yet lots of men do it. The only thing that’s worse is taking a shirtless photo. Anthony Weiner or Chris Lee could certainly attest to that.
Back to Roger.
I responded that a cocktail would be nice. Roger kicked into high gear. I had four messages from him within 30 minutes asking the area I live, suggestions on places and what might be a good time to meet, and finally wondering which evenings I was free.
Hey, Rog, take it down a notch.
We settled on a drink at Ouest, a lovely restaurant on the Upper West Side. I was cautiously hopeful as I walked in the door.
Let’s just say that the phone photo was a more recent and accurate depiction of Roger.
I settled into my stool at the bar and ordered a Grey Goose martini, very dry, extra olives. This was going to be a one-drink date—my dinner was the olives. Somehow I think Roger might’ve been regaling the staff with his mad orator skills. It’s never a good sign when a bartender’s look says: Better you than me.
Roger had a booming voice—one that was perfectly suited to carry long distances and there wasn’t a person within 20 feet who didn’t hear him ask me how long I’d been on the dating website.
It was more a public service announcement than a question.
Then Roger coughed. Not just a normal, human sound, but a screeching other worldly noise that made the guy seated on the other side of him jump.
I jumped too.
“Are you OK?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’ve been traveling and the hotels have dry heat.”
“You might want to consider a travel size humidifier. That’s some cough.”
“Nah, I travel light. One small bag with the essentials and I always keep it packed and ready.”
Good news! He’s a seasoned traveler!
BUT, that’s not all. The next thing he told me was about the elected position he used to hold. It was an important position. If I told you what it was you’d quickly be able to name “Roger” with a simple Google search and that would be wrong of me. As he told me of his position he did that famous politician pause that I described at the beginning of this post.
Here’s how it went:
“I’m a former _________.” Roger paused, his eyes widened and his mouth formed a very small “O” for effect. He knew I’d be impressed—this was his tried and true, Big Swingin’ Dick Statement.
I’ve asked my neighbor, Mark (an actor), to reenact Roger’s face. Mark is a trouper and he and his wife Karen (another amazing thespian), are my NYC adopted family. In other words, they regularly indulge my stupid requests.
Here’s what Roger’s face looked like:
I don’t know what he expected me to do as he waited. It seemed like he was holding out for me to clap, hoot and holler, perhaps even chant his name?
I wasn’t biting. Roger upped the ante.
“____________ is a friend and so is his wife.” (A political power couple), and then he paused with that same annoying look on his face.
Seriously? I don’t care what you say. I’m not wowed.
My lack of reaction might’ve made him nervous because there was another raptor-like screech. The man next to him turned and shot a dirty look in our direction. I thought he was about to tell Roger to leave, but then changed his mind. I wouldn’t have blamed him. It was a frightening hack.
Roger changed direction and began to talk about his current job in the private sector and all the wonderful trips he frequently takes. Then he paused again.
Roger, Roger, Roger, can’t you see I’m unimpressed? There’s no doubt at an earlier (less serious) time in my life I would’ve been, but I’m hoping for more at this point than a guy who’s living large and might want to take me along for the ride. Bottom-line, I’d still have to crawl in bed with him on those fancy trips and we know the outcome of that dry hotel heat.
Roger coughed again. It sounded like a monkey screaming. This time the bartender rolled his eyes at me and I gave him a small nod of acknowledgement. Roger had to see the exchange but was unfazed.
He asked if I was tired and then described his daily Red Bull intake. I asked why he would drink so many. He started by telling me there was a awkward and inappropriate story behind his consumption.
Please don’t let him gross me out even more than that cough.
He described his time on the campaign trail and his dalliances with a 28-year-old field manager. I guess she was concerned about his ability to perform given he was almost twice her age.
“This happens all the time on campaigns. It’s wartime mentality.”
Won’t be encouraging my daughters to volunteer for their favorite candidate ever again.
He went to the doctor to figure out why he was having performance issues and was told his prostate was enlarged and he had to reduce the amount of coffee he drank if he wanted Mr. Winky to do his job.
“All systems are go now!” Roger said, and as expected, paused for me to cheer.
I’d finished my drink and he asked if I’d like another or perhaps dinner. I declined. We walked out together and headed towards the subway. I decided to walk several blocks home. I couldn’t stomach a subway ride with him. As we stood on the street corner and said goodbye, I thanked him for the cocktail.
“Let’s do this again soon. You’re hot.” Roger said, as he looked me up and down. “I’ll call you or you call me.”
I glanced at him with what I hoped was my most haughty face.
“Roger, I NEVER call men.” It was my turn to pause for effect. Roger chuckled as I flipped my hair and walked away. I heard him cough as he went down the stairs to the train.
Thanks again to Mark. Here’s what he looks like when he’s not being a creeper.
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“And I think there is too much bloviating around from politicians.” Barney Frank