The day I hit rock bottom in the dating world, I had a nice long walk home to think about it.
I met a girl at a party, got her number, called … actually got called back! We went to a restaurant that was clearly out of my price range. And, to add insult to injury I brilliantly, I talked her into getting a bottle of wine. I also talked her out of splitting the bill. I ended up dropping $95 on dinner.
I lived at First Avenue and Tenth Street and she lived all the way up and across town at Tenth Avenue and 91st Street. Continuing with my old fashioned (and stupid) habits that night, I told her I'd pay for her cab home, spending my last bit of cash during what was already somewhat of a "credit card week" for me.
I was invited in. During my tour of her apartment, I noticed something in the corner of her bedroom. It offered me a strange sense of familiarity and comfort in an otherwise foreign domicile. It was a little pink canister of Bumble & Bumble hairspray.
I said: "hey, I use the exact same hairspray."
She replied: "Really? I don't like it, do you want it?"
Considering the hairspray was quite expensive ($25), and all of my recent purchases have been on credit, I jumped at the opportunity. Suddenly my financial loss dropped down to $70. Things were on the up and up.
After securing the pink hairspray, I became nervous because it looked as though I was going to have to kiss my date goodnight. I realized, at that time, that I had not been sober during a goodnight kiss in over 5 years.
I pointed to her with the pink hairspray and quipped: "Alright, I'll see you later." Then, I retreated to the front door, and she followed me out. Oh no! Vestibule goodnight kiss would not do! Kissing in public - even in the protective arms of a vestibule - could not be tolerated. When we got downstairs, I pretty much won the stare down: I will NOT kiss you, I WILL NOT kiss you. I felt a small sense of sick and twisted accomplishment as I left her building.
Strangely enough, I considered the night a success at this point: no action and a free bottle of pink hairspray. It all took a turn for the worst when I attempted to buy a single ride subway ticket with my credit card: MAXED OUT. It was so maxed out, I couldn't even buy something for $2. With no cash, no way to get on a bus or a subway, I began the long walk home. The hookers in Times Square were a symbolic reminder that I had passed up a nice apartment with a cute girl to seek shelter for the night. I clutched my pink hairspray closer to me and pressed on.
An hour and a half later, as the sun rose on the horizon, I was home. Those makeout birds - you know, the ones that start chirping when the sun is rising and you wonder while in someone's bed (and they suddenly don't look as good as they did when you were drunk in the dark): "where the hell am I"—were chirping to start the new day.
As I passed out in my bed, my can of pink hairspray by my side, without so much as a penny on me, I realized this is what it feels like at the bottom. I guess there is no where to go from here but up…