Is My Life Turning Into a Romantic Comedy?

This sure seems like a good beginning to one ...


So, is it cheating that--despite my claims of having Internet-dating Burn-out Syndrome--I've been fishing around a little on an online dating site "on the side"? (By which I mean: in addition to my real-life flirting?) I hope you're not disappointed in me. Nothing much has happened worth reporting ...

Until last night, that is.

But let me back up a second to Tuesday, when some ridiculously adorable guy, Chef Du Jour, contacted me. "I'm glad you're getting in touch with your introverted side," he wrote, in response to my profile. "But you're too cute! Don't keep yourself away from your adoring public for long!"

Now, how could I do anything but respond enthusiastically to a note like that? Particularly because he was a sommelier, which is one of the cooler jobs in the world, if you ask me; he liked a lot of the same books that I do; and he liked to ride his bike around the city. What was there not to like? Particularly because he was HOT--wearing sharp Euro glasses in a few pictures; and, in another, showing a little chest hair in a way that managed to communicate he was probably very comfortable with his body ... and very sexy.*

We went back and forth a bit that day--discussing our love for J.D. Salinger**, among other things--and by the time evening rolled around, I was feeling quite curious about this person. Which is not to say that I was fantasizing about getting in flagrante with him.*** But, when I was at the gym, I became so convinced that a certain guy there was Chef du Jour that I almost asked him if he was the person who'd been corresponding with me ... until some woman walked up to him, while he was sitting on one of the nautilus benches, and they smooched.

On Wednesday, the emails continued until I said, "It's been so fun, corresponding, but maybe a phone call would be a good next step? Because I need to get back to work!" He agreed it was a good idea, and said he would try me later that evening; I mentioned that I'd probably be free from about 7:30pm-9pm, at which point I was going off to a friend's birthday party.

Cut to 7:52pm. I was sitting at my favorite little coffee shop when my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, so I let it go to voice mail, and when I checked the messaged that the caller left, it was Chef Man, of course. I figured I'd pack up so I could call him from the bench out front; that way, all the other coffee shop patrons, busy pounding away at their keyboards, wouldn't have to suffer through the conversation.

As I was shutting down my lap-top, a ridiculously adorable guy walked into the coffee shop. From my vantage point, behind the counter, I could see him perfectly. I noticed his fancy rectangular glasses, groovy enough for any architect. I noticed his glittering eyes. I noticed his charming smile--which was directed at me. Caught staring, flustered, I bent over my bookbag and busied myself with getting ready to go. Then I strode out, waving good-bye to my barista-buddy behind the counter ... at which point, Mr. Glasses looked back over his shoulder and gave me one last smile.

The coffee shop is on a corner, so I crossed over the street before calling back Chef Du Jour, just as Mr. Glasses was walking out of the coffee shop. I saw Mr. Glasses pick up his phone and say something brief into the receiver, just as Chef Du Jour was saying "Hello?" to me.

"This is weird," I said, "but did you just walk out of the coffee shop?"

"Uh, yeah. Wait a second. Was that you?"

"Look across the street," I said.

He looked. I waved. He waved back.

And he crossed the street, and we shook hands, and walked around the block to get a drink ...

Tune in tomorrow to find out how it went.

But first, let me ask you: IS THAT NOT THE CRAZIEST THING IN THE WORLD???

I mean, Brooklyn is a huge place! And we had never talked about what neighborhoods we lived in (and, in fact, I don't ever live in that neighborhood). We'd never talked about the coffee shop. And the timing--you can't beat the timing! If something happened in a romantic comedy, would you even believe it?



*Chest hair used to make me nauseous, until I dated someone, a couple years back, who totally rocked his chest hair. And now I think it's kind of hot. In moderation.

**Apparently,there are people out there--including some of you, dear readers!--who think that anyone who mentions Salinger as a favorite author has not developed beyond a high-school level as a lover of literature. I assure you that I *have*--I have (and loved) read my Tolstoy, my Proust, my Joyce--but regardless, there is a special place in my heart for the man who wrote "Cathcher in the Rye" and "Franny and Zooey."

***Unfortunately, when I fantasize about getting it on with someone, it's still Jonas Singer who plays the lead role in my imagination. Sigh.)