Monday, July 12, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor part Deux

It happened. I got the text message I've been dreading. It says:

Hey Cutty, I would like to have [dinner] this week. Lemme know what day would work for you. thx, Ben.

followed with:

hope you're doing well...

I know I said I would handle it if it came to this, but I'm totally chickening out. So far, I've written nothing back. I'm thinking that I should just text him and ask if his family is coming.

In the end, I just asked him if his wife was coming and then it turned out she wasn't. And then I got invited over to their house for dinner. Which makes me wonder if I was misreading his initial intentions, but I think what really happened was that he realized that it was a bad idea to try and get involved with a neighbor. Either way, problem appears to be solved.

Speaking of loving one's neighbors, my bedroom looks directly into the backyard of a local bike shop. Another way to look at that is that the backyard of a bike shop looks directly into my bedroom. I was exhausted the other night when I came home and walked into my room and took all my clothes off for the end of the day and because it's hot. As I was lying there I realized I could hear voices outside. I had, at this point, put on a nightgown. I walked onto the porch only to realize that some people were hanging out in the backyard of the bike shop after hours. They sure got an eye-full and then some.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor

So, my mid-week, mid-afternoon drunk story has two parts: there was the birthday lunch and then there was this.

Wednesday was the World Cup game between Spain and Germany. There was a classic moment of watching the game when I said something about how Germany was taking a lot of really aggressive shots on the goal, only to be told that Germany was wearing the white uniforms. The only redeeming factor was that I hadn't been vocally rooting for one team or the other, but it was pretty embarrassing. Ooooops.

I just moved to a new neighborhood in Brooklyn, so I went to go watch the game. I walked into the bar and saw my downstairs neighbor. I don't usually like to get too cozy with my neighbors just because it's important to me to know that when I go home, I can just go home. I mean, I'm friendly, but I don't really do a lot of socializing with my neighbors, and this is precisely why.

So, my neighbor invites me to sit with him and offers to buy me a problem, we're just being neighborly here, right? Then he offers to buy me food, then he starts telling me about how his wife and kids are going on vacation for the next two weeks. Then he starts asking me out to dinner. I'm pretty weirded out at this point, but I'm still thinking that he's not really hitting on me because he lives in my very small building WITH HIS WIFE AND TWO CHILDREN. That would just be plain audacious right? Yes.

We've been having a bit of a heat wave here in NYC.It was 102 degrees the day in question. The bar appeared to be having some air conditioning issues and it was effing hot in there. A bunch of the men took off their shirts and so the female bartender took off her shirt too to the amazement and joy of most of the bar. That's when my neighbor turned to me and said, "Didn't you say you were really hot?", to which I responded, "I didn't know it was going to be that kind of party".

After the game was over he kept trying my buy me another beer, which I thought was strange and then he asked me out to dinner again. Then he asked for my phone number. I was still in this strange delirium where I thought there's no way he's being anything but friendly in a slightly overly friendly way, so I gave it to him. Then I got home and the truth of what had happened finally sank in and I was like, "oh shit".

Guess who I got a text from the next day? Yup, him. This is totally weird and inappropriate. If you were going to cheat on your wife, wouldn't you want your girlfriend somewhere where she wouldn't see your wife and kids and vice versa? I just ignored the text, but had to come up with a contingency plan for if he asks me out. I will just tell him that if his wife and kids come, that's fine, but otherwise it's inappropriate. Not cool, neighborman.

Mid-day drunks

While I like to think that I've been doing nothing in this heatwave but sit at home in the A/C and watch multiple series on Netflix Watch Instantly--Party Down, you have my heart--it turns out I may have been a little more active than that.

I managed to get drunk in the afternoon two days in a row (I guess Nana was right). Today is my good friend Lola's birthday. As I told her earlier today, it's a momentous occasion because this is just the first time she's going to turn 29! We met up for a birthday lunch at Gazala Place in Midtown. Excellent Middle Eastern food that it's extremely reasonably priced. We ordered a whole smörgåsbord of mezze- you know, tabboule, hummus, baba ganoush, turkish salad, foul (which was my personal garlick-y, bean-y, onion-y, oily favorite). Followed by Turkish coffee and two desserts one was an excellent baklava, and the other was really outstanding dessert called something with multiple words. It was a piece of cake (semolina, I believe) soaked in syrup and then topped with a sweet cream that was almost pudding-like in texture and topped with finely chopped pistachios. Another advantage of Gazala is that it's BYOB--even in the middle of the afternoon. Since we had a birthday to celebrate, we managed to plow through three or four bottles of champagne.

One down-side: I opted for the fancier bottle of cava, even though there was a cheaper bottle that was chilled. Listen, your friends only turn 29 for the first time once. When I was carrying the bottle in the bag it got a little shaken up, and since we have been living in 100 degree heat for 5 years, it wasn't getting any colder in my bag. When I got to the restaurant, I asked our waiter for a glass and to chill the bottle. He opened it instead and then half of it went all over the floor. I said, "I told you to chill that". He said, "No, you told me to open it".

Despite finding the service somewhat lacking, it was really a fun day, and I love Lola's friends almost as much as I love her. In fact, I'm getting ready to head out to continue the celebrations at a midtown bar where there is often a big night of drinking for people working in front of and behind the scenes in theatre. Two years ago for MY birthday, Ms. Lola took me to one of these nights and it was the best night of my life, and a story for another time.