5 Things NOT to Do When Picking Up A Guy

Please don't try any of the maneuvers I pulled on Saturday night. Today, I'll tell you about the first three of them ... and tomorrow, I'll finish off my Halloween saga.


Ah, the weekend. I'm still a little tired. (Are you?)

Friday night,

I was planning to stay in and get some writing done ... but my friends didn't seem to like that idea. A bunch of them came out to where I live, and we went to the groovy trattoria down the

street, where lovely chirping Italians both make the food and serve it

up. Ruby Finch, Jake Stein and Barnaby Jepperboom were all in

attendance. It was a nice night. Though Jake and Barnaby had gone to college together--and even graduated in the same year--they'd never met before. Perhaps not surprisingly (given they're both exceptionally smart, very funny and sweet) they hit it off, bonding over a discussion of the songwriting merits of John Lennon vs. Paul McCartney. Then, for my benefit, they collaborated on an impromptu reenactment of some of their favorite parts from the mock-umentary Spinal Tap.

After dinner was over and everybody else had taken off, Barnaby and I got into a little spat. Maybe I'll tell you about that later in the week. For TODAY, though, I should tell you about my Halloween! And about the 5 things I did SO SO wrong as I was picking up a guy.

Please, if you know what's good for you, do not try any of this at home.


Yes, that is what I did on Saturday night.

I'd been planning to go to a bunch of parties on the Lower East Side with my novelist buddy D-Speck and my journalist friend Daisy Milliner ... but it was raining, and the idea of schlepping around over-crowded Lower Manhattan just did not seem fun. Once again, I was tempted to stay in; but once again, Ruby convinced me to go out. She had two parties for us to go to, both in Brooklyn. How could I refuse? Particularly because I wanted to have something to report to you guys this morning.

I climbed into my witch costume and drove over to meet up with Ruby and Don Hooks at the first fiesta. Which was pretty lame. We ditched almost immediatedly, but since the second party wouldn't really get going till close to midnight, we decided to head over to a groovy nearby bar, Franklin Park, to kill a little time.

When we got to what I thought was the right street, I couldn't turn onto it, since it was one-way in the wrong direction. I pulled to the side of the road, saying to Ruby, "If it's right there, like I think it is, I'll park here--but let's ask someone first." Spotting a dude cruising by on the sidewalk, I rolled down Ruby's window and shouted out, "Excuse me? Do you know if that's Franklin Park over there?"

He walked up to the window ... and we got a good look at how hot he was, with a nice square jaw, almond-shaped eyes, and heavy dark hair that flopped off to the side of his face. "I'm not sure, but that's where I'm trying to go, too. I think it's actually a few blocks further down." He flashed us a wide smile full of perfect teeth.

Suddenly, the heavenly faucets were turned up from a steady drip to a full-on blast of water--which is to say, the rain began to dump. "You're welcome to hop into the car with us!" I called out the window.

The dude, who didn't have an umbrella, hesitated a second before saying, "Cool!" And in he jumped.

(I think I do not have to tell you that a move like this is not exactly endorsed by the National Traffic Safety Transportation Board.)


A friend of Ruby's--dressed up like a Prince--met us at Franklin Park; a few minutes later, some married people Don knows showed up. We chillaxed with the sidewalk man, whose friends hadn't arrived yet. (He'd bailed early on some party he'd been at, and was early to meet them.) Turns out the dude is a portrait painter who just moved to New York from Portland, Oregon. He didn't look egregiously young, but he mentioned something about college and something about his college friends--college, college, college--which was enough to make me curious about his age. His cuteness seemed even more intense, there in the bar, but he seemed a bit reticet, if polite. I wondered if it was youth and inexperience that was making him not-so-talkative. I wondered if he was bored. I also wondered if I was.

When we were ready to leave, I told him he was welcome to come along with us to the next party ... and to my surprise, he was up for the adventure. (So maybe his reticence was just a personality trait, rather than a reflection of how much fun he wasn't having with us?) When we got outside, Ruby announced she would ride with The Prince, to keep him company--and Don was taking his friends in his car, so he instructed me to take the Painter in my ride.

"What?" I exclaimed. "You guys are going to let me go off on my own with this strange man? Is that really wise?"

But I was teasing; The Painter seemed perfectly trustworthy, if quiet. Don got his cell number--because I still haven't dealt with getting a new phone after losing mine last week--so we could keep in touch. Then ... off we went.

(Still, the question of safety aside ... perhaps I should have been playing harder to get?)

#3) Do NOT chat up another dude while the stranger is buying you a drink.

The second party--at some groovy obscure bar called Tandem, smack dab in the middle of an otherwise residential Bushwick street--was way more fun than the first. The front room was quite attractive, with exposed brick walls and a gorgeous old-timey bar that apparently was rehabilitated from an old Elks lodge, and a secret back room was open for dancing.

When we got there, The Painter and I hit the dance floor immedaitely. "Are you, like, a dancer?" he yelled over The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs song that was playing. I laughed.

"You've got some amazing moves!" he insisted. "I can't keep up with you!"

We boogied for a while before moseying back to the front for drinks. And while the Painter was ordering a beer for himself and a club soda for me, some dude in snakeskin pants next to me asked me what I was.

"A witch," I said, replacing my pointy hat.

"Oh," Snakeskin said. Then he started chatting me up a little ... and since HE was fairly cute himself, and quite engaging, it was hard to give him the cold shoulder. We were gabbing when The Painter pushed my drink towards me on the bar. I thanked him, but before I could pick up the glass to clink it with his bottle, he'd turned on his heel and walked away.


When I told Snakeskin I should go find my friend, he said, "All

right. But once you do that, why don't you come back and talk to me?" I

smiled, flattered, and disappeared back into the mob. ... On the dance

floor, The Painter was colluding with Don, Ruby and The Prince; all of

them wanted to go on to a third party. I was rather recalcitrant--it

was 230AM by then, and my feet hurt from too much high-heel-time!--but

after they informed me that the party was in my neighborhood, I figured

I didn't have much sleep to lose.

. . .

Lovelies: I think I've gone on long enough here, don't you? I'll finish off the story of the night tomorrow (and also tell you the last two things completely idiotic things I did, vis a vis The Painter, on Saturday night.)

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dear commenters:

I am WAY late getting today's post up, as you may have noticed. So ... I can't respond to all of you individually today. But I really appreciate all your feedback about the Barnaby situation and the question about whether or not true love helps us commit.