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The Foreigner

Published: September 17, 2013

I had gotten another set up from the VC. After a quick email introduction, we exchanged numbers and my date began texting furiously, right away.

Foreigner: I want to meet you right now.
Me: Seriously?

He is in New York only for a few days, but wants to move here permanently. And he is persistent. It is Friday afternoon, so I offer him 3 to 6, between my conference call and my evening event.

Foreigner: How will we find each other?
Me: We both have phones.
Foreigner: I don’t always have a charge on my phone.

He texts me a picture of himself. My blind date appears to be extremely cute, so OK, fine, I bite: I send him the link to my entirely googlable author page and consider him lazy for not having found it himself.

Foreigner: Like!!!

I am, needless to say, dreading this date. But I dread them all. My dreadometer is off. I go forth into that good afternoon.

When we meet he is unshaven, adorable, and wearing bright blue tennis shoes. English is not his first language. It is not, alas, even a passing second.

We have wine at a cafe and he wants to hold my hand. Am I old fashioned? Hand holding in a cafe 10 minutes into a first date seems so forward, but, he is so cute, so, OK, fine, I’ll bite: He can hold my hand over wine.

Then he proposes. It turns out, he is a very lightweight drinker.

Foreigner: Can I come to your place and use your Wi-Fi?

This is the 21st-century version of looking at my etchings. But he seems harmless. Young. And so very, very cute. We walk toward my apartment and I get a passionate and loving kiss on the way home. As nice as it is to be kissed passionately and lovingly, he’s a total stranger and I’m not quite feeling it. That is, I’m not running at the same speed he is. And I say so.

Foreigner: I am an entrepreneur, a dreamer. I imagine how life could be. As CEO of a start up, you have no revenue, you have to live in your dreams.

I worry that I am an old lady who lives somewhere else.

Foreigner: I am so drunk. And so jetlagged.

He lies down on my bed.

Foreigner: Wow, you have a lot of books.
Me: I even wrote one.
Foreigner: I have read only three books: Start-up Nation. The Goal — it is about how businesses have to have a goal, you know? And one other is about the Holocaust.
Me: Which book about the Holocaust?
Foreigner: No, I think it was about the Mossad.

He wants to cuddle. Cuddling him is a lot like being groped. He is so very cute that it is nice for all of 12 seconds before I realize I want to cuddle him as much as I do a Labrador puppy. That is, not so much.

Foreigner: But I am Latin.
Me: But I am not.
Foreigner: This isn’t about sex. If I wanted a one night stand I would have brought condoms. I did not bring condoms. I like you and I want to settle down.
Me: Please take your hand off my ass.

He starts arguing with me. And there it is: I am arguing in bed on a first date.

Have I been too tolerant? He was beautiful so I let him invite himself him over to my place though there was no remote chance of happily ever after. Or have I grown so twisted that I think men are only good for either a) scratching an itch or b) marriage? He is a candidate for neither. He is 10 years younger than I am and seems appropriate for something in between, closer to a) but not quite.

I get out of bed, offer him unlimited WiFi, compliment myself on having cast a spell on a man who will clearly be a catch when he grows up. Or maybe the spell will break when he sobers up. Then I go back to work. It’s 4:30 on a Friday.

He leaves. He also leaves the toilet seat up.

One proposal, one break up, one and a half hours.


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