“You are now entering the Polar Vortex,” said New York, while welcoming me back home from sunny Southern California. Upon my arrival, the city was bracing itself for a massive blizzard. Like any good New Yorker, I weathered the larger than life snowflakes for a trip to Trader Joe’s.
While, I anticipated a bit of cabin fever, I picked up all my favorite foods (prosciutto, hummus, crackers, English toffee and meat loaf). Standing in line, I noticed all the adorable gay couples, shopping for their bit of winter comfort foods. I thought to myself, “geez, they must really enjoy cabin fever.” On that note, I headed back home on the subway.
Upon exiting 135th street station, the darkened skies above New York turned hazy from intense snowfall. I reveled on the sweet sounds of snow crunching against my feet. I finally reached my tiny fifth floor walk-up apartment, which I think rivals Buckingham Palace, in my humble opinion.
Instead of psychoanalyzing War & Peace or finally starting up that Kurt Vonnegut novel, I went on okcupid. I met a boy instantly, which doesn’t happen often on that side. He was an art history major with a minor in creative writing. Via email, he asked quickly, “Hi, wanna go on a date? I replied, “yes,” naturally. I was excited. The next day, I stepped out of my humble apartment building.
There were snow banks everywhere. Snow turned sidewalks into an unrecognizable sea of ice. At that moment, I found my favorite and most romanticized image of Manhattan. The romanticized image mirrored my optimism. However, a day before meeting my potential new boyfried, I had a different kind of date.
” I have the stomach flu,” said I to my father. I rely on him for medical advice, even though he’s not a doctor. “You need to take it easy and just ride through it,” he said. In the grand tradition of fathers, he ended the conversation with ” please, no booze or coffee till you feel better. Love you.”
It was a most stressful weekend. I didn’t want to cancel the date. Instead, I showed up. Wearing my best cardigan, I stepped into the candle-lit restaurant on the Upper West side. He appeared like a prince rescuing a princess from a gilded tower. His scruff was utterly endearing, as were his glasses. As we sat down, the conversation grew into a feast of delightful topics.
” I think, I lost a few pounds from this stomach flu,” said I. He looked away and I was mortified. I shook my head and bursted into laughter, “whoops, you can’t count this into an awkward moment.” He laughed as well.
We finally glanced at the menu. His forehead was covered in sweat. Grabbing a napkin, he said, ” I can’t stop sweating, guess this is my awkward moment.” During the date, I still didn’t feel wonderful from my case of the stomach flu. However, I did enjoy having a proper date. Afterwards, we took the subway home and he planted a kiss on me. I walked out of the train, feeling quite delighted.
Eventually, my stomach flu went the way of VHS tapes. I focused my energy on the following romantic question. “Does he love? Does he love me not?” He texted and we planned another date. This time, we locked eyes over Thai food in the East Village. It was magical. We found ourselves on the subway late night.
He was heading home a few stops before me. Prior to exiting the train, I told him, ” text me when you get home.” He glanced over and laughed ” really?” I replied, “yes, please text me.” Finally, as I prepared for bed, he did indeed remember to text. I smiled. After that, we didn’t become a romantic item. Instead, the experience was simply a lovely memory of going on date.