A New Englishman in New York Part 18: Inadvertent Swinging And Kelly Kapoor

Accidentally swapping partners and dodging celebrities as he dotes on a box of thongs is all in a days work for our man in New York.
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Date Night

It’s a date night. In an effort to keep the fiancée interested till the big wedding next year, I’m having her meet me at a bar I don’t like, that I know she likes, before taking her out to dinner. I arrive early and sit at the bar. It is one of them fancy overpriced places that knobheads go to. $9 a pint. Insane. You shouldn’t have to pay that much for liquid.

Every table has a reserved sign on, but whenever we have come here before the hostess just took off the reserved sign and sat us down. It’s a pretense. The guise of exclusivity, all for double the price of a place that lets people sit where they want.

My date finally walks in. I tell her to go ask the woman if we can sit down at one of the tables. She goes over. Has a word. Comes back.

“She says it is reserved.”

So we stand at the bar. I look around the room, it has become quite crowded. There is a tall woman at the other end of the bar. She catches my attention as it looks like she has an odd mouth. Some sort of deformity. Intrigued, I look closer but she just had her tongue stuck into her cheek. All normal. Though she did catch me staring. Over the next few minutes, I unintentionally look over at the woman a few more times. Each time she sees me looking. It is pure coincidence but keeps happening. Each time an accident, but each time making me look weirder. She must think I'm trying it on, whilst with another woman.

I arrive early and sit at the bar. It is one of them fancy overpriced places that knobheads go to.

After a while I head to the bathroom. Standard bathroom routine. I stare at the mirror. The strong light above does my level of attractiveness no favours. Nor does my face.

I walk out back to the bar. As I get closer to our spot, I notice a man who has backed into the exact space I was stood previously. I’m annoyed she let this fella take up my zone. So I try to squeeze back in. I put my hand on my fiancée’s lower back and give her a little peck on her head. My territory.

My fiancée stiffens and looks up at me. It’s not my fiancée. Oh god. It’s not my fiancée. Someone else is sat in her seat. Oh no. It’s the tall woman that was at the end of the bar. I look around. My fiancée is sat down in one of the “reserved” seats.

I’m in complete shock. The tall woman is laughing. I turn around. The fiancée is laughing. I’m an idiot.

“It must be the black hair.” Says the tall woman that I’ve just kissed on the head. Definitely no cheek deformity.

I stand back, put my hands together in an odd prayer like hold.

“I am so sorry.” I say.

I trudge over to where I should be sat. Other people are laughing now too.

Another successful date night.

Out of the Office

I’ve recently become a fan of Brunch. I had written it off as something fancy fools do but I’ve come round to the idea mainly as it makes drinking vodka and eating burgers before noon socially acceptable. Ideal. Of a Sunday we walk around the West Village considering somewhere new to go and always end up at Corner Bistro. Every time.

Finally sat down with a burger and a Bloody Mary, the fiancée starts updating me on the latest entertainment news. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of worthless information about pointless public figures. I nod along, eating away and then tell her she often reminds me of Kelly Kapoor from The (American) Office. This is mainly done to annoy her. She informs me of the actresses’ birthdate and recent film history. We carry on eating. I’ve recently marked down the Corner Bistro burger to second best in the city. J.G Melons does the best. Johnny L was right all along.

The fiancée starts updating me on the latest entertainment news. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of worthless information about pointless public figures.

After the meal I'm conned into going to the meatpacking district for a sale.

I don’t care for this area; Rio Ferdinand claimed it was his favourite part of Manhattan. You can imagine.

We go into the shop. I instantly look for the first place to sit down, l am a very old man. The only place is next to an old iron tub full to the brim of reduced priced knickers. I sit down. To the untrained observer, I look like a pop up panties seller. The wife-to-be tries stuff on and attempts to legitimise buying clothes, which are still overpriced despite the reduced price tag.

“But it’s another 30% off.” She says, hoping I will agree and thus absolving her of any future blame.

As she is in the clothes room I'm still next to the knickers tub. These shops offer nothing to men. Offer me a beer, or a magazine, anything to make me want to be there. I’d stay for hours then.

It is at this point I hear a voice I recognise. I’m sure it is that woman from The Office. I stare at my shoes. I can't let the wife know. She will only notice famous people if I point them out to her. She wouldn’t even notice them if she bumped into one of them. Proven twice when she shoulder barged a 90210 actress on Prince Street and another time when Alan Cummings nearly knocked her over at the W hotel. So I keep quiet. I just listen. She is with a friend.

"You know I watched you the other night. You are really good." Says the friend.


"Oh you know what I really like though?” Her friend says as she looks through my cut-price collection of thongs. “Modern Family?"

"Yeah. That's a great show." Says the crushed The Office star.

Her friend then bangs on about Modern Family until they leave.

My fiancée walks out of the dressing room.

"You know that girl I said you are like?" I say.

"Yeah?" She says.

"She was just here." I say.

We then follow this “celebrity” around for 5 minutes before I decide this to be too weird and we walk home. The wife-to-be is annoyed.

"I could have told her how you think we should be friends." She says.

"Not sure it works like that." I say.

"Tom,” She says, “That's exactly how it works."

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