Last week, the lovely Rachael Wright and I attended the launch party of the new W Downtown hotel in Manhattan’s Financial District – I should clarify that only Rachael was invited, I just put on some nice shoes and hoped I wouldn’t get kicked out. Anyway, it was lovely. The hotel is gorgeous (they have a mat in the lift that says good morning, good afternoon or good evening depending on the time of day – it’s someone’s JOB to change those mats. Sad face.) the waitresses quickly identified us as the only women in attendance who would eat so there were lots of canapes and most importantly, there was a lot of champagne. A lot.
Which probably explains what happened next.
Our lives are so hard…
We were merrily snapping photos of each other like the permatourists that we are, when a lovely middle-aged man offered to take a picture of us together. This is how we met Bob. Quite insistent that he wasn’t hitting on us, Bob invited Rachael and I to have a drink. I fully accept that this was the adult equivalent of ‘come into my car, I want to show you some puppies’ but there were a lot of people around and Bob seemed pleasant enough. After all, he used to be in the Navy. And when I told him we had money to pay for our own drinks, Bob laughed and said we would never have as much money as he had. At which point we just sort of looked at each other and thought, yeah, OK Bob, go for it.
The cocktails were delightful, Bob was ‘a hoot’ and after we’d had Bob’s life story (went into the Navy at 19, studied at Cambridge in his early twenties, never, ever wore bell bottoms) and had the existence of Mrs Bob and two baby Bobs confirmed, Bob had a question for us. And that question was this:
‘What the fuck is wrong with the two of you?’
Now, granted, it seems a little bit aggressive, doesn’t it? But the most worrying thing was, I couldn’t answer him. What was wrong with us?
Happily, Bob had some theories. His main concern was that we’re both 29 (he actually pulled an Avenue Q face when we told him our ages. It’s confirmed ladies, thirty is definitely old. Bob says.) and that we were both single. Bob couldn’t understand it. We were intelligent, we were funny, we were ‘the cat’s meow’ (specifically I have enchanting eyes and pretty ears then there were some other compliments that weren’t so PG-13 so I’m leaving them out. I didn’t like tawdry Bob) so why didn’t we at least have boyfriends? Good question, Bob.
The rest of the conversation went a bit like this:
‘I don’t know, Bob.’
‘Is there someone you want to be married to?’
‘Maybe. Yes. I’m not sure, Bob.’
‘Well what’s his fucking problem?’
‘He’s got loads of them, Bob.’
‘But he knows how you feel, right?’
‘Sort of, Bob.’
‘Then he’s gay?’
‘He’s not gay, Bob.’
‘Jesus christ, that would be a twist. No, he’s not, Bob.’
‘Ahh, he’s scared of you.’
‘He’s scared of you. Lindsey, you and Rachael here, you’re very intimidating women. You need a real man. This man, he’s not strong enough.’
‘I don’t know Bob, I think he’s quite strong.’
‘Stop making jokes. That’s one of your problems, you make too many jokes. Get serious.’
‘OK, Bob. Sorry, Bob.’
‘You need a man who can handle you. Both of you. Or you need to tone it down. And stop wearing those shoes with ankle socks. Men like to see toes.’
The offending shoe/sock combo
After this, Bob got very drunk, knocked a glass of red wine on himself while stomping in his chair for some reason that was unclear and started doing pirate impressions. Then he tried to make us talk about blow jobs and that’s when decided it was time to say night-night Bob and go home. Tony the bartender supported our decision.
But I have to say, it was weird talking to an older man (albeit Bob) about our boy problems. I thought he was going to cry at one point when Rachael started detailing her issues. And the weirdest part was that his advice was pretty much the same as that of our girlfriends. Hmm. Still, I have to say, it might not be terribly reassuring to be told you need to change your entire personality and footwear to get a man but still, it was nothing if not informative.http://0