Monday, January 28, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I am currently being courted heavily by two men. A good guy and a bad guy. They both could be considered rulers of the financial worlds. One has his own private plane and the other just rents one on an as-needed basis. They are both in their early 40s, devastatingly funny, and "easy on the eyes" would be the understatement of the century. One might say that I have found myself in quite an envious position - with the exception of one little thing - they each sport a certain piece of jewelery that I find highly objectionable. No, not a nose ring or even a thick, gold chain. They both have wedding rings on...because, they are, well, married.

The "good one" is my friend, Will. He has been happily married to his wife for 16 years and they have three kids. They have the perfect life, the perfect marriage, and the perfect family. They have a full floor apartment right on Park Avenue and spend their Summers in Maine. The kids to go the very best private schools and Will has never once had an affair. I know this - because we are good friends - and he is the straightest arrow that I have ever met. His wife is super duper cool...and they tell each other everything. He even told her that he has developed a crush on me and she thinks it is cute. She calls me his "girlfriend." She isn't worried and she is happy that Will has someone he likes to go out with because her social schedule is always above max capacity. Sometimes, she calls when we are out - and he will put me on the phone to say "hi." Not exactly a lurid affair happening here - but I think Will likes to imagine it in his mind...and his wife is smart and secure enough to know it will never happen. A sort of innocent game of "pretend affair" - if that is even possible?

The "bad one" is the Hedge Fund manager from Colorado that I met in the Four Seasons Hotel a few months ago. Like Will, Colorado has been married to his college sweetheart since pretty much forever and they also have three children and an outwardly perfect life. However, Colorado and his wife fight like cats and dogs and he cheats on her all the time. He had admitted to having mistresses all over the country that he is currently supporting. His wife is a total nag (according to him, of course) and he can't smoke enough pot on a daily basis to dull the pain of still being married to her. He tells her nothing - yet he is seemingly careless about his affairs, that it is obvious he wants to be caught. He is a bad, but charming, egg. When Colorado's wife calls - he hits the "ignore" button and continues on with our platonic date. I often insist that he picks up - especially as I like to remind him, that nothing is happening between us that he would have to hide. I might be right - but perhaps he is just hiding from wifey-poo like the cowardly husband that he seems to be?

Despite the fact that Will and Colorado know very well that I will never lower myself to the status of being anyones side dish - they both treat me like we are dating. I mean, it is total hands off......but in the past few weeks I've been to lunch at Michael's and to the theater twice with Will - and Colorado has taken me to a lavish dinner at Il Mulino and to to have $200 pasta with truffles at Joël Robuchon. They both make me feel like I am movie star pretty and hang on my every word. There is never a date that doesn't include round trip chauffeured cars and both men are total gentlemen - each and every time. I am adored, fussed over, and I get to not ever have to worry about fending off advances at the end of every expensive and glamorous evening. They both just leave, smiling, after a peck on the cheek...and call me to do something fabulous again just days later.
Clearly, this arrangement can't go on forever - but I think it is so successful because we are all getting something out of it we so desperately need. I am getting the attention that the Hedge Funder refused me and feeling almost "goddess like"; Colorado is hearing the word "no" from a woman - possibly for the first time and he clearly loves the challenge; and Will is getting all the satisfaction of what it would be like to have an affair, but without actually having that itch has been scratched - with no one has gotten hurt - and his curiosity largely satisfied.
It all sounds so perfectly neat and tidy...but with a good number of my evenings these days being divided up between two married men - I'm not exactly sure where this road leads? Could friendship with a married man be the "gateway drug" to an affair with a married man? I certainly hope I am not being terribly naïve here. However, for now - it seems to be smooth sailing ahead - even though it is quite possible that I lost my telescope!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Disappointment 101

"Shock and Awe" has been described as a military campaign, most notably in relation to the Iraq War. However, more recently - that term can also be applied to the way one feels when a guy dumps you right before Christmas; says he will call you after the New Year; and he follows up on his promise. I was definitely shocked and awed, to say the least. The Hedge Funder wanted to get together. He wanted to see me. He felt we had unfinished business. Oh my God. Was he going to apologize? Had he regretted everything? Was letting go of me the worst mistake of his life? O.K. - I know maybe I am getting just a tad carried away here, but I thought those were all distinct possibilities. I mean, as of mid-December, this guy was telling me that he has never felt more sure of anyone in his life. He could have been legitimately scared of his own feelings. It happens. Right?

In any case, I left nothing undone to myself that could possibly be done. I was determined to not let him get away a second time. We had a connection and I had felt completely miserable after he broke it off. So, full diva glam he was going to get!

We had planned to meet for drinks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at 8 p.m. , but I was ready by 6:00. Call me crazy, but make up artists and hair people don't work much later than, if one is doing "the full kabuki", then one must generally get it done earlier in the day and try to stay pristine until "show time." However, the Hedge Funder called to half-cancel. By half cancel, I mean...he apparently had to work late and wanted to meet instead around 10 or 10:30 p.m. He couldn't re-schedule because he was leaving the next day for a week and he needed to see me. Damn. Not how this was going to go in my mind. What happened to version 2.1 of the Hedge Funder? The one who flew home a day early just to spend more time with me?

Incidentally, my married friend, Will....a super debonair, rock star of the financial world called to say that he had theater tickets and his wife couldn't go. She had suggested he take me. It would start at 8 and finish around 9:30 or 10 p.m. - so, in was all quite perfect. I think I would just let the Hedge Funder know that I would call HIM instead, when I was finished with my "other plans." Ha, ha...Will had totally saved me from turning into a miserable little shrew at home - obsessing over the time, then my phone, then the time again. I actually have the upper hand back. Yay me.

So - Will sends his car down to pick me up and I meet him at the theater and something really odd happened. He looked at me with a crushingly gentle and adoring look on his face. I mean, Will had never seen me totally made up or anything - but it was definitely a confidence booster that this happily married man could forget, even for even a second, that he was indeed a happily married man. Interesting. Throughout the play, Will stole sideways glances at me and afterward offered to have his driver take me up to the Mandarin Oriental to meet the Hedge Funder. I gladly accepted the ride - and texted the Hedge Funder to let him know I was en route and to check if he was there yet.

Ten minutes later, I am sitting in Will's car and with nothing back from he Hedge Funder. Finally - when it was all becoming slightly more than I could handle...I hear the sharp double beep of a text. He wrote that would be there in a half hour. I guess he wanted me waiting for him by design - regardless of the fact that I had managed to fill the space gap once already this evening due to his suddenly overwhelming work load. My spirits sagging - Will offered to go upstairs and have a drink with me until Mr. Not So Fabulous turned up. Thank God he did because it was almost 11 before I saw the Hedge Funder's stout legs marching into the bar with a flustered look on his face. Will gave me a look as if he didn't believe that the guy I was pining for could be such a small, chubby Cabbage Patch of a man - but it was true.

My night with the Hedge Funder was over almost as soon as it began. He admitted that I looked stunningly gorgeous and seemed to actually mean it. He then followed that up by saying that he didn't feel that I was able to take disappointment well. Due to the nature of his business and hectic life, he would be disappointing me often and if I couldn't handle a "slight change of plan" (otherwise known as cancelling a trip over Christmas with me to meet my Dad), then we were a bad fit. I uttered that I truly didn't need him to teach me about disappointment - that certainly daily life can offer up enough of that and that normally I....and he stopped me right there. He was now seeing someone else. He left Arizona early to come back to New York City and he had met a cocktail waitress in a nightclub. A cocktail waitress in a nightclub that doesn't even open until Midnight.
I almost wanted to ask him for $150 as reimbursement for what I had spent getting my hair and makeup done to meet him - only to be met with the news that he had already moved on...a mere three weeks later, but I couldn't. I was certainly not about to let it show that I couldn't take disappointment well after being called out on it. Because you know what? I can't. At least during the second big let down from him, I was smart enough to hold my "waterworks festival" until I was in the back seat of a cab by myself. Live and learn. I certainly hope for the waitress' sake, that she is an android. God forbid the girl has a display of disappointment over something disappointing....and starts to appear, um, human - as "human" apparently doesn't hold the same appeal as it used to, back in the day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

A word to the wise. New Year's Eve is for couples or large groups. If you don't fall in either of those categories - stay home, save your money, and watch the ball drop on T.V.

Needless to say, Annie and I emptied our wallets at the Waverly a tiny table squeezed in between nuzzling couples who toasted each other every five minutes and big tables of happy drunk people - who also toasted each other every five minutes, albeit in a slightly more noisy fashion. Once the clock struck Midnight, the entire restaurant exchanged kisses - overlooked us...and hurried out onto Bank Street toward their waiting town cars for their second parties of the evening. By approximately 12:20 a.m. Annie and I were staring at each other in an empty room covered in confetti wondering what next? I think we were both hoping that at the very least, a waiter would take pity on the two single girls left behind at the restaurant and we'd end up in some tenement party in Brooklyn with their waiter friends...but no. No one asked us, so we put on our coats and went home.

Let's hope that this isn't a bad omen for how my dating life in 2008 is going to turn out. Eek! Banish the thought!