The Actor

Published: February 17, 2015

I have mostly given up on the finance guys of New York, and they have given up on me. They can’t understand how I earn a living; no creative type could possibly be self-supporting. Or reliable. Or fertile. These guys trade in data; I’m a bad bet.

The Actor was cute, tall, Jewish, in finance, but he had big Broadway dreams. He seemed intrigued that I, to a degree, had pursued mine. I write for a living, however meager. We met for cocktails in a swank Midtown champagne bar.

Actor: I cashed out my IRA and went to acting school.
Me: How did you enjoy it?

He was back at the trading desk.

I was sympathetic. There is a gap between who I wanted to be once upon a time and who I am. The dreams that catapulted me through my 20s have worn thin. A pretty good writer on yet another blind date does not ride a tsunami of self-esteem.

Actor: My fiancée said I just need to man up, move on.
Me: Most of my dates don’t have fiancées.
Actor: We broke up.

He told me a story of three weddings, one here, one there — she was South American — and one in Israel. Her mistake, he explained, was scheduling the legal one first and the familial and religious ceremonies later. He would have had time to grow into all that husbanding if it had been the other way around. The legal was just so final.

A week before the city hall nuptials, he balked.

Me: You left your fiancée at the altar.
Actor: She wanted to marry a banker.
Me: You are a banker.

Long before I gave up on finance guys, I gave up on weddings. The flowers, caterers, plane tickets, families, and all three gowns are fronts in a status war between women; micro-aggressions inflicted by brides on innocent bystanders. Then the victor demands gifts.

His poor hopeful fiancée, thrice thwarted. It has been a long time since I looked at a bride with anything other than bile. But not her.

Someone else in New York has it a lot worse than I do.

I only had to date the Actor once.

 

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